Colin Dardis is a poet, editor, arts facilitator and sound artist based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. His latest collection, The Dogs of Humanity, was released in Aug '19 from Fly on the Wall Poetry.
Colin co-runs Poetry NI, a multimedia platform for poetry, alongside his wife, Geraldine O'Kane. His work has been published widely throughout Ireland, the UK and the US.
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. Previously, Colin was also one of Eyewear Publishing's Best New British and Irish Poets 2016, editor for Lagan Online, and an ACES '15-16 recipient from Arts Council Northern Ireland.
In 2018, Colin was commissioned by ACNI and NICON to write a poem for the 70th anniversary of the NHS. In 2019, his poem Affinity - commissioned by CO3 and ACNI- was presented to Senator George Mitchell at an award event to honour his leadership role in peacebuilding within Northern Ireland.
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.
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, Music In Mind Festival, Newcastle Arts Festival, Open Arts, Open House Festival, Over The Edge, Poetry Ireland, Stendhal Festival of Art, Translink NI, Verbal Arts Centre and more.