Sunday, 24 July 2011

Interview with writer and blogger Nuala Ni Chonchor

This interview first published on

Nuala Ní Chonchúir is a full-time fiction writer and poet. She has published three collections of short fiction, the most recent being Nude by Salt Publishing and three poetry collections, including the bi-lingual Tattoo: Tatu by Arlen House, and most recently one novel, You published by New Island.

Welcome to Could you introduce yourself to the readers please?
I’m a full-time writer from Dublin living in County Galway. I write both fiction and poetry but my heart lies in fiction really. I have three kids and ten hours a week to write so I stuff a lot into those precious ten hours. At the moment I am writing a novel and am at the ‘enjoying it’ stage of that.

How did you get into writing?

I’ve been writing since I was a child, it grew from my love of reading. I came second in a national poetry competition when I was ten and that gave me a boost and a special interest in writing. Michael Hartnett was the judge of that comp and I remember my mother’s awe and reverence when we met him; it rubbed off.

What do you consider the highlights so far?

Winning the Francis MacManus Award in 2003 was brilliant – the money was great and it was just an all round positive experience. My first novel You coming out last year with New Island, after 5 years of schlepping it around publishers, was also a highlight.

Which came first, poetry or fiction?
nudePoetry came first for me, but I fell in love with short fiction after taking a course with Mike McCormack in Galway Arts Centre in the mid nineties. I still love short stories, as both reader and writer.

How do you change from one form to another? Do you feel the poetry helps the fiction and vice versa?

I write everything at the same time, I don’t totally neglect one form for another. So even though I am in the thick of a novel, if a poem or short story occurs to me, I will abandon the novel to write that.

I think poetry and fiction complement each other. Poets pay very close attention to language and individual word choices – that then becomes important in the fiction.

What have you got coming up?
My third full poetry collection The Juno Charm is due out from Salmon Poetry in November, so I am putting the finishing touches to the manuscript at the moment.

Which Irish poets, living or dead, do you recommend people search out and read?

You_-_Nuala_Ni_ChonchuirToo many to mention but here are a few: Patrick Cotter, Mary O’Donnell, Cherry Smyth, Paul Durcan, Matthew Sweeney, Grace Wells.

You can find out more about Nuala at ··and her lovely blog


Group 8 said...

Thanks, babe :)

Emerging Writer said...

My pleasure, babe. Deserves a wider readership.