Walk the line: Poet Annemarie Ní Churreáin on the spoken word and bringing light to dark histories

The Donegal Gaeltacht native explores themes of landscape, mythology and Ireland’s culture of silence in her work

Annemarie Ní Churreáin: ‘Poetry has always been my way of figuring out how and where I fit into the story of things.’ Picture: Enda Rowan

I grew up in the Gaeltacht boglands of northwest Donegal. As a child I’d stand outside my front door and shout downhill to my friend Danny who lived a few bogs away. I’d shout out his name and wait for the echo, syllable by syllable, to arrive at his door. He’d come out shortly after and send back a reply. That echoing was one of my first experiences of language as play.

Donegal is a uniquely haunted landscape. I was fortunate to have had lots of early exposure to folklore, superstitions and mythological stories like that of Balor of The Evil Eye. I had limited access to books but there were ghosts everywhere.