Pushed Toward the Blue Hour

"Pushed Toward the Blue Hour" is a collection of three distinctly styled poets who found their voice together in the West of Ireland. Hailing from Galway, New Zealand and Tennessee, Tracy Gaughan, Claire Loader and K.T. Slattery have been writing together for the last five years, their debut collective anthology a unique sampling of poetic voices alive to issues in contemporary women's poetry.  Thematically, the poems cover much ground: the body politic, desire, impermanence, family, absence and the weight of womanhood.  Like the poem Auguries, a deep dive into the underbelly of Galway City, each poem scratches the surface of the everyday, sifting through life to find its hidden meanings.


I take flight. This city disconcerts me. Sometimes

it’s a poet’s dream, sometimes a viper’s nest, a sewer. An abrading cart

is being pushed toward the blue hour by a garbageman: a man of litters

who studies the stars.


-Auguries, Tracy Gaughan

Tracy Gaughan

Tracy Gaughan is a writer based in Galway.  Her work has appeared in various magazines including, Crannóg, ROPES, Headstuff and Live Encounters.  A former poetry editor at The Blue Nib Literary Magazine, she holds an MA in International Literatures from the National University of Ireland, Galway.  She was a finalist in the 2020 Jacar Press Eavan Boland Award and in 2022, her poem The Wild Purge was nominated for a Forward Prize for Best Single Poem.  She is currently working on a first collection with support from the Arts Council of Ireland.  

On the Elf Hill

after Harry Clarke

They gather up their trains of silk and come to tread a measure
On the hill. The faces of girls, and stones about all wet
With moonshine. A shred of song in hissing Ash they dance
Between flower and star in gracefully woven scarves of mist.
Their innocence light, moth feet on skin. The boys drinking

To brotherhood, backs pressed up to stone-cold walls watching
The girls spin, round and round in silver-gold flames of fire.
They fall like motes in sudden cockcrow terrain, polished
With butter, with innocent virgin light. One boy wraps his coat
About a girl and carries her away. Light as a feather.
Weightless as a dream.

Claire Loader

Claire Loader is a New Zealand born writer and photographer now living in Galway. A Forward and Pushcart Prize nominee, her work has been widely published in magazines and anthologies, including Poetry Bus, Splonk, Crannóg and Skylight47. She won the Women Speak Poetry Competition in 2019 and her story, Return, was shortlisted for the Allingham Flash Fiction Prize in the same year.  She tweets occasionally @msloader.

Winter’s Fruit


When evening comes I go to the orchard, tiptoe

between the wintering hedgerows, slip the fallen wall. 


Silence waits upon the stone façade, the naked trees,

invisible leaves, promises of change.


It is in nesting we find hope, the dark days

of winter that offer the most.  I do not care as much


for an orchard full of fruit, the luscious ripe skin of an apple,

the soft green of a pear, grass strewn with too much to carry. 


Ahead lies only the decay of flesh, an end.  In winter

we are always beginning. 


K.T. Slattery

K.T. Slattery is a Galway based writer, originally from Memphis, Tennessee. Her work has appeared in Ropes Literary Journal, The Blue Nib, Streetcake, Planet in Peril Anthology, and various other magazines and anthologies. She received a special mention in the 2020 Desmond O’Grady Poetry Competition and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2021.

On the Eve of the Eve of my 39th Birthday


No, it was not a heart-attack.

Just an overfilled balloon

sitting inside my chest,

‘Anxiety’ written on its side

in large comic sans—

preventing the natural course of


afraid to breathe in

lest my rib cage explode

onto the dash of

my first new car.


Terror like I have never

known, leaving me

on the side of the road,

hazards flashing

in perfect rhythm,

until my hand was

steady enough to

turn them off,


pull back onto

the dark, lonely

road before me.