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Victoria Kennefick

Author Photo of Victoria Kennefick
Books by this author: Eat Or We Both Starve
  • About
  • Reviews
  • Awards
  • Victoria Kennefick is a poet, writer and teacher from Shanagarry, Co. Cork now based in Co. Kerry. She holds a doctorate in English from University College Cork and studied at Emory University and Georgia College and State University as part of a Fulbright Scholarship. 

    Her pamphlet, White Whale (Southword Editions, 2015), won the Munster Literature Centre Fool for Poetry Chapbook Competition and the Saboteur Award for Best Poetry Pamphlet. Her work has appeared in Poetry, The Poetry Review, PN Review, Poetry Ireland Review, The Stinging Fly, Poetry News, Prelude, Copper Nickel, The Irish Times, Ambit, bath magg, Banshee and elsewhere. She won the 2013 Red Line Book Festival Poetry Prize and many of her poems have also been anthologised and broadcast on national radio stations. 

    A recipient of a Next Generation Artist Award from the Arts Council of Ireland, she has also received bursaries from Kerry County Council and Words Ireland. She was a co-host of the Unlaunched Books Podcast and is on the committee of Listowel Writers’ Week, Ireland’s longest-running literary festival.
    'A debut that approaches its theme via the Irish Famine, Catholicism and Freudian fantasies of cannibalism.'

    Tristram Fane Saunders, The Telegraph Best New Poetry Books 2021

    'Sensuous and sometimes shocking'

    Seán Hewitt, Irish Times Best Books of the Year 2021

    'Kennefick expertly conveys the overwhelmingness of her project, how subjective it is, and how easily, in the process of such an interrogation, the interrogator risks both consuming and being consumed... An assured collection, captivating in its accurate and artful unearthing of taboo'

    Phoebe Walker, Times Literary Supplement

    'A collection of the sensory at times so powerful it may put you off your dinner... Here is poetry of originality'

    Katrina Naomi, The Poetry Review

    'A savage thing, scalding to the touch... It comes at you relentlessly, with a great and gleefully unbridled spiritedness. Handle, and read, with some care.'

    Michael Glover, The Tablet

    'Heralding the arrival of a distinctive and assured voice in Irish poetry, Victoria Kennefick's Eat or We Both Starve is daring, visceral and replete with unsettling images... Few collections arrest a reader with such intensity from the opening poem, and even fewer manage to hold that thrill over the course of many poems, but Kennefick's does... It is a testament to Kennefick's skill that Eat or We Both Starve can balance this intelligence inside poems that are also great fun to read, full of surprising images, formal dexterity, and a voice both consistent and pliable.'

    Seán Hewitt, The Irish Times

    'This audacious debut collection of fleshly poems is the best I've come across so far this year...Rich with imagery and alliteration.'

    Bookish Beck

    'Kennefick is unforgiving when assessing the male gaze or anything that limits her women, any fear that is stoked around the female body and the corporeality of femaleness ... This is a mature collection by a poet who has lived.'

    Liz Quirke, Books Ireland

    Awards won by Victoria Kennefick Short-listed, 2021 The Costa Poetry Award (Eat Or We Both Starve) Short-listed, 2021 The T.S. Eliot Prize (Eat Or We Both Starve)
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