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Aoife Reilly

Poet Aoife Reilly


grew up in Laois and now lives in Kinvara, County Galway. She studied Irish language and history at UCD before training in primary teaching and subsequently, psychotherapy. She has travelled throughout Africa, where she studied percussion and dance. Aoife has been shortlisted in many competitions including the Doolin Writer’s Competition, Over the Edge New Writer of the Year (2015 & 2018) and Galway Hospital Poems for Patience (2018), and in 2016 she was selected to read as part of the Cúirt/Over the Edge New Writing Showcase. Her poetry has been widely published in print and online journals in Ireland and overseas, and in 2017 her pamphlet Lilac and Gooseberries was published by Lapwing Press. Revolutions of Humming Things is her debut collection.

Genre: Poetry
Number of publications: 1

These are poems that combine joy and conflict seamlessly, that are pensive and lyrically woven, while all the time bearing testimony to the strength of a poetic voice that is Aoife Reilly's.

— Enda Wyley

Sample Work

Sample Poems From Revolutions of Humming Things


One chord of that song and I’m back there.
We were free and we knew it,
women and wild horses
at the earthen house by the lake
living life in a Dali painting.
Dusk was pink and the petrified trees
lived their calm lives on water, watching
our frenzy of nothing to lose and everything
to find in that hot blue expanse,
starting our lives with the loud music of beginnings
not knowing then how the light on that lake
keeps dancing us back to opening,
always opening.


Heart of a Horse

Free of moral dilemma or agenda,
they gallop over the dried-up lake
without destination.

They do not wait for the sun to reach earth,
hovering instead over the land
on pink limestone nights with elegance
enough to make a human heart shatter.

It must be easier to be a horse,
free from fighting solitude
inhabiting a wall of steady muscle,
solid gaze into yellow iris
with velvet mouthfuls of silverweed.

I would like to be a foal among them
legs like matchsticks holding the body open,
heart three times a human’s size
stretched in vulnerability above the daisies.

In a dizzying mouthful of summer,
whitethorn is scent made visible
and we do not have to sing sonnets
into stars and satellites,
when the whole world is witnessed
in the eyes of a horse

riding into sea sounds and earth songs
all the way to meet the source
without seeking it through disaster.

Reading at Bray Literary Festival 2020

Video Reading at Dublin Book Festival

Origins by Aoife Reilly


Revolutions of Humming Things
Revolutions of Humming Things Poetry Book by Aoife Reilly published by Doire Press

ISBN: 978-1-907682-77-3 | Pages: 80 | Published: 2020

Revolutions of Humming Things explores a sense of belonging and home in a contemporary Ireland in a state of flux. Largely grounded in nature, Aoife’s work examines the complexities of modern human relationships and how we relate to the divine, using imagery as a metaphor for emotion. Aoife’s poems compare the wildness of nature with the inherent messiness of life, travelling through a landscape which reflects our human relationships, traversing themes of grief, authenticity and freedom.