By Doireann Ní Ghríofa


Lies draws on poems from Doireann Ní Ghríofa’s three Irish-language collections to date, Résheoid (2011), Dúlasair (2012) and Oighear (2017), translated by the author herself. Dual-language format.



Lies is a selection of Irish poet Doireann Ní Ghríofa’s Irish language poems, with facing English translations by the poet herself

When does a poem tell the truth? When is it a lie? In Lies, intimate moments carefully re-appraised (first dates, break ups, young parenthood, etc.) are the raw material of these vivid and wholly engaging poems, written in Irish, and translated here by the author – a process that itself raises questions about poetry and truth.

But a great deal of the power of Ní Ghríofa’s work comes from the way her personal history links her to the wider world – to the imaginative encounters that prompt so many of the poems, to an acute awareness of the restless nature of language itself, and not least to the women who preceded her and who remain a steadying and guiding presence throughout.

“[Ní Ghríofa] achieves the feat of making us look again at the usual and illuminating its pulsating strangeness. She is a brilliant addition to the distinguished succession of bilingual poets writing in Irish and English.”
— Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Ireland Professor of Poetry

Le Tatú a Bhaint

Shíl mé nach mbeadh ann ach go scriosfaí thú
sa tslí chéanna go gcuirfeadh gasúr grainc air féin
ag breathnú dó ar chóipleabhar breac le botúin,
á shlánú in athuair lena ghlantóir:
bhí dul amú orm.

Nuair a baineadh d’ainmse de mo chraiceann,
bhris na léasair an tatú ina mílte cáithníní líocha.
Shúigh mo chorp do dhúch scoilte, scaoilte. Anois,
is doimhne fós ionam siollaí d’ainm, táid daite im’ chealla;
táim breac leat.

Tá tú laistigh díom anois – caillte, dofheicthe.
Mé féin is tú féin, táimidne do-dhealaithe.


Tattoo Removal

I thought they would simply delete you,
as a child might find an error in homework,
frown, lift a pink eraser, and rub it out.
I was wrong. Everything’s worse now.

To take your name from my skin, lasers
split it into a million particles of pigment.
My flesh bled, absorbing that broken ink,
letting your name fall deeper still. Sink.

Sink. Sunk. Now, you’re stuck
in there, wedged somewhere in my innards’
disarray, between my arteries, my shame,
my quivering veins, and I, I must live
with your syllables, smashed, astray.

OK, OK. If you’re inside me now, lost,
invisible, it’s my fault. I’m sorry,
it was me who made us indivisible.

Additional information

Dimensions140 × 10 × 216 mm


Product Detail

  • ISBN: : 978 1 910251 39 3
  • Size: : 216 x 140 mm
  • Pages: : 82
  • Published: : October 2018

About The Author


Doireann Ní Ghríofa (born Galway, 1981) is an award-winning bilingual writer, whose poems and prose essays have appeared in many Irish and international journals. She has published six books of poetry; her collections with Dedalus Press are Clasp (2015) and Lies (2018), a bilingual volume featuring her own English translations and original Irish language poems (first published in individual collections by Coiscéim). Her most recent prose publication is the bestseller A Ghost in the Throat (Tramp Press, 2020) which finds the eighteenth-century poet Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill haunting the life of a contemporary young mother, prompting her to turn literary detective. Awards for Ní Ghríofa’s writing include a Lannan Literary Fellowship (USA), the Ostana Prize (Italy), a Seamus Heaney Fellowship (Queen’s University), and the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, among others. "There is a fearlessness in Ní Ghríofa’s work: in the subjects she turns her keen gaze on, but also in the very music she lets play in the lines. A deep intelligence informs the strategies and approaches in the poems, and a generosity of spirit and openheartedness are signal qualities" — Paula Meehan, Ireland Professor of Poetry