Poet Eleanor Hooker – Creative Writing Tipperary

As part of the Thomas MacDonagh Celebrations in Cloughjordan, Eleanor Hooker facilitated a poetry workshop on the May bank holiday weekend gone.

Eleanor’s début collection ‘Shadow Owner’s Companion’ was published in 2012 and it was clear from the start that the workshop was going to be a learning curve.

We read the poems: Firewood and Tongue or Child by Michael Longley, Under Beinn Ruadhainn by Andrea O’Hagan and many poems by Thomas MacDonagh – a local poet of international acclaim and war hero.

Advice from Eleanor Hooker:

  • Don’t resolve the last verse, leave it open.
  • Poetry is not a confession.
  • Sometimes using – I, my or me in poetry is derivative.
  • Know the rules and break them.
  • Leave space for free flowing poetry.
  • The reader should jump to grasp the idea of the poem.
  • There should never be rage in writing.
  • My personal fave- you should not feel the spit on you face.
  • Measure your words.

  • A closed fan has more potential than an open fan.
  • Face the blank page – daily.

I bought her book and it is now by my bedside so that I can continue to read her poetry again and again. Her collection has won many awards and I can’t urge you enough to read it.


The writers at the Cloughjordan Writers Group meet almost every Sunday and are a talented and dedicated bunch of writers. I will be popping up to them at least once a month for more chat, critique and to be awed.


Published by Michelle Moloney King

Bookish and paintish! Mother, wife, teacher, and follower of flow.

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