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from Dedalus Press


In Into the Night that Flies So Fast, the debut collection of poems from Belfast-based Milena Williamson, the speaker journeys to the small County Tipperary village of Ballyvadlea, to investigate the life and death of Bridget Cleary, in 1895 burned to death by her family on suspicion of being a fairy changeling.

Fusing docupoetry and true crime, travelogue and drama, the book introduces a compelling cast of characters as the ill-fated Bridget, her family and members of her community all come onstage to give their versions of events. In the ‘Interval’ of this play for voices, the speaker herself draws back from Bridget’s story to reflect on her own new life in Ireland, on the relationships and journey that have brought her to this interrogation of one of the darkest episodes in Ireland’s past.

“In this shape-shifting narrative, not only do we meet Bridget Cleary, the woman inside the poet’s head, but we are also given a startling glimpse of how aspects of Cleary’s story reverberate into today; of other voices that will always be an absence. A brilliant debut.”

—Moyra Donaldson


“A lyrical gymnast, Williamson’s work soars in even the most dangerous spaces. Though she delves into humanity’s darkest side, Williamson’s poetry is also dexterous, playful, and full of compassion in this formally ambitious and expansive collection.” —Rosamund Taylor

Available in Ireland through Argosy Books and in the UK from Inpress Books & BookSource

You can read my feature 'Bridget Cleary and a poetry journey' online in The Irish Times

or an
interview with me about the book in ISLE (Ireland in Search of Legacies of Enlightenment).

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