2nd Prize Winchester Poetry Competition 2017 

Sacred Heart

At The Lodge we’re greeted by O’Connor’s daughter 
or someone like her ―this is thirty years later―
and ushered up the avenue. Go on,
she says, three terriers mincing round her feet, a long
shadow thrown by her open door across the hill.
The new owner’s gone away. Business in Achill.
Anyway, he wouldn’t mind.  We edge on, laggard  
and shy, past the water meadow, the haggart
where all our dogs lie, nose to tail,      
smiling their bonny smiles beneath the soil 
and pressing the larches up against the sky.
We pass the fine new house, creep by
into the yard, check out the outhouses, bereft
and empty now, no bitches, no calves, nothing left,
no hens, nowhere to keep a hare. The orchard
― grand name for a straggle of ugly trees ― fruited
well though, still stands at least. Bountiful         
too, with bletted Bramleys, sour windfall 
for the snails, in mouldering heaps. We turn
to the  farmhouse, try the latch. We’re in!

And in we are indeed. And everything’s strange. 
Smaller too somehow. They’ve taken the range
of course, stripped the wallpaper, the floor,
peeled everything back to the bone. Low doors  
insist we dip our heads before entering the rooms.                             
Stunted windows peep out onto the lawn.
Narrow stairs lead up to where we slept,
deeply and often. We trail our fingers in the dust,
trace our names, picture ourselves sleeping
back then, our low snores and gentle shiftings
in the night. In the kitchen ―great Valhalla of the farm ―
where all the most important things went on,
poker games played long into the night, curses
when someone lost a hand, wild  talk of horses,
O’Grady’s mare and how she just might,  
midnight feasts of illegal, buttery trout
fished from a river we’d no business with at all―
we startle, take a turn. They hung it back on the stippled wall,
the workmen. So devout! Or superstitious.                 
That bloody heart. Those eyes. Staring down at us.

The Spanish-Italian Border can be purchased from Arc Publications here:     https://www.arcpublications.co.uk/  or ordered through your local bookshop.
My latest pamphlet is part of the Clutag Press Five Poems series.  It can be purchased here:  http://www.clutagpress.com/

Prizes, Awards, Residencies etc

Michael Marks Award 2012:  Dream Endings (Rack Press) won the Michael Marks Pamphlet Award 2012.  Chair of Judges Alan Jenkins said: Roisin Tierney's subjects may be the dark ones of human vulnerability and anguish, but the poems in this wonderfully cohesive and well-organized sequence rest on solid and graceful foundations of precision, musicality and wit. A remarkable solo debut from this already much-noticed poet.  

Other Prizes and Activities:

Sacred Heart 2nd prize Winchester Poetry Competition 2017
Published- Poetry Ireland Review 2016: Rising Generation edition (Spring 2016)
Poem (Gone) highly commended in 2014 Forward Prize
Dream Endings (Rack Press) wins Michael Marks Award 2012
Read in Dublin - Poetry Ireland Introduction Series June 2008
2nd prize - Brendan Kennelly Poetry Competition 2007
Commended - Ware Poets Open Poetry Competition 2007
Shortlisted - Strokestown Poetry Prize 2006
Longlisted - Bridport Prize 2005
2nd Prize - Oxfam Literature Festival 2004
Supplementary prize - Bridport Prize 2002
Special Commendation and runners up prize - 7th How do I love thee? Open Poetry Competition Jan 2002.
Shortlisted  TLS Poetry Competition 2001
Kings Lynn Festival, John Hewitt Spring Festival, Strokestown Poetry Festival

Poet in Residence at Harvard Summer School, Centre for Hellenic Studies, Nafplion, Greece – July 2012

Currently a tutor at The Poetry School

Other Publications (Pamphlets)

Dream Endings, Rack Press - Winner of Michael Marks Award 2012

Dream Endings begins with a glimpse of the poet's dying sister and concludes in high style with an unusually exuberant funeral. In between, Roisin Tierney assembles a cast of rare misfits and eccentrics in order to explore the interconnected themes of illness, madness, incest and death. Her vision is at all times tender and non-judgmental, and her language remarkable both for the limpidity of its surface and the depths it allows us to apprehend. £4

The Art Of Wiring, Ondt & Gracehoper

Poems by Simon Barraclough, Isobel Dixon, Luke Heeley, Christopher Reid, Liane Strauss, and Roisin Tierney. £8

Ask For It By Name, Unfold Press

Poems by Simon Barraclough, Olivia Cole, Isobel Dixon, Luke Heeley, Liane Strauss and Roisin Tierney. Design by Lynn Stewart. "A well-stocked anthology of fresh produce from six prize-winning poets. Behind the bottles and the butter you'll find Mussolini cheating on the tennis court and meet the shark from Jaws in a Yorkshire millpond; glimpse the love of woman for orang-utan and make it across the Spanish-Italian border; spy on the hobbies of cowboys and drink deep of the Molotov cocktail of love..." £5/€7,00


Poems by Simon Barraclough, Helen Clare, Andrew Dilger, Isobel Dixon and Roisin Tierney. Design by Lynne Stuart. £5

Gobby Deegan’s Riposte, Donut Press

Poems by Edward Barker, Susan Grindley, Valerie Josephs, Barbara Marsh, Graham Mummery, Daljit Nagra, John Stammers, Roisin Tierney, Sinead Wilson.

Individual Poems

Gone - highly commended in 2014 Forward Prize
Gothic - joint 2nd prize - Brendan Kennelly Prize 2007
Invierno - commended -Ware Poets  Poetry Competition 2007
Trajectory - runner up -Strokestown Prize 2006
Untitled – longlisted -Bridport Prize 2005
Becoming – 2nd Prize - Oxfam Literature Festival 2004
Feet - Supplementary prize- Bridport Prize 2002
Crush -A Special Commendation- 7th How do I love thee? Open Poetry Competition Jan 2002.
Half Mile Down - shortlisted -2001 TLS Poetry Competition