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

Dimensions 140 × 10 × 216 mm
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Product Detail

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

About The Author


DOIREANN NÍ GHRÍOFA is a bilingual Irish poet and essayist, born in Galway in 1981, living in Cork for many years. Ní Ghríofa is author of six critically-acclaimed books of poetry, each a deepening exploration of birth, death, desire, and domesticity. Ní Ghríofa’s first book in English, Clasp (Dedalus Press, 2015) won the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the Michael Hartnett Poetry Award, and was shortlisted for the Irish Times Poetry Award. A Book of the Year in both The Irish Times and The Irish Independent, Lies (Dedalus Press, 2018), draws on a decade of Ní Ghríofa’s Irish language poems, accompanied by her own translations. Doireann Ní Ghríofa is also author of the prose 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 detective. Ní Ghríofa’s artistic practice encompasses cross-disciplinary collaborations, fusing poetry with film, dance, music, and visual art, and her work has been commissioned by institutions such as The Poetry Society (Britain), Poetry Ireland, The Embassy of Ireland in Britain, and the Department of Foreign Affairs. Further awards for Ní Ghríofa’s work include a Lannan Literary Fellowship (USA), a Seamus Heaney Fellowship (Queen’s University), and the Ostana Prize (Italy), among others. For more, see