Ciarán O'Rourke is an Irish poet. His first collection, The Buried Breath (The Irish Pages Press), was published in 2018. His second collection, Phantom Gang, is forthcoming, also from The Irish Pages Press.


Recent and previously published poems can be read for free at the links below.


For any readers who wish/are in a position to support Ciarán's poetry financially, The Buried Breath can be purchased here or in the BOOKS section of this website.

Glass Life (2019-2020)

31 pages, free to read here (©Ciarán O'Rourke)


I am grateful to the editors of Irish PagesThe Blue Nib, and The Galway Review, in which some of these poems were first published. In early 2020, the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon granted me a bursary in literature, which was of immeasurable assistance in the period in which many of these pieces were written.

Phantom Gang (2016-2019)

76 pages, forthcoming from The Irish Pages Press (©Ciarán O'Rourke).


A number of these poems have featured in other publications, including: Children of the Nation, An Anthology of Working People's Poetry from Contemporary Ireland (Culture Matters), Elsewhere, A Journal of Place, Irish Marxist Review, Irish PagesPoetry Ireland Review, Skylight 47, Smithereens Literary Magazine, The Galway Review, and The North. Similarly, recorded versions of some of these poems have been included on RTÉ Radio 1's Poetry Programme, RTÉ Lyric FM's Poetry File, and Poetry Ireland's Words Lightly Spoken podcast. My thanks go out to the editors and organisers, in each case. 

The Buried Breath (2011-2016)

73 pages, free to read here (©Ciarán O'Rourke). Hardback available to purchase at this link (€12.00).


Some of the poems included here previously appeared in the following: Cyphers, Earthlines, Icarus, Irish Pages, New Welsh Review, Poetry Ireland Review, The Bogman’s Cannon, The Galway Review, The London Magazine, The Sea Path (Smithereens Press), The Stinging Fly, and The Stony Thursday Book. Thanks are due to the editors of those publications, and also to the curators of the following poetry competitions and festivals, in which some of these poems won or were shortlisted for prizes: The Westport Poetry Prize 2015 (In Memory of Dermot Healy), The Bailieborough Poetry Festival 2015, and The Fish Poetry Prize 2016

Building the book of hours (2007-2011)

10 pages, free to read here (©Ciarán O'Rourke).


Some of these early pieces were included in the pocket-book, Some Poems (Moth Editions), as well as the following publications: Crannóg, I Live in Michael Hartnett (Limerick Writers' Centre), Poetry Review, The Irish TimesThe Spectator. Others won or were shortlisted for the prizes: The Lena Maguire/Cúirt New Irish Writing Award 2009The Boyle Poetry Competition 2008The iYeats Annual Poetry Competition 2010 (Youth Category). I am grateful to all involved.