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Witch in the Bushes
January 1988


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Hurting God - Part Essay Part Rhyme
September 2010


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Celebrating Rita Ann Higgins' 60th Birthday - Signed, Limited Edition Print
May 2015


Our Killer City - isms, chisms, chasms and schisms: essays and poems

Rita Ann Higgins

ISBN: 978-1-912561-09-4

Page Count: 122

Publication Date: Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Cover Artwork: Photograph: "Galway Graffiti" by Jessie Lendennie. Design: Siobhan Hutson


About this Book

“Rita Ann Higgins has always been a poet with a distinctive stance, never shirking her responsibilities as a public voice speaking on behalf of those who do not possess such a platform. When she states that ‘Galway seagulls’ are ‘unfussy, / they go straight for the jugular’,  (‘Shades of Truth’,  Tongulish, Bloodaxe Books) she might well be referring to herself. ‘Unfussy’ is one of her characteristics. She is also both jocular and jugular, two traits that combine to make her a singular voice in Irish poetry. She has long been a tough-minded, waspish critic of the establishment, calling to mind the satiric tongue-lashings of Austin Clarke, a poet whose authoritative voice was one of the few in his day to point out the failures, smugness and hypocrisies of the new State he had witnessed coming into existence... The social and political commentary in Higgins’ work might be jocular in tone and language but this never overshadows the gravity of her sympathies and compassion... While she can be ‘entertaining’, nothing is packaged for easy consumption. Any impression of spontaneity in her ‘conversational tone’ is misleading; she is very precise in the words she chooses.”
Gerard Smyth
Poetry Ireland Review

Our Killer City: isms, chisms, chasms and schisms gathers together articles from Rita Ann Higgins’  Sunday Independent ‘This Woman’s Life’ column, as well as other select essays and poems, many of which are previously unpublished.


Author Biography

RITA ANN HIGGINS was born in 1955 in Galway, Ireland, where she still resides. Her first five poetry collections were published by Salmon: Goddess on the Mervue Bus (1986); Witch in the Bushes (1988); Goddess and Witch (1990); Philomena’s Revenge (1992); and, Higher Purchase (1996), as well as a memoir Hurting God (2010). Bloodaxe Books published her next five collections: Sunny Side Plucked (1996); An Awful Racket (2001); Throw in the Vowels: New & Selected Poems in May 2005 to mark her 50th birthday; Ireland is Changing Mother (2011), and Tongulish (2016).  Her plays include: Face Licker Come Home (Salmon 1991); God of the Hatch Man (1992), Colie Lally Doesn’t Live in a Bucket (1993); and Down All the Roundabouts (1999). In 2004, she wrote a screenplay entitled The Big Break. In 2008 she wrote a play, The Empty Frame, inspired by Hanna Greally, and in 2008 a play for radio, The Plastic Bag. She has edited: Out the Clara Road: The Offaly Anthology in 1999; and Word and Image: a collection of poems from Sunderland Women’s Centre and Washington Bridge Centre (2000).  She co-edited FIZZ: Poetry of resistance and challenge, an anthology written by young people, in 2004. She was Galway County’s Writer-in-Residence in 1987, Writer-in-Residence at the National University of Ireland, Galway, in 1994-95, and Writer-in-Residence for Offaly County Council in 1998-99. She was Green Honors Professor at Texas Christian University in October 2000. She won the Peadar O'Donnell Award in 1989 and has received several Arts Council of Ireland bursaries. Her collection Sunny Side Plucked was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. She was made an honorary fellow at Hong Kong Baptist University in November 2006. She is a member of Aosdána.

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