Thursday, 2 July 2020

Orla Fay

Orla Fay edits Boyne Berries. Recently her work has appeared in Dodging the Rain, Atrium Poetry, Tales from the Forest, The Pickled Body, Impossible Archetype and Crannóg. She was shortlisted for The Cúirt New Writing Prize 2019 and highly commended in The Francis Ledwidge Poetry Award 2019. Her debut poetry collection Word Skin is forthcoming from Salmon in the spring of 2023.  Twitter: @FayOrla

What book(s) are you reading right now?

I’m nearly finished reading Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney. I’d read Normal People last year, so I was curious to read her debut. She has a way of dealing with intimacy between characters which is unique, and her style is very approachable. 

Poetry-wise I’m reading Growing Up in Colour (Doire Press), the debut collection from Maurice Devitt, and Tides Shifting Across My Sitting Room Floor (Salmon Poetry) by Anne Tannam. I hope to review both for my blog soon. 

A book you loved reading at a child.

I was a great reader when I was a child. One that springs to mind is Heidi. Heidi and her grandfather are responsible for the first time I ate cheese. I read how he would make bread and cheese for Heidi, so I made toast with cheese. I’ve never looked back! I also loved nursery rhymes and I got a huge hardback volume from Santa one year that served me well.

The first and last books on your bookcase/shelf.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is the first. It’s a large hardback illustrated by P.J. Lynch. It was given to me by my mum at Christmas 2007. The last book is Beloved by Toni Morrison which I have dated as read in 1999!!

A book you have read more than once.

This would have to be Fingersmith by Sarah Waters. I adore anything she writes, and I can’t wait until (and hopefully she does) release a new novel. 

Your favourite anthology.

I will mention two here. Staying Alive from Bloodaxe Books was an incredible collection. It introduced me to poets like Czeslaw Milosz and Michael Longley. Forgotten Light Memory Poems edited by Louise C. Callaghan is also gorgeous. In it I found Death of a Season by Antonia Pozzi and Heartwood by Susan Connolly, whom I got to sign the page her poem appears on. 

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