God, púcas, jiving factory girls, a crocodile-wielding father, long-lost lives and equally long-lost multinationals all form part of the brilliant world of Rita Ann Higgins’s collection of essays and poems, Hurting God – Part Essay Part Rhyme. As well as highlighting Rita Ann’s unique voice, this book gives a special insight into how closely prose and poetry can work together to bring a perspective that enables deep understanding.
For over two decades Rita Ann Higgins has been a poetic voice for the voiceless. This is as true in her plays as in her poetry. Now, in these essays, which together form a poetic memoir, she shows yet again that she is one of the best contemporary Irish writers.
"Higgins’s work does not function to keep anyone out, but invite them to sit on the back wall with her, looking in all directions from this edge."
Moynagh Sullivan, National University of Ireland, Maynooth
Rita Ann Higgins was born in 1955 in Galway, Ireland. She divides her time between Galway City and Spiddal, County Galway. Her first five collections were published by Salmon: Goddess on the Mervue Bus (1986); Witch in the Bushes (1988); Goddess and Witch (1990); Philomena’s Revenge (1992); and Higher Purchase (1996). Bloodaxe Books published her next three collections: Sunny Side Plucked (1996); An Awful Racket (2001); and Throw in the Vowels: New & Selected Poems in May 2005 to mark her 50th birthday. Her plays include: Face Licker Come Home (Salmon 1991); God of the Hatch Man (1992), Colie Lally Doesn’t Live in a Bucket (1993); and Down All the Roundabouts (1999). In 2004, she wrote a screenplay entitled The Big Break. In 2008 she wrote a play, The Empty Frame, inspired by Hanna Greally, and in 2008 a play for radio, The Plastic Bag. She has edited: Out the Clara Road: The Offaly Anthology in 1999; and Word and Image: a collection of poems from Sunderland Women’s Centre and Washington Bridge Centre (2000). She co-edited FIZZ: Poetry of resistance and challenge, an anthology written by young people, in 2004. She was Galway County’s Writer-in-Residence in 1987, Writer-in-Residence at the National University of Ireland, Galway, in 1994-95, and Writer-in-Residence for Offaly County Council in 1998-99. She was Green Honors Professor at Texas Christian University in October 2000. She won the Peadar O’Donnell Award in 1989 and has received several Arts Council of Ireland bursaries.