We are delighted to welcome Templar Poetry to this year's festival for the launch of Damian Smyth’s sixth collection, English Street and Katherine Duffy’s IOTA Shot Award pamphlet, Talking the Owl Away.
Damian Smyth’s sixth collection is focussed on what has always distinguished his work – the myths and moments of a market town in Ireland, with the vexations, joys and disruptions that belonging to anywhere brings. English Street brings another dimension – that most slippery idiom which “hides its letters, like buried children,/ in plain sight, like bomb and ghost and listen,/ This cuckoo tongue, my migrant, this English.”
Born in 1962, Damian Smyth is a civil servant and has been editor, playwright and critic. His five collections of poems are Downpatrick Races (2000), The Down Recorder (2004), Lamentations (2010), Market Street (2010) and Mesopotamia (2014).
Katherine Duffy is the eleventh Irish poet to win a Templar Pamphlet Award. Katherine grew up in Dundalk and later moved to Dublin where she lives and works as a parliamentary translator. Her two previous collections of poetry are The Erratic Behaviour of Tides (1999) and Sorrow's Egg (2011), both with the Dedalus Press. Her poems have been anthologised in The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing. She also writes fiction, in both English and Irish, and her short stories have received awards including Oireachtas na Gaeilge prizes and, in 2006, the Hennessy Writer of the Year award.