Poetry from Jo Burns
Jo Burns, award-winning poet

Jo Burns’ poetry has won and been short-listed for many awards. Among her achievements, she was a winner in: 
• the Shirley McClure Poetry Prize at the Irish Writers Festival in Los Gatos, CA 
• Eyewear Fortnight Prize
• Magma Judges’ Prize Poetry Competition 2018.

In addition, she was

• placed third in the Strokestown International Poetry Prize, 2018 
• one of Eyewear Publishing’s Best British and Irish Poets 2017
• shortlisted for the Belfast Book Festival Mairtin Crawford Award 2017
• shortlisted for the Over the Edge New Writer of the Year
• a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee.

Born in Northern Ireland, Jo lives in Germany where she works as a freelance translator, board member for a foundation supporting rural development projects in East Africa and India, and raising three teenagers.


Turas Press published Jo’s first full collection, White Horses, in 2018. You can buy it from our  online shop.

Eyewear Publishing  brought out Jo’s pamphlet, Circling for Gods in spring 2018.

In 2018, Jo won the  Irish Writing in Germany Award  for her poem “Hard Borders”.

In Sept 2019, her poem “The Terminal 1 Smoking Lounge” on the theme of “Truth” was a winner in the Poetry Society Members’ Room Competition.   

"Hard Borders", powm by Jo Burns

Reviews of Jo’s work

Jaki McCarrick reviews “Burns’ remarkable début” in Poetry Ireland Review 128, p 42

Dick Edelstein says “Her poetry, timely in form as well as content, reflects her identity as a global writer and Irish poet reporting from the crossroads of the current moment.”

       from “Surveying the Wreckage” by Dick Edelstein, Dublin Review of Books, Issue 106, December 18th Dublin Review of Books, Issue 106, December 18th

Moyra Donaldon in the The Bangor Literary Journal February 2019, says  White Horses is ” an impressive début, intertwining the personal with the political and social,” the poems “moving and memorable, but also balanced and accomplished, with an obvious love for language and the meaning of words.” 

Interview: poetry and the creative process

Rob McLennan’s interview with Jo (October 16th, 2018) gives interesting insights into Jo’s creative process: to read it, visit Rob McLennan’s Blog

Jo’s work on radio: The Poetry Programme, RTÉ Radio 1

Radio Telefís Éireann (RTÉ) broadcast Jo’s poem “Christmas Shelter” in The Poetry Programme on Christmas Day, 2018

The programme is an hour long. You can find “Christmas Shelter” at 0:32.28.