Five Emerging Critics selected for Diversifying Irish Poetry: Poetry Critics of Colour in Ireland

26th July 2021

Diversifying Irish Poetry: Poetry Critics of Colour in Ireland (DIP), is delighted to announce the five critics selected to take part in the 2021 mentorship programme.

Over the next few months, our inaugural cohort of critics will be working with their mentors to develop poetry reviews for publication and will spend two days at the DIP residency, held at Maynooth University, toward the close of the project.

DIP is an IRC-funded programme, run by Dr Catherine Gander of Maynooth University in partnership with Poetry Ireland and in collaboration with Ledbury Poetry Critics UK.

2021 DIP Critics

Sophie L Clarke is a wordsmith. She is an author in training with keen literary and academic interests. Her love of words and written language finds a home in prose, poetry and talking. She has performed her work at Maynooth University Soiree 2021 and many other events, and is working towards her first collection.

Lind Grant-Oyeye is a multi-award-winning poet of African descent. She has work published in multiple literary magazines, anthologies, and curated writing projects. The Ken Saro-Wiwa poetry award winner, her interests include poetry as a voice on social issues. 

Tapasya Narang has lived in Dublin and Delhi. She is currently finishing her PhD in Irish and Indian contemporary poetry at the School of English, Dublin City University. She is committed to studying overlooked literary histories from across the world and has an abiding interest in small press productions such as little magazines and chapbooks.

Tanvi Roberts writes poems and prose, and studied Classics at Cambridge, where she received the John Kinsella & Tracy Ryan Poetry Prize. Her work has been recently published in Poetry Ireland Review and The Cambridge Review of Books, and was shortlisted for the Aurora Prize for New Writing.

Landa wo’s poetry has appeared in a variety of publications and several anthologies. With roots in Angola and Cabinda, Landa wo is an Afro-French poet member of Société des Poètes Français. Politically engaged his work deals with prominent issues of social justice, discrimination and cultural strife.

These emerging critics will be mentored by: 

Dzifa Benson is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work intersects science, art, the body and ritual which she explores through poetry, theatre-making, performance, essays, and criticism. She has performed her work nationally and internationally in many contexts such as: artist in residence at the Courtauld Institute of Art; producer of a poetry in performance event responding to David Hockney’s work in Tate Britain; producer and host of a literature and music experience in the Dissenters Gallery of Kensal Green Cemetery and core artist in BBC Africa Beyond’s cross-arts project, Translations. Her work has been published and presented in The Poetry Review, the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Telegraph, Royal Opera House, the Bush Theatre and the House of Commons. She is a widely published poet whose most recent publication is in Staying Human, the latest in Bloodaxe Books’ celebrated series of anthologies. Dzifa abridged the National Youth Theatre’s 2021 production of Othello in collaboration with Olivier award-winning director Miranda Cromwell and is working on a commissioned play, Black Mozart/White Chevalier. She has an MA in Text & Performance from Birkbeck and RADA and is also a Ledbury Critic. 

Seán Hewitt is poetry critic for The Irish Times and teaches Modern British & Irish Literature at Trinity College Dublin. He won a Northern Writers' Award in 2016, the Resurgence Prize in 2017, and an Eric Gregory Award in 2019. In 2020, he was chosen by The Sunday Times as one of their "30 under 30" most promising artists in Ireland. His debut poetry collection, Tongues of Fire was published by Jonathan Cape in 2020. Seán was shortlisted for The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award that same year. He was also nominated for the John Pollard Foundation International Poetry Prize and a Dalkey Literary Award in 2021. His scholarly book J.M. Synge: Nature, Politics, Modernism has recently been published with Oxford University Press (2021), and his memoir, All Down Darkness Wide, is forthcoming from Jonathan Cape in the UK and Penguin Press in the USA in 2022. Seán is the 2021 Irish Queer Archive Poet in Residence, a position that is funded by the Arts Council Ireland in partnership with Cúirt Festival and the National Library of Ireland.

Chandrika Narayanan-Mohan is a Dublin-based arts manager, writer, and performer from India, who has also lived in North America, Sweden, Turkey, and the UK. Her work has been published in Writing Home: The ‘New Irish’ Poets from Dedalus Press, The Ireland Chair of Poetry Hold Open the Door anthology by UCD Press, the Green Carnations: 25 Young LGBTQ+ Poets from Ireland anthology by Book Hub Publishing, Banshee, Honest Ulsterman, Impossible Archetype, and Poetry Ireland Review. She has been featured on The Moth and Mortified podcasts, with work aired on NPR and Irish radio. She also regularly performs at literary and cabaret events in Ireland. Chandrika was selected for the Irish Writers Centre XBorders programmes in 2018 and 2020. In 2020 Chandrika won 3rd place in the Fingal Poetry Prize. Chandrika was editor of Poetry Ireland’s Trumpet issue 9, and book reviewer for Children’s Books Ireland’s Inis magazine. Chandrika is currently Marketing and Development Manager of Fishamble: The New Play Company, an Irish theatre company passionate about developing, discovering, and producing new plays in Ireland. She is also a Board Member of the Irish Writers Centre. 

Kimberly Reyes is the author of the award-nominated poetry collections Running to Stand Still (Omnidawn 2019) and Warning Coloration (dancing girl press 2018), and her nonfiction book of essays Life During Wartime (Fourteen Hills 2019) won the 2018 Michael Rubin Book Award. Published and anthologized in numerous, international outlets, Kimberly was the 2019-2020 Fulbright fellow studying Irish Literature and Film at University College Cork. Deployed about Ireland, San Francisco and New York City, she writes mostly about identity, ecology, sexuality, and her obsessions with the New York Mets, Duran Duran, and Cillian Murphy. Kimberly is a regular contributing critic to The Stinging Fly. 

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