No Alibis Bookstore is delighted to announce an evening with Milena Williamson as we launch her debut poetry collection ‘Into the Night that Flies So Fast’. Join us for what is sure to be an unforgettable event.
In Into the Night that Flies So Fast, the debut collection of poems from Belfast-based Milena Williamson, the speaker journeys to the small County Tipperary village of Ballyvadlea, to investigate the life and death of Bridget Cleary, in 1895 burned to death by her family on suspicion of being a fairy changeling. Fusing docupoetry and true crime, travelogue and drama, the book introduces a compelling cast of characters as the ill-fated Bridget, her family and members of her community all come onstage to give their versions of events. In the ‘Interval’ of this play for voices, the speaker herself draws back from Bridget’s story to reflect on her own new life in Ireland, on the relationships and journey that have brought her to this interrogation of one of the darkest episodes in Ireland’s past.
“In this shape-shifting narrative, not only do we meet Bridget Cleary, the woman inside the poet’s head, but we are also given a startling glimpse of how aspects of Cleary’s story reverberate into today; of other voices that will always be an absence. A brilliant debut.”—Moyra Donaldson
“A lyrical gymnast… ” —Rosamund Taylor
Milena Williamson is from Swarthmore, Pennsylvania and has lived in Belfast since 2017. She has a PhD in poetry from the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s University Belfast. A recipient of the Eric Gregory Award, she published her debut pamphlet Charm for Catching a Train in 2022 (Green Bottle Press). Her writing about Bridget Cleary has been supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Ireland Chair of Poetry.