RTÉ Radio 1: The Poetry Programme

unsaid goodbyes
in rose petals
mask viral waves

This was my opening haiku on the pandemic, which I read as part of the RTÉ Poetry Programme on 1 November 2020. You can listen back to the show on the RTÉ Radio player or online at https://www.rte.ie/radio1/the-poetry-programme/#103524962

I was delighted to be part of a conversation about haiku with Olivia O’Leary, Maeve O’Sullivan and David J Kelly. Thank you to the series producer Claire Cunningham and presenter Olivia O’Leary for including me.

RTÉ Radio 1 Poetry Programme poster

Fragments Book Launch 5 Dec 2019


Fragments is my new collection of poetry, quotes and photographs and will be launched by Bluefoot Press, a new independent publisher, in Alan Hanna’s bookshop in Rathmines on Thursday 5 December 2019 from 6pm.

Fragments is available online at https://www.alanhannas.com/shopexd.asp?id=7191782

The evening will include some jazz music, readings and performances.

Here are some haiku from Fragments recorded at Porchlight Studios in Dublin. One of the haiku was published in seashores, an international journal to share the spirit of haiku, in 2019.

The programme for the evening is as follows:

  • 6:00pm Join us for some refreshments and a chance to do some early Christmas book shopping. I will be signing Fragments from 6pm.
  • 6:30pm Welcome by Bluefoot Press
  • 6:35pm Readings from Fragments by Orla Grant-Donoghue
  • 6:40pm Jazz by Ciarán Wilde & Eamonn Moran
  • 6:45pm Readings from Fragments by Orla Grant-Donoghue, followed by performances by David Grant, accompanied by Ciarán Wilde & Eamonn Moran
  • 6:50pm Readings by Eileen Casey from her new poetry collection Berries for Singing Birds ( Arlen Press), Vivienne Kearns from her debut historical fiction novel The Emerald Dress ( Poolbeg Books) and Michael J. Whelan from his new poetry collection Rules of Engagement ( Doire Press).
  • 6.57pm Readings from Fragments by Orla Grant-Donoghue
  • 7:00pm Closing jazz by Ciarán Wilde and Eamonn Moran
  • 7:05pm-7:30pm Book signing by all authors.📚📚

There are limited places remaining so if you’re interested in joining us, please RSVP to thefrayedheart@gmail.com

Salvador Dali’s Down the Rabbit Hole

Salvador Dali’s Down the Rabbit Hole is a poem inspired by a Salvador Dali painting. It is included in an anthology entitled Voices: 27 Poets from around the world, published in October 2019.

The recording was produced at Porchlight Studios by Niall Woods.

Salvador Dali’s Down the Rabbit Hole
© Orla Grant-Donoghue 2018

Act 1: Faint Hues
Blue tint of falling tears
soak the canvas in muddy blue.

Burnt orange of earth
mixes with white,
Unsure of what to become.

Like shadows made by an unseen hand,
Faint pencil lines reveal form
where all is in the eye of beholders.

Act 2: The Curtain Draws

Earth flies past,
A rabbit leaps,
a little girl falls
and down
to a place where there’s no light.

Her breath slows,
She casts her dreams into the wide open,
blinks and stares,
waiting to be lit by magic.

Act 3: A New World
Nothing makes sense in
this dream-like world
Where rabbits talk and
mushrooms beckon.

The little girl skips along,
Her breath slows,
Her heartbeat quickens.
She grows,
She shrinks.


The Reflective Eye: FLARE 12

The Reflective Eye
© Orla Grant-Donoghue 2019

(after the sculpture by Emer O Boyle at University College Dublin)

Can I hide in this place
where reality is multiplied,
between beams of light
where mirrored retinas
reflect inner lives,
where jet streams carry truth
in the half light,
where moonbeams and sunlight
can find me
my sight?


Thank you to Éamon Mag Uidhir for including my poem The Reflective Eye in FLARE 12. More information on where FLARE is available is at http://www.flare.ie The stunning cover art is by Solus (Instagram @solus.art). The sculpture is by Emer O Boyle at University College Dublin. This poem aims to raise awareness about living with a rare eye disease.

Evening of Poetry & Music to celebrate Midsummer at Alan Hanna’s bookshop in Bark Coffee, Thurs 20 June 2019

Thanks to the amazing poets and audience who joined us for an evening of readings and performances at Alan Hanna’s bookshop in Bark Coffee. Particular thanks to Barra and Kevin for their warm welcome and invitation to Bark Coffee.


My poem for the evening was “Midsummer” and it was recorded it at Porchlight Studios in Dublin.


Programme Information

Join us for an evening of poetry and music to celebrate Midsummer at Alan Hanna’s bookshop in Bark Coffee, Rathmines on Thursday 20 June. Doors will open at 6:30pm and readings and performances begin at 7pm.

This is a FREE event but places are limited. To reserve a place, please email Orla Grant-Donoghue at thefrayedheart@gmail.com

Performances & readings by:

  • Michael J. Whelan
  • Eileen Casey
  • Éamon Mag Uidhir
  • Kevin Bateman
  • Doreen Duffy
  • David Grant
  • Christian Wethered
  • Orla Grant-Donoghue
  • Susan Condon
  • Vivienne Kearns

Music on the night will be performed by Christian Wethered.

Poetry Day Ireland: LabelLit Poetry M’App Project

To celebrate Poetry Day Ireland on 2 May 2019, I wrote poems for the Poetry M’App project, an online map of poems from around the world involving 50 poets across 5 continents at http://www.poetrymapp.com Thank you to Maria McManus and Una Lee for including my poems in this wonderful project.

Chroma is inspired by a sculpture by Eilis O’Connell at University College Dublin.
The Reflective Eye is inspired by a sculpture by Emer O Boyle at University College Dublin.

Sincere thanks to Niall Woods from Porchlight Studios Dublin for the recordings of both poems.

On Poetry Day Ireland 2 May 2019, I left signed gift tags with information on how to listen to both poems and with lines from each poem at University College Dublin,

Photo of Chroma by Vincent Hoban from University College Dublin.

Photo of The Reflective Eye by sculptor and artist, Emer O Boyle.

Poetry Day Ireland: Event at the Olivier Cornet Gallery

A Truth or Dare Response to ‘An Altered Land’

As part of the Poetry Day Ireland celebrations on May 2 2019, Olivier Cornet hosted an event at the Olivier Cornet Gallery where 13 poets responded to


the exhibition “An Altered Land” by artist David Fox. We had a wonderful turnout on the evening and there was standing room only at the gallery.

My response is Cutting through Green recorded at Porchlight Studios, Dublin.


More Information & Links about the Event and the Exhibition
7:05pm: Welcome by Olivier Cornet
Introduction to poets by Orla Grant-Donoghue
7:10: Éamon Mag Uidhir
7:15: Eileen Casey
7:20: Dr Catherine Ann Cullen
7:25: Doreen Duffy
7:30: Christian Wethered
7:35: David Grant
7:40: Micheal J. Whelan
7:45: Brian Kirk
7:50: Jasmina Šušić
7:55: Susan Condon
8:00: Eoin Flynn
8:05: Orla Grant-Donoghue
8:10: Dr Mary O’Malley-Madec
8:15pm: Closing remarks Olivier Cornet


Poem from The Lea-Green Down, edited by Eileen Casey, published by Fiery Arrow Press – an anthology of poems responding to the poetry of Patrick Kavanagh.

Orla Grant-Donoghue


In still waters here
where you contemplated
all that went before,
I will watch over your words
until the sun burns away.

Not one
will I allow go astray.

I can dress you in evergreen
or bronze. Cast you
on a lake of calm
or a wooden seat of clay but
until the sun burns away
I will watch over your words.

Not one
Will I allow go astray.

I give you my word.
Your legacy will remain,
etched in our hearts to stay.

Is mise Éire.
© Orla Grant-Donoghue 2018