Colm Keegan is a writer and poet from Dublin, Ireland. He has been shortlisted four times for the Hennessy New Irish Writing Award, for both poetry and fiction and won the All Ireland Poetry Slam in 2010. His first book “Don't Go There” was released to critical acclaim. His latest collection “Randomer” is out now and available from Salmon poetry.
In 2014 he was awarded a residency in the LexIcon, Ireland’s largest public library. He has developed numerous creative writing projects for schools and colleges across the country. He is a creative writing teacher and co-founder of the Inklinks Project, a writing initiative for young writers. He was the writer in residence for Carlow College St Patricks in 2019.
He was a co-founder and board member of Lingo, Ireland’s first Spoken Word festival.
He co-wrote “Three Men Talking About Things They Kinda Know About” - which toured Ireland and sold out in Bristol, London and Paris. His short play “The Process” was staged in the Abbey Theatre as part of 24 Hour Plays 2017. His debut full-length play “For Saoirse” was staged in Axis Theatre as part of Dublin Fringe 2018, and was nominated for the Fishamble New Writing award.
Sinead Gleeson, RTE Radio One
“Nobody is writing like Colm Keegan at the moment. A very distinct unusual voice. A brilliant collection...Gives voice to a lot of people in a very artistic and poetic way.”
I look at what people like Colm Keegan do and I’m filled with wonder and admiration. Colm’s poetry is just so suffused with compassion and beauty; people’s worlds and lives given perfectly formed expression. And when he performs his work it takes on a new, heightened form.
David Morley, Poetry Review UK
“All writing is performance. There is no serious, organic distinction between spoken and written word. If you know the Irish poet Colm Keegan’s work from his exceptional performances on YouTube you should not be surprised by how deftly his poetry transfers to the silent stage of a book. Don’t Go There is lively, provocative and genuine. Its strengths on the page are directness, frankness and a challenging lyricism. He portrays Dublin with no exaggeration, no reaching for myths or for non-human vacuum, no literary bullshit. The core of his work is a humane understanding beyond the clichés of vulnerability and powerlessness. Keegan is a keen observer of reality. Like most real people, he does not do distance. He achieves the most terrific sense of drama from the familiar.”
Katherine Lockton, Eyewear magazine
“There is much to praise in Keegan’s Don’t Go There when it is at its best. His use of simple, clear language where he plays with and explores the imagination and curiosity of a child is the biggest triumph in his collection. It is simple yet evocative lines that really show what Keegan is capable of when he is in his stride. Keegan is at his best when painting pictures for the reader as his use of transparent language allows him to produce an uncomplicated, vivid image that we can see in our minds. The simplicity of Keegan’s words mean that he can create violent images without overpowering the reader or being over-poetic or trying too hard. Keegan is also great at conjuring up a forgotten Dublin. It is his use of clear diction and arresting, engaging vocabulary that creates an image of a rarely seen Dublin far away from the one portrayed by the media.”
Zach Joyce, le Cool Magazine
“It's been a while since poets have been considered agitators of the soul or balm for the conscience in this country. Yet there's a new breed emerging too and foremost is Colm Keegan. He lays it bare as well he should. It's a raw, visceral, but ever so real existence that Keegan chronicles so acutely”