Tara Bergin (b. 1974, Dublin) writes that ‘traditional songs … appeal to me a great deal and they have influenced much of my writing’. That interest is apparent in her first book, This is Yarrow (winner of the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry Prize for First Full Collection), which maintained an occasionally Plath-esque sense of broken-down fairytales and an edgy musicality.
In The Tragic Death of Eleanor Marx, Bergin plays these techniques through various narratives, most notably those recounting the deaths of Eleanor Marx (daughter of Karl) and of Flaubert’s Emma Bovary. These poems are intellectually complex – a deep commentary on the politics of gender and family – while remaining songlike and, as she writes, ‘enjoyable to listen to’.
In 2012 Bergin completed a PhD on Ted Hughes’s translations of János Pilinszky, and now lives in Yorkshire. She is interested in ‘changes that happen to English when it is spoken by non-English voices’ and in the relationship between her native Ireland and other countries.