Join us for an evening reading with two of the most talented, innovative and imaginative poets at work today, Jay Bernard and Gail McConnell. Two poets whose most recent works explore the archives of atrocities in the 1980s – Surge the New Cross Fire of 1981, The Sun is Open the murder of William McConnell by IRA gunmen in 1984 – in ways that ask profoundly difficult questions about the role of art in the wake of violence, the role the archive plays in forming and preserving memory, the ethics of how art handles the most volatile subject matter. This is certain to be an unforgettable reading by two masterful performers.

Jay Bernard is a British artist, writer, and poet from Croydon, London. Their multimedia performance work Surge: Side A received the 2017 Ted Hughes Award for new poetry. They co-authored Not Quite Right For Us, a volume of stories, essays, and poems by several writers edited by Sharmilla Beezmohun.They have also been shortlisted for several prizes including the T.S. Eliot Prize and the RSL Ondaatje Prize.

Gail McConnell is from Belfast. She is the author of two poetry pamphlets: Fothermather (Ink Sweat & Tears, 2019) and Fourteen (Green Bottle Press, 2018), and the full collection The Sun is Open (Penned in the Margins, 2021). Fothermather was shortlisted for the Michael Marks Poetry Award and made into a programme for Radio 4 and the Seriously… podcast. She is Senior Lecturer in English at Queen’s University Belfast.

Supported by Arts Council Northern Ireland National Lottery Fund and the International Literature Showcase Collaboration Fund. The International Literature Showcase is a partnership between the National Centre for Writing and the British Council.


Event Location

An Taibhdhearc

19 Middle St, Galway, H91 RX76

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The main auditorium is step free, and there are accessible toilet facilities. There are two accessible parking spaces either end of Middle Street and three spaces on Saint Augustine Street opposite. There is a Loop system. HEPA filter will be in use