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Alice Kinsella

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Alice Kinsella

Born in Dublin and raised in Co. Mayo, Alice’s work has been published in The Irish Times, Poetry Ireland Review, RTÉ, Banshee, and The North, among others.

Her pamphlet Sexy Fruit (Broken Sleep Books) was a Poetry Book Society Spring 2019 Selection. She is the editor of Empty House: poetry and prose on the climate crisis (Doire Press, 2021). She graduated from TCD in 2016 with a BA in English Literature and Philosophy, and from NUIG in 2018 with an MA in Writing. She received support from Words Ireland and The Arts Council of Ireland to complete her first full-length poetry collection. Alice won the inaugural AIS alumni creative writing award for her first piece of creative non-fiction. She currently lives on the west coast of Ireland.

Her memoir Milk: On Motherhood and Madness, about a woman’s first year of motherhood described as “urgent, moving and exceptional” was published by Picador in March 2023.

Commissioning Editor Gillian Fitzgerald-Kelly said “I couldn’t be happier to welcome Alice to the Picador list. There is so much wonderful writing coming out of Ireland and Milk is a magnificent example. What struck me most when reading is how deftly Alice taps into the soft, gentle and intimate first year of motherhood whilst also tackling the reality of having children in contemporary Ireland. I was mesmerised by Alice’s writing; it has a brilliant quality to it which combines a poetic sensibility with urgent, moving and exceptional prose and I was delighted to see the same level of enthusiasm and determination to publish Alice’s memoir across the wider team.”

Praise for Milk: On Motherhood and Madness

Milk is a raw, unvarnished journey down the mothering rabbit holeWith its lyrical power, intimacy and political top-notes, Milk is already being compared to works by Doireann Ní Ghríofa, Kerri ní Dochartaigh and Emilie Pine”

The Irish Independent

“This is a book for the ages. It truly is mesmeric, stunningly beautiful, open and intense, revelatory and generous. I love the short bursts, and the sublime way that Alice ranges through life, mental health, art, society, and all the vast complexities, the dangers, the 'pull and sway' of motherhood. I knew what an incredible writer Alice was before I started but this surpasses my highest expectations”

Donal Ryan, author of Strange Flowers

“A radiant, meditative, truly powerful and beautiful book”

Joseph O'Connor, author of Star of the Sea

“Wielding a panoply of shattered literary forms, Alice Kinsella expertly depicts the gradual disintegration of a woman into the motherbaby dyad. MILK is an important addition to the growing canon of work about the physical, political, and philosophical destabilization of motherhood”

Sarah Manguso, author of Very Cold People

“Milk is a brilliantly original examination of motherhood, a book like no other on the subject. With a poet's eye and in gorgeous prose it brings us close up to the anxieties, frustrations, joys and world-expanding drama of bringing new life into an uncertain world” 

Mike McCormack, author of Solar Bones

“I don’t think I’ve ever been more consumed by a book before. I devoured it. It took hold of me, curled right up in beside my bones. A book of women and water , babies and art - the herstory of Ireland - but mostly this is a book about the raw, riotous, brutally beautiful act of being alive. Kinsella manages something rare here; weaving her own story so exquisitely with that of both the human and non human world she is part of. Reading her words on mothering and creating - on care and hope- was an incredibly healing thing indeed”

Kerri ní Dochartaigh, author of Thin Places


Rick O'Shea

“Milk is mesmerizing, comforting, angering, delicate, tough, perceptive, funny and clever. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. Every page. Every word. Every moment. Every mother, every son, every father, every daughter, every Irish person, every human needs to read this glorious book”

Sarah Moore Fitzgerald, author of All The Money in The World

“Milk is beautifully written - by a poet, clearly, but with no indulgence or digression into ornament, only strangeness and a kind of stylistic purity, like a chime”

Niamh Campbell, author of This Happy

“Alice Kinsella traverses the terrors of the mind, the responsibilities of love, and the dark concealments of history with a powerful skill. On motherhood, the body and social taboo, Milk is a bright, captivating reckoning”

Seán Hewitt, author of All Down Darkness Wide

“Milk is a lyrical meditation on the impossible beauty and impossible strangeness of motherhood. With immersive and exquisite prose, Kinsella leads us through the Mother World and, while her words often evoke the sublime, Kinsella does not recoil from examining its underbelly of misogyny – still present in spite of supposed progress. Riveting and vital”

Sophie White

Alice talks about her new memoir, Milk: On Motherhood and Madness, which records her struggles with mental health after a traumatic birth

Rights Sold

Picador (World Languages, Excluding North American English)

Photo credit: Paul Kinsella

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