Interviewed by Sue Leonard.
Published in The Irish Examiner on 13th January 2013
Beginner’s Pluck: Deirdre Hines.
Introduced to poetry at primary school, Deirdre became a Feis junkie. At 11, she won second prize in the Allingham poetry competition with a poem called ‘The Common Cold.’ Writing took a back seat in secondary school, but she started again at university. Brendan Kennelly, in particular, championed her work.
Deirdre has worked as a community development worker for travellers; as a playwright in residence, and as a sub primary teacher. She won the Stewart Parker Award for a play in 1992, and has written articles for various magazines.
She has written several plays for adults, and for children. She received two Arts Council grants, and was shortlisted for the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award in 2010.
“I entered ten poems into the Listowel Poetry Prize in 2011, and won. New Island chose to publish the collection, along with several dozen new poems.”
Who is Deirdre Hines?
Date of birth: 20th century, in Liverpool.
Education: Loreto Convent, Letterkenny. Rathdown, Gleageary. Trinity College Dublin, English, and Theatre Studies. Sheffield Polytechnic, T.E.F.L. UCD, Equality Studies.
Family: Several soul mates.
The Day Job: Fulltime Writer.
Interests: Long distance sea swimming; embroidery; learning new languages. “I’m trying to learn Romanian at the moment.”
Favourite Writers: Dermot Healy; Anna Akhmatova; Caroline Duffy; Jo Shapcott and China Miéville .
Second Novel: “I’m working on another collection of poetry.”
Top Writing Tip: Try and write something every day. And don’t censor yourself.
The Debut: The Language of Coats. New Island; €17.25. Kindle: Not available.
This diverse collection is rooted in Irish society. The poems explore love and loss; they look back into childhood; and they play with words and with sayings. Hines writes in a variety of styles. Many of her poems are metrically precise. And there are several, deeply affecting, prose poems.
“Prose poems haven’t been fashionable since Blake; I think they’re a draw for people who enjoy poetry.”
The Verdict: An original, varied collection, written with great style, radiance, and humour. I loved it.
© Sue Leonard. 2013