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The Emma Press





Requiem is a short pamphlet of mourning poems by Síofra McSherry. With illustrations by Emma Wright.

“My aunts strung together rosaries to hang
across the silence, as they did while Carmel died,
and Brigid, Joseph, Mary, and James. Gentle
lamb, who takes away the sins of all the world,
speak; tell us why you too are silent.”

The PBS Spring Pamphlet Choice

Page count: 36

Paperback ISBN: 9781912915408

Publication date: 5th December 2019

Síofra McSherry

Based in Berlin, Síofra McSherry was born in Newry, Northern Ireland. She earned her PhD in American Literature from the Freie Universität Berlin in 2017. Síofra completed a BA English at the University of Oxford and received her MA from University College London. She has published her poems in anthologies including The Salt Book of Younger Poets (Salt 2011), Bird Book (Sidekick Books 2011) Sylvia is Missing (Flarestack 2012) and journals including Poetry Wales, Poems in Which, Foam:e, Abraxas, and Hysteria.


Written in memory of her mother, who died of motor neurone disease in 2012, the twelve poems of Requiem roughly cover the timespan of an illness, death, and burial. The formal structure is based on the Catholic Requiem Mass as it has been set as a choral piece by Giuseppe Verdi, Gabriel Fauré, Maurice Duruflé, and many others. The poems quote from other classical and folk works about the underworld and the passage into death, juxtaposing the engagement with the old text with modern references.

With black-and-white illustrations by Emma Wright.

‘Síofra McSherry’s Requiem journeys to the underworld in a (w)rite for a death that is a birth that is a death that is a birth… The waymarkers are tactile offerings of love. I find in these underground hymns a poesis after sparagmos and a feeling that we are “red with the world”. Or read with the word?’ – Nia Davies

‘Irreverence, defiance and love… McSherry’s use of irreverent incongruity evokes the simultaneous banality and gravity of death.’Sphinx

Watch Síofra McSherry read from Requiem:

Additional information

Dimensions 11 × 17.8 cm

Print, eBook

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