Interview – Kathy D’Arcy 


I’m Kathy D’Arcy, a poet, academic and feminist activist from Cork now based in Reykjavík. I discovered I am Autistic in late 2019.

When / why did you start writing poetry? – answers in adjectives

Autistic (undiagnosed); linguistic; masochistic.

How do you write a poem? – answer in five verbs.

Observe, obsess, link, cannibalise, collage.

What is your definition of what experimental poetry is?

I don’t like definitions much. For me it generally means that my work now doesn’t fit the samey guidelines of many Irish literary journals, in theme or form.

Have you done many interviews before? Do you find them repetitive? Repetitive? Repetitive?


What’s a favourite snack you like when poet-ing?

Barry’s tea, shipped from Ireland.

What are you kinda obsessed by?

Pilgrimage (not religious). Human anatomy.

Do you tell your social circle about your poet-ing?

Yes, but since I hate society and am finally allowed to I’m not sure if I could be said to have one.

How do you rebel?

By drawing attention to widespread sexual and power dynamic abuses in the Irish arts. Join in.

Tell me a literary / science fact or joke, please.

The heart has its own nervous system and will continue to beat when all the nerves supplying it are cut. Da Vinci discovered this: “Of the heart: This moves of itself and does not stop unless forever.”

What’s your fav colour, poet, snack. (this is your pen name!)

Purple Anne Carson French Fancy.


Kathy D’Arcy is a Cork poet recently relocated to Iceland. Her collections are Encounter (Lapwing 2010) and The Wild Pupil (Bradshaw 2012). She was Chair of the Cork Together for Yes campaign and created the 2018 edited collection Autonomy which raised funds and awareness for that campaign. Kathy recently completed a Creative Writing PhD, for which she received an Irish Research Council Postgraduate Scholarship. She has worked as a doctor, a support worker and a creative writing teacher. Kathy is part of the Fired!, #WakeUpIrishPoetry and SAOI (Safe Arts of Ireland) movements which seek to challenge inequalities in Irish poetry.

Twitter @SafeArtsIreland