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Emma Must


Home: Welcome

Emma Must is a poet living in Belfast. Formerly a full-time environmental campaigner, in 2021 she completed a PhD in English (Creative Writing) at Queen’s University Belfast, focusing on ecopoetry and ecocriticism.

Her debut poetry pamphlet Notes on the Use of the Austrian Scythe (2015) won the Templar Portfolio Award. Her poem ‘Toll’ won the Environmental Defenders Prize in the 2019 Ginkgo Prize for Ecopoetry.  

Emma's first full-length poetry collection, The Ballad of Yellow Wednesday  – reflecting on her involvement in the anti-road protests at Twyford Down, near Winchester, in the early 1990s  –  was published by Valley Press on 8 December 2022, and launched that evening at No Alibis Bookstore, Belfast.

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January/February 2023

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Resurgence and Ecologist magazine 

Issue 336
Jan/Feb 2023

includes 'The Colour of its Voice'  –

an article by Emma about writing her debut poetry collection, The Ballad of Yellow Wednesday (Valley Press, December 2022)

Home: Work

January -- April 2023



Poetry Jukebox curation

with Maria McManus 

and Institute for Global Food Security 

at Queen's University Belfast


Midnight, Sunday 22 January 2023

Ever since William Blake desired ‘To see a World in a Grain of Sand / And a Heaven in a Wild Flower’, poets have been shedding light on things by looking closely at small natural objects.

This edition of Poetry Jukebox will be curated by poets Emma Must & Maria McManus. They welcome poems (one per poet) that connect with the theme of ‘Forage’: poems about leaves, flowers, berries, stones, moss; poems which pay detailed attention to the natural world around us.

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Winter 2022


The Book of Life:

Poems to Tide You Over 

edited by Grace Wells 

published by Dedalus Press

11 November 2022

 includes Emma's poem 'After Ophelia'

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Autumn 2022

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Vital Signs 

Poems of Illness and Healing

edited by Martin Dyar

published by Poetry Ireland

12 October 2022

Poems by Eavan Boland, Raymond Carver, Imtiaz Dharker, Vona Groarke, Seamus Heaney, Miroslav Holub, Patrick Kavanagh, Paula Meehan, Paul Muldoon, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill and many others, including Emma's poem 'Sirens'.


Spring / Summer 2022



Issue #13 

Spring/Summer 2022

Includes a new poem from Emma's forthcoming sequence
'The Finds'

What Northern Ireland Means to Me

edited by Allan Leonard and Julia Paul 

Published April 2022

Shared Future News

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Winter 2021 / 2022

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Under the Radar 

Issue 28

January 2022

Includes a new poem 'Bourne'.

What Northern Ireland Means to Me

Shared Future News


8 January 2022

Presented by Julia Paul. Photos by Allan Leonard.


The North

Issue 67

January 2022

Includes a new poem 'Scales'.


Issue 10

December 2021

Edited by Mícheál McCann. The issue features poets and poetry in Northern Ireland, 2021. Includes a new poem 'Gongoozling'.


Hold Open the Door

Museum of Literature Ireland


December 2021

Poets Bebe Ashley, Emma Must and Sinéad Morrissey in conversation. Presented by Professor Margaret Kelleher of UCD. Hold Open the Door is a commemorative anthology from the Ireland Chair of Poetry and UCD Press, published in 2020. 

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Out of Time: Poetry from the Climate Emergency


'Toll', winner of the Environmental Defenders Prize in the 2019 Ginkgo Prize, is included in Out of Time: Poetry from the Climate Emergency, edited by Kate Simpson (Valley Press, July 2021). 

- an Autumn 2021 Poetry Book Society Special Commendation

- one of 'The best poetry books of 2021', Guardian, 6 December 2021

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Home: Latest Work
Notebook and Pen


Thanks for submitting!

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Emma acknowledges the kind assistance and support of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Author photos by Jonathan Ryder

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