Cherry Smyth

“It’s a broken history, isn’t it? And with that you get a lot of secrets.”

I’m not one given to late night emails.

I’m way too busy engaged with the process of sleep to want to communicate with anyone after 10 pm.

So believe me when I tell you that emailing Cherry Smyth at well past that hour was an act of deep significance to me.

As was reading “Famished”, her cycle of poems reflecting on the events and effects of The Potato Famine.

We’d met up when I was at the launch of Craig Jordan-Baker’s marvellous book “The Nacullians” (part of the Christmas present suggestions courtesy of your friendly neighbourhood Plastic Podcasts), and Craig had already talked of “Famished” in our interview.

But I wasn’t prepared for the impact this slim volume by Pindrop Press would have on me.

I sat for at least half an hour after reading it in the one sitting, staring at the wall, letting the images and implications of her words sink on.

Then I emailed to say:

“thank you.”

To be honest, I think it took her aback – like I was some kind of literary stalker – but she was good enough not to pull out from the interview and the result, I think you’ll agree, is a fascinating weave through the fabric of voices; as well as the question of authenticity, the rage of history and the joy of finding your own place in this world.

There’s also a beautiful idea towards the end of it. I’m not going tell you what it is, you’re going to have to discover that for yourself.

Find it in its place.

And when you do,  feel free to email your thoughts to

Anytime you fancy.

But you may not get an answer til the morning after.

ps – a promise fulfilled – Lauren Kinsella is an incredible vocalist/composer who works with Cherry on the performances you can hear on the podcast. Check out more of her work here

Published by dougdevaney

Doug Devaney is a writer, performer and journalist. He is the presenter of The Plastic Podcasts. The Plastic Podcasts have been supported using public funding by Arts Council, England

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