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Linda McKenna

Poet Linda McKenna

Biography

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.

Genre: Poetry
Number of publications: 1

Winner of the 2020 Irish Book Awards Poem of the Year Award

A beautiful book and an outstanding debut collection.

— Moyra Donaldson

Sample Work

Sample Poems from In the Museum of Misremembered Things

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.

 

Blue

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.

Video Reading at the Bray Literary Festival

Reading at the Red Line Book Festival

Books

In the Museum of Misremembered Things
In the Museum of Misremembered Things Poetry Book by Linda McKenna published by Doire Press

ISBN: 978-1-907682-76-6 | Pages: 72 | Published: 2020

The poems in In the Museum of Misremembered Things revolve around the local, the historic, and the mythic. Linda McKenna’s poems are based around historical events and themes with a particular interest in how our perceptions (and misperceptions) of both personal, local and national history have lasting impacts on our lives and relationships with others, as well as ordinary women’s experiences of being ‘unheard’ in history. The collection also includes a series of poems inspired by the language and imagery in Walter Harris’s Ancient and Present State of the County of Down, written in 1744. She writes of the locations in which she is most familiar, including County Dublin and County Down.

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