ANNEMARIE NÍ CHURREÁIN / BLOODROOT
A work of muscle and grit, of vision and clarity, Bloodroot is truly exceptional. Among the strongest debut collections of the decade.
— Doireann Ní Ghríofa
Cover design: Lisa Frank
(click to view cover)
ANNEMARIE NÍ CHURREÁIN is a poet from North West Donegal. She has been awarded literary fellowships by Akademie Schloss Solitude (Germany), Jack Kerouac House (Florida) and Hawthornden Castle (Scotland). Her work has been published in Poetry Ireland Review, The SHOp, The London Magazine, Agenda Poetry Journal and The Stinging Fly.In 2016, Annemarie was the recipient of a Next Generation Artists Award from the Arts Council of Ireland. In 2017, Annemarie was appointed to the Writers In Prisons Panel co-funded by the Arts Council & the Department of Justice, Equality and Reform. She is second place winner of the 2017 Red Line Festival Poetry Award. BLOODROOT is her debut collection.
One cut and the hair worn since childhood
fell upon the floor
her new, bald skull
She belonged to heather
and in tail-streams
in the small, green pulse of life
at the dark centre of reunions, separations,
starved of air.
This was a protest of love, against love
sun, rain, wilderness.
From a finger, she slid a band
placed it underfoot,
until the stone
made the sound of a gold chestnut
after the Head of Brigid, Cavan
Six-eyed and made of stone, it is said the head
of Brigid was carried to a lake and lowered in
until only a thin afterwave remained.
This is what happens to women who brew medicine,
who bend iron, who drive cattle on their own land
in the Upper Kingdom and all over the earth.
Dreamless now, I touch the water in the font,
cold as medals, streaked with my blood.