Friday, 31 October 2008

Poetry Reading in Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown

Dún Laoghaire Rathdown Library Voices

Two of Ireland's major poets, Gerald Dawe and Brendan Kennelly, in the company of Leontia Flynn, recent winner of the prestigious Rooney Prize for Literature 2008. Leontia's latest collection from Cape is entitled Drives (2008). Gerald's is Points West from Gallery Press (2008.) Described by one critic as Ireland's "most endearing and reckless poet" Brendan Kennelly has been enchanting reading audiences for longer than he cares to remember.

How: Tickets from DLR libraries 5 Euro or call DLR Library HQ on 01-2781788.
When: Wednesday, November 5th (7.30pm)
Where: County Hall Dún Laoghaire

By the way, the same night

5 November at 6.30 p.m.
Book Launch
Emerging Writers: A collection
Admission Free

In the Irish Writers Centre. This is NOTHING TO DO WITH ME! yes, a fruitless attempt to leap on to my famous coattails, thwarted online.
I have no idea who it is though...

More on Poetry as Public Art

More thoughts on poetry as public art after this post

(I started writing it as a response to on a small island's comment but it got all long!)

The bluechrome blog says National Poetry Day is a waste of time because the general public (GP)consider poetry to be unloveable and don't want to spend the time to understand the linguistic/stylistic intricacies. So it's a waste of time and money.

Isn't the whole point to expose the GP to poetry that is lovable and too-clever-by-half? That poetry didn't stop at the first world war? You don't have to understand sculpture to appreciate and enjoy Barry Flanagan's Hares. You don't need an English PhD to read Carol Ann Duffy or Simon Armitage or Rita Ann Higgins.

And why is it that at times of stress and celebration (weddings and funerals) GP turn to poetry still?

And it also says poetry is thriving. No it's not. Maybe in a 1% of the population who write poetry themselves and another 1/2% or so who read it by choice and subscribe to those small mags that scrabble for cash from one issue to another.

So if you treat poetry as public art, accessible on street corners, in magazines, in doctor's surgeries, you can and will re-introduce some of the GP to poetry as art worth considering. If you only convert a small number, that will swell the total of active poetry users by a considerable percentage.

And while we're on the subject, some of the little magazines are wonderful, some are full of poems from a clique of people known personally to the editors, some are vanity publishing by another name and some are just dire, or worse, a mix of dire with really rather good/promising. I find it depressing when I am lucky enough to have something in a magazine and when I read it, many of the other inclusions are of questionable quality/truly awful and only the poet's mother could love them.

I love the photo above, a guerilla poet going out on the streets and night and chalking up poems (I see it as a man in a hoodie much like Banksy) under the streetlights. Maybe we should all do it.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Oxfam Poems

When:Thursday 6th November 7-10PM
Where: Film Base, Curve St., Temple Bar, Dublin

Oxfambooks is proud to announce the arrival of the Poems for 2009 calendar.

The six new winning poets Anne O Connor, Eamonn Lynsky, Geraldine Mitchell, Liz Gallagher, Patricia Zontelli and David Mohan are published alongside the esteemed Moya Cannon, Patrick Deeley, Dave Lordan, Vona Groarke, Eamon Grennan and Eiléan Ni Chuilleanáin.

Expect a night of fun and frolics with readings from the featured poets. The art works will be exhibited in the ground floor gallery and are for sale on the night.

The calendars will be in Oxfam shops from the second week in November retailing at €12 (I've never got one before they're sold out. They'd make a great Christmas present)

Update: See here for the calendar.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Public Poetry

Temporary Beach poetry
Originally uploaded by Island 2000 Arts

There's no doubt of the passion in this blog post from bluechrome but I strongly disagree with some of the sentiment.

I believe that poetry should not be restricted to a small group of people, mainly only those who write poetry themselves. (And no small number of these never read modern poetry anyway)
I believe poetry should be public art, not hidden in corners.
I believe poetry should be printed on cereal boxes, on bus stops, on T shirts, on shop receipts, on the radio, on TV, on wheelie bins, on rubbish bags.
I believe everyone who can read, can read and appreciate poetry.
I believe generations of English curricula have turned most people off poetry before they've left school.
I believe that there is a core of readers/consumers of fiction and non-fiction who, if they were exposed to the right type of modern poetry, would go and buy it.
I believe you don't need to dumb down to appeal.
I believe poetry should start in the nursery and go on to the retirement home.
I believe National Poetry Day is not only a good idea, it is essential.
I believe.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

With a Bang

What are you doing this bonfire night? Setting off fireworks and frightening the cats or listening to a collection of upcoming (dare I say emerging) poets. The Editors of Windows Publications based in Cavan, Heather Brett and Noel Monahan are launching anthology Authors & Artists Introduction Series number 8 featuring Martin Kelly, Kieran Furey, Patrick Toland and Iain Mac Pherson as well as Visual artist Martin Campbell.

Martin Kelly, originally from Bailiboro in County Cavan, spent 34 years in Belfast during the troubles as a curate, hospital chaplain and spiritual director and is now parish priest in Portaferry, County Down.
Award winning poet Kieran Furey is from Curraghroe, Roscommon and writes in Spanish and English. He has lived in Ecuador and Cuba, and travelled widely in Brazil, Africa, India and the US. Kieran lives in Longford.
Belfast poet Patrick Toland has been teacher and housemaster in an English boarding
school for the past ten years and is currently studying for a Masters in Creative Writing at Oxford University. (And I went drinking with him and his brother one memorable snowy evening in Belfast. If he writes as good as he talks, you're in for a treat!)
Visual artist Martin Campbell has just returned from an exhibition of his work in Liverpool. He works in television and the media and is from Newry, Co Down.
Scottish Gaelic poet Iain Mac Pherson is from Canada with family origins from the Scottish Isles of Islay, Mull and Skye. He is a lecturer in The University of Ulster, Coleraine.

Where:Irish Writers Centre.
When: Wednesday 5th November at 6:30pm

Or if you're in or near Cavan this Thursday.

Where: The Johnston Central Library, Farnham Street, Cavan
When: Thursday 30th Oct at 8pm

Monday, 27 October 2008

Augmented Sculpture v1.0 by Pablo Valbuena

Watch this amazing visual art and study how the play of light and shape and sound inspires reactions in you. Try watching it with the sound off for a different experience. Think about light and shadow and movement in your writing.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Seven Deadly Words

Seven Deadly Words of book reviewing as in over used to the point of meaningless-ness. From the New York Times article. They often come in batches. My italics below.

poignant: Something you read may affect you, or move you. That doesn’t mean it’s poignant. Something is poignant when it’s keenly, even painfully, affecting. When Bambi’s mother dies, an adult may think it poignant. A child probably finds it terrifying.

compelling: Many things in life and in books are compelling. The problem is that too often in book reviews far too many things are found to be such. A book may be a page turner, but that doesn’t necessarily make it compelling. Overuse has weakened a word that implies an overwhelming force.

intriguing: It doesn’t mean merely interesting or fascinating although it’s almost always used in place of one of those words. When it is, the sense of something illicit and mysterious is lost. Or it might be a cop out word for a book the reviewer didn't like or didn't understand.

eschew: No one actually says this word in real life. It appears almost exclusively in writing when the perp is stretching for a flashy synonym for avoid or reject or shun.

craft (used as a verb): In “The Careful Writer,” Theodore M. Bernstein reminds us that “the advertising fraternity has decided craft is a verb.” Undeterred, reviewers use it when they are needlessly afraid of using plain old write. They also try to make pen a verb, as in “he penned a tome.” And anyway, he probably word-processed it.

lyrical: Reviewers use this adjective when they want to say something is well written. But using the word loosely misses the sense of expressing emotion in an imaginative and beautiful way. Save lyrical for your next review of Wordsworth.

The next ... fill in the blanks, JK Rowling, Stephen King, Jeffrey Archer, Zadie Smith.
Here's another post on how to write a bad review.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

The View

The arts programme on RTE, The View, is on too late for me to remember to watch it. But you can watch it on your PC whenever you want for the next week. This week's discuss Kevin Power's new book Bad Day at Blackrock, giving it a bit of a mauling, which is apt as it's a brutal book in parts. But also the lovely Dylan Moran in A Film With Me In It, who I would invite to my virtual dinner party, no problem at all. Probably with Tony Curtis when a bit younger, and JK Rowling, who seems like a lovely woman and she could pay the bill. Any other nominations?

Friday, 24 October 2008

Tony Curtis in Blanch

The rather good Irish poet, Tony Curtis is coming to Blanch.

When: Thursday 30th October @ 7.00pm
Where: Blanchardstown Library

Don't confuse him with the Welsh poet or the actor. Marilyn Monroe will not be appearing. But he's very good and a generous teacher.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

50 greatest arts videos on YouTube

There are some complete treasures here, familiar, not so familiar and completely new to me. From the Observer. Dance, theatre, opera, readings, interviews, music of all flavours

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Cinnamon Press Competitions

Looking for another competition to enter having failed and the Templar Collection? Not counting on winning the Patrick Kavanagh any time soon? How about this spicy press?

One of Cinnamon Press's poetry collections was shortlisted for the Forward Prize so they're not lightweights.

Poetry Collection Award
The aim of this award is to provide a platform for new voices in poetry. We also publish an anthology of the best poems submitted and entry includes a copy of the winners' anthology. They sometimes commission other collections as a result of being short-listed.
Submit 10 poems up to 40 lines (unpublished) in a clear type script, double spaced for prose.
Prize: Poetry collection published with Cinnamon Press and receives £100.
Deadline: November 30th

* 10 unpublished poems? Why?

Short Story Award: £100
The competition is open to new and published authors. Story between 2,000 and 4,000 words. Entry includes a copy of the winners' anthology.
Submit a story of 2,000-4,000 words (unpublished) in a clear type script, double spaced for prose.
Prize: £100 & publication.
Up to ten runners up stories' are also published in the winners' anthology.
Deadline: November 30th

Novel/Novella Writing Award £400
The aim of this award is to encourage new authors, enabling debut novelists/novella writers to achieve a first publication in this genre.
Submit the first ten thousand words of your novel/novella in a clear type script, double spaced for prose.
Prize: Novel published by Cinnamon Press and a prize of £400.
The four runners up also receive a full appraisal of their novel. They sometimes commission other novels as a result of short-listing in the competition.
Deadline: November 30th

Entrants for the novel/novella and poetry categories should not previously have had a novel/novella or full poetry collection published. Short story writers may have had stories, but not a single author collection published.
Submit by post from the UK or online from elsewhere.

OK, I'm a bit perturbed that all ten poems should be unpublished? I would be scrabbling to get ten good unpublished (or unsubmitted) poems from my collection. Do they want a collection from a completely unpublished poet? Who would buy a collection from someone who has not built up a reputation in magazines?

* Update Jan says
Fine if they've been published online or in magazines or anthologies where
you hold the copyright.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

What Agents Hate

From the Writers Digest basically:
bad writing,
lots of back story early on
First chapters where nothing happens
I woke up and it was all a dream

and what not to do (be rude after a rejection)

And here's something that has nothing to do with agents (except perhaps in the most convoluted metaphor within a metaphor) but still read post turtle.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Best books I've read this year (so far)

In no particular order, the books I've enjoyed most this year so far. See the links on the sidebar.

Then We Came to the End: a Novel - Joshua Ferris
Loved it. So close to the bone yet hilarious about the workplace. Also written somehow in the first person plural 'we.' It's hard to write about work, yet all starting out writers do work, many in offices such as these. This is what makes the writers of The Office so admirable.

What Was Lost - Catherine Flynn
Congrats to Catherine and Tindal Street Press for running with this lovely, quirky novel. Won the Whitbread. Love the setting.

A Long Way Down - Nick Hornby
I love Nick Hornby's writing. Initially the starting point put me off, four very different people meeting on a roof about to commit suicide. How wrong was I? Great stuff.

Tenderwire - Claire Kilroy
Loved this one too. Witty and passionate but completely unreliable narrator.

The Travels of Maudie Tipstaff - Margaret Forster
Oh Dear God, this funny, rude, lonely woman's story is out of print. Seek it out. I got mine from the library.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

More ways to spend the day

Blah Blah collects interesting posts about Ireland

Bookaholic writes a terrific blog about books from Malaysia.

booksinq is mostly links to other articles of interest.

Coventry Telegraph blogs from the city I say I'm from. You have to be from somewhere.

David Maybury blogs about children's books and writing.

The Debutante Ball is a group blog on what seem to be romance writers. Read the posts on 'The Call'

Declan Burke blogs about crime (writing) at Crime Always Pays.

Fin Keegan is an Irish writer.

Heat Seeker shows the book reviews from Saturday's Evening Herald.

Janet Reid, Literary Agent in NY.

Ken Armstrong writing stuff draws you in.

Life on Planet Me is worth a visit.

The Misssy m Missives blethers from Scotland.

Posh Totty blogs amusingly about bits and pieces.

Sarah Webb blogs about writing and various other nefarious activities around literary Dublin.

Sasah Photography has great photos in Dublin, city and people.

Salt Confidential is news and views from the independent UK press Salt. It's a good one.

Tea Stains is a British writing living in Bangkok.

Western and Cowboy at the Bar-D Ranch features Irish Cowboy Poetry. You have to read this.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

BBC Tony Doyle Bursary for New Writing

BBC Northern Ireland runs a bi-annual competition for writers new to TV.

Deadline - 30 November 2008

The bursary is open to new writers wanting to start a career in television and aims to assist and encourage the development of new writing talent for television and to forge creative links between broadcasters and writers throughout Ireland.

Four chosen finalists will take part in a residential seminar where they will undergo intensive, structured, script sessions with members of BBC Northern Ireland Drama's development team and top script writers and producers.

The overall winner will receive a cash prize of £2,000, and along with the other three finalists will be invited to a residential seminar run by the BBC Northern Ireland Drama Department. practitioners - producers, directors, actors and fellow writers.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Winners of the Manchester Poetry Prize

The Manchester Poetry Prize 2008

By the closing date of 1st August, the competition had attracted more than 1,000 entries (almost 4,700 poems) from over 30 countries.
Judges Gillian Clarke, Imtiaz Dharker and Carol Ann Duffy have short-listed six finalists, and the winners will be announced at a gala prize-giving ceremony at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester on Thursday 16th October 2008.

This event officially opens the 2008 Manchester Literature Festival, and will feature readings from all three judges and each of the six finalists before the prizes - £10,000 and a bursary for study at MMU - are awarded.

The finalists:

Mike Barlow
Mike Barlow was a winner in the National Poetry Competition 2006, The Ledbury Competition 2005 and the Amnesty International Competition 2002. His first collection 'Living on the Difference' (Smiths Doorstop) won the Poetry Business Book and Pamphlet Competition 2003, and was short-listed for the Jerwood Aldeburgh Prize for best first collection. His second collection, 'Another Place' is published by Salt. His pamphlet 'Amicable Numbers' is a winner in the 2008 Templar Pamphlet Competition and is published in October.

Mandy Coe
Before becoming a writer, Mandy Coe worked in factories as a welder and electronics engineer. Her first collection 'Pinning the Tail on the Donkey' (Spike 2000) was short-listed for the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival Prize and a poem from her second collection, 'The Weight of Cows' (Shoestring Press 2005) was included in the Forward anthology. Mandy won the Ilkley Festival Poetry Prize in 2006 and Liverpool’s Ted Walters Memorial Prize in 2008. Her poetry has appeared in the Guardian, the Radio Times and on BBC radio and television. She received a Hawthornden Fellowship in 2005.

Allison McVety
Allison's poems have appeared in the Times and the Forward Book of Poetry 2008 and 2009 and have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3. In 2007 she completed an MA at Royal Holloway, University of London where she was awarded the PFD Poetry Prize. She won the Poetry Business Book and Pamphlet Competition in 2006 and her first collection, 'the night Trotsky came to stay', was published by Smith/Doorstop and has been shortlisted for the Forward Best First Collection Prize 2008.

Helen Mort
Helen Mort was born in Sheffield in 1985. She grew up in the Peak District, but now lives in Cambridge. Helen is a five times winner of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year competition, and her work has appeared in a variety of magazines and anthologies including Tower Poetry, The Rialto and Poetry London. Her pamphlet, the shape of every box, was published by tall-lighthouse in 2007; the same year she received an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors. Helen is one of five winners of the 2008 'Escalator' scheme for performers in the East of England. She has read her work at 'StAnza', the Ledbury festival and in Buckingham Palace.

Lesley Saunders
Lesley Saunders has been writing poetry for many years. With poet Jane Draycott and the artist Peter Hay, she co-authored 'Christina the Astonishing' (Two Rivers Press, 1998). Her poem 'The Uses of Greek' (first published in The Rialto) was shortlisted
for the Forward Prize Best Single Poem in 1999; lately, her poems have appeared in The Rialto, Mslexia and the Divers anthology (Aark Arts 2008). With the artist and gardener Geoff Carr, she has a collection coming out in 2009 which is inspired by the 18th century landscaped gardens at Rousham, Oxfordshire (also to be published by Two Rivers Press).

Rosie Shepperd
After 15 years in the financial markets, Rosie Shepperd studied Creative Writing at Birkbeck College, University of London, and is currently working on an MPhil in Poetry at the University of Glamorgan. She has had poems published in magazines such as Magma and The Rialto and won the 2007 Writer's Inc. Bursary.

And the Winner is:

were, actually Lesley Saunders and Mandy Coe shared the £10,000 Manchester Poetry Prize. See more on the winners here.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Glen Dimplex shortlist

Announced on 7 October 2008 - for first books. Very little Irish slant here.


Allan Bush Last Bird Singing Seren
Aifric Campbell The Semantics of Murder Serpent’s Tail
Daniel Davies The Isle of Dogs Serpent’s Tail
Rowan Somerville The End of Sleep Orion Publishing
David Szalay London and The South-East Random House Group Ltd
Robin Yassin-Kassab The Road from Damascus Hamish Hamilton

My sister writes for Serpent's Tail.


Paul Batchelor The Sinking Road Bloodaxe Books Ltd shortlisted for the Jerwood Aldeburgh First Collection Prize
Ciaran Berry The Sphere of Birds The Gallery Press
Valeria Melchioretto The End of Limbo Salt Publishing
Eleanor Rees Andvaste's Hair Salt Publishing (nominated for the Forward prize 2007)
Kathryn Simmonds Sunday at the Skin Launderette Seren nomiated for the Guardian First bok award
Will Stone Glaciation Salt Publishing

Salt Publishing do well again and one from Ireland's Gallery Press.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

6th Smurfit Samhain International Poetry Festival - 15 - 19 October 2008

Here's one for anyone in or near Donegal this weekend. The literary highlights
Gortahork, Co Donegal, Rep of Ireland from Wednesday 15th to Sunday 19th October 2008

Wednesday 15th October 2008
8pm Adm: €25

"The Lyric Cry - An Guth Glé"

An Leabhar Mór is a glowing tribute to the bardic tradition, a compendium of marvels from the past and the present. Gabriel Rosenstock, one of Ireland’s foremost writers, reads from this illuminating collection and invites some featured poets to join him in an evening of bardic enchantment.
The evening will continue with jazz by Richard Druce and Neil Buckley in Maggie Dan’s Pizzeria and wine bar till late.

Friday 17th October 2008
8pm Adm: €10

"Face to Face with Colmcille"

Brian Lacy, consummate chronicler of our past brings Colmcille, an ancient bard and crosser of borders back to life in this heady, hypnotic talk.

Saturday 18th October Workshops

Workshop admission is €45 which includes lunch
10am to 12 noon

Creative writing workshop with Aonghas Dubh MacNeacail with emphasis on poetry in song.
2pm to 4pm

Workshop: Writing for radio

With Gerda Stevenson with emphasis on the dramatisation of your writing/poetry for radio.

Saturday 18th October 2008
8pm Adm: €10

"A Stillness of Mind, a Strength of Heart"

Aonghas MacNeacail, the great Gaelic poet of Scotland, broods on the past and present with gusto and greann. Like Sorley McLean he has attuned the bardic tradition to the needs of today. Tonight this magisterial poet will be accompanied by the superbly gifted Gerda Stevenson.
Booking: 086 1088397 / 086 3793503

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Cuisle Limerick City International Poetry Festival

I've never been to Cuisle but it's got a great reputation (and I'm open to offers!).

Wednesday 15th – 18th October

2008 marks the twelfth Cuisle Festival in Limerick City, celebrating local, national and international excellence in poetry. The festival has poets from different countries visiting Limerick over 4 days - readings, book launches and workshops with the leading contemporary poets of our time.

Some of this years line up of poets include international visiting poets C.K. Williams (USA), Sudeep Sen (India), Iztok Osojnik (Slovenia), Farouk Giwaida (Egypt), Sasha Dugdale (UK), Bernadette Cremin (UK), Neil Rollinson (UK) Fiona Sampson (UK) and Irish poets of international importance include Thomas McCarthy, Vona Groarke, Macdara Woods, Pat Cotter, Áine Ní Ghlinn, Julie O’Callaghan, Ciaran O'Driscoll, Jo Slade and Deirdre Brennan.

This year’s Stony Thursday Book is a bumper edition with almost 100 poets between the covers.
There will be open mic at the White House Pub with a poetry slam on Saturday night

Monday, 13 October 2008

Feile Filiochta

I was wondering when this year's Feile Filiochta competition was so I emailed Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown and they said:

Féile Filíochta going ahead in a different format in late 2009.

So no competition this year. Shame. I hope this isn't an early sign of arts cuts. This council are very good to the arts.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Children's Writing Slam

Do you write for children?
Are you unpublished?
Can you get to Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire on Tuesday October 21st at 7pm?

To coincide with the Children's Book Month the Pavilion Theatre is hosting the second Children's Fiction SLAM. Hosted by Aislinn O’Loughlin, children’s author and comedienne, the event will be an opportunity for unpublished children's authors to read a short extract from a work of theirs in front of an audience of their peers, their friends and two invited judges from the Irish publishing world. This year’s judges are novelist and children’s books reviewer Sarah Webb, and award-winning fantasy author for young people Conor Kostick makes a welcome return to the SLAM. No cash prizes, no three book deals to be won, just the respect of your friends and peers, and maybe a modest award.

Writers who wish to enter the SLAM should email with their name, the age range they are writing for, and a brief synopsis of the work from which the extract has been taken. Anyone can enter as long as you have never been published. Audience members are encouraged to attend and lend their support –even if you are not reading you may be witnessing tomorrow’s premier children’s authors on their maiden voyage! Entries are accepted on a first-come first served basis until Friday October 17th. Authors who want to enter on the night cannot be guaranteed availability as places will be strictly limited by time.

Thanks to David Maybury's blog for this.

It sounds fun and worthy but I'm not sure if it will progress anyone's career. Did anyone go last year? Who won?

Saturday, 11 October 2008


Ah, mes amis, un petit France ici.

The 4th edition of the Vendanges Poétiques will take place on Thursday 16 October with an evening of poetry readings by four Irish and French poets: Gerald Dawe, Mary O'Donnell, Amina Saïd and Dominique Sorrente.

The event is jointly organized by Poetry Ireland and the Embassy of France in Ireland in cooperation with the European Commission Representation in Ireland, the European Parliament Information Office in Ireland and the Alliance Française Dublin.

French texts that will be read on the night have been translated in English by Roger Little and will be available for free to the public. Collections of the poets' works will be on sale and refreshments will be served after the readings.

Admission is free and the event takes place in the European Union House, 18 Dawson Street, Dublin 2. More info: 01 708 8305 or

When:Thursday 16 October 18:30
Where: European Union House, 18 Dawson Street, Dublin
Who: Gerald Dawe, Mary O'Donnell, Amina Saïd and Dominique Sorrente.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Literature - the poor relation again

Poor Relation
Originally uploaded by pominoz

Culture Ireland have announced their grant recipients for October. They seem to do it 3 times a year. The idea is to promote Irish culture/arts abroad. But again, the poor relation is Literature. Check the maths.

Theatre and Dance have 17 project, totalling 297,100 Euro
Film have 7 projects totalling 24,450 Euro
Music has 17 projects totalling 59,200 Euro
Visual Arts have 28 projects totalling 100,600 Euro
Literature has a paltry 5 projects totalling 8,250 Euro

Does no one apply or does literature not travel? 4 are poetry, one is the Frankfurt book fair.

Clare Muireann Murphy participating in the Jaipur Literature Festival, India from the 21st - 25th January 2009 1,000
Moya Cannon performing a poetry reading at the Festival International De Poesia De Granada, Nicaragua, USA in February 2009 1,000
CLE Irish Book Publishers Association programme of events involving Irish authors at the 26th Karlsruhe Book Exhibition, Germany from the 14th November - 7th December 2008 4,000
Eilean Ní Chuilleanain poetry readings and discussions in Prague and Brno 12- 15 November 750
Louis de Paor and John Spillane performing at the International Poetry Festival Islands without Borders, Czech Republic, from the 11th - 13th November 2008 1,500

Thursday, 9 October 2008

The Oliver St. John Gogarty Literary Festival

This festival in Renvyle House Hotel, Connemara, Co. Galway has some interesting literary events.


11:30am Michael O'Loughlin: Poetry reading and limerick's by Oliver St. John Gogarty
5.30pm Gerald Dawe: A Painful Case: Samuel Beckett and Oliver St. John Gogarty.
Poetry reading from Points West (Gallery Press, 2008)


11:00am John O'Donnell: Remembering Noll Gogarty, Barrister and Poetry reading from "Icarus Sees His Father Fly" (Dedalus Press, 2006)
2:30pm A poetry writers workshop with John O'Donnell (12 persons max.) in the Teach Ceoil, Tully applying by October 11th (details of application process on "Wrtiers' Workshop" page of website)

11:30am Nuala Ni Domhnaill: a Poetry reading

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Over the Edge Winner

Wondering who won the Over the Edge reading? With less of a fanfare and more of a small parp, here's the result.

Wes Lee originally from the UK, now living in Wellington, New Zealand.
Her story, Tigers, has been chosen as the winner by competition judge, Celeste Augé. Tigers will appear in the January-March issue of Galway Arts Centre's online literary quarterly, West 47.
The runner up is Hans-Joachim (Hajo) Quade of Galway for his poems High Flyer, Winkles & Time Warp. No hits for Hajo - a mystery man
Another Galway-based writer, Alan McMonagle, took third place with his story The Fight.

Was there a Galway slant or just more Galwegians entered?
But more strangely, how can you run a competition with short stories competing with poems? I thought there would be one winner for each category.

Over the Edge Reading
Where: Sheridan's Wine Bar, Church Yard Street, Galway
When: October 17th 8pm
Who: Poets Paul Allen, Enda Coyle Green, Mags Treanor, Tim Cunningham & Mary Dempsey

And yay. At last, an acceptance for me. The SHOp, the great poetry magazine from Schull. Excellent taste too!

Monday, 6 October 2008

More Rejections

Here's another competition I didn't win. I didn't even get a poem in the anthology. F'nah. Congratulations Maggie and also Nuala in the anthology. There are four winning submissions this year. The work of thirty nine poets is published in the 2008 anthology Buzz. Lots of them will be reading at the Derwent Poetry Festival, October 17th to 19th. The judge this year was Jane Weir.

Templar Poetry Pamphlet Poets: 2008 - win £500 each and publication of their pamphlet.

Mike Barlow: Amicable Numbers. Mike already has two collections, Living on the Difference (Smith Doorstop) and Another Place (Salt).
Siobhan Campbell: That Water Speaks in Tongues Siobhan already has two collections, the Permanent Wave and The Cold that Burns (Blackstaff Press)
Katrina Naomi: Lunch at the Elephant & Castle
Maggie O’Dwyer: Yes, I’d love to dance

I had assumed this competition was for poets without a first collection. Silly me.

Anthology Poets: 2008 published in Buzz

Derek Adams, Meredith Andrea, Christopher Andrews, Catherine Benson, Mara Bergman, Clare Best, Annie Bien, Carole Bromley, Sally Clark, Jennifer Copley, Chris Culshaw, Emma Danes, Alyss Dye, Susanne Ehrardt, Nell Farrell, Maureen Gallagher, Elaine Gaston, David Gilbert, Jo Haslam, Pamela Johnson, Valerie Josephs, Pauline Keith, John Mackay, Catherine McLoughlin, Simone Mansell Broome, Helen Moore, Nuala Ni Chonchuir, Jeremy Page, Geraldine Paine, Rennie Parker, Nick Pearson, Joan Poulson, Beth Somerford, Pauline Suett Barbieri, Kay Syrad, Simon Williams, Hilary Wilmot, Stephen Wilson, Michael J.Woods.

Also rejected from Succour.
Also did not win anything for my short story in the Bridport.
Onwards and upwards, mes amis.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

This talks to me

Who would you choose?

Go West

Westport Arts festival has already started but here are some literary highlights if you're headed to or are already in the West.

Friday 3rd – Sunday 12th October

Gerald Dawe, who has published seven selections of poetry to wide acclaim since 1978 will give an intimate and free reading from his latest collection Points West.
When: Thursday 9th October 8pm
Where: The Creel, Westport Quay
Admission: free

Author Brian Keenan, who became headline news when he was captured and held hostage in the suburbs of Beirut for four and a half years, will read from his harrowing and first novel since being released, The Evil Cradling.
When: Friday 10th October 7pm
Where: Westport Library
Admission: free

Local performance artist and poet Mike Absalom introduces his recent Curryaun poems and reads. verse from his UK and Canadian chapbooks (that word again)
When: Sunday 5th October 7pm
Where: Sea Sky Shore
Admission: Free

Westport Local Writers Group will give a reading
Where: Upstairs in the Wyatt Hotel
When: Saturday 11th October 6pm

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Instituto Cervantes

The Spanish Cultural Institute "Instituto Cervantes" is inviting to a Café Literario event on the 07 Oct at 18:30 with the title "More than poetry. Poetry in dialogue Spain-Ireland"
Miguel Casado and Mark Granier will read some poems in their languages (Spanish and English).

When: Tuesday 07 Oct at 18:30
Where: Instituto Cervantes - Lincoln House, Lincoln Place, Dublin 2 (just opposite the Dental Clinic at the back of TCD)

Seven Towers presents the launch of Eamon Carrr's Debut Poetry Collection. "The Origami Crow, Journey Into Japan, World Cup Summer 2002". And will be launched by writer Patrick McCabe.

When: Wednesday 08 Oct at 18:00
Where:Cassidy's of Westmoreland St, Dublin 2

Friday, 3 October 2008

Looking at things from another point of view

Writers have a duty to look at everyday things from another point of view. Morning coffee from the POV of the Barristo, the coffee bean, the cup. Commuting from the POV of the AA roadwatch lady, the homeless guy on a bench, the newly jobless, the piece of gum on the road.
Or a What if. What if the bus driver saw his wife out of the window in suspicious circumstances? What if your friendly security guy was replaced by his malevolent twin brother Richie? What if the office Lotto pool came up trumps?
What if you never send stuff out? You'll never get published and you'll never get rejected. What if you never put your heart on the line? You'll never get rejected.
Watch this.

P.S. Another day, another rejection. Bah.

Thursday, 2 October 2008


There is lots to listen to either online or download and listen to later. I sometimes listen on my PC but usually transfer to my phone (Nokia - love it) which can holds loads and then listen to my podcasts driving around or in the supermarket. It really makes the time pass faster.

Here are ones on my list:
Weekend Blend on Newstalk - a bit frothy but interesting guests
Woman's Hour Podcast
BBC Radio 4 Front Row highlights - always something that sparks the interest
Radio 3 Arts and Ideas podcast can ge ta bit high-falutin'
RTE The Arts Show but I'm still missing the late lamented Rattlebag
Lyric FM Quiet Quarter
Sunday Miscellany, yes even though they repeatedly refuse to acknowledge my brilliance.
Francis MacManus short stories you seem to have to listen to online.
DLR Libraries Podcast page has podcasts of various literary events.

and this new one:
short stories from the New Yorker Check out the great story from Tobias Wolffe, Bullet in the Head.

Also results from the Dromineer Literary Festival Competition

5th Dromineer Literary Festival will be launched and hold its award ceremony on next Friday 3rd Oct at Lough Derg Yacht Club, Dromineer, Co Tipperary. Congratulations to you all.

Prize winners :

1st Nollaig Rowan, Dublin 'Making Your Deb's Dress' 500 Euro
2nd Michael Farry, Trim 'I Taught You to Drive' 350 Euro
3rd Tony O'Dwyer, Galway 'A Poem About Something Else' 150 Euro

Short story
1st Andrew King, Dublin 'The Old Guard' 500 Euro
2nd Mari Maxwell, Galway 'Burren Child' 350 Euro
3rd Sarah Cottle, Sligo 'First Impressions' 150 Euro

Festival runs 2nd to 5th Oct. 2008.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

South Dublin Library's Readers' Day

Just back from Fingal County Library Readers day which was great. The main highlights for me (other than being read to, which I adore) was a tip from Jill mansel on how she plots timelines for her novels and doesn't get lost with a long concertina of paper that shows the progress of the novel with plot details stuck on using post-it notes. If a bit of the plot moves, she just moves it along the timeline. Think of the timeline posters you often seen in schools for the industrial revolution or King and Queens or a History of Guns or whatever.
The other highlight was Sarah Webb reading a real pitch letter. My pitch letters are so boring by comparison. Will have to look into that.

Anyway, South Dublin Libraries do their own Readers Day. They always have a good mix and spend more money on the names and less on food and drink. Perhaps Fingal could look at that. More big names please, Fingal.
When: Saturday November 8th. 10:00 to 16:00
Where: Tower Hotel, Tallaght

10pm-10.10 Introduction by Mayor of South Dublin County.

10.15 – 10.45 – Dublin Lives – over the past year poet Dermot Bolger has created a sequence of poems as part of South Dublin County Council’s In Context 3 Percent for Art Scheme. Following an invitation to other writers to compose poems to accompany his own, this unique reading by many of those involved grows into a tapestry of voices capturing life across South Dublin County during one single day.

10.45 – 11.15 – Patricia Scanlan
One of Ireland’s most popular authors, Patricia Scanlan in conversation with Dermot Bolger about her own hugely popular novels, their misspent younger days as library assistants and her involvement with the innovative Open Door series, which she edits.

11.30 – 12.15 Photographing Beckett
John Minihan's world famous photograph of Beckett having coffee with him in a Paris cafe has become one of the iconic images of the late twentieth century. In a rare public interview with Dermot Bolger, Minihan – one of Ireland’s most distinguished living photographers, who is especially noted for his portraits of writers – discusses his experiences of photographing Beckett and their friendship which started when he showed Beckett his photographs of the last wake ever held in Minihan's native Athy. With a fascinating slideshow of Minihan's iconic images of Beckett and his images of a changing Athyshot over three decades, this intimate conversation with Minihan is a treat for lovers of literature and photography.

12.15 – 12.45 Claire Kilroy
A reading by one of Ireland’s most exciting new talents, Claire Kilroy, author of the acclaimed novels, All Summer and Tenderwire.

12.45pm – 2pm lunch

2pm – 2.30 Brian Keenan
Brian Keenan reads from and discusses his works, including An Evil Cradling and Four Quarters of Light.

2.30 – 3pm Glenn Patterson
Glenn Patterson’s novels have brilliantly chronicled the changing face of Belfast over the past four decades. He presents a reading from his fiction and from his acclaimed new family memoir, Once Upon A Hill.

3pm – 3.15 coffee

3.15 – 3.45 – John Boyne
The author of the internationally acclaimed The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, reads from his latest novel, Mutiny on the Bounty, in conversation with Dermot Bolger.