Ballaghaderreen resident Jessamine O’Connor has released her fifth collection of poems, entitled ‘Pact’. A Dublin native, O’Connor moved to Ballaghaderreen in 1999, where she lives in an old train station house with her children and partner.
From there, she facilitates two weekly creative writers’ meetings – Wrong Side Of The Tracks Writers and The Hermit Collective, 2016 winners of the ‘Epic Award’ for Ireland. Described by O’Connor as ‘fellow creatives and remotes’ who come together to put on pop-up shows of poetry, art, music, stories, and more, the Hermit Collective has played dozens of venues across the northwest.
O’Conner herself was overall winner of the Poetry Ireland Butlers Café Competition 2017, and previously the iYeats Poetry Competition and the Francis Ledwidge Award.
Her poems have been published in Ireland and abroad by journals including: Agenda, Fifth Estate, The Stinging Fly, Abridged; Poetry NZ, Muse-Pie Press, The Stony Thursday Book; Shot Glass Journal, Skylight47, Ropes, Crannog, and New Irish Writing.
‘Pact’ contains poems on a range of subjects, from ageing, identity and war to motherhood, family and death, as well as delightful observations, such as the feeling of a freshly shaved jawline and the sound of arctic geese at night.
O’Connor is currently a book tour of the northwest with fellow author Gerry Boland, reading at county libraries. For more information, visit www.jessamineoconnor.com.