Colin Dardis is a poet, editor, freelance arts facilitator, creative writing tutor and mental health advocate, based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He is one of Eyewear Publishing's Best New British and Irish Poets 2016, and currently an ACES (Artists Career Enhancement Scheme) '15-16 recipient from Arts Council Northern Ireland.
Colin is also the founder of Poetry NI and online editor for Lagan Press. 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. 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, European Heritage Open Days, Funeral Services Northern Ireland National Poetry Competition, John Hewitt Society, Newcastle Arts Festival, Open Arts, Stendhal Festival of Art, Translink NI and more.
He acknowledges the kind support of the Arts Council Northern Ireland through their Support for the Individual Artist Programme.
For enquiries and bookings, email colonyink [at] yahoo [dot] co [dot] uk.
The Poetry Review Tullycarnet Library
Thursday 28th May
ACES Literary Salon, Belfast Book Festival,
Crescent Arts Centre, Sun 12th June, 1.30pm
How The Story Ends, Black Box, Belfast,
Friday 1st July (time to be confirmed)
Short written written by Colin, produced by Lunchbox Theatre
At the Edge, Cavan Library
Tuesday 30th August
'Missed Fight' - Longlisted for Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing 2016
'A Fusion' - winner of Glebe House Harmony Trust poetry competition 2015
('In Equal Measure' also shortlisted)
Artists Career Enhancement Scheme (ACES) 2015-16, Arts Council Northern Ireland
'Light Source' - winner of Fun Palaces #WriteScience Poetry Competition 2015
'Mountaineering' shortlisted for Dermot Healy International Poetry Competition 2015.
'Comet' - longlisted for Allingham Arts Festival Poetry Prize 2014
'Perhaps' - winner of Edit Red Writers' Choice Award for Poetry 2006.