Biography of Vona Groarke
Vona Groarke is an Irish poet. Groarke was born in Mostrim in the Irish midlands in 1964, and attended Trinity College, Dublin, and University College, Cork.
She has published five collections of poetry with the Gallery Press (and by Wake Forest University Press in the United States): Shale (1994), Other People's Houses (1999), Flight (2002), Juniper Street (2006) and Spindrift (2009). She is also the author of a translation of the eighteenth-century Irish poem, Lament for Art O'Leary (Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire) (Gallery Books, 2008).
Her work has been recognized with awards including the Brendan Behan Memorial Award, the Hennessy Award, the Michael Hartnett Award, the Forward Prize, and the Strokestown International Poetry Award. Her 2009 volume Spindrift has been nominated for the 2010 Irish Times Poetry Now Award.
She has been a co-holder of the Heimbold Chair of Irish Studies at Villanova University and has taught at Wake Forest University in North Carolina; she now teaches at the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester, and in 2010 was elected a member of Aosdána, the Irish academy of the arts.
Vona Groarke Poems
The Family Photograph
In the window of the drawing-room there is a rush of white as you pass in which the figure of your husband is,
An Teach Tuí
Thistledown, fuchsia, flagstone floor: this noun house has the wherewithal to sit out centuries
I babysit by Skype, breakfast to their lunch, lunch to their dinner.
Is it time?
The children will be waiting for me with blue veined arms and all tomorrow slaked in the whites of their eyes.
I sat in a garden of medieval wildflowers and let the sun insist upon my face. There was a city at my back with the kind of light at play
‘La Route' - André Derain (1932)
Three bars of shadow on a yellow road, a sky of Chinese blue. Though there is only the road and its sidelong songs
Why I Am Not A Nature Poet
has to do with Max and Nemo scarcely out of their plastic bag three weeks ago and into our new fishbowl when Nemo started swelling up,
My mother has gone and bought herself a piglet because none of us comes to visit anymore. George has good manners and is clean in his ways: he is courtly, thoughtful, easy to amuse.
Give me my hand on his neck and his back to my breast, my heart ruffling his ribs and their flighty charge. Give me the sea-grass bristles on his shoulder-blades and his spine, courteous and pliable to my wrist.
What leaves us trembling in an empty house is not the moon, my moon-eyed lover. Say instead there was no moon though for nine nights we stood
Some gap in the sidings, a man too few at the turn into the pens, and they were out, scattering like buckshot through the cars. Until a clutch of lads in bloodied aprons
The kitchens of the Metropole and Imperial hotels yielded up to the Irish Republic their armory of fillet, brisket, flank. Though destined for more palatable tongues, it was pressed to service in an Irish stew and served on fine bone china
The Small Hours
A joyrider rips up Lockland. It takes barely five minutes for a precinct helicopter to dip and swivel over lawns
On Seeing Charlotte Brontë's Underwear w...
"Are they real?" We have pages of kitchen utensils and books and candlesticks and nibs, but the charcoal pencil and new sketchpad are squat as aubergines in her hands in front of this display.
Some gap in the sidings, a man too few
at the turn into the pens, and they were out,
scattering like buckshot through the cars.
Until a clutch of lads in bloodied aprons
bore down on them with shouts and whirring arms.
Within minutes, they were gathered,
it was done. The lads strayed back to work,
the steel doors closed on the skirl and din,
the driver tidied his gates, and pulled away.