Leland Bardwell: Aldeburgh Festival

One of the highlights of the festival has to be Leland Bardwell, Irish poet, novelist, short story writer and playwright. Leland has been an influential part of the Irish literary scene; along with establishing the Writers’ Co-op, she was a founding editor of the literary magazine Cyphers, and founded the annual literary festival Scriobh in Sligo, where she now lives.

Performing with her son, Leland introduced and recited a number of her poems whilst he read  from her collection, The Noise of Masonry Settling (Dedalus Press, 2005). This is most definitely worth buying – a real treat.

“Honest and sparkling, Leland Bardwell’s poetry comes alive on the page with an enviable lightness of touch, and in the same stroke delivers a punch…”
Writing Notes from the Sligo Arts Office


Born in 1922 she grew up in Co Kildare in Ireland and was educated in Dublin and the University of London. Founder and co-editor of the literary journal Cyphers and a member of Aosdána, she lives in County Sligo where she founded the annual literary festival Scriobh in 1993. Her poetry collections include The Mad Cyclist (1970), Dostoevsky’s Grave: New and Selected Poems (1991) and most recently The Noise of Masonry Settling (2006). Her memoir A Restless Life was published in 2008.

“She is the doyenne of women poets writing in English. Her work has humour and wit… It has the immediacy of personal conversation, yet is crafted with care for form. She makes something extraordinary of ‘ordinary’ experience”
—Irish Press

“Leland Bardwell’s poetry is witty, full of sharp, intimate honesty, full of truth and surprises. She is a poet who has felt the shocks of our time, the private impacts and the historic changes”
—Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin

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