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, my poems have been shortlisted in numerous competitions such as the Hennessy, Cuirt, and Over the Edge.
I facilitate The Hermit Collective (the Irish winners of the 2016 Epic Award)
and The Wrong Side of the Tracks Writer's group (currently in hibernation )
THE STRANGER - poem film, written and directed by me, in collaboration with incredible puppeteer CARMEL BALFE of Little Gem Puppets. This is a shadow puppet film about being an immigrant, here and abroad, with original acoustic music by renowned Helen B Grehan, and the poem read beautifully by Aoife ni Mhurchadha. We just launched it at the Strokestown Poetry Festival and look forward to showing it around the place soon... next date Monday 5th August in Cork Puppet Festival!
BIG NEWS!! I signed to the fantastic SALMON POETRY and my next book will be a full collection, due out in early 2020...
To read some of my work climb into this site, and/or buy my chapbooks.
Reviews of PACT : in The Poet's Republic here , by Neil Young;
The Galway Advertiser here , by Des Kenny;
and from Lagan Online here , Colin Dardis
...and other reviews in The North, and Blue Nib!
"Pact is Jessamine O Connor’s fifth collection, having self-published three previous chapbooks. It perhaps says something about the state of publishing in Ireland, how difficult it can be, with few platforms to notice you. With O Connor being shortlisted for the Cuirt New Writing Prize, Over The Edge and the Hennessy Literary award, listed in many others, and having won the iYeats competition and the Francis Ledwidge Award, it’s a wonder she hasn’t been snapped up by a larger press by now..."
Review of Hellsteeth on "The Ranting Beast"
Review of Hellsteeth in Sabotage by Afric McGlinchey:
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."