Whalers, Witches and Gauchos explores narratives of displacement, the way we navigate between countries and cultures, and how where we come from makes us who we are. Using her Basque ancestors as a point of reference – these same whalers, witches and gauchos who travelled to the other side of the world or were persecuted – Irigaray conjures up her memories of living in the Basque Country, France, Ireland, Italy and the UK.
This pamphlet depicts what it is to migrate between places and languages seeking homes that can both sustain us and allow us to grow. Irigaray's experiences abroad aroused her interest in languages, identity and multicultural backgrounds, recurrent themes in her work. She is intrigued by the morphing of one’s identity as a foreigner, the feeling of homesickness
and the rejection of either the native or adopted country. She is especially interested in this phenomenon in relation to writers and finding
the evidence of this influence in their work.
Pre-order copies of Whalers, Witches and Gauchos can be made here. Orders will be received by the launch date of April 30th
Julie Irigaray is a Basque poet who divides her time between the UK and the Basque Country. Born and raised in the south-west of France, she writes about her native region as well as Paris, Dublin, Bologna and London, where she has lived. She teaches creative writing at City Lit where she facilitates poetry workshops for beginner and advanced levels. She is currently doing a PhD in English Literature on Sylvia Plath’s complex relationship with England at the University of Huddersfield. She is part of Voicing our Silences, a collective of poets who write about different or difficult materials and aim at raising awareness about these issues.
Her poems appeared internationally (UK, USA, Ireland, Canada, Mexico, South Korea, Singapore) in Ambit; Magma; Stand; The White Review; Mslexia; harana poetry; Ink, Sweat and Tears; Banshee; and Southword, among others.
She has been published in the Best New British and Irish Poets 2018 Anthology (Eyewear Publishing). She has been the second and third prize winner of the 2018 and 2017
Winchester Writers' Festival Poetry Prize. She is the finalist of fifteen prizes, including: The 2020 Ambit Magazine Poetry Prize, The White Review Poet’s Prize 2019, The Indigo-First Pamphlet Competition 2020, The Geoff Stevens Memorial Poetry Prize 2020, The Fool for Poetry International Chapbook Competition 2019, The Mairtín Crawford Poetry Award 2018, The 2017/2018 New Poets Prize, The 2017 Over the Edge New Writer of the Year, and The
London Magazine Poetry Prize 2016.