Colette Bryce

One of Val McDermid’s selected writers for the International Literature Showcase


“The deceptive simplicity of her language disguises a profound engagement with identity.”

Val McDermid

Poet – lover of the singing line – long lost Derry girl

Colette Bryce is a poet from Derry, Northern Ireland. She has lived in England since her student days and has published four collections with Picador, including The Full Indian Rope Trick (2004) and Self-Portrait in the Dark (2008). Her latest, The Whole & Rain-domed Universe (2014), which draws on her experience of growing up during the Troubles, received a Ewart-Biggs Award in memory of Seamus Heaney. Selected Poems, drawing on all her books, was winner of the Pigott Prize for Poetry 2018. Colette was Poetry Editor at Poetry London from 2009-2013, and currently works as a freelance writer, mentor and editor. A new collection, The M Pages, is forthcoming in 2020.

Read an interview with Colette at Poetry London

“Colette Bryce writes poems her readers will remember, and Selected Poems is one of those books that you might buy someone as a gift, but end up keeping for yourself. Her perfect images are the starting point for discoveries we seem to fall into as we read the poems.” Irish Times

“In The Whole & Rain-Domed Universe, Bryce foregrounds the female line in Irish writing. This is a book which quietly and fiercely and with great lyricism and nerve reinvents her relationship as a woman to both poetry and history.” PBS Selectors comment

“These are unflinching, brutally honest poems. They have been expertly collated, too, and are placed beside each other logically and fluidly, as if chapters in a novel or memoir. It is an outstanding collection […] Overall, the reader senses that Bryce has mined the darkest corners of her past for this material – and though revisiting the world of her childhood and teens in a very particular part of the world, blighted as it was by the Troubles, she still achieves, with every single poem, a clamouring universality.” Jaki McCarrick, Trumpet, Poetry Ireland

“A deft, important collection – lyrical yet grounded, playful but resonant.” Costa Awards judges 2014

“Bryce’s vision is questing, disquieting. She seeks out the truths of life and love that transform the human heart. [The Full Indian Rope Trick] is a confident, complex, subversive collection that shows us the magic by which one becomes a mature poet.” Rachel Campbell-Johnston, The Times

Lesbian and gay experience knows no borders. Whether we make it our subject directly or slant, it informs the angle on the world presented in our art. I’m thrilled to be given this opportunity to branch out towards new international connections.



  • 2017 – Selected Poems, Picador
  • 2014 – The Whole & Rain-domed Universe, Picador
  • 2008 – Self-Portrait in the Dark, Picador
  • 2007 – The Observations of Aleksandr Svetlov (pamphlet), Donut Press
  • 2004 – The Full Indian Rope Trick, Picador
  • 2000 – The Heel of Bernadette, Picador

Contact Colette



mail: [email protected]


Picador, Alice Dewing