Rita Ann Higgins

Rita Ann Higgins, described by Colette Sheridan as the people’s poet, has published ten books of poetry. These include Tongulish, Ireland Is Changing Mother and Throw in the Vowels: New & Selected Poems, all from Bloodaxe. She is also a playwright with a number of plays to her name, including The Plastic Bag, The Empty Frame and The Colossal Longing of Julie Connors. The Galway-based writer’s many awards include a Peadar O’Donnell Award and several Arts Council bursaries. She is also a member of Aosdána.

Rita Ann Higgins' appearance at StAnza 2018 is supported by Culture Ireland as part of GB18: Promoting Irish Arts in Britain


Five O’Clock Verses »

Reading: Rita Ann Higgins, Jacob Polley

Thu 8 March | 17:00 - 18:00 | £6.50/£4.50 | Parliament Hall, South Street

Festival Launch Extravaganza »

A sneak peek at some of the highlights of StAnza 2018

Wed 7 March | 18:30 - 20:45 | FREE | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Auditorium


Costa Del Dento

There he is
eatin' like a horse
with his neck-brace
around his elbow –
robbin' pears from the next table.

He's on the dole at home
with a claim in
against the Corpo'
for a dodgy kerb job
only he called it
an f'ing footpath.

You'd have to be on LSD
for your foot to land
on that slanted footpath.
More like gliding
on the rim of a chipped bath.

Here on the Costa
he's making the girls laugh
telling them Errol Flynn
had nothing on him
and the swelling
only goes down
with gentle kissing.

Any barbarism in him
was well-earned
in the Christian Brothers
where they kissed him
nightly with their batons
and he only a child
that still believed in Santa
and the tooth fairy.

The very Christian brothers
kept knocking his milk teeth out
because of the no word.

They didn't like the sound of no,
so they kicked him again,
and another tooth would orbit
far above his innocence
and land like a sixpence
on a well-polished floor.

Rita Ann Higgins

From Tongulish (Bloodaxe Books, 2016)

www.bloodaxebooks.com #bloodaxebooks