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Ailbhe Darcy

Dr Ailbhe Darcy

Senior Lecturer

School of English, Communication and Philosophy

+44 29208 76224
John Percival Building, Room 1.08, Colum Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU
Available for postgraduate supervision


I am a poet and a critic. My most recent collection of poetry is Insistence, published in June 2018 with Bloodaxe Books, which won Wales Book of the Year and the Pigott Prize for Poetry in association with Listowel Writers' Week. In February 2020, I presented Alphabet on BBC Radio 4, a programme about Inger Christensen's extraordinary poem alfabet and its resonance in the age of climate change, produced by Megan Jones.

With David Wheatley, I'm co-editor of History of Irish Women's Poetry (Cambridge University Press, 2021).

My previous collection with Bloodaxe is Imaginary Menagerie (2011). A poetic text in collaboration with S.J. Fowler, Subcritical Tests (2017), is published by Gorse Editions, and a chapbook, A Fictional Dress (2009), is published by Tall Lighthouse.

My work has been collected in various anthologies, including The Wake Forest Series of Irish Poetry, Vol IV (Wake Forest UP, 2017),  Identity Parade: New British & Irish Poets (Bloodaxe, 2010) and Voice Recognition: 21 Poets for the 21st Century (Bloodaxe, 2010).

I have research interests in modern Irish poetry and contemporary Irish literature as well as poetry and poetics more broadly, and welcome applications from prospective PhD candidates in these areas.











Darcy, A. and David Wheatley. 2021. A History of Irish Women's Poetry. Cambridge University Press.

Darcy, A. 2018. Insistence. Bloodaxe Books.

Darcy, A and S.J. Fowler. 2017. Subcritical Tests. Gorse Editions.

Darcy, A. 2011. Imaginary Menagerie. Bloodaxe Books.

Darcy, A. 2009. A Fictional Dress. Chapbook. Tall Lighthouse Press.

Sections in Anthologies

Darcy, A. 2017. Selection of poetry, The Wake Forest Irish Poetry Series, Vol. 4, ed. David Wheatley. Wake Forest University Press.

Darcy, A. 2014. "He Tells Me I Have a Peculiar Relationship with My City." If Ever You Go: A Map of Dublin in Poetry and Song, ed. Pat Boran and Gerard Smyth. Dedalus Press.

Darcy, A. 2010. Six Poems. Voice Recognition: 21 Poets for the 21st Century, ed. James Byrne and Clare Pollard. Bloodaxe Books.

Darcy, A. 2010. Four Poems. Identity Parade: New British and Irish Poets, ed. Roddy Lumsden. Bloodaxe Books.

Journal Articles

Darcy, A. 2017. "Melancholy in Contemporary Irish Poetry: Mahon and the 'Metre Generation'." 21st Century Literature. 

Darcy, A. 2014. "Dorothy Molloy’s Gurlesque Poetics."Contemporary Women’s Writing 8.3, November.

Darcy A. and Romana Huk (eds.) 2013. "Hospitable Forms: Post-Secular Thought in New-Century Poetics." Special forum with an introduction by the editors. Religion and Literature 45.3, Autumn.

Chapters in Books

Darcy, A. 2017. "Dorothy Molloy: Dual Citizenship in the Kingdom of the Sick." Book Chapter. Post-Ireland? Essays on Contemporary Irish Poetry, ed. Jefferson Holdridge and Brian O Conchubhair. Wake Forest University Press.

Recent Poems

Darcy, A. 2017. "Seizure." Poetry London, Autumn 2017.

Darcy, A. 2017. "Alphabet." Poetry Wales 52.3, Spring.

Darcy, A. 2016. “Martinstag” and “Honk for Peace.” Poetry Ireland Review 118, April.

Darcy, A. 2015. “Hair”, “After my Son was Born” and “Ansel Adams’ Aspens.” POETRY, September.

Darcy, A. 2015. “Panopticon” and “Service Not Included.” Poems translated into Polish by Mateusz Grzegorzewski. Art Papier 1.11.

Darcy, A. and S.J. Fowler. 2015. “Subcritical Tests.” Gorse 3, March.

Darcy, A. 2015. “Sushi.” The Stinging Fly 2.32.

Darcy, A. 2013. “Ultrasound’ and ‘Service Not Included.” Eire-Ireland 48.3: 308-309.


Darcy, A. 2017. "Or, how I learned to keep worrying: Collaborative writing, motherhood and the atom bomb." The Critical Flame 48.


I joined ENCAP in September 2016, before which I taught on the Englisches Seminar at Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster. I completed my graduate studies at the University of Notre Dame, where I submitted a doctoral dissertation on Irish poetry and secularisation, with research funded by a Krause Fellowship from the American Conference of Irish Studies.

While at Notre Dame, I also earned an MFA in Creative Writing and published my first collection of poetry, Imaginary Menagerie (Bloodaxe, 2011). My second collection of poetry, Insistence (Bloodaxe, 2018), benefited from a literature bursary from the Irish Arts Council. It was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize and the Irish Times Poetry Now Award.

I have written about poetry in publications such as the Dublin Review of Books, Poetry Ireland Review, The Critical Flame and The Stinging Fly, and travel widely to engage with audiences. I have participated in readings and festivals in South Bend, New York, Boston, Paris and throughout Ireland and Britain, and my work has been translated into Polish, Greek and Portuguese.


I welcome applications from prospective PhD candidates in the areas of:

  • Irish poetry
  • Women's poetry
  • Contemporary Irish literature
  • Lyric theory