By Trudie Gorman

Trust the Damage


In Trust the Damage, her deeply intimate debut collection, Trudie Gorman explores the connection between class, poverty, and illness.



“Every sickness gets better or kills.
I am the strangeness in-between.”

In Trust the Damage, her deeply intimate debut poetry collection, Trudie Gorman explores the connection between class, poverty, and illness. Journeying from a council estate in the 90s to the fractured ecosystem of the present day, she contends with the grief of losing her body to illness, whilst also finding hope and connection.

The body in all of its morphisms is the main character here, while memory, legacy, violence against women, healthcare, working-class culture and love ripple through the collection in vibrant coexistence. The poems are at once visceral and unflinching in their depictions, yet always stretch towards the light, capturing what it means for a life to bloom in the dark.

“Original, arresting and brave, Trudie Gorman’s debut collection, Trust the Damage, is a deft and uncompromising exploration of chronic illness, trauma, urbanity, class, and how these elements combine to profoundly impact the relationship with the self. Gorman’s is an urgent, fresh and essential new voice in Irish poetry.”
—Victoria Kennefick

“In this startling collection Trudie Gorman dares the reader to look at the sicknesses that riddle society, the ones we refuse to acknowledge. These are poems of violence and tenderness, of love and fear, of fury and survival.”
—Alice Kinsella


I forgot that things still grow in the night.
There’s whole species under the sea
that light up in moonlight,
the soft glow guiding small creatures home.

We once thought that it was a sign
pointing to the edge of the world.
Nothing about god’s kingdom,
just a dark ending to fall from.

I’m a small creature too, limping towards home.
The edge of my world had to come first:
the monster of my own sick blood,
I spent years not going easy.

Going savage in fact, going fatal,
until I came to surrender to the places
that this body takes me. I don’t have to love
the days I can’t crawl through or the nights

I wake paralysed.
I know I’ll long for the next time
I’m lying on the kitchen floor waiting for the song
of yet another ambulance,

so that I don’t have to
convince myself this was never meant to be.
I trust the damage.
Open the portal for the paramedics to arrive
into my emergency, and their night shift.
And as this ordinary rescue ripples,
I know I’ll wake in the morning still sick,
but quietly baptised in the stars.


Trust the Damage. Trudie Gorman
25 March 2024
ISBN 9781915629241 HB
ISBN 9781915629258 PB
Cover image by David Underland

See Also: Trudie Gorman in The Journal

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About The Author


Trudie Gorman was born in Dublin in 1993 and is a poet, essayist and activist. In 2022 she was awarded a residency with Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris and in 2023 she was a Dublin Fringe Festival Artist in Residence. She was selected for Poetry Ireland’s Versify Series in 2019. Her writing has been published in Poetry Ireland Review, Banshee, Poetry NI, Two Metre Review and The 32: An Anthology of Irish Working-Class Voices. Trust the Damage was shortlisted for the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award 2023.