David Wheatley

David Wheatley’s first novel, Stretto, will be published later this year.

On Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin

David Wheatley, 27 January 2022

Eiléan​ Ní Chuilleanáin’s poem ‘Translation’ describes a work scene in a convent laundry. Over the bustle of cleaning and ironing, one voice rises insistently, ‘sharp as an infant’s cry’. Its speaker has been incarcerated for offences against Catholic Ireland and in this brief monologue continues to expiate her shame:

Washed clean of idiom...

populate me animate sensitively the spirit of dwelling behind the big blue harbour storage tanks

I would have children in animal masks appearing round lampposts and knowing the names of the boats coming in

I desire fishermen come home to sand-floored cottages distant factory boats moored level with the breakwater wall

my life has been a series of sailors’ knots tightened and...

Agh, Agh, Yah, Boo: Ian Hamilton Finlay

David Wheatley, 4 December 2014

Writing​ to his friend Stephen Bann, then a graduate student, in 1964, Ian Hamilton Finlay outlined his plans to treat readers of his brash new journal, Poor. Old. Tired. Horse, to a free lollipop, sellotaped to the magazine’s cover. Like many of his plans from this period it came to nothing. In any case, sugar and spice weren’t really Finlay’s thing. When he started...

Two Poems

David Wheatley, 8 May 2008

The Antarctic Poetry School

Historically, the absence of even one writer

has been the least of the Antarctic School’s worries.

Is its hallmark cool tone sustainable in today’s climate?

I suspect not, though the Old Antarctic

for ‘burning zeal’ is ‘thin ice, beware’ and ‘splash, ha ha’.

Most traditional verse forms are too complex to have been...

Poem: ‘‘A Pint of Milk’’

David Wheatley, 19 May 2005

leaving behind     only yourself and     the door unlocked venture down     the avenue for the messages     becoming the street as you go          and keeping an eye out for

a hole in your shoe     the dog’s first...

On 15 February 1902, James Joyce, aged 20, read a paper on James Clarence Mangan to the Literary and Historical Society of what is now University College, Dublin. It was a brash performance....

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