Molly Twomey grew up in Lismore, County Waterford, and graduated in 2019 with an MA in Creative Writing from University College Cork. Her first collection, Raised Among Vultures, was published in 2022 by The Gallery Press. It won the Southward Debut Collection Poetry Award, was shortlisted for Farmgate National Poetry Award and was a book of the year in the Irish Times.
Her work is forthcoming or has appeared in New England Review, Poetry Review, Poetry Ireland Review, Banshee, The Irish Times, Mslexia, The Stinging Fly and elsewhere.
She runs an online international poetry event, Just to Say, sponsored by Jacar Press. In 2021, she was chosen for Poetry Ireland’s Introductions series and awarded an Arts Council Literature Bursary. She is currently teaching poetry through the Irish Writers Centre.
Photographer: Michael O’Hanrahan
Raised Among Vultures is Molly Twomey’s debut poetry collection.
Look, if we are going to do this,
know that I was raised among vultures.
— ‘Don’t pick me tulips’
Such bold injunctions announce a formidable new talent. In Molly Twomey’s spectacular, and frequently disturbing, debut seemingly nonchalant expressions of hard experience (‘Over coffee I tell you I slept with some guy’) meld with vivid imaginings. Excited hearts are ‘bumper cars’, a Coke is ‘a huge cup of starless sky’ and a radish is ‘a red grenade’. In this world of Tumblr, online group therapy, NA and Touch ID, Molly Twomey’s unflinching art chronicles a history of eating disorders and inner conflicts. These are frontline reports from the outposts of youth, ‘nights / spent drunk with boys we could barely remember, / would never forget.’
But Raised Among Vultures, while venturing that ‘It’s impossible to live without breaking someone’, is also a book about longing and lessons — ‘It took so long to learn that I won’t die / if I sleep in.’ In her first collection Molly Twomey breathes new life into Irish poetry.
‘. . . a poet for a new Ireland, for a new post-Covid world‘ — Thomas McCarthy
Cover: ‘The Reader’ (2021) by Diarmuid Breen, oil on canvas