Colin Dardis is a neurodivergent writer, editor, arts facilitator and sound artist from Northern Ireland.
His work, largely influenced by his experiences with depression and Asperger's, has been published widely throughout Ireland, the UK and USA, and shortlisted for the Erbacce Prize, Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing, and Over The Edge New Writer of the Year Award, amongst others.
Previous collections include All This Light To See The Dead (Rancid Idols Productions, 2022), Endless Flower (Rancid Idols Productions, 2021) and The Dogs of Humanity (Fly on the Wall Press, 2019, shortlisted for Best Poetry Pamphlet, Saboteur Awards 2020).
His sound art project DARDIS has released over 20 albums and eps from aquietroom, 1tracktape, Default Standard Records and Rancid Idols. His latest album, a long-form ambient piece, is Back To Work (1tracktape, 2021).
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 charity readings and work in this field.
As an MC, Colin has hosted hundreds of events including open mics, slams and readings across Ireland. He 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. From 2012 to 2020, he was the editor for FourXFour, an online quarterly poetry journal.
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. Previously, Colin has also been the editor for Lagan Online, and an ACES '15-16 recipient from Arts Council Northern Ireland.
Colin has read, ran workshops and facilitated events with an array of festivals, literary organisations and charities: All Ireland Poetry Slam, Arts & Disability Forum (now University of Atypical), Aspects Festival, BBC Northern Ireland, Belfast Book Festival, Belly Laughs Comedy Festival, Community Arts Partnership, Cooperation and Working Together (CAWT), Creative Writers Network, Crescent Arts Centre, CS Lewis Festival, Eastside Arts, ERC Voices, European Heritage Open Days, First Fortnight, 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 many more.
Colin acknowledges the kind support of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland through their Arts Career Enhancement Scheme and Support for the Individual Artist Programme.