Bernadette Cremin

Speechless (2007)


,strong>Cremin’s poem ‘Nadia’ was highly commended by Forward Poetry Prize 2009

Cremin’s poems are the reminder we need of forgotten people, desperate lives and sickness that doesn’t grab headlines. Undaunted, bloody minded, she hands them to us with more twists and turns than a roller coaster. They’re uncomfortable reading but Cremin makes us shudder with immense skill and utter control. She’s an important voice
Jackie Wills

Speechless reads like a series of nightmarish postcards from prisons of illness, passion and of self – or flashes of broken down stations caught through the fumy window of a run away train
Mario Petrucci

Cremin writes of call girls and ham actors, moody photos and bed-sit divas. In lines both precise and honest, she croons of violence and loss. Hers is the smoky voice of an underclass, forever tough, feminine and vulnerable.
John O’Donoghue

ISBN: ISBN 1-902731-35-2 Category:

Praise and Poems

Cremin has built a magic bridge between performance and the page; she has proven palpably and infectiously, how there needn’t be such a divide in the first place. Speechless is quite aptly titled, for that’s exactly how it leaves one: it proves that Cremin’s poetry is as tangible and affecting on the page as it is when uttered from her lips like subtle spells
Alan Morrison

…weird and wonderful; Cremin dares to write honestly. Where does she get these images? Her similes are inspired
Michael Donaghy

Bernadette Cremin’s seminal collection explores such contrasting scenarios as discos and hospitals, scored through with tangible imagery and lacerating candour. Winner of a 2000 Arts Council of England Bursary, she was further selected to work with Roddy Lumsden, and formerly the late Michael Donahy, on this striking collection.

This collection follows hot on the heels of her prize-winning debut volume Perfect Mess (Biscuit Publishing, 2006). Cremin has gone on to win a Year of the Artist award, an Arts Council performance poetry bursary, and has been published widely in the UK and Eire. As well as solo commissions, she has collaborated with a music producer (State Art), a film-maker (Indifference Productions), a photographer (Project Poetry) and a geneticist (Promise or Threat, ACE).

Cremin’s world is a blanched bohemia of scatter-cushioned experiences, liaisons, vicissitudes, serendipities and epiphanies. A reality heaving with animism, where the inanimate is as intimate a part as a lover’s lips or a racing pulse. Where the wallpaper has ears and ‘creases gossip’; where every object has a muttering life of its own. Enter this realm where ‘mirrors glare’, ‘shrubs gang up like playground bullies’, and trees resemble ‘skinny dinner ladies’; of ‘terrified white’ toilets and wall-crawling shadows; and you’ll probably never get out again. But really, even if you could, would you want to?

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