Breda Wall Ryan bears witness to her own vulnerable life, to the lives of others, and to the life of the world
and to all that she sees, even in the darkest places, she brings the light of her careful attention.

— Paula Meahan

(Click to view cover)
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2015 / 80 pages
ISBN: 978-1-907682-36-0
Cover art: Sarah Majury


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BREDA WALL RYAN grew up on a farm in County Waterford and now lives in County Wicklow. She has a B.A. in English and Spanish from UCC; a Post-graduate Diploma in Teaching English as a Second or Other Language from Trinity College, London; and an M.Phil. in Creative Writing from Trinity College, Dublin. She was selected for the Poetry Ireland Introductions Series in 2014. In 2015 she won the Gregory O’Donoghue Prize; in 2014 she won 2nd place for the Patrick Kavanagh Award; and in 2013, she won the Over the Edge New Writer of the Year Competition, Dromineer Poetry Competition, the iYeats Poetry Competition and the Poets Meet Painters Competition. In a Hare’s Eye is Breda’s first poetry collection.


Self Portrait in the Convex Bulge of a Hare’s Eye

My first word for Hare was cailleach,
witch or crone, slack-skinned
hag with blade-edged bones.

I met her again today
where seven hare-sisters grazed
a scrawny field at Renvyle,

face to face inhaled her lepus breath,
gazed through my shadow-face
cupped in her glass-dark eye.

‘Which is my animal shade?’ I asked
the coven of leathern-ears.
Each licked her cloven lip and chanted,

‘I’, ‘I’, and ‘I’. Hare with sea-salt tongue
rolled the dark bulge of her eye,
answered, ‘All of us, all of us here;

we show no map of your journey, we
are you when you get there.’
I grabbed at scut and slippery ear,

begged her to tell more
but rain rolled in from Boffin,
plump drops slicked her fur,

she twitched a salt-crusted whisker,
slipped into Otherwhere
like a white horse in
ceo draíochta,

left me straddling a barbed wire fence
with two handfuls of loose belly-skin
and a jagged gash in my thigh.


They take your name

tag your wrist
birth date
unique number

They note your history

take your clothes
issue a paper gown

They send you to the showers

drip chemicals
where blue vein
indigo X

They write up your chart


They take your hair.