Breda Sullivan

Breda Sullivan was born in Athlone in 1945. Having trained as a teacher she came to Streete on the Longford/Westmeath border at the age of twenty to take up a position in the local school. Marriage and children interrupted her writing career until 1987 when she joined the Granard Writers’ Group.

Prizes soon followed for her poetry including awards in The Gerard Manley Poetry Competition in 1990 and 1992, The South Tipperary Literary Festival in 1991, the National Women’s Poetry Competition in 1990 and the Syllables Poetry Competition shortly after. Other awards soon followed including that of the Kerry International Summer School (1995); Boyle Arts Festival (1996); The Edgeworth Prize; and the National Women’s Poetry Competition (1998). Her debut collection, A Smell of Camphor, was published by Salmon Press in 1992.

Her second collection, After the Ball, was published by Salmon Press in 1998 and added to her reputation. Again the collection received critical acclaim with Gabriel Rosenstock in The Poetry Supplement of Education Today praising her unique voice: “Her poems ring perfectly true and clear; they are simple but well-wrought and linger long and profoundly in the mind.” Her poetry has now been translated into French. Of her third collection, Sculpture in Black Ice, published by Salmon in 2004, it was written: “If pure poetry conveys something that could never be said in prose, Sullivan provides it often.”(The Stinging Fly, Spring 2006)