Emerging Writer: Kate Dempsey

As Kate Dempsey, a blogger, prepares to launch her debut poetry collection this coming autumn, Patrick Kelleher talks to her about her career beginnings and advice to aspiring writers.

Kate Dempsey is a name you may not have heard, however she has been on the literary scene for some years now, in the shape of her blog, Emerging Writer. As she prepares to launch her debut poetry collection through Doire Press this coming Autumn, she reflects on where her passion for literature began.

“I was always a voracious reader and used to think up wacky jobs to put on my author’s profile, but I never knew any writers or believed that people like me could be a writer. Like most people of my generation, poetry was ruined for me at school by a terrible English teacher. It wasn’t until many years later, when I was forced to try a poem in a fiction workshop that I came back into the fold and starting reading again.”

She describes her poetry as “quirky” and “off the wall”, noting that she has been told she has “a habit of picking up on everyday incidents and expanding them in novel ways, creating miniature gems of acute observation on relationships or the domestic with a sprinkling of science and history.”

The blog has helped her to become better known in the wider writing community in Ireland. “I started blogging in 2007. I was trying to keep track of events, competitions and submissions calls; I kept missing deadlines. I thought that if I would find it useful to have them all in one place, perhaps some other people would too. It’s grown from there.”

Her advice to aspiring writers is refreshingly honest and concise: “Read. Read widely. Buy books. Support publishers. Go to events, network. Read. Write something every day, if you can. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t. Carry a notebook. Read.”

It’s no secret that the world of publishing is a difficult one at the moment, but Dempsey firmly believes that “really good writing, polished, clever, funny, emotional and true will get published in the end.” She concedes that it is not always that simple, either. “There are hurdles. And there is luck involved. You may have written a really good piece or poem on a seascape, say, but the publication you send it too is awash with great pieces also set at sea. That’s just luck. Read it. Edit. Send it out again somewhere else.”

There is no doubt that Dempsey’s writing career will continue to flourish, as she prepares to launch her first collection of poetry. A seasoned writer, self-described as ‘emerging’ through her blog, this writer is well and truly on the way to a successful and bright career.

Kate Dempsey runs the Poetry Divas, a collection of women poets. Their next reading takes place on Sunday 25th January at 7PM in Accents Café, Dublin, and is free-in. Her debut collection The Space Between will be released in Autumn by Doire Press. Follow her on Twitter @PoetryDivas, or like them on Facebook.