Pádraig Ó Tuama


Poet and theologian, Pádraig Ó Tuama’s work centres around themes of language, power, conflict and religion. For Ó Tuama, religion, conflict, power and poetry all circle around language, that original sacrament. Working fluently on the page and in public, he is a compelling poet and skilled speaker, teacher and group worker. He presents Poetry Unbound with On Being Studios. From 2014-2019 he was the leader of the Corrymeela Community, Ireland’s oldest peace and reconciliation community. With undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in theology, multiple professional qualifications in conflict mediation (specialising in groups), he also holds a PhD (Poetry & Theology) from the University of Glasgow. Ó Tuama’s published work incorporates poetry, prose, and theology. In addition to appearing regularly on national radio stations (Ireland, the UK, the US, Australia) his poetry has been featured in Poetry Ireland Review, Academy of American Poets, Raidio Teilifís Éireann’s Poem of the Week, Kenyon Review, the New England Review of Books and others.

The Lifeline

Here is what I know: when 

that bell tolls again, I 

need to go and make something,

anything: a poem, a pie, a terrible

scarf with my terrible knitting, I 

need to write a letter, remind myself

of any little lifeline around me.


When death sounds, I forget most

of what I learnt before. I go below. 

I compare my echoes with other people’s 

happiness. I carve that hole in my own 

chest again, pull out all my organs once

again, wonder if they’ll ever work again

stuff them back again. Begin. Again.






Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Death & Loss

Mental Health

Literary Devices:


the absence of a conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so…) between phrases and within a sentence


the repetition of a word or phrase at the end of successive clauses

Varied syntax

diverse sentence structure