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Maggie O'Sullivan

Maggie O'Sullivan


I have been making and developing my poetic practice and its performance internationally for over 30 years.

For further details, including recent online works, critical readings and bio/ biblio/audiographical information, (with links to publishers), please visit my website:


Contemporary Experimental Women's Poetry Festival, 2006

This recording was made at the Cambridge Women's Experimental Poetry festival, held 6-8 October 2006 in Cambridge, UK and organised by Emily Critchley and Catherine Brown.

  • 'All Origins Are Lonely'
  • 'Untitled (quaq edge ear lone)'

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  • 'Murmur'

Hebden Bridge, September 2005

This recording was made by Andrea Brady on Sunday, 4th September, 2005. Michael Haslam had come along with Andrea, also to do a reading for the Archive. It was a gloriously sunny Sunday afternoon and we worked upon the grass of Shepherd's Purse, outside in the wild garden of Middle Fold in the high Pennine moorland above Hebden Bridge.

All the tracks recorded are from In the House of the Shaman (Reality Street Editions, 1993: reprinted 2003).

In the House of the Shaman is an important work for me -- commenced in London in the late 80's, it was completed at Middle Fold in the late 90's.

When Andrea suggested a reading for the Archive, I especially wanted to read from this trans-work, and to read it outside beneath the open sky. So, my reading is an act of thanksgiving (reading back the book) with/to the wild sustaining musics of upland moor.

For additional, complementary selections from In the House of the Shaman go to the Pennsound website, which features a reading I gave in Capen Hall, SUNY-Buffalo on 27th October 1993, recorded by Charles Bernstein. These two readings together, carry In the House of the Shaman across a decade, across place and across continents.

In the House of the Shaman


"O'Sullivan's writings have a truly inimitable agenda... which moves through language towards both musical and painterly arenas and the freedom with which this is achieved suggests an immense disenfranchisement of the ideological content of language in favour of its raw physique... (T)he movement of the text is given an acute physical agenda: intensively condensed and punctuated lines present obstacles to advancement; as they are lifted we are rushed back into the effluvia of a hand-made lexicon. This procedure articulates a widening and intensifying of analogous muscular activity: running, stumbling, breaking, stifling, releasing; all of which can also be felt through the presencing -- in its inflections and gesturings -- of a voice... (T)his is a poetry of breathing, of continuance along its sinuous sequentialism. Its libidinal quality of wilful postponement affords endurance, an economy of the last word..."
--Aaron Williamson, reviewing In the House of the Shaman (Parataxis 6)

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