Nick Laird

Nick Laird at the Louis MacNeice Centenary Conference & Celebration
Nick Laird © Paul Maddern

Nick Laird, born in 1975, comes from Cookstown, Co. Tyrone. He currently lives in Rome. His first collection To a Fault (2005) won the Rooney Prize and his first novel Utterly Monkey won the Betty Trask award. His second collection of poems, On Purpose, has just been published by Faber.

Fran Brearton writes of On Purpose: ‘What emerges in Laird’s poems is a productive tension between a bleak, perhaps repressive place of origin and the urbane cosmopolitanism of the poet’s adult life. In “His Scissors”, when “The word scissoring plays on my tongue”, we have both the sophisticated poet of postmodern “play” and the poet whose voice could be shredded into mutiple voices (not his), or into silence.’

The following recordings were made at the Louis MacNeice Centenary Celebration and Conference at Queen's University, Belfast in September 2007.

Wolves (by Louis MacNeice)

The Garden


The Use of Spies

The Evening Forecast for the Region

Light Pollution

Time for a Smoke

© All recordings copyright Nick Laird and the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry.

Nick was reading with Simon Armitage and Richard Murphy.