Phil Lynch started writing poetry as a teenager and in the years following was involved in readings (including what became known as the Tara Telephone poetry readings) and the organization of poetry and music events. He also had work published and broadcast in those early years. He maintained an interest in writing and performing while getting on with the rest of his life, including several years living outside of Ireland, but it was a fairly sporadic involvement.
On returning to Dublin in late 2009 he cranked up the intensity of his writing activity and began performing his poetry at events and festivals around Ireland. Since then, he has had work published in a range of literary journals and anthologies. His first full poetry collection, In a Changing Light, (Salmon Poetry), was published in 2016.
Phil’s poetry has been featured on national and local radio in Ireland including on programmes such as the Arena Arts Show, The Poetry Programme, Sunday Miscellany and The Documentary on One. He has been shortlisted in a number of poetry competitions and was a runner-up in the iYeats Poetry Competition in 2014.
In 2018 he was the winner of the Intercompetitive Poetry Competition, a performance event of several rounds in which competitors to progress to the next stage were selected by means of a secret audience ballot on each occasion.
As well as performing at numerous poetry/spoken word events and festivals in Ireland (including Electric Picnic Festival, Bray Literary Festival, Cuirt International Literary Festival (Spoken Word Platform), Dublin Book Festival, St. Patrick’s Festival, Ennistymon Book Festival, Red Line Book Festival, First Fortnight Festival), Phil has performed at events in London, Brussels, Paris, New York and Washington DC. Phil was a co-founder and member of the organising committee of LINGO, the first international spoken word festival in Ireland, and is a member of Dalkey Writers Workshop.
Balcony TV video: If St. Patrick could see us now
Live performance: In a Changing Light
Listen to Phil on Spotify: My Wife Thinks I’m at a Poetry Reading
It was nearly dark
when he came in from the fields
tired from the toils of the day
ready to complain
about the Tilley lamp still unlit,
would he have to light it himself
he asked of no one in particular.
In the shadow of an empty space
beneath the stairs
I stood primed.
The men with the metal boots,
their belts heavy as a gunslinger’s,
had spent what seemed like years
digging holes to plant the creosote forest
that stretched across the countryside,
with giant spools of wire unfurled
along roads and lanes and fields.
I marvelled at how they scaled
the heights of those black poles
and worked at right angles to the ground
In the countdown to dusk I waited
finger on the switch
as if to take its pulse
or like some general in the Kremlin
with his thumb on the red button
waiting for the order to push.
The pre-determined signal came
from my mother at the table
and with all the strength
in my bony digit
I flicked the magic switch.