Colin Dardis is a poet, editor, freelance arts facilitator, creative writing tutor and mental health advocate, based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He was one of Eyewear Publishing's Best New British and Irish Poets 2016, and an ACES '15-16 recipient from Arts Council Northern Ireland. A collection with Eyewear, the x of y, is forthcoming in 2018.
Colin is also the founder of Poetry NI and online editor for Lagan Online. His work has been published widely throughout Ireland, the UK and USA.
Known for his devotion to building up and supporting Northern Irish poets, Colin started publishing Speech Therapy Poetry Zine in 2005, and launched the Make Yourself Heard open mic nights in 2006 in the renown Cathedral Quarter of Belfast, at a time when the city had no live poetry scene to speak of outside of the universities, and very few platforms for poets to engage in and showcase their work.
In October 2011, he co-founded the popular Purely Poetry monthly event in the Crescent Arts Centre, building it up to become a cornerstone in the NI literary scene through open mics and poetry slams. In July 2012, the first issue of FourXFour was released, an online quarterly poetry journal, with each issue showcasing four poems each from four poets within Northern Ireland.
In February 2014, he founded Poetry NI, a multi-media, multi-project platform for poetry in Northern Ireland. Co-run with partner Geraldine O'Kane, this brought together Purely Poetry and FourXFour alongside other projects, as well as launching Pen Points Press, a poetry micro-press, at the Belfast Book Festival.
Having had a speech impediment when younger, attending speech therapy classes throughout primary school, Colin's initial interest in language and words grew out of these formative experiences. His personal history of depression and mental illness is also an ongoing influence on his work, which has led to a number of poetry-related charity readings and work in this field.
Colin has read, ran workshops and facilitated events with an array of festivals, literary organisations and businesses: All Ireland Poetry Slam, Arts & Disability Forum, Aspects Festival, BBC Northern Ireland, Belfast Book Festival, Belly Laughs Comedy Festival, Community Arts Partnership, Creative Writers Network, Crescent Arts Centre, CS Lewis Festival, Eastside Arts, ERC Voices, European Heritage Open Days, Funeral Services Northern Ireland National Poetry Competition, Holocaust Memorial Day, John Hewitt Society, Newcastle Arts Festival, Open Arts, Over The Edge, Poetry Ireland, Stendhal Festival of Art, Translink NI, Verbal Arts Centre and more.
New release - 'Post-Truth Blues'
'Post-Truth Blues', a mini-collection of a dozen anti-Trump poems, is now available from Locofo Chaps, an imprint of Moria Books. Download for free from their website, or order as a chapbook.
Takin the Mic at Dublin Book Festival
Friday 3rd November, 7pm
Boys’ School, Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin
Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast
Friday 10th November, 8.30pm
Launch of Metamorphic: 21st Century Poets respond to Ovid
Poetry Ireland, Parnell Square East, Dublin
Wednesday 29th November, 7pm