About the poems
These poems started arriving in 2013, mostly fully formed, at times and in moments when I was quiet enough to hear them. I would get the sense that one was coming, grab pen and paper, and it would just arrive onto the page. If I’d been quiet enough, that was it. If I’d been a bit distracted, I might have caught the lines in the wrong order, or not caught a word, so I would take more time to hear it through. Generally, the whole thing would arrive within 20 minutes or half an hour, sometimes less. It often felt like my main job was to not get in the way…
I find that when the poems arrive, each gives me something I need in that moment. So I tend to sit with each one for at least a day or so. Perhaps this might be a way for you to read them too – one at a time, taking your time…
My name is Rachel Holstead and I live in Corca Dhuibhne in the south west of Ireland. These days, I work as Áisitheoir Ealaíon (Arts Facilitator) for Ealaín na Gaeltachta. In previous lives I've composed music, kept bees, pigs, goats and hens, and run a market stall. I still plant trees and grow food in an increasingly jungly garden.
Sharing the poems
The poems themselves, as you find them here, are free for you to share as you like, and I've licensed them under Creative Commons - a framework for sharing creative work that allows rather than limits sharing.
If you're interested in the technical details - they're licensed with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. This means that they can be shared freely but not used commercially without permission. To see a copy of this license, click here.