New Irish Writing: Poems by William Keohane


William Keohane is a Limerick-based writer. In 2021 he was shortlisted for the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award, received a Literature Bursary Award from the Arts Council of Ireland and was one of 10 poets selected for the Poetry Ireland Introductions series. William has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Limerick.


She writes to me in soft, loving handwriting
reminiscent of elementary school, those final years:
the bubble arches, the curves of a, f, t, the imprint
inscribed in her pen to trace fresh scars.

A forest floor: a squirrel burrowing near the stump
of a tree, white-headed mushrooms,
red fallen leaves, and what could be
a sparrow, a thrush. i don’t know enough

about anything at all.
About birds, how they speak, what their feathers say.
My grandfather would know, but
like everyone else he is too far away.

I return the favor to her. I write
Outside the air is grey, heavy. Inside, clouds of steam rise
from my cup of green tea. There is nothing to say. nothing to write
except for these little trifles here.

I hope to see you one day
not too long from this.
We talk about this later.
Take care of.


A year after this novelty, this routine: the little golden bottles Tmy capsules
Happiness broken open, brought with love. And yet, even now, I can’t help
but flinch before the needle, the sting. Sometimes I can’t get away with it
Just let the pointed tip pierce the skin and then release.
A small pulse oozes out, a pinprick of blood. I break
to breathe, to try again: dissect the space between
the knee and hip squirt the blue into my soft
Flesh. No pain, just the gentle pain
from muscle, receiving; just the air
I greet you, become mine,
become a man

How to enter

New Irish Writing, edited by Ciaran Carty and published in the Irish Independent on the last Saturday of the month, is open to writers who are Irish or Irish residents. Submitted stories should not exceed 2,000 words. Up to four poems can be submitted. There is no entry fee. Authors whose works are selected will receive €120 for fiction and €60 for poetry. You can email your entry, preferably as a Word document, to newirishwriting68@gmail.com. Please include your name, address and phone number and a brief biographical section. Only authors who have not yet published their first book can be considered.

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https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/new-irish-writing/new-irish-writing-poetry-from-william-keohane-41488240.html New Irish Writing: Poems by William Keohane

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