Alice Kinsella

1993- ; b. Dublin; grew up in Co. Mayo; ed. TCD and NUI (Galway); featured in Poetry Ireland (ed. Eavan Boland), Spring 1998); iss. Flower Press (2018) and Sexy Fruit (Broken Sleep Books 2019) - Poetry Book Soc. Selection, 2019; also Banshee, Poetry Ireland/Eigse Eireann, The Lonely Crowd, The North and Multipoetry Project Krakow; received a bursary from the John Hewitt Summer School; wrote “When”, the International Women’s Day Poem, for The Irish Times (Wed., 8 March 2017) - inspired by Kipling’s “If”; with Paul Kinsella, made the virtual reality poetry film Confine(d) (Sept. 2020); lives in West of Ireland with her family.

“When” - International Women’s Day Poem for The Irish Times (Wed., 8 March 2017)

When you can say the words that are not listened to
But keep on saying them because you know they’re true;
When you can trust each other when all men doubt you
And from support of other women make old words new;
When you can wait, and know you’ll keep on waiting
That you’ll be lied to, but not sink to telling lies;
When you know you may hate, but not be consumed by hating
And know that beauty doesn’t contradict the wise;

When you can dream - and know you have no master;
When you can think - let those thoughts drive your aim;
When you receive desire and abuse from some Bastard
And treat both manipulations just the same;
When you hear every trembling word you’ve spoken
Retold as lies, from a dishonest heart;
When you have had your life, your body, broken
But stop, breathe, and rebuild yourself right from the start;

When you can move on but not forget your beginnings
And do what’s right no matter what the cost;
Lose all you’ve worked for, forget the aim of winning
And learn to find the victory in your loss;
When you can see every woman struggle - to
create a legacy, for after they are gone
And work with them, when nothing else connects you
Except the fight in you which says: “Hold on!”

When you can feel the weight of life within you
But know that you alone are just enough;
When you know not to judge on some myth of virtue
To be discerning, but not too tough;
When you know that you have to fight for every daughter
Even though you are all equal to any son;
When you know this, but still fill your days with laughter
You’ll have the earth, because you are a woman!

See The Irish Times (3 March 2017) - online; accessed 09.03.2017.

[Note: The video version of this poem features 16 Itish Women Writers incl. ¬†Kerrie O’Brien, Alvy Carragher, Jessica Traynor, Rosita Sweetman and Clare Rose Thornton