Erin Halliday was born in Belfast in 1982, and studied Classics and English at Queen’s University, before taking an MA in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry. After a brief career in Horticulture, she returned to Queen’s to gain her Ph.D in Creative Writing, researching theories of translation with regard to Latin poetry.
Her poetry has appeared in Cyphers, FourXFour, Poetry & Audience, Poetry Proper and The Yellow Nib. In 2012, her pamphlet Chrysalis won the Templar Poetry Pamphlet & Collection Awards. In 2013, she received a Support for the Individual Artist Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland to fund the completion of her first collection, Pharmakon, published by Templar in 2015. She was a 2015 recipient of the Arts Council’s ACES Award, which funded the commencement of work upon her second collection.
Erin is a teacher of English and Classical Civilisation. She lives in County Down and teaches at a local grammar school. Most recently, she was featured in Blackstaff Press’s 2016 New Poets from the North of Ireland anthology, and The Bangor Book, a compilation of writing celebrating 25 years of the Aspects Literary Festival.
Speaking about her work Paula Meehan commented that ‘her poetry is erudite, passionate, powerful and achieved. She is a poet who serves language with great elan and with great integrity. The range of her skills, interests, themes and topics is both extensive and surprising; I have every confidence that she will develop into one of the finest poets of the rising generation’.
The Ulster Museum
I opened twelve drawers on the third floor
before I found Delias spp. at the bottom
eleven of them under glass.
Black tails, ochre eyespots, chinked wings veined like orange segments
yellow or blood red where forewing meets hindwing
or perfectly white stripeless, paper dolls dipped in crimson paint.
I can’t find Ulysses. In the top drawer an imposter glows
not just as bright. The dream speaks of the Amazon, royal blue
pinned sideways catching the fluorescent light, Morpho rhetenor.
Pharmakon was launched at Keats House on Tuesday 30th June 2015