Thursday, 30 September 2010

Creative Writing Workshops with Mia Gallagher Writer-in-Residence, IADT

Date: Starting Thursday October 7th 2010
Time: 6.30pm to 8.30pm
Location: Room A116 (first floor Atrium Building) IADT, Kill Avenue, Dún Laoghaire

All are welcome: no bookings needed & free of charge!

Our focus will be on the practice of writing: using play and imagination, honing craft and developing a generous and informed critical response to each other’s work.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Francis Ledwidge Poetry Competition

I've been a little leary of this competition as the main prize seems to be to have your name engraved. Otherwise, non-specific cash prizes and certificates of merit.

If you're interested, this from the lovely Orla Fay's blog.

The first three poems will be entered in the Forward Prize UK.  Poems must be your own work and not previously published or broadcast.  Poems must not exceed 40 lines.

Entry fee: 4 euro per poem, 3 for 10 euro.  Maximum of 6 poems can be entered (20 euro).

Name, address and telephone number on a separate page.

Deadline: 5th November

The Francis Ledwidge International Poetry Award 2010,
43 Emmet Crescent,
Dublin 8.

Previous winners include; Ann Dean, Paul Murray, Colum Clarke, Roderick Forde, Catherine Ann Cullen, Ray Mullen.

Update: results 2 Dec 2010
The Francis Ledwidge Award: Rachel Hegarty, Dublin 5. Poem: Lament for Colm Owens.

Second Place: Gregory Castle, Arizona, USA. Poem: Untitled Landscape.

Third Place: Orla Martin, Dublin 8. Poem: Europa.

Highly Commended
Betty Cleary, Dublin 16; Anthony Keating, Lancashire. UK; Gillian Somerville-Large, Co. Carlow. James Conway, Dublin 6; Patrick Devaney, Co. Cavan; Maureen Gallagher, Galway; Ray Mullen, 22, Tallaght, Dublin; Patricia O’Callaghan, Dublin 16; Betty Keogh, Dublin 12; Andrew Jones, Co Cavan

Mary Melvin Geoghegan, Longford; Michael Farry, Co. Meath; Gavan Duffy, Dublin 24; Eithne Cavanagh, Co Dublin; Tommy Murray, Co Meath; Michael Casey, Co Dublin; Evan Costigan, Dublin 8; Honor Duff,Co Cavan; Angela T. Carr, Dublin; Aine Lyons, Dublin 24.

Awards Ceremony will take place at ‘Donoghues’ The Glen of Aherlow, 29 Emmet Road, Inchicore, Dublin, on Monday, 6th December, 2010 at 7. 30 pm.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Dromineer festival

When: 7th. - 10th, October 2010
Where: at the Lough Derg Yacht Club, Dromineer, Co. Tipperary

Thursday October 7th
EVENT: Poet Dave Lordan will read at the All Ireland Poetry Day
WHEN: @ 8pm
All Welcome

Friday October 8th
EVENT: Poet Dave Lordan will read at the All Ireland Poetry Day
WHEN: @ 7pm
All Welcome

Saturday October 9th
EVENT: Poet Dave Lordan will host Poetry Workshop
WHEN: Saturday October 9th from 10 to 12.30pm
ENTRY: €15 includes a light luncheon

EVENT Book Launch Marjorie Quarton’s Mary Cannon’s Commonplace Book: an Irish Kitchen in the 1700s The Lilliput Press
WHEN: from 4 to 5.30pm
All Welcome

EVENT: Meet the Authors: Hugo Hamilton & Carlo Gebler
WHEN: @ 8pm

Other featured artists include:

· Sandra Lefroy (Poet, Sailor) & Reggie Goodbody (Boat Builder, Model Maker, Luthier and Sailor) tell their stories of living on board the vessel The Phoenix afloat on Lough Derg on the passenger vessel The Spirit of Killaloe

· Ginku ~ Haiku voyage to Garrykennedy followed by walk in Garrykennedy woodland, facilitated by Maeve O’Sullivan

· Author David Rice (Writing Workshop & Short Story Judge)

· Author Mary Arrigan (Children’s Poetry Judge)

· Festival Artist, Photographer & Rushwork Artist Gerardine Wisdom’s exhibition Memories

· Author, Illustrator & Animator Oisin McGann will host a workshop for Secondary School Transition Year Students

· The Nenagh Palyers perform Push Cart, a one act play, for the Sunday night finale

For further details please visit the website

Monday, 27 September 2010

Poets to Check Out - Galway Kinnell

I really like Hitchhiker which starts about 2:40

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Short Stories at the Irish Writers Centre

When: Wed 29 Sept at 19:00

"Lonely Voice: Short Story Introductions"

A popular monthly short story competition, The Lonely Voice: Short Story Introductions takes place on the last Wednesday of every month.

Up to four short story writers will be selected and invited to read their work at the event. This is particularly intended for emerging writers, who previously may not have had the opportunity to read their work in public.

The deadline for the October reading is Thurs 30 Sept

free, so come along to hear the very best of this month's submissions.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Do You Hai Ku?

Another from Women Rule Writer

The Irish Haiku Society have announced their 2010 competition.

Deadline 31st October.

Category A (Irish and International)

prizes of Euro 150, Euro 50 and Euro 30 for unpublished haiku/senryu in English.

In addition there will be up to seven Highly Commended haiku/senryu in this category.

Category B (Irish)

prizes from Dóchas Ireland of  Euro 100, Euro 30 and Euro 20 for unpublished haiku/senryu in English or in Irish Gaelic (with an English translation) about Ireland in the changing world. Besides being perfect haiku/senryu, the winning poems in this category may include reflections upon or references to "what it means to live in Ireland at the beginning of the 21st century".
This category is only open for participants born or residing on the island of Ireland.

In addition there will be up to three Highly Commended haiku/senryu in this category.

More here.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Fingal’s Annual Writers’ Festival 1st – 26th October 2010

When: 1st – 26th October 2010

Performing Poetry: A Workshop with Máighréad Medbh
Monday 4th October / 7.00pm
Malahide Library

The ability to present your poetry to an audience is a skill quite separate from the writing. The term ‘performance poetry’ conjures up images of Rap, Hip-Hop and Dub artists, but it covers a range from those who simply recite their work to those who use multimedia effects, dramatic movement and music. This workshop will focus on the basics of poetry performance: projection, movement, tone and image, with the understanding that what you are trying to present to an audience is the particular nature of your own work and your individual personality. Máighréad will provide the benefit of her experience and take you through practical exercises designed to help you project your gift in a way that suits you.
Please bring along – or learn off – a few poems which you would like to work on, or poems by another poet which you would like to perform. The workshop will benefit poets who wish to build up confidence in presenting their work, or those who want to improve their skills and get feedback.

Screenwriting Workshops
Saturday 2nd October / 10.00am – 5.00pm and Saturday 9th October / 10.00am – 1.00pm
Blanchardstown Library

Introduction to Screenwriting

If you are interested in writing for the screen, but are not sure how it all works, this one-day workshop is designed to set you on the right track. The workshop aims to provide insight and advice on the craft of screenwriting by taking participants through the process of transforming creative ideas into a format that will work for the screen.

Participants will learn the basic elements of storytelling – plot, narrative structure, character, point of view, dialogue – as they are applied to the visual medium. No previous experience or knowledge of screenwriting is necessary. There will be a number of collaborative writing exercises throughout the day. This workshop is facilitated by Caroline Earley.

* An Open Mic for Poets
* Wednesday 6th October / 7.00pm
* Swords Castle

This is an inclusive event in which poets – whether established or beginners – can perform their work in front of an audience. Poets are invited to bring along their best poems – they will be able to register their interest to read on the night. The audience is invited to bring along an open and appreciative mind. The open mic session will be preceded by readings from our guest poets, Colm Keegan and Dave Lordan.

This event will be facilitated by avant-garde poet, Christodoulos Makris, who co-founded the Poetry Upfront series of readings and events in 2005. His poems have appeared in many journals in Ireland and elsewhere, and his chapbook, Round the Clock, was published in 2009 by Wurm Press. He is the Dublin regional editor for Succour magazine. For more information please visit:

The Drivetime Diarists Live
Friday 15th October / 7.30pm
Farmleigh House

Presented in association with RTÉ. Ireland’s number one drivetime radio show is presented by the journalist and former RTÉ legal affairs editor, Mary Wilson.

As part of Writing 3.0 – Fingal’s Annual Writers’ Festival, RTÉ Radio 1’s Drivetime presents a special evening with its award-winning radio diarists. Mary Wilson will introduce bestselling novelist, Joseph O’Connor; acclaimed commentator, Olivia O’Leary; and CEO of Barnardo’s Ireland, Fergus Finlay who will all read from some of their most memorable diaries in the wonderful setting of Farmleigh House.

Creative Writing Workshop and Reading
with Nuala Ní Chonchúir

Writing workshops: 10.30am – 1.00pm
and 2.00 – 4.00pm. Reading: 7.30pm
But I think these are booked out.

* Blogging for Fun and for Work
* Wednesday 20th October / 7.00pm
* Balbriggan Library

Blogging is an important medium in today’s tech savvy world, and has revolutionised writing and journalism. This event aims to give a voice to those recognised for helping to establish this medium in an Irish context. Participants include: award-winning bloggers, Suzy Byrne and Annie Rhiannon; journalist and blogger, Sinead Gleeson; analyst, commentator, editor and blogger, Eoin Purcell; and Darren Byrne, who runs the group blog,

* An Audience with John Banville
* Wednesday 20th October / 7.30pm
* The Library, Farmleigh

Critically acclaimed writer, John Banville, will introduce three new Fingal writers in the intimate library setting of Farmleigh. Pauline O’Hare, Niamh McAlister and Brian Doherty were selected from an open writing competition initiated by artist Brian Duggan. Duggan is currently undertaking a Public Art Commission for Fingal County Council, developing a film which involves an unconventional journey and uses the Fingal landscape as its backdrop. The artist invited Fingal writers to respond to the theme, ‘3009’, and submit a piece of short fiction. The winners were then finally selected by John Banville, and will be included in Brian’s book, which will accompany his project. We are delighted to highlight the talents of these writers during Writing 3.0 and treat the audience to excerpts from the winning stories. Brian will also be available to discus the development of his commission to date.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Athlone Literary festival

This literary festival also has a cocktail, called Willie Ryan. Not sure how much alcohol is involved...the public must be told.

When: 24th to the 26th September


Friday 24th September (as part of Calture Night)

Irene Graham “Memories into Memoir” Workshop €40 Friday 24th September 11am - 4pm

What a Glorious Thing is War......” 3 extraordinary personal stories of the impact of war. Admission €5 8pm to 10pm
Terence Frisby, author, playwright, actor.,
Roisin Boyd, broadcaster and journalist,
Colm Doyle is a retired Colonel of the Irish Defence Forces who served for 43 years.

Saturday 25th September

Claire Keegan “Fiction Writing Seminar” ADMISSION: €25 (incl. entry to Claire Keegan’s reading at 2.30pm)

“Funny Business: a comedy workshop” by Stand-up comedian Abie Philbin Bowman €20/ CONCESSIONS €15 911am to 1pm

The Life, Times and Works of Michael D. Higgins TD - Interview by Donncha O’Connell, Lecturer in Law, NUI Galway and editor of The Irish Human Rights Law Review. ADMISSION: €10 4pm to 5pm

Sunday 26th September
Athlone's own Sunday Miscellany
(Why didn't RTE get their outside broadcast down for the event?)
noon to 1pm

See their website here

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

The the impotence of proof reading

You should lister very careful to this font of knowledge. Taylor Mali

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

The Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award 2011

This is apparently the world's biggest short story competition for a single story, so you'd better have a fantastic story to enter. All my stories are fantastic, of course.
This from the lovely Women Rule Writer blog.

Deadline: 1pm on 30 October 2010.

The award aims to honour the finest writers of short stories in the UK and Ireland. It is open to authors with a previous record of publication in creative writing (so you're up against the full spectrum).

Entries may be previously unpublished, or first published or scheduled for publication after 1 January 2010. All entries must be under 6,000 words and entirely original.

Prize: The winning author will receive £30,000 and the five runners-up £500. The winner will be announced at the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival in April 2011, with the longlist announced on 20 February 2011 and the shortlist on 13 March 2011.

Last year’s winner was New Zealand’s CK Stead, with his story ‘Last Season’s Man’. Read it here.

For full details of eligibility and how to submit a story, please download the terms and conditions and entry form here.
Terms and conditions here.

Monday, 20 September 2010

One-day Creative Writing Workshop with Dave Lordan - Kilkenny

Kilkenny gets creative.

This sounds great. I'm mighty tempted  myself.

September 25 · 11:00am - 4:00pm

Barnstorm Theatre Company, Kilkenny Writers' Club & The Munster Literature Centre present:

A one day Creative Writing workshop with Dave Lordan

Lordan's workshop will be divided into two parts:

The morning workshop, themed Sound, Style and Substance, will look at the connection between good writing and good reading, paying particular attention to the unique qualities of each participant's spoken as well as written voice. The workshop will focus on both the musical and dramatic qualities of words and participants will be trained on how to make the most of public readings of their work, in whatever genre.

In the afternoon participants will reconvene for Our Words in the World to look at strategies and avenues for publication and wider dissemination of participant's work in the light of recent developments in the publishing industry and the literary scene.

Location: Barnstorm Theatre, Kilkenny
Attendance fee: €20

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Interesting Links

On subjectivity when judging short stories from Robin Black

Chris Hamilton-Emery from salt on why to publish poetry ... Most volumes of poetry sell under a thousand copies, many sell less than 300...Statistically, most poetry sold in bookstores is sold to women, most of that is sold to people over 50 years of age, and most of that sold has been written by dead authors.

OK so if most poetry is bought by women, why are the reviewers top heavy with men?

The Problem with American Poetry from Bookslut...Our poets are not tearing down the fetters of our imaginations so we can dream and then create the next American society. Nor are they inventing the lexicon that will define how the next generation of Americans will think, believe, and feel...

Why are there so many poems about death and dying and getting old? The Truth about Lies ...The Poetry Foundation archive alone contains 928 poems about “Death.” Compare that to 65 about “Birth and Birthdays,”

Why not to date a writer from a grammar
Roadside Haiku - love it from Bandit Haiku Atlanta-based artist John Morse. New Yorker via Poetry Foundation. More from Baroque in Hackney including a readl photo.

The Value of Memories
Measured by the Ounce.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Emma Donoghue Booker nominee

Emma Donoghue

author of the Man Booker shortlisted Room
Saturday 9th October 2010 at 1pm
Edmund Burke Theatre, Trinity College
entrance off Nassau St)
Admission free. Booking: 01 674 4873


I'm suggesting you get your tickets early.

Actually, would she either have won or lost it by then?

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Grants for artists in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown

...for the purpose of providing financial assistance to individual artists, arts groups and arts organisations engaged in arts projects or events at local or county level. Grants are also available to support capital development and the professional development of individual artists.

Individual artists, arts groups and arts organisations working in all art-forms (architecture, circus, spectacle, street art, dance, film, literature, music, opera, theatre, visual arts and traditional arts) are eligible to apply. Collaborative applications are also welcomed.

The closing date for applications is Friday 1st October at 12 noon.

You can download an application form and guidelines for making an application at
For additional information contact or (01) 271 9532

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Poets to Check Out - Derrick Brown

...with Ass in the Title ...three times. Excellent

Monday, 13 September 2010

Reading at The Winding Stair

I'll be reading at the launch of The Moth, a new publication from Becky O'Connor in Cavan. It looks great, though I say it myself. It beautifully illustrated and includes:

An extract from Julia O'Faolain's memoir on The Galapagos Islands.
A sad poem by Heather Brett, a study in loss called Bankrupt.
A poem The Wild Sea by John McKeown with a killer last line
A tiny little snapshot of a poem Upstairs, Downstairs by Rebecca O'Connor who I think is reading
A fabulous, effortless (to read, not to write) sestina In Your Grandmother's House from Colette Bryce.
A lovely father-son poem Aeneas and His Father by Liam Aungier
A disturbing story Pur Yu Shoes on Susie We're Going Out Tonight from Eileen Casey
A highly visual poem not me by Niamh Bagnell who will also be reading
A mad poem This Park Now is Ruled By Dogs by Julia Bird
and the last to best, of course. What To Do With My Ashes by me. Instructions for my family in case I ever die (I'm not planning to ever but you never know)

Thursday 16th September at 7:30pm to 8pm.

The Winding Stair, on the Quays, Dublin.

Please come along. Should be good.

(I keep typing Winding Stars. Much nicer I think)

Irish Writers' Centre Tour

There is a good amount of poetry reading that goes on the length and breadth of the country and now the IWC are promoting prose reading.
Good idea, I love being read too, but I would suggest they chose slightly less tuffy venues though for a bit of atmosphere. What do you think?

Joseph O’Connor and Anthony Glavin
Chair: Catherine Dunne
Mon 27 Sept Irish Writers’ Centre
Wed 13 Oct City Library, Kilkenny

Hugo Hamilton and Mary O’Donnell
Chair: Catherine Phil MacCarthy
Wed 6 Oct Irish Writers’ Centre
Sun 10 Oct Triskel at River Lee Hotel, Cork
Thurs 25 Nov The Market House, Monaghan
Mícheál Ó Conghaile and Orna Ní Choileáin
Chair: Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill
Tues 12 Oct Irish Writers’ Centre
Wed 13 Oct George Bernard Shaw Theatre, Carlow
Sat 23 Oct Anam Cara Retreat, Béara, Co Cork
Claire Kilroy and Brian Leyden
Chair: Éilis Ní Dhuibhne
Wed 20 Oct Irish Writers’ Centre
Wed 27 Oct Longford County Library
Thurs 28 Oct Yeats Memorial Building, Sligo
Sean Mac Mathúna and Anna Heussaff
Chair: Mícheál Ó Ruairc
Wed 10 Nov Irish Writers’ Centre
Wed 17 Nov City Library, Kilkenny
Thurs 18 Nov Meadowlands Hotel, Tralee
Carlo Gebler and Lia Mills
Chair: June Considine
Thurs 18 Nov Irish Writers’ Centre
Wed 24 Nov Longford County Library
Thurs 25 Nov Yeats Memorial Building, Sligo

purpose of the series is to develop an audience for prose readings and to cultivate and encourage reading among the public. Often prose writers fade from public attention in the span between books, and it is the hope of the Irish Writers’ Centre that, by providing a regular platform for these writers, they can maintain a continuous rapport with their readers and increase their readership from book to book. The Irish Writers’ Centre also holds that it is essential to do everything possible within our society to nurture reading, and promoting an interest in individual writers and individual books contributes to this broader aim. 

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Poetry Bus - a colour for a ticket

The Poetry Bus this week is driven by Marion at Dragonfly.

Colours - I have quite a few poems about colours. Someone once recommended using colours in my writing for visual effect and to make my writing more colourful. I'm just saying...

I have one coming out in the Autumn issue of Magma so I can't post it here yet so here's another.

Removed now for rework and potential print publication

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Southword Poetry Submissions

Did you know Southword, the online Cork journal are taking poetry submissions until 15th September? I didn't until I read it on the stammering poet.
Editor: Leanne O'Sullivan. I met her once, she's lovely. And very young.

You have to send via email. (hurray)
There are strict formating guidelines to stop spammers (but what if your poem is about spam or lengthening your manhood?)
limit of 5 poems

Attach an up-to-date biographical note with a cover letter etc etc

Friday, 10 September 2010

7 Things Memes

Thanks to the lovely Orla Fay. 7 things about me that aren't all that common knowledge.

1. um. I secretly like memes like this. I rarely get them

2. I spent all last week resenting things, like having to go to work, having to do bank accounts, having to go to Tescos.

3. I have a degree in Physics, specialising in Atomic and Optics.

4. I adore Doctor Who, not just David Tennant but also Russell T Davis' writing and Stephen Moffat's writing. The new guy's quite good too. Amy Pond is better though. I haven't seen any of the much lauded Sherlock Holms.

5. I prefer Earl Grey tea

6. The first band I saw live was Ian Dury and The Blockheads.

7. I have a tattoo. But what? And where? Answers on a postcard. Answers in the comments. There may be prizes.

My favourite blogs have probably already been mentioned.
- Various Cushions
- Michael Farry
- Barbara's Bleeuugghh
- JoAnne at Titus the Dog
- Rachel Fox at More about the Song
- Peter at The Stammering Poet

Patrick Kavanagh Award (again)

Repeat after me, this year will be the year
this year will be the
this year will be
this year will
this year

Patrick Kavanagh award for an unpublished collection

Prize: The winner of this year’s award will receive €1,000. Certificates will be awarded to runners up in the competition.
Didn't runners up get money last year?

The award is open to poets, born in the island of Ireland, or of Irish nationality, or long term resident in Ireland.

The collection of poems in English must be original and consist of 20 poems. Individual poems should not be more than 40 lines.

The only works eligible are unpublished or magazine published work.

Judge: Brian Lynch

Website here

Fee: €25. (Janey!)

Deadline: Friday, 24th September 2010

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Bram Stoker Award

Via the lovely Michael Farry blog.

The Bram Stoker Literary Challenge held in conjunction with the Stoker Dracula International Halloween Festival of Horror.

The competition is open to everyone, everywhere! The scope of the theme field is just about limitless…..ghosts, vampires, banshees, death, blood, haunted houses, spooky graveyards, creepy bell towers, gruesome dungeons, horror castles, scary blood curdling noises, eerie nightmares, macabre happenings …. all can be real or imagined!

All entries must be in English and the theme must be gothic/horror with a maximum of 2000 words. Entries can be in the form of a prose piece, a short story, a poem, a play (drama) or even a song or ballad.

Fee: 20 euro (Gulp!) Update, now 10 Euro!

First Prize 500 euro and The Academy of Bram Stoker Literary Award presented at banquet in Clontarf Castle on Halloween Night
Deadline 1st October 2010. More on the website. Update now 15th October!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Electric Picnic Sunday

Woke up to Sauna tent. Sunshine. Imagine! Bacon, tea and pork pie for breakfast. Yum. Off to the main arena for the traditional picnic Sunday Service, the totally uplifting Dublin Gospel Choir. Well worth getting up for.

Very chilled atmosphere with loads of happy kids.

Picked up this De Paul guy - promoting their work with the homeless with Life's no Picnic on the Streets.
 Then a total treat, the 55 piece RTE concert orchestra, in full evening dress and wellies with a 1:20 set of classics and film scores. Star Wars, Bach, Indiana Jones. Brilliant. Ending with Riverdance. This must have been one of the biggest audiences they've played to. The sound system could have been a bit louder to hear at the back.
Guest singers included Gerry Fish, Gemma Hayes and 2 cool London Jamaicans who said Respect to Laois when they found out where in Ireland they were.

Packed up the tent and lugged it to the car. Took ages...

Back to Mindfield. Poet Tom Matthews with a lovely plummy voice did a terrific Humpty Dumpty homage to Auden. Shades of Wendy Copy's Hickory Dickory Dock poem.

Then the fizzing, funny and anarchic Julian Gough in the Literary tent in unfortunate banana trousers. Giving out about the establishment and Arts Council and the Irish literary scene being all same-y and not pushing the boundaries.

Dropped in on Fat Freddy's Drop in the Electric Arena, more musical tourism. These are from Wellington and had another great brass section. Great audience rapport too.
Mad crowd in the main arena sharing Mac Makeup and other substances.

Then Mumford and Sons were a revelation on the main stage. Word perfect crowd left me speechless. Highly recommended. And terribly good looking too.

Left before the rain started. Missed The National. There a list of things I didn't get to do a mile long. Next year...

Saying Goodbye.

Electric Picnic Saturday

Woke up in the tent feeling rough. It was raining, drizzling but cosy in the tent. The campsite loos were foul.
Nibbled on toast and sipped my tea and went back to bed for another while. That was a good idea.

Overheard from a tent. "AND I shift the quiet girl at the Silent Disco"
Felt great then and went to see

 And So I Watch You From Afar in Crawdaddy, a thrash metal band from Belfast who thrashed and wailed and screamed at the mic and didn't seem to have any songs with words. Their energy was infectious.

Off to the Comedy tent which was HUGE this year and also packed. Saw Collum McDonnell, a Cork comedian. Very funn. Followed by John Lynn. He's the Hobbit one.

Stopped in Mindfield , you could stay there all day. Saw the lovely Dermot Bolger interviewing Roddy Doyle 

 and the awesome Irvine Welsh, both of whom held the packed tent engrossed. An embarrassment of literary riches.

Went to the Science Gallery tent in Mindfield to watch Ignite - a great 2 hours of 5 minute presentations on everything from grass and chimps to Elvis to Everest BaseCamp. BP Fallon was inspiring on fame and belief

and 5Camp intrigued with a whirlwind tour of anime.

Saw the end of poet Colm Keegan's set at Stephen James Smith's ever popular, ever electric Glor Session in The Word tent.

Crystal Castles in the Electric Arena, thrashing experimental electronic music band from Toronto. The lead singer was a beautiful, gothy screaming girl in white tights. She flung herself across the stage so the knees were soon black.

There were 3 Crystal groups on - Castles, Fighters and Swing. It would not do to get them mixed up. Reports of Crystal Swing at This is Pop Baby were excellent however.
Off to another taster Poetry Divas reading as part of the lovely Caca Milis cabaret from Wexford.
Breezed back through The Word tent and saw the kick-ass Poetry Chicks.
and Casper, the coolest baby at the festival.

And Ardal O'Hanlon at the packed out comedy tent, very funny and accommodating to a demanding audience. Demanding in a Father Ted/My Lovely Horse way.
Caught some of Paul Brady on Crawdaddy, an excellent singer with a classy band and songs. Great atmosphere.
Then some of The Antlers on the Cosby Stage and indie rock band from Brooklyn who were an unexpected treat. As was the Mojito made by this painstakingly careful Spanish Bacardi guy.

Imelda May owned the main stage. She was fizzing and excited. Her parents were watching from the side and she had friends and relatives in the crowd so the whole atmosphere was sparkling. She has such a fantastic voice and presence on stage, everyone fell in love with her and didn't stop. We were all singing along and dancing like mad things. Rock-a-Billy's never been so hot.

Wood Fired Pizza for dinner as recommended by the really lovely John McKenna who enthused about the food stalls at the Bridgestone stand.
had a look at the Silent Disco, queue a mile long to dance in silence with headphone. Bizarre.
Then to Mindfield. The Book Boutique on The Word stage, which was very cool.
Leviathan to see The Brad Pitt Light Orchestra who were great. Followed by my hero, Jinx Lennon who had an enthusiastic following and a spirited set.

Gil Scott Heron in Crawdaddy was so ultimately cool. He did rousing blues and looked amazingly sexy for a man of 70 plus. Great brass too.

Finishing off back at Body and Soul for the night. Fabulous fire dancers and some stoned guy who wanted to run away with me. Flattering but not so very tempting. He smelled of festival.

Electric Picnic Friday

My third Electric Picnic started out in glorious sunshine while lugging much too much camping gear far too far. I was in Andy Warhol (shaes of Being John Malkovitch)  Not sure I'd camp again though...Anyway, after that trauma, went for a wander around and brief explore of the 60 acres.
The Green Crafts area was worth a browse, especially the Divine Chocolate stand.

Caught a bit of someone who I think was Delta Maid on the Cosby Stage, a lovely singer and guitar.

Then met up with the Divas and did a run through in the lovely De Paul tent who were raising awareness of the work they do with the homeless. They were offering lovely tea and biscuits too.
The Word tent was curated by the tireless Marty Mulligan.
Watched Karl Parkinson's set, a rousing set of poems including a great homage to himself and how fantastic he is. No better man...
Then the Poetry Divas took to the stage, all sparkled and feathered. We read and laughed and shimmied and slagged each other off for 45 minutes. The audience drifted in and out and especially seemed to enjoy Barbara's boobs.
Then main arena to see Modest Mouse (ho-hum) then the fabulously sexy Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music. Looked like Bill Nighy on Sax from where I was standing.
Very beautiful, singers and violinist too. Typical Roxy. I ate a crappy falafal wrap which left my tummy upset - not good in a portaloo - which I tried to kill with Heineken and Mojito. Explored Body and Soul which had loads to look at. A boat. In a tree.
Then lounged around in a Teepee in  and drank tea.
This installation played music on discarded household objects. Mad!
The place changes at night. Much like myself.