The Return of the Buffalo (paperback)

Deirdre Cartmill

About the book…

Whether dealing with grief at the loss of a father, a devastating personal tragedy or the vicissitudes of married love, Deirdre Cartmill’s The Return of the Buffalo attempts to make sense of an often harsh and seemingly meaningless world.

Central to the collection is a poems regarding a visit to Alcatraz in San Francisco – the site of a Native American occupation in the 1960s.  Struck by parallels to her own experiences, Cartmill finds hope and consolation in this meditation on the Native American myth that the birth of a white buffalo calf and the revival of the buffalo population will herald a new age.

Other poems in the collection echo and deepen this desire to begin again.

While refusing to shy away from painful realities, The Return of the Buffalo is ultimately about the possibility of redemption.

Photo of the author, Deirdre Cartmill

About the author…

Deirdre Cartmill – Biography

Deirdre Cartmill was born in Moy, Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland.

Her debut poetry collection Midnight Solo was published by Lagan Press in 2004 and was described by The Newsletter as “an arresting first collection of ferocious and poignant verse.”

Her second collection The Return of the Buffalo will be published in 2013.

She received an Artists' Career Enhancement Scheme Award from the Arts Council in 2011 and spent a year affiliated with the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen's University. She received Literature Awards from the Arts Council in 2012, 2008, 2003 and 2000. She’s previously been shortlisted for a Hennessy Literary Award and been a finalist in the Scottish International Open Poetry Competition.

Her poems have appeared in many anthologies including The Blackbird’s Nest (Blackstaff Press), Reactions 5 (Pen & Inc Press), Our Shared Japan (Dedalus Press), Magnetic North (Lagan Press), New Soundings (Blackstaff Press) and Breaking the Skin (Black Mountain Press).

Her poems have also been widely published in magazines and journals including Metre, Poetry Ireland, The Shop, The Sunday Tribune, Crannog, Iota, Fortnight, Oxford Magazine, The Ulster Tatler Literary Miscellany and The Stinging Fly.

She was a Writer-in-Residence at the Belfast Book Festival 2011. She has given many poetry readings at events and festivals, including at the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris, the Belfast Festival at Queen’s, the Belfast Book Festival and the Over The Edge Readings Series in Galway sponsored by Poetry Ireland.

She has also written for film, television and radio as Deirdre Alexander. Her short film Two Little Boys was filmed in 2012.

She has written for RTE’s Fair City and award winning Irish teen drama Seacht. She was a finalist in the inaugural Red Planet Prize, won the Claddagh Films Script Award and was a winner in the BBC Writersroom Undercover competition for staff. She was one of 12 writers from across the UK selected for Channel 4’s Screenwriting Course in 2011. She developed an original pilot script and had a script reading at Channel 4.

Her short comedy Keeping Mum was selected for BBCNI’s Funny Bones scheme and broadcast on Radio Ulster. She has also written sketches for radio. She has previously had short fiction published.

She holds an MA with Distinction in Creative Writing from Queen’s University, Belfast. She is part of Poetry Ireland’s Writers in Schools scheme. She has facilitated workshops for Poetry in Motion. She tutors for the WEA. She has also facilitated many creative writing workshops for writers’ groups and community groups.

She blogs at