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[this] is a memorial to those buried in an unmarked grave at the Tuam Mother and Baby Home. It’s also a hard-eyed exhumation of what goes unrecorded: the unmentioned, the redacted and the written over. The poems deal in half-reveals and homophonics, in double-meanings and silences: they let things slip. They are fine-tuned disclosures, and brutally sharp.
— Abigail Parry

The reader’s edition of MOTHERBABYHOME is available for pre-order here.

The poetry-object has so far been acquired by the National Poetry Library (UK), University College Dublin Special Collections, and the Brotheron Library Special Collections at the University of Leeds.

about

The St Mary’s Mother and Baby Home was run by the Bon Secours Sisters on behalf of the Irish State to house unmarried mothers and their children. The location of the graves of 796 infants and children who died in the Home between between 1926 and 1961 is unknown, though local knowledge, the research of local historian Catherine Corless, and recent excavations point to a field near the old site of the Home, as well as the likelihood that some children were illegally adopted. International media attention in 2014 led to the Irish government’s Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes, which is still underway.

MOTHERBABYHOME is a 796-page ‘report’ comprised of conceptual and visual poetry. An excavation of voices, the poems are composed entirely of text taken from historical archives and contemporary sources related to the Home, including files given to me by Catherine Corless. The 796 poems are printed on transparent vellum and held in a handmade oak box*. MOTHERBABYHOME will also be published in a reader’s edition book. Both will available from zimZalla Avant Objects on April 19, 2019.

Poems from MOTHERBABYHOME have appeared in Banshee, Blackbox Manifold, gorse, para·text, Paris Lit Up, Poetry Ireland, Poetry Wales, thosethatthis, and in Laudanum’s Chapbook Anthology Volume Two. They were filmed for University College Dublin’s Poetry Reading Archive.

Kimberly has performed poems from MOTHERBABYHOME for the Prague Microfestival, New Dublin Press’s Performing Poetry Project, Belfast’s Of Mouth Reading Series, Doolin Writers’ Weekend, the University of Sheffield’s Centre for Poetry and Poetics, the International Literature Festival Dublin, The Other Room (Manchester), York Irish Association, and the Irish Literary Society (London)

*boxes by Phil Hughes

upcoming dates

March 21-April 22, 2019

The Plough Arts Centre Gallery, 9-11 Fore St Torrington EX38 8HQ

selections from MOTHERBABYHOME exhibited in Radical Landscapes: Innovation in Landscape and Language Art curated by Camilla Nelson

April 6, 2019, 6-8 pm

The Plough Arts Centre Gallery, 9-11 Fore St Torrington EX38 8HQ

reading from selections from MOTHERBABYHOME for Radical Landscapes: Innovation in Landscape and Language Art curator’s talk and event

April 24, 2019, 5-8 pm

Oonagh Young Gallery, 1 James Joyce Street, Dublin 1

durational performance of the entirety of MOTHERBABYHOME*

April 25, 2019, 3-5 pm

Newman Library, University College Dublin

pop-up readings from MOTHERBABYHOME for Text/Sound/Performance: Making in Canadian Space and Associated Writing Programs Ireland conferences

June 24, 2019, 3-5 pm

The Long Valley, Winthrop St, Cork

featured poet for Ó Bhéal poetry series

*with support from the Centre for Practice-led Research in the Arts

It establishes a sense of haunting both in content and form, beginning with a ‘so-called playground’ in which those same words are overlaid to create a palimpsestic blur, in what seems to articulate a sense of words being said over and over again – an attempt through repetition to exorcise grief, or a sense of media representation harking on elements that can’t be simply absorbed [...] I’m looking forward to finding and reading more of this piece, and of Campanello’s work in general.
— Jon Catherall, Tentacular Magazine