We are delighted to welcome Doreen Cunningham and Kerri ní Dochartaigh to a discussion with Alice Kinsella on the relationship between motherhood and the world.
Doreen’s Soundings: Journeys in the Company of Whales (Virago, March 2022) traces the journey taken by a mother and toddler following the grey whale migration to the Arctic, in a time of climate change. Kerri’s Cacophony of Bone (Canongate, May 2023) charts a year of change – a pandemic, a new child, a new home in a new world. And Alice’s Milk: On Motherhood and Madness (Picador, March 2023) examines the effects of pregnancy and motherhood against the context of an ostensibly changing Ireland.
Doreen Cunningham is an Irish-British writer born in Wales. After studying engineering she worked briefly in climate related research at NERC and in storm modelling at Newcastle University, before turning to journalism. She worked for the BBC World Service as a international news presenter, editor, producer and reporter, for twenty years. She won the RSL Giles St Aubyn Award, was shortlisted for the Eccles Centre and Hay Festival Writers Award, and longlisted for the Wainwright Prize for writing on Global Conservation, for Soundings, her first book.
Kerri ní Dochartaigh is a mother and writer from the north-west of Ireland, now living in Clare with her family. Kerri writes about nature, literature and place for the Guardian, Irish Times, BBC and others. Her first book, Thin Places, was published by Canongate in 2021: it was awarded the Butler Literary Award, and was highly commended for the Wainwright Prize. Her second book is Cacophony of Bone, which was published this year. She is the co-author of Waking Light with Mícheál McCann – the first in Skein Press’s ‘Solstice Series’.
Alice Kinsella was born in Dublin in 1993, and raised in County Mayo. She studied English Literature and Philosophy in Trinity College Dublin. Her poetry pamphlet Sexy Fruit was a Poetry Book Society Spring 2019 Selection. She edited Empty House: poetry and prose on the climate crisis. She received an Arts Council Next Generation Award 2022/23. Milk is her debut book of prose. She lives on the west coast of Ireland with her family.