Interview with Bonny Cassidy













An interview with me by the fine Australian poet Bonny Cassidy has just appeared on Australian Poetry. Bonny was one of Australian Poetry’s 2014 Tour of Ireland poets, travelled around this country last November and December. An account of her experience can be found here on RTE’s poetry programme. In the interview I discuss -among other things- the state of the poetry scene in my native Cork:

The very smallness of Cork promotes co-existence, or at least compression. I was involved in the second running of the Winter Warmer festival back in November, which is kind of an outgrowth of the Ó Bhéal reading series, One of our objectives with the festival was to bring the different poetry “tribes” of the city together. The Munster Literature Centre has long presented a fine poetry festival every February that tends to feature mainstream, lyric poets of the “page” variety. The Soundeye Festival is similarly long-established and focuses on more modernist or experimental work. And there are various slam, spoken word and performance events. But our goal was to combine people from those different milieus and I think it went reasonably well. Hopefully our festival will happen again next year. Perhaps that’s a little synecdoche of the scene in Cork. It seems to me that there’s a lot of cross-pollination here between once distant poetic worlds, especially among the age cohorts younger than myself.

My thanks to Bonny and Australian Poetry for the coverage. It was a pleasure to talk shop with this most intelligent and perceptive poet.

Review on





HeadStuff has recently emerged as a fascinating online forum for culture,pope-culture  literature, debate and more. I’ve just become aware of this piece on my poetry by Michael Naghten Shanks, in which he writes:

Ramsell is equally adept at displaying his skills in both formal rhythmic/rhyming poems, such as ‘Repetitive Beats’ and ‘Lament for Esbjörn Svensson’, as well as being inventive formally, in poems such as ‘The Silence Bar’—a poem that imitates the descriptive nature of a wine menu but offers various silences instead. The discovery of a prose poem that is not listed amongst the contents midway through the collection is another interesting experiment: its style will trigger feelings in anyone who’s ever sat an English exam in high school.


At times the specialized language can be off-putting, but that is a very small complaint against what is an otherwise incredibly precise collection. Billy Ramsell’s third collection promises much but, until it arrives, please do engage with the work of a poet who is very much at the forefront of contemporary poetry in Ireland.

Happy days. Check out Headstuff, for a fix of film, music, literature, history and science…



Read the entire article there along with a