links to poetry and prose

links to poetry and prose
links to poetry and prose by Michele Madigan Somerville



I'll be reading with poet

Austin Alexis on August 10th in Brooklyn:

The Lunar Walk Reading Series:

Sunday August 10th at 4p.

Two Moon Art House & Cafe

315 4th Avenue between 2nd and 3rd streets,

Park Slope, Brooklyn


Read Michael Rumaker's novel, To Kill a Cardinal

Read (essay)
"I'm With Jack" in Harvard Divinity School Bulletin (April, 2014)

buy Black Irish

buy Black Irish
Click on image to buy Black Irish

on Black Irish

On Black Irish

"Seventy years later, an ocean removed from the churchyard stone where Yeats' epitaph is carved, Michele Madigan Somerville dares to cast a cold eye on life, on death. But she looks deeper: rather than merely sing ”whatever is well made," Black Irish celebrates all that Somerville finds fragile or wounded or broken; neither embalming nor romanticizing the past, these astounding, untrammeled poems excavate & reclaim histories--sacred, pagan, singular, tribal--one might have thought irretrievable. By turns elegiac, amorous, expansive, lapidary, Juvenalian, & vulnerable, Black Irish melds an almost classical austerity with an emotional immediacy that is breathtaking. Too brave & exact an artist not to be drawn toward her own private Byzantium, Somerville's ultimate domain remains "the foul rag & bone shop of the heart"--castoff turtles, mermaid brothers, Brooklyn Christmas trees--familiar & wondrous at once. Where else can poetry go?"

Mike Sweeney author of In Memory of the Fast Break

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Native New Yorker Michele Madigan Somerville is the author of Black Irish (2009, Plain View Press) and WISEGAL (2001, Ten Pell Books). Her verse has appeared in numerous journals including Downtown Brooklyn, The Brooklyn Review, Puerto del Sol, 6ix, Mudfish, Pagan Place, Eureka Street, Quarto, Hanging Loose and is forthcoming in The Nervous Breakdown and Live Mag. Somerville's prose has appeared in The New York Times (online), Huffington Post, VARIETY, TV Guide and The Poetry Project Newsletter. In 2012, Michele Madigan Somerville's Glamourous Life won an Honorable Mention in Bauhan Books' May Sarton contest. In 2003 her poem Lonicera Frangrantissima received an Honorable Mention in Dublin's 2003 Eason Books Davoren Hanna Poetry contest (judge: Charles Simic), and in 2000, poet Billy Collins selected Portrait of a Woman Beside Her Marker for first place prize in the 2000 W.B. Yeats Society poetry contest. Somerville won a MacArthur Poetry Scholarship in 1987 while studying with Allen Ginsberg and Susan Fromberg Schaeffer at Brooklyn College. There she began teaching writing to college students as a Graduate Fellow. Somerville has given readings of her verse at The National Arts Gallery, The Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church, the Center for Book Arts and La Mama Galleria in New York City.

Somerville was educated at the the State University of New York at Purchase College and the City University of New York at Brooklyn College. She taught writing in the State University of New York and the City University of New York, before which time she worked for four years as an educator in New York city elementary and secondary schools in Brooklyn and the Bronx.

Somerville lives in Brooklyn with her three adolescent children and works as a tutor and activist.

Contact Michele Madigan at
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