Glass Ceilings

Bebe Ashley

                 Katherine Johnson, 1918–2020

I am facilitating my first workshop for the Science Festival,
on mathematical and scientific approaches to poetry

so am late to the news, and find the obituary online.
Then, the letter of a reader mourning the mathematician

who shattered expectations of spaceflight trajectories,
who calculated and computed a safe return home.

Everyone was concerned about getting them there.
Katherine was concerned about getting them back.

In gloom, I am listening to the podcast 13 Minutes to the Moon,
to the bonus episode on the making of music.

Loneliness does not have a sound in space
but you do have to describe the silence.

I want to know what it felt like to be one-hundred-and-one
and ready to greet the glass ceiling for a second time

Page 10, Poetry Ireland Review Issue 134
Issue 134

Poetry Ireland Review Issue 134:

Edited by Colette Bryce

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, William Keohane, Gabriel Rosenstock, Alvy Carragher, Greta Stoddart, and Ciaran Berry are just some of the poets publishing new work in Poetry Ireland Review 134, edited by Colette Bryce. The issue also contains reviews of 18 recent titles, including the latest from Michael Longley, Martina Evans, Rachel Long, Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal, Matthew Rice, Doireann Ní Ghríofa, and Moya Cannon's Collected Poems.

Tríona Ní Shíocháin contributes an essay, 'Foremothers', a revelatory account of a "hidden history ... of women’s oral poetic traditions", excerpted from A History of Irish Women's Poetry; Ben Keatinge looks at the sonnet – a form defined by Harry Clifton in Trumpet 8 as the 'pocket masterpiece' – from an Irish perspective; and Tom French pays tribute to the late and great Belfast maestro, Ciaran Carson.

'Singles Archive' is the title of the cover image, by Colin Martin, who provides all of the superb artwork for this issue of Poetry Ireland Review.