Bebe Ashley I've Missed This Place


Leland Bardwell

“A dog should die outside, the others said”: Incanting Leland Bardwell

An exhibition, curated by Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, John McLachlan & Natasha Cuddington


The Belfast Book Festival is honoured to mark the centenary of Irish poet and novelist Leland Bardwell. In our Ground Floor café you will find work by artists Alice Maher,  Geraldine O’Reilly and Barrie Cooke, along with handwritten work by Leland, and the sound collage “Dog-ear” (combining poetry spoken by Leland Bardwell with music) by composer, and the poet’s son, John McLachlan.  Exhibition curated by Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, ​​John McLachlan and Natasha Cuddington.

Join us throughout the Festival come along and view the works and a spell of deep listening. 

For more information about the prints, please contact the artists directly. 

Do join us for the launch of this installation at 4pm on Friday 16th June. Click here for more information. 


Leland Bardwell (1922-2016) was born in India and grew up in Leixlip, County Kildare. Living at times in Paris, London, Scotland, Kilkenny, Dublin and Monaghan, she immersed herself in literary and artistic circles in Soho, London, and Dublin, settling in Sligo in 1991.

Remembered principally as a poet and novelist, her writing included stories and plays, film scripts, TV work, libretti and children’s plays and stories. Her published work comprises five poetry collections, five novels, a memoir, and a collection of short stories. Her prose and poetry have been translated into German, Polish, Spanish, French, Albanian and Turkish.

A co-founder of Cyphers, one of the longest-running poetry magazines in the world, she also was an early member of the Irish Writers' Co-operative in the mid-1970s, and a founding member of Aosdána, Ireland's state-sponsored academy for creative artists.

Her centenary year, 2022, was marked with a festival, A Single Rose in Sligo, and the publication of three new books: a poetry volume My Name Suspended in the Air (Lepus) with commentaries from 33 writers, a prose collection The Heart and the Arrow (Doire Press) and her Collected Poems (Salmon Poetry).


About the Artists

John McLachlan was born in Dublin and studied music at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, and he holds a PhD in musicology from Trinity College Dublin. He lives in county Donegal. His works have been performed widely and internationally with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Opera Theatre Company, the National Chamber Choir, Concorde, Sequenza, Traject, Archaeus, Pro Arte, Antipodes, Ensemble Nordlys, The Fidelio Trio, The ConTempo Quartet and Trio Arbós as well as many prominent soloists including Ian Pace, John Feeley, Mary Dullea, Darragh Morgan, Satoko Inoue and David Adams. He is also known as a broadcaster and writer on contemporary music, with many published articles. In his roles as Executive Director of the Association of Irish Composers (1999-2012) and Administrator of the Irish Composition Summer School, he has promoted Irish composers in an international context, and also presented international composers in Ireland. Some recent works such as Dog-Ear (2013), A fine example of how (not) to live (2021) and Lessons of Darkness (2022) use texts from his mother, the writer Leland Bardwell, and in 2022 her Collected Poems appeared under his editorship. He is a member of Aosdána, Ireland’s academy for creative artists. More information at:

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin is a Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin and a member of Aosdána. She served as Ireland Professor of Poetry from 2016-2019. In 2010, she was awarded the Griffin Poetry Prize, and in 2020 China’s 1573 International Poetry Award. Her many translations of poetry include Dánta Antonella Anedda [translations from Italian into Irish] Cois Life (2019), Verbale/Minutes/Tuairisc, with Cormac Ó Cuilleanáin and Gabriel Rosenstock, from the Italian of Michele Ranchetti, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, (2002), The Water Horse with Medbh McGuckian, from the Irish of Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Gallery Press (2000), 21 poems by Nuala Ní Dhomnaill, in Leabhar na hAthgabhála ed. Louis de Paor, Cló Iar-Chonachta (2016), After the Raising of Lazarus, from the Romanian of Ileana Mălăncioiu, Munster Literature Centre (2005), and Legend of the walled-up wife, from the Romanian of Ileana Mălăncioiu, Gallery (2011). Her Collected Poems was published by Gallery in 2020.

Alice Maher is a well-known visual artist, recognised for her experimental use of non-traditional and vernacular materials; for her explorations of embodiment and identity; and her incorporation of a range of literary, folkloric, and mythological material in her multi-media practice.  Her work is held in numerous public collections including the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Hammond Museum, The British Museum, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, and the Ulster Museum. Alice is a member of Aosdána and is represented by the Kevin Kavanagh Gallery in Dublin.

Geraldine O’Reilly is a Visual Artist and Printmaker and a graduate of the National College of Art and Design, Dublin. Awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to New York in 1989 to research Irish emigration to America for her first major exhibition. She has had many solo exhibitions and shown in selected group exhibitions throughout Ireland, America, Australia, France, Belgium, Sweden, England and Poland. A former board member and chairperson of Graphic Studio Dublin – Ireland’s oldest fine art print workshop. In 2004 she was elected to Aosdána for her contribution to the arts in Ireland. Her artwork is held in many public and private collections such as the National Gallery of Ireland, Chester Beatty Library and Museum, IMMA, Office of Public Works, Maynooth University, University of Tasmania, Australia, McMullen Museum, Boston College, USA. For more about the artist visit

Barrie Cooke was a British-born Irish artist who was brought up in Bermuda and America and moved to Ireland in the mid 1950s. Throughout his long career, he did occasional portraits of writers and artists, people whom he knew personally and admired. They eventually numbered 30 works of figures such as Seamus Heaney, Mary Black, Camille Souter and of course Leland Bardwell. The works were brought together in an exhibition at the Butler Gallery in 2009 and appeared in a book marking the event. In some cases, the artist produced charcoal portraits in addition to the oil painting, possibly as a study. This charcoal image is from 2008 and was given to Leland Barwell by the artist at that time. 

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