Síofra McSherry is a Northern Irish poet and critic based in London. Her pamphlet Requiem was the Poetry Book Society Spring 2020 Pamphlet Choice. She is the current recipient of the Professor Barbara Raw Scholarship for Creative Writing at Royal Holloway.

Síofra graduated with a first in English from Christ Church, Oxford University, and she holds a PhD in American Literature.

Her criticism has been featured in Poetry London, Poetry Wales, this is tomorrow, and the TLS.


Written in memory of her mother, who died of motor neurone disease in 2012, the twelve poems of Requiem roughly cover the timespan of an illness, death, and burial. The formal structure is based on the Catholic Requiem Mass as it has been set as a choral piece by Giuseppe Verdi, Gabriel Fauré, Maurice Duruflé, and many others. The poems quote from other classical and folk works about the underworld and the passage into death, juxtaposing the engagement with the old text with modern references.

With black-and-white illustrations by Emma Wright.

Poetry Book Society Choice, 2020

Ghost Methods

In Ghost Methods Síofra McSherry presents a complex and loving portrait of Sean Bonney, one that is both personal and political, where death is difficult not in the leaving, but in ‘the staying gone’. Here, in these outraged and beautiful poems, McSherry reminds us of the urgency of keeping the fire burning, of the importance of honoring those who have passed, of the significance of the moment that takes friends home, of the grace of the day.

With an introduction by Frank Kelleter.

PRAISE for Síofra McSherry:

a quite magical way with the words.

— Peter Conrad

With anger and humour, prose and verse, Ghost Methods squares up to death in restless, unpredictable poems that are brimming with life. It’s a fitting tribute to a much-missed, fearless poet.

— Tristram Fane Saunders, The Rake

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