Welcome to the website of Jessamine O Connor, a Dublin born poet living on the Sligo Roscommon border in the west of Ireland.
Winner of the Poetry Ireland/Butlers Cafe competition 2017, and previously the iYeats and Francis Ledwidge awards, shortlisted and long-listed for many more.
I facilitate The Hermit Collective (the Irish winners of the 2016 Epic Award)
and The Wrong Side of the Tracks Writer's group.
NEW!!! a pamphlet of poems selected from my three existing chapbooks is being published by the UK's "BLACK LIGHT ENGINE ROOM PRESS" in 2017.. launched at the Teeside Book Festival in June, watch this space///
To read some of my work climb into this site, and/or buy my chapbooks.
Review of Hellsteeth on "The Ranting Beast"
From a review of Hellsteeth in Sabotage by Afric McGlinchey:
"Like Sharon Olds, she is not afraid to use the intimate details of her personal life in her poetry. These poems describe simple scenes that turn out not be so simple, a moment sliced open to hint at musculature and skeleton...
"She also shares something of Rita Ann Higgins’ feisty independence of spirit and clarity. Anything at all might come within her poetic orbit, including ‘Asimo – on Prime Time TV’ which describes a four-foot-three robot: ‘Of course they say you’ll do the jobs we don’t want./ As if a million-dollar-man like you will ever be wasted cleaning loos,/ Or down an aluminum mine,// Or picking over smouldering plastic/ to find pieces of re-useable metal/ Like our children do.’
It’s her politically vehement tone, more than anything else, that identifies O’Connor’s voice."
From a review of A Skyful of Kites in Sabotage by Emma Lee:
"Jessamine O’Connor uses the poems in A Skyful of Kites to express anger, particularly at the failure and impotence of politics at home and abroad, both historically and in the present. However, these poems are not rants or directionless venting...
"a way of saying ‘this is wrong’ without telling readers which way to vote. Jessamine O’Connor respects and gives space for her readers to think.
"Her strength lies in her ability to be passionate about a situation, while structuring that passion into a poem that doesn’t dictate the reader’s reaction or hammer the poet’s viewpoint home.
("There are some light hearted moments, and the title poem, another about Gaza, carries a hopeful image of kites fluttering like dreams, necessary colour in bleak circumstances. The poems work even if the reader takes an opposing viewpoint, the mark of a skilled politician: one whom you will listen to even if you don’t support their ideology, because they are a persuasive orator who appreciates what the flexibility and power of language can achieve, one who knows that a well crafted speech doesn’t need to be shouted. The quiet voice of experience and empathy will resonate far longer, and Jessamine O’Connor shows that she understands that."