Poetry Book Group - Pit Lullabies, Jessica Traynor

May 2023 Poetry

The May Poetry Book Group will be meeting via Zoom

Monday, May 15th • 6:30 PM ET / 11:30 PM IST via Zoom
Session open to all: no registration required.

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These intimate, visceral and often wickedly funny poems journey through the darker days of new parenthood, teasing out the anxieties which plague us when night falls. Violence against women, the destruction of our environment, the poisons and pitfalls of 21st-century living are explored here in poems by turns lyrical and earthy, yearning and angry. They mine gold from the darkness and seek luminescence in the deepest oceans.

Pit Lullabies is Jessica Traynor’s third collection, following Liffey Swim (2014) and The Quick (2019) from Ireland’s Dedalus Press.

"This year saw so much stellar Irish writing: Polluted Sex, short stories by Lauren Foley, Louise Kennedy’s Trespasses, Sara Baume’s Seven Steeples, Edel Coffey’s thriller Breaking Point (all novels), Jessica Traynor’s poetry collection Pit Lullabies…"
— Sinéad Gleeson, The Irish Times

"Some of our best-known poets, such as Jessica Traynor and Annemarie Ní Churreáin, also released new collections. Traynor’s Pit Lullabies (Bloodaxe) and Ní Churreáin’s The Poison Glen (Gallery) were both concerned with incantation, hexing, history and womanhood, though each is a distinct and urgent voice in their own right."
— Martina Evans & Seán Hewitt, The Irish Times 

"I’ve been moved by Jessica Traynor’s mothering poems in Pit Lullabies – intricate, thought-provoking and delightful."
— Nuala O’Connor, The Irish Times

"Ireland, where I’m from, is not short of great writers… In poetry, there were standout works from Jessica Traynor in Pit Lullabies and Victoria Kennefick’s Eat or We Both Starve."
— Sinéad Gleeson, The Guardian

"This third collection from a prominent Irish poet contains “intimate, visceral and often wickedly funny” poems which journey through the darker days of new parenthood and “tease out the anxieties which plague us when night falls”."
— Caroline Sanderson, The Bookseller

Jessica Traynor

About the Author
Jessica Traynor
is a poet, essayist and librettist, and poetry editor at Banshee. Her debut poetry collection, Liffey Swim (Dedalus Press, 2014), was shortlisted for the Strong/Shine Award. The Quick (Dedalus Press, 2018) was an Irish Times poetry book of the year. Awards include the Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary, the Listowel Poetry Prize, and Hennessy New Writer of the Year. Operas include Paper Boat, a commission from Irish National Opera and Music for Galway, and The Wanderer, commissioned by Irish Modern Dance Theatre. Recent residencies include the Yeats Society Sligo, the Seamus Heaney Home Place and dlr LexIcon. She is a Creative Fellow of UCD. Pit Lullabies (Bloodaxe, 2022) is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation.

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