In the Museum of Misremembered Things by Linda McKenna

Our writers give voice to what it means to be Irish in a changing Ireland.

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Winner of the 2020 An Post Irish Book Awards Listowel Writers' Week Poem of the Year Award

A beautiful book and an outstanding debut collection.

— Moyra Donaldson

2020 / 72 pages / €12
ISBN: 978-1-907682-76-6
Cover art: Artur Balytskyi & Odua Images

(click to view cover)

In the Museum of Misremem- bered Things

In the Museum of Misremem- bered Things

By Linda McKenna

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LINDA MCKENNA was brought up in Kinsealy in North County Dublin and educated at Malahide Community School, Trinity College Dublin and the University of Leicester. Following six years spent working in Leicester, she moved to Northern Ireland in 1993, and has lived in Downpatrick for over twenty years. Linda began writing in 2015 and has had poems published in a variety of journals. In 2018 she won the Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing and the Red Line Book Festival Poetry Competition. Her work has also been shortlisted for the 2017 Eyewear Twelve Poems for Christmas competition and highly commended in the 2018 Over the Edge New Writer of the Year Competition. This is her first collection.


In the Museum of Misremembered Things

the keeper writes a slanted hand; fine nibbed copperplate tracking
imagined lines of pink and blue. In lemon juice; this archive

of unprovenanced vows, misheard names, missed cues. Some day
she may rip out the pages, lay

them flat, heat up the iron. For now,

invisible; the lover picking out her name on snow so white,

it looked like truth; unbending wedding lilies, pearls for sorrow,
tangled lace. She leaves space for days and dates; mislaid,

or folded small, in drawers
of long sold, white-lined boxes.


Some women swore by razor blades,
hoarded in sweet tins and cups. Hovered
over husbands shaving in small mirrors,
terrified they would discard the blunt.
Others were faithful to nails and hinges;
on Sunday walks scouring shorn ground
for treasure. A discarded bolt a triumph.
Those were the days our mothers took
up hems, stretched mince. But never
gave in to soil. Every year the sowing
of rusty metal. The keeping of hydrangeas
impossibly blue.