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About the Author

Rita Ann Higgins was born in 1955 in Galway, where she still lives. She left school at 14, and was in her late 20s when she started writing poetry. She has since published twelve books of poetry and prose, including Sunny Side Plucked (Poetry Book Society Recommendation) (1996), An Awful Racket (2001), Throw in the Vowels: New & Selected Poems (2005), Ireland Is Changing Mother (2011) and Tongulish (2016) from Bloodaxe, and Hurting God: Prose & Poems (2010) and Our Killer City: isms, chisms, chasms and chisms: essays and poems (2018) from Salmon. Throw in the Vowels was reissued in 2010 with an audio CD of her reading her poems. Her plays include Face Licker Come Home (1991), God of the Hatch Man (1992), Colie Lally Doesn’t Live in a Bucket (1993), Down All the Roundabouts (1999), The Plastic Bag (2008), The Empty Frame (2008) and The Colossal Longing of Julie Connors (2014). Her many awards include a Peadar O’Donnell Award in 1989 and several Arts Council bursaries, and she is a member of Aosdána.


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 platforms. She is… both jocular and jugular, two traits that combine to make her a singular voice in Irish poetry… Passion and conviction walk hand-in-hand in these poems.
*The Irish Times*

Five years ago Rita Ann Higgins released Ireland Is Changing Mother, a poetry collection that doubled as a state-of-the-nation address. A call to arms and a hugely enjoyable read, it was an astute powerhouse of carefully chosen words that confirmed Higgins as one of Ireland’s great living poets. Tongulish, her 10th collection, is the follow-up… Tongulish features her trademark wit and warmth, while choosing to cast an eye towards private, domestic worlds and matters of communication… If Ireland is Changing Mother was the boom and bust, then Tongulish is the return to order.
*Sunday Times Ireland*

Tongulish, her 11th book of poetry, finds Higgins as intensively inventive and deliciously subversive as ever… The rebellious, innovative Higgins is one of his [James Joyce’s] distinctive heirs. Like Joyce, she knows just how to beat up the English language and her use of mythology, Irish language and Ireland’s past put her own inimitable stamp on her bang up-to-date present.
*The Irish Times*

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