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Contents Editorial Kathleen McCracken Zoë Murdoch Rhoda Twombly Kim Montgomery Gary Allen Susan Kelly Zoë Murdoch John O’Rourke Mark Roper Lynda Tavakoli Jenny Keane Clare McCotter Mairead Dunne Kathleen McCracken Peter Richards Olive Broderick

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Gerald Dawe Zoë Murdoch Gary Allen Libby Hart Jenny Keane Susan Kelly Mairead Dunne Angela France Maoliosa Boyle Gerald Dawe Claire McCotter Peter Richards Kathleen McCracken Zoë Murdoch Gearoid O’Brien Mark Roper

Cover Image: George Shaw Ash Wednesday: 8.30am, 2004-5; Humbrol enamel on board 91 x 121cm Image courtesy of the artist Courtesy of Wilkinson Gallery Abridged is a division of the Chancer Corporation 2010. No part of this publication may be reproduced without permission. Copyright remains with the authors and artists. Designed by John McDaid at Verbal Media A division of the Verbal Arts Centre, Derry/Londonderry Tel: 028 71266946

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Abridged 0-18 Absence W

e sit in the acid stomach of evening and define ourselves by what we are not as much as what we are. The human condition seems to be attuned to absence. We’re always missing something or someone. The artist or poet has used this lack to fuel creativity; the politician uses it to change society, not always for the better; the priest fixes God into this hole; everyone has filled it with drink, drugs or chocolate. We are abridged. We all need something to aim for however. As such the Abridged is not a paean to an absent past rather a call to arms for endeavour and challenge; power in the face of misery if you will. We take absence and imperfection as sources of inspiration. As Mr Cohen observes: ‘There’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.’ ‘Absence’ is the companion issue to the previous ‘Time’ and the second in our new format. Abridged is a curated poetry/art space which offers a platform for poets and artists to explore contemporary themes in an imaginative and innovative manner. The poetry and art are not merely decorative additions to each other but conceptually integral to an overall thematic concern. We aim to move beyond the traditional poetry circles therefore Abridged is free and distributed beyond the bookshop.

Abridged grew out of a somewhat legendary and rather bad tempered little magazine called The Chancer, a Derry based publication that explored the darker and quite often funnier sides of our night-time economy. The magazine published writing that noone else at the time did and supported by occasionally riotous pub performances by the editors and associates lasted more years and issues than it probably should have. The Chancer faded quietly back into its cave and others covered similar ground, a lot worse, some much better but few with the same panache and dark humour. Eventually it was felt that another vehicle for exploring the shadows that surround was necessary. We did not wish to transverse similar ground to previous or existing publications but to create something that brought artistic excellence to the public in a manner that experimented with poetry/ art presentation and design. Each Abridged is conceptually linked, as each is essentially an exploration of the concept of ‘abridged’ or of things that abridge. Of course each poem/ artwork should also be considered separately. Previous issues have been titled ‘Romance and Assassination’; ‘Mutation’; ‘Time’; and the next issue is entitled ‘Magnolia’. We operate an open submission policy so as to encourage emerging talent and publish material based solely on quality and how it meets the remit of a particular issue.

…a time when angels…a time when fear… abridged is Maria Campbell (Editor) & Gregory McCartney (Project Coordinator) no part of this publication may be reproduced without permission copyright remains with authors/artists abridged is a division of The Chancer Corporation c/o Verbal Arts Centre, Stable Lane and Mall Wall, Bishop Street Within, Derry BT48 6PU Telephone 028 71266946 Email


Trains at Tempe Let me tell you about the trains, he said How the moon won’t bring you sleep or the sun either, how it’s all always Peckinpah, Malick on odd days pure Lynch out there in Arizona How they came each day at dawn Santa Fe hot shots Canadian Pacific freighters all graffiti and gondolas, all lumber and grain and makeshift crates of Asian figurines How the earth on its axis stalled while the low light fixed the camera a full eight minutes and forty four seconds and the film we are watching now five thousand miles, three hundred and sixty six days later unavoidably arrived and the trains – unblessed, burdened – were again gone

Kathleen McCracken

ZoĂŤ Murdoch The Comfort of Strangers, 2009 Photo Manipulation


Hay Days

Warm air rising from the easterly field melts into the briny on-shore breeze as a strong, spiny thistle pricks the farmer’s thigh. He walks his land, absently swinging a pliant salley rod through the mix of grass and random weeds, the white, red and purple of the invader’s blooms flashing within the waves of green. Squinting at the haze dappled peaks across the bay, his fingers brush the tips of grass past ready to cut. Tomorrow he’d smile as the scent of mowed fields mixed with sea air, pray the high June sun stayed the course and hope the rust pocked tractor made it around those hilly fields one more time. The salley rod sings, slicing through swaying stems speckled by bird shadows. Swallows swooping, diving, teaching their young the tricks of the trade, while the starlings gather in dark rising clouds, coming to rest on telephone lines. Tomorrow he’ll hear no birdsong; only the tractor’s ancient grumbles. In the bright twilight of this Solstice day, when light never fully dies, his rambles return him to his seaside gate, to the timber bench worn by memories. He fancies he sees those now long gone, hears their voices and laughter rising and falling, in sync with the slap of the incoming tide. Sweat-stained cap in hand he sits, arms crossed hard across his chest. He waits, sea-blue eyes red rimmed, stung by salty wind, until midges force him to face the ghost-riddled house he hoped to avoid for awhile. Standing, stretching his tired back, he glances out of habit at the small wooden boat, lifeline to the mainland, bobbing dozily on its rope. Work hardened hand pushes the red metal gate, its rasping hinge somehow immune to oil. His boots crunch softly against the pebble path neatly trimmed with whitewashed sea-smoothed cobbles his mother collected. He turns his eyes from the small grave, freshly dug, nestling under the stone wall: the resting place of

the last cat of the house.

Rhoda Twombly

Kim Montgomery Happy Keith Haring Day , 1997


Unclaimed My father is a cardboard suitcase left in the lost luggage like his life – no beginning or end something that was, and is gone a minor movement among the planets. He was known for a moment in North Africa burning through the desert night a quick burst of tracer fire in the lower caste brothels and gambling dens of Cairo put in mothballs with his truck imagined he found grains of sand in the folds of his skin years in the future. That they loved each other, I have no doubt but what is love when one is naïve in search of a life within limits and the other is weary of a world without advancement? so here he gathers dust, never to be collected a dog-eared locker ticket somewhere in Liverpool already forgotten, stuffed to bursting the knotted string with useless tags that mean nothing – a square of Donegal that keeps growing smaller to a hankie size a terraced house shrinking under a railway bridge the arbitrary madness of everything contained in the universe. Gary Allen

Abridged 0-17

A Life Unanswered Dust smothered hat boxes stacked, empty, blue and white Switzers stripes dulled by years. Flapper dressers, bridge club receipts idle in drawers lined with the Letters page of a 1940’s Irish Times redolent with lily of the valley talcum powder. I have your eyes but I can’t see what you saw; history witnessed, decades endured. Did they roar, were they hungry, did they swing? Did scarcity wage a local war to leave you wanting, did world events impact, always make contact? Did you mind leaving Achill to settle in Westport? Urbanity on your new doorstep. Did faith and prayers of two Roman collared sons ease untimely widowhood? Clacking of rosary beads, the murmur of novenas your mantra. Was my mother an appreciated ally, righting the balance, nurturing anima? Did she steal your mantle as lady of the house? Did you mind or was your arched-eyebrow sternness an act of survival in a male domain? November evening your pen ran dry, books accounted for. Expired batteries silenced your radio yet you required no replacements. Who knew you would follow; ready, willing that very night? Only you.

Susan Kelly


ZoĂŤ Murdoch A Laying On Of Hands, 2009 Photo Manipulation

MARATHON MAN In memoriam Patrick Doonan

“The foxes have holes….” ABC manages to stifle a silent titter. Let’s begin again. The foxes have dens. “The birds of the air,” who, like the man from Subiaco, (Beloved Francis) Packie loved so much “have nests.” Speaking of nests It has been some time since Packie when clearing a chimney out in Ballinagh amidst the jetsam of accumulated ages uncovered a five-pound note;pure Marquez’ magic realism. Locusts and wild honey took on the magic of whey in the desert, the husks of swine and the exotic sea-bird’s eggs off Skellig. In a week when I flicked up a ball as Packie was wont to demonstrate (How his uncle, the great Bill one of the Cavan heroes of ‘47 and ‘48 might have done with Bristol Rovers) and double-headed before back-heeling to Calvin, the perfumier, not a saint, and within minutes before collecting Clara from drama and Ella from ballet was already staggering from the onslaught of vertigo. I knew immediately that all was not well with the world and as with malaria in ‘93 in lonely Lagos I surmised my mortality. It was Packie who with some built-in radar or other tapped on the now deceased


Bishop Mc Kiernan’s car window outside the Post Office saying that, “ he was on the way”. Who or what on earth he was talking about the good bishop did not know until Packie sidling off muttered something about Lagos. Attendant en Godot. The turning mass of the earth was all awry and it was not until two full twenty-four hour revolutions later that the spinning stopped. It was at the artist’s Ann Floody’s house who had just completed a beautiful painting of two horses cantering before the Laytown races photographed by the local Parish Priest this September when I got the sudden news. Sudden Times! Sea the Stars. Leopardstown on Stephen’s Day, after dinner with Marie the cousin in Castleknock;myself and Packie. Downpatrick and the old sterling debacle. Parkhead, Clones, Croke Park. The day before Harding had inquired about a metre-high statue of the National patron. Una Pooka, John Paul the Second. Anniversaries, my first year in Maynooth. Like all the bad news I never would have guessed when Marie rang from the Presbytery. The bank holiday marathon was on the horizon. How many? I had lost count a long time ago. When we did Dublin in ‘98 I came in last but enough to be registered as completing the course. I know now it was Packie who kept the timekeeper at the finish line and have the plaque to prove and the document delivered months later. Nearly half a day, twice the time of Packie’s

I also have one for the year after which day I was in absentia and imbibing sub-secreto in an up-town bar. Not the Top of the Town, not the infamous and correctly titled Do Drop (After two sudden deaths on the premises in the late nineties). But as James Doonan, another Ulster Senior medal hero, informed me in Cullies graveyard, An Sibin. Now I see him on his bike headed for Barran After the forty odd mile trek from Cavan loaded down with Gulliver like findings light too with lore and co-incident connected detail. And headed back with an assortment of old bottles, some for holy water. ancient metal (Marquez again) and paper cuttings with a curious interest in cures as in the Well of the Saints and more pouches and poches. Everything is childlike wonder and at Mass with the girls the Sunday after his death the din of the children is like the beating of thousands of starling wings along the twilight border. The Lord is indignant. The Gospel welcomes little children. Soon he’s at the starting line and he knows, like Heaney and Horace, without wings Anything Can Happen. John O’Rourke


Shell On a beach you might find a scrap of shell so small you will wonder why you noticed it, so clean you will not be able to say what life it might once have housed, so thoroughly has all trace of that life been consumed. The scrap is all but lost in your hand though warmed in flesh it seems still to give off faint familiar light. When you put it down with all the others, all the others, when you walk away, it will not be found, not be held, not be seen again. Mark Roper

Forty-Three Grams Too early to name you were too unfinished in the womb for anyone to love but me. At fourteen weeks your stubbed appendages denied you somehow proper meaning to the world. Yet I imagined then the promise of your touch and flying fingers some day glancing on piano keys or toes that curled like leaves in winter after frost. Behind those swollen sockets I would never know the colour of your eyes if they were brown or blue or hazel like my own. But somewhere past a sea of years I watch you dance beneath a saffron sky on meadows crusted yellow in a summer sun or hear your footfall whisper soft on winter snow. Yet now your nearly heartbeat grieves in me its pulse the baby miracle I never knew. Just three and forty grams a single letter’s weight of life unfinished in the womb. Too early then to name so I completed you inside my head and loved you just the same.

Lynda Tavakoli


Jenny Keane Interview with the Vampire, From the Lick Drawings series, 2009 Graphite, saliva and blood on Fabriano paper, 100x70 cm

First Colour in memory of Josephine McCotter (nÊe McGill) The earliest appear to be those with the short wavelengths, and therefore the colour blue - Julia Kristeva, Desire in Language You were the keeper of the shrine, serpentine prayers faded scapulars, petitions sequestered in oak and myrtle under a mazarine moon. In its languorous light you knelt beside feral fires, a poetry of silhouettes unfolding on your hand the windwept mountain rose, damask message from my namesake carried to a locked door. Gift of sign stained with hope and nothing else for what did you know then or ever know of the carneled chamber. A crouching girl burning the blighted image with alchemilla and marigold. The flame darkening her deep basamite bowl as she read your falling petals and saw from afar the benevolence of ambient anomalies glittering like a carcass of stars. When stars and time frayed, your almond soft seahorses (hippocampi) surrendered with cauterised calm. Bleached memories on their closed lids, your face lowered over a brimming basin awaiting ablution that could not come. Two reflections sorrowing the intricacies of water hanging like rhizomes from extended fingers. If I could have closed them as later I closed your eyes with more relief than decency demanded. Wondering at the ease of it all until your absence grew with the prospect of return from a harem’s domed sky stencilled with gold and carnadine. Or were those halls an arithmetic of sound where the oud player almost always heard the music of the spheres? Mystical mathematics stark on the reddening ridge of day as acequias flow to the Gate of the Pomegranates. Theorems, fractals, surds in a place of cisterns rebus for the faithful elided as cedar hexagonals unravel on the scales of silver fishes. Below the vanished oratory, a rawda where the nomad plants no orange trees. Moving among the sparrows and Arabic script you will be there when the lions return to the courtyard. The orphanage of their ancient eyes watching at noon as you mix the secret of azure with saffron and rain. It is here we will meet: standing in the space between where a dark green silence has always been.

Clare McCotter


Mairead Dunne See your better self (Girl in white), Oil on board, 60cm x 60cm, Sept 2009

Flight By habit I would hunt and delve worry the meaning of dreams about flight not in biplanes or bombers or featherweight gliders but solo, body neither machine nor animal nor sheer soul either rather a candent rain of molecules oxidized, dextrous, wired, designed for tracking roofbeams, skimming floorboards grazing the tarmac, rushing that porthole southwest of Arcturus its lure, its thrown uncanny music. Until you cautioned not to speculate instead to take the thing whole (a gold stone, a cuneiform tablet) be sated knowing that movement is all the property we own. This weather the nights are short and laminar the light rides in on bright neap tides. I trace its long retreat, the lough’s span and west out over the plateau sometimes with you but mostly I fly alone.

Kathleen McCracken

Opposite: Peter Richards On target: twenty four minutes in Belfast ii Pinhole photograph on colour archival paper (8 minute exposure) h 150 x w 121cms, 2005

SOS After the Sean Scully Retrospective at the Ulster Museum (Nov 2009)


Olive Broderick


The Afterlife One dark windy night all you’d hear was – ‘I’ll tell you another time’ floating up from the street into the moist night air, and down below, the house darkens too as he peruses the book on the afterlife – the ‘medium’ is bound hand and foot, out of his mouth, the white stuff of life-in-death, lost generations, swoon, and in the muzzy room drapes are pulled back on such a bright afternoon. * I remembered the house well with the back door that never opened, jegs of glass on top the yard wall, a few pots of flowers, the wind rustling down the hillsides, just as the sun was rising.

Gerald Dawe

Centrepiece: Zoë Murdoch Silently Fly the Birds, 2009 Photo Manipulation

No one listens First they took away the field below the black roots of the hawthorns giving ground to new houses that hemmed him in – nobody asked him no one would listen the bells of the chapel sounded different crows picked across the furrows, untouched the tractor lay rusting and useless in the drainage ditch the burnt-through pots on a cold hearth, a wife’s barren laughter from the grave like the wind in the chimney flue the microwave oven still in the box and the lone star of a helicopter lifting off girders from the watchtower hills: a niece found him on the stairs a heart attack but he knew he had no heart attack what do doctors know? four tablets of warfarin a day enough to melt the bones of rats of course he stopped taking them and then some days he was confused couldn’t remember not putting on his trousers they took him to that red brick place trying to catch him out – one-hundred and fifty questions, he answered one-hundred and thirty-eight but still they wouldn’t let him out no one listens, in this world you’re only a voice in the wilderness.

Gary Allen


Thread I take the loom to craft a collapsible horizon, a true definition of this tyranny of distance between me and you. Full of rowdy wave it charts a map of senses, a cartography of memories. If I could recreate your fingers I would do so every day. I sit surrounded by invisible words, for only you can know my real name. I think I’m not so much faithful, but patient. No. Perhaps not patient, but vigilant. My eyes take in all things -each weave and unpicking. I become all but a thread as the curve of night takes hold. That’s when I unravel and tangle. That’s when I become a troubled dream. No more than a rhythm of making and unmaking. One day this shall be my own undoing.

Libby Hart

Jenny Keane The Exorcist, From the Lick Drawings series, 2009 Graphite, saliva and blood on Fabriano paper, 100x70 cm


Disassociation Debris tumbled to November earth, swirling squall tore leaf and branch from the great oak. Early evening’s winter-beauty maligned by night, her own; ravaged by excess, time. Vengeful sky illuminated in a flash, night laid bare for all to see. Storm rained down darkness, faraway full beams, beacons in blackness. Her faded glamour, vacant presence, former glory a vague memory. Her journey home hampered by vice, vanity. No one watching, no one waiting; no home fires burning, no curtains twitching. Solitude surrounded her, she welcomed its detached company preferring it to the coldness of the human touch.

Susan Kelly

Mairead Dunne See your better self (Girl in red), Oil on board, 60cm x 60cm, Sept 2009


Absence Night-walking into fog blindness back

a torch throws

there is no way to know

what is beyond the space

paced out

you can’t think tree or house something must

be there

Finding an object for keeping safe say an empty frame

in a stack of darkened oils

the gilding chipped dirt defined corners an engraved plate gives a name that means nothing you know what is missing

can’t tell its shape or style

A small enamelled box a crystal lid and silver clasp the lining deep-buttoned blue fabric straining

with importance

the curl of hair

it was made for


Angela France

MaolĂ­osa Boyle Thujone, 2010


Essences I pick up a ball of twine to tie off newspapers for recycling – ordinary brown twine that’s been here since Adam – twine from the butchers, twine from the electricians, twine for parcels, the kind everyone had, alongside candles, Camp coffee, waxed oven paper, silver foil, essences, a ball the size of your fist, left in the recess of a cubby hole, the last thing you’d ever think of until you go looking.

Gerald Dawe

The Day of the Angel in memory Mary McGill (née Moran)

A week of waiting and yellow roses, of winter benediction in artefacts of light - lustral shapes or communion of dust and water? Cold consecration sealed in an origami of doubt. The healer left you nothing but her tears and a royal covenant of wings, malaaikah, mal’ach, messenger or your own heart’s breath diaphanous in lazuline and white? It is four in the morning and you are still here; beyond the night-struck glass a chaos of silence crowds eucalypt and beech once a child’s time-thronged cathedral, you always near lambent lark-light hands signalling encouragement and reprimand to family and those where bloodlines run less clear now they lie calm and lovely in a galaxy of spheres. I wish you had worn the earrings that I wear today for this poem symbol of an adopted land, the studied stars you bought when I was twenty one, long before these hours of astral ambassadors of lucent pale blue orbs; of a young saint’s favourite flowers. Before I saw feathers of morning and gold gleaming there in the unflinching black of your daughter’s black hair.

Clare McCotter

Opposite: Peter Richards On target: twenty four minutes in Belfast Pinhole photograph on colour archival paper (8 minute exposure) h 150 x w 121cms, 2005

The Sun on His Back In my daughter’s atlas Spain is the colour of a cool satsuma the one I watched him peel and section not so long ago, fingers recollecting the contours of a dozen Christmas mornings. And even if he’d chosen not to name the places and the dates (each one a mystery, each one an abstract noun) before he had to go I would know the sun crossing the skin plateau my pelvis makes is the same sun casting blessings on his back where he works measuring light and the angle of the Andalusian mountain’s influence. Today’s the seventh day of March. I trace the lines from there to here distracted midway by the centre fold to wondering if desire like the double helix (those symmetrical economies) has something yet to say about the way fresh water finds a second life far underground or sea creatures routes to sanctuary without recourse to maps.

Kathleen McCracken


ZoĂŤ Murdoch The Difference Between Temptation, 2009 Photo Manipulation

Beaufort I The old granite pillars haunted Me for years Etched with the word “Beaufort” Leading to a half-forgotten house Though I was family I wouldn’t allow myself to trespass Here, To filter back, Into childhood memories Instead I built-up “Beaufort” In my mind Walked through darkened hallways, Imagined Maude arriving home with The groceries in a paper bag. Once lodger, then my grand-aunt’s Companion Her life revolved around this crumbling House - she enjoyed the borrowed status It conferred. When I look now at the new houses Built on these grounds I see Maude leading a feeble Kate Through that old door To the “Beaufort” that stands forever firm Behind the granite pillars of my mind.

Beaufort II

How can I ever untangle this dream Now that you are no more The gardens and tennis pavilion Are etched in my mind’s eye I still taste the eucalyptus cones And smell the green bay But you are a faceless woman Forgotten out of my childish fear And still on St Stephen’s Day I think of you fondly each year


Sitting in that filthy kitchen Stroking an ageless cat while Keeping two grand-nephews in chat Catching up with your sister’s news Second-hand And wearing your tell-tale blindness Like a dreaded black diamond Sewn on the sleeve of a good dress.

Beaufort III Here is where the shades linger Capturing the music of past seasons I wonder briefly whether Ned Carey Ever knew this garden? Did he turn lazy-beds Or plant trees here for his daughter? And what of poor Granny Carey Brought here in her blindness To soak up the sun To taste the fresh air. But somehow I sense only music There is always music here Annie’s violin which rotted away In her garden-shed Played for many a hearty session Nick, an old bands-man, kept time Granny Carey sang her favourite song “Sitting on the bridge below the town” And even when I pass today It is the absence of the house, The people, The music and life that most affects me. Gearoid O’Brien

In Between

You are down at the brink, under the black poplars, ready to give up the ghost. But each time the boatman finds no coin in your mouth and will not take you. We can hear your tut, impatient tut. We know soon you will decide to creep away, nip under a fence and swim across yourself. And then neither life nor death will know where to find you – you’ll be swimming somewhere between and in the dark you won’t be able to tell which shore is which and you will never ask for help. Mark Roper


Contributors Gary Allen was born in Ballymena. He

of Trinity College Dublin where he

has been published in, Agenda, Ambit,

teaches modern literature and directs

Antigonish Review, The Edinburgh Review,

the graduate writing programme.

Irish Pages, London Magazine, Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry New Zealand, The

Mairead Dunne, originally from the

Poetry Review, Stand, The Stinging Fly,

Midlands graduated from the National

The Yellow Nib, etc. A tenth collection

College of Art and Design Dublin and

is due this autumn from Lagan Press.

the University of Ulster Belfast. She is

He recently received an award from

currently based in Belfast where she

the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

is a member of Platform Arts Studio Collective. She has had both solo

Maoliosa Boyle is a practising artist

and group exhibitions in Ireland and

and Manager of Void. She studied

the UK and has recently received an

Fine Art at The National College of

Offaly Arts Council grant for a solo

Art and Design, Dublin and has an

exhibition in 2010.

MFA from The University of Ulster in Belfast. Maolíosa has curated several

Angela France is a Gloucestershire-

exhibitions at Void over the last five

based poet whose second collection,

years as a member of the Curatorial

‘Occupation’ is available from Ragged

Committee. Maolíosa has exhibited

Raven Press. She has had poems

in group and solo exhibitions in

published in many of the leading

Ireland, Scotland, England, France

journals, including Agenda. Acumen,

and America. Before Managing Void

Orbis and The SHOp and has been

she co-ordinated public art projects

anthologised in a number of small

in the Derry area and was a part-time

press anthologies – most recently in A

lecturer at the North West Regional

Twist of Malice: uncomfortable poems by

College and University of Ulster.

older women. She has just completed an MA in Creative and Critical Writing

Olive Broderick was published most

at the University of Gloucestershire

recently in the Stinging Fly, Sunday

and is now studying for a PhD.

Tribune, Ulla’s Nib, Abridged 0-17. She has an MA (Creative Writing) from


QUB. From Co. Cork originally but now

poetry, ‘Fresh News from the Arctic’


lives in Downpatrick, Co. Down and is

(Australia, 2006) received the Anne

an active member of the Write! Down

Elder Award and was shortlisted for


the Mary Gilmore Prize. She is also the




recipient of a DJ O’Hearn Memorial Gerald Dawe’s recent publications

Fellowship at The Australian Centre,

include Points West (Gallery Press

University of Melbourne. Her work has

2008, Country Music: Uncollected poems

been published widely and broadcast

1974-1989 (Starling Press 2009)and The

on ABC Radio National.

World is Province: Selected Prose 19802008 (Lagan Press 2009). He is a Fellow



born in Co. Clare

amongst others, The Malahat Review,

and currently based in Belfast is

New Orleans Review, Writing Ulster and

a video and drawing-based artist.

Exile Quarterly. She has given readings

Her practice is focused on the word

in Canada, the United States, Ireland


and the UK.



drawings captured from horror films, in which elements of the drawing

Zoë Murdoch is a visual artist living

have been licked away to remove the

in Belfast; she studied Fine Art at

‘horrific’, the work investigates the

the University Of Ulster and is based

dichotomy between fear and desire,

in Queen Street Studios. She has


exhibited in a wide range of group





connection to the (female) body.

shows throughout Belfast and Ireland; her work has been included in shows

Susan Kelly is a poet from Co Mayo.

in London, China, New York and

Her work has appeared locally and in

Pennsylvania. In 2007 she was awarded

Cyphers and she is due to be published

the Robinson McIlwaine Architects

in Crannóg and wordlegs this spring. She

“Original Vision” Award at the RUA.

is a member of the Westport Writers’

Her art is a visual expression of the

group who produce The Broadsheet, an

language of her life, created from her

annual collection of poetry and prose

own realities and imaginings; it is

from Westport-based writers.

fundamentally illustrating the inner workings of her mind and is, for the

Kim Montgomery is an artist in the

most part, inspired from memories.

midst of MA studies in Fine Art at Wimbledon College of Art. She is an


O’Brien, librarian, author

enthusiast of drawing, Keith Haring,

and broadcaster is a native of Athlone

dancing and reading the Bible.

and has been writing poetry for over thirty-five years. For some years he

Clare McCotter’s haiku have been

ran a small press called Kincora Poetry.

published in the leading haiku journals

His poetry was widely published in the

in Ireland, Britain, Canada, the United

1970s and 80s including works in: The

States, India and Australia. Her tanka

Stony Thursday Book, Neptune’s Kingdon,

and haibun have also been published

Prospice and Poetry Ireland Review. After

in international journals. In 2005 she

a break of fifteen years or more he’s

was awarded a doctoral degree from


the University of Ulster. She has published numerous peer-reviewed

John O’Rourke was born in Glasgow

articles on Beatrice Grimshaw’s travel

in 1961 and now lives in Mornington,

writing and fiction. At present she is

Meath. Has contributed poetry to

working on a paper which explores

Issues and Drogheda Creative Writers

cannibalism and miscegenation in

publications. Teaches part-time in

Grimshaw’s Pacific fiction.

Patrician College, Finglas. Previous publications include: Glimpses - As

Kathleen McCracken is a Canadian

seen through a Veil. 2001 Flares - Caught

poet currently based in Belfast. She is

in a Glance, Captured by the Dance. 2005

the author of seven books of poetry,

Waves - Ripples of Life, Cascading to Death.

the most recent of which, Tattoo Land,

2007. Website

was published by Exile Editions in 2009. Her poetry has appeared in,


Peter Richards (b. Cardiff, 1970) has

Lynda Tavakoli in 2008 published her

been based in Belfast since 1994.

first novel, Attachment and prior to

He completed his M.Phil. studies,

that literary successes included the

‘Representations of Representations’,

Eason’s short story competitions, RTE

at the University of Ulster in 1998 and

Sunday Miscellany, BBC ‘My Story’ and

has exhibited in numerous solo and

twice winner at Listowel. Her second

group shows worldwide.

novel is presently under consideration




Richards’ concerned

with a London publishing house.

with the processes of constructing existing

Rhoda Twombly has lived in Ireland

representations, usually working with

for over thirty years. She owned and

combinations of photography, video

ran a pub on Inish Mor in Galway,

and performance. His work can be

then moved to Inishlyre, one of the

found in the collections of the Czech

small Clew Bay islands. The close-knit

Museum of Fine Art and the Arts

communities laced with traditions

Council of Northern Ireland.

and story telling, the spectacular land



and seascapes and ever-challenging Mark Roper’s collections include The

weather provides the inspiration for

Hen Ark (Peterloo/Salmon 1990), which

her short stories and poetry.

won the 1992 Aldeburgh Prize for best first collection; Catching The Light (Peterloo/Lagan 1997); a chapbook, The Home Fire (Abbey Press 1998) and (Peterloo/Abbey



2005). He wase editor of Poetry Ireland for 1999. Even So: New & Selected Poems was published by the Dedalus Press in Autumn 2008. George Shaw, in Spring 2009, held a




Abridged Personnel



Maria Campbell is Abridged Editor.


Maria has just completed her PhD.

shows, The End of the World, Galerie

She will take the edge off an academic

Hussenot Paris, and Poets Day, Centre

career with as many forays into the


poetic world as is financially viable.

Wilkinson recent








What I did This Summer, Ikon Gallery Birmingham, Newlyn Art Gallery and

Gregory McCartney is Abridged Project

Dundee Centre of Contemporary Art.




maker, North West Visual Arts Archive

Printer, Tate St Ives, Cornwall, Idle

coordinator, PhD researcher, and poet.

Youth, Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New

He is still damning the torpedoes.



York and You Dig the Tunnel, I’ll Hide the Soil, White Cube, London, Crash: Homage to J. G. Ballard at Gagosian Gallery



exhibitions in 2010 include a solo show at Void Gallery, Derry.



Abridged 0 - 18: Absence  

Abridged aims to commission and publish contemporary/experimental poetry plus contemporary art freed from exhibition ties and especially com...