Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Poetry Now Festival Sunday

I heard that Grace Wells won the Strong prize for her first collection When God Has Been Called Away to Greater Things published by Dedalus. Many congratulations and, again, a strong shortlist.

I went to 4 o’clock reading. Actually I was late, not through any fault of my own for once. The traffic on the blue sky afternoon in Dun Laoghaire was completely snarled up and the car park full with a big queue so I had to park miles away and jog in late, to a back seat.

First Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill who did some of her mermaid poems, which I’m not a huge fan of. I know they’re metaphors for our time and all that but they don’t work for me. I preferred her other poems but, not having more than a few words of Irish, the breaks when she read them in Irish broke it up too much for me.

Then Don Paterson, probably the highlight of the festival for me. A witty Scot with cleve, thoughtful poems, some from his award winning collection Rain and some new ones. One inspired by Battlestar Galactica. Great stuff.

The festival ended with heatfelt thanks from the stage by Belinda McKeon as her curatorship came to a natural end. I hope Poetry Now, in its new blended home at the Mountains to the Sea festival, doesn’t lose its identity. The visiting poets both home and international have been exceptional but what makes the festival in my opinion, is the audience of poets and poetry lovers.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

More on Poetry Now - Saturday

Saturday 2pm Irish Times Award for a collection in the Gallery, started late as Seamus was stuck in traffic, Traffic is a feature of Dun Laoghaire, clogged streets and little parking. There were lots of poets in the room, a scary number actually when you consider these are the competition, all submitting to the same small number of magazines and awards. Seamus Heaney won for Human Chain. There was a lovely talk from Brian Lynch, one of the judges, saying it was hard to choose. The collections were all landmarks in the poets’ development but Seamus always came out of the discussions like a man emerging from smoke, walking steadily. Seamus was gracious in accepting and read one of the poems he wrote for a grandchild.

3pm was the Poems for Our Ireland, supposed to be poets and other personalities reading poems that spoke to the current state of the country and where to go from here. Some veered away from the topic, I think. A mixed bag introduced by Vincent Woods, in alphabetical order, starting with

Dermot Bolger who read his powerful poem, Neilstown Matadors which I’ve heard many times now but you still pick up new things.

Michael Cronin who asked why the pyromaniacs had become the firefighters. He read a poem called Campo di Fiori by Czeslaw Milosz.

Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill read her short poem called The Language Issue in Irish and in English saying that things end, things change, Ireland is still Ireland or something like that. Probably the most hopeful poem of the set.

Borbala Farago, a Hungarian poet, read a poem by Anne Le Marquand Hartigan called The Art of Letting Things Go. About the tree letting its leaves go. And some.

Diarmaid Ferriter, the historian read a Kavanagh poems 1954 and Canal Bank Walk.

Alice Lee director of Trust Ireland talked about the street poet Tony Gill and then read a poem by the priest/poet Brian Power called A Sociologist Looks Back.

Then an inspired guest, Jinx Lennon played Nothing But a Leprechaun on guitar.

Dave Lordan followed with A Song for the Minister of Education.

Brian Lynch read his poem A Distant View of the Irish Disaster.

Sinead Morrissey read a poem by Alice Oswald called Various Portents

Senator David Norris only mentioned his run for the presidency once, talked about Shelley (was it?) saying that poets were the unacknowledged legislators of mankind and that the fifth province in Ireland is the Arts and then read Easter 1916 by Yeats.

Miriam O’Callaghan, the broadcaster said that it was all about life and love and death read a poem written about the death of her sister by Frank McGuinness called A Woman Untouched.

Leanne O’Sullivan
, one of the judges of the Irish Times Award, read her moving, new poem Safe House about a story in Scarriff, Co Clare.

Gerard Smyth, the managing Edtor of the Irish Times and poet talked about the 50th anniversary of the 1916 uprising and read "South of the Border"

Joseph Woods read Old Country Awakening.

Then Jinx Lennon came back with another piece called The Sumo Option is Good for Business with his megaphone. Close to the bone this one.

Vincent Woods read a poem by Mary Oliver called The Uses of Sorrow. (I think. Any mistakes here my own, memory and handwriting)

I wonder is it best on these sort of occasions to read your own poem or someone else’s?

6:30 was Dave Lordan who read from his 2 collections The Boy in The Ring (including the title poem which I’m fond of) and Invitation to a Sacrifice. He’s so good at memorising and performing them.

Then Fiona Sampson, a eloquent and precise reading; she has a beautiful way with words and rhythm, which is what it’s all about I guess.

Then Bloodaxe poet Jaan Kaplinski from Estonia. He hasn’t been writing recently and started with a poem that was a minute’s silence. A bit silly if you ask me. He is of the opinion that there are not only too many poems already but too many poets. Probably true. Too much competition out there. Is there anything new to say. Jaan was videoed by a guy in front of me who I realised later was Neil Astley. Wish I’d asked him to consider my collection. I’d love to be a Bloodaxe poet. Bloodaxe are working hard to build a library of their poets reading, some of which you can see on Youtube. Well worth a nose around.

My head was so full of poetry, I didn’t want to dilute it and didn’t stay for Sinead Morrissey and Gerald Stern.

Spring events at the Seamus Heaney Centre, QU Belfast

On Journalism and the Economy
Thursday, 31 March 2011 at 2pm
In the second of a series of conversations on journalism, BBC Writer in Residence at Queen's, Malachi O'Doherty, meets the BBC's award-winning Business Editor Robert Peston to discuss reporting business and economics.
Robert has published a series of exclusive stories about the global financial crisis. Before joining the BBC in February 2006, he was a print journalist for more than 20 years for the Financial Times, Sunday Telegraph and Independent. He has also published two critically acclaimed books, Who Runs Britain? and Brown's Britain.
Tickets to this event are expected to be in high demand and must be booked in advance. Tickets will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Thursday, 31 March at 8 p.m. in the Great Hall, Queen’s University Belfast
Michael Longley is one of the most celebrated poets in the language, the recipient of numerous awards, including the Whitbread Poetry Award, the T.S. Eliot Prize, and the Queen’s Gold Medal for poetry. He was the recent holder of the Ireland Chair of Poetry. His new collection A Hundred Doors (Jonathan Cape) is published on 17th March.

Lunchbox Reading: Boyle and Wilkinson
Friday, 1 April @1.00: Seamus Heaney Centre Seminar Room.
Maureen Boyle (poet) and Sheena Wilkinson (novelist)

Lunchbox Reading: Cummings, Mac Lochlainn and Clerkin
Friday, 13 May @ 1.00: Seamus Heaney Centre Seminar Room
3 Irish-language poets: Philip Cummings, Gearóid MacLochlainn and Catríona Clerkin.

Creative Writing M.A. Reading
Thursday, 19 May at 8 p.m. in Lecture Theatre G9, Lanyon North, Queen’s University Belfast
Students of the M.A. Creative Writing programme present selections of their work.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Irish women writers gather at Easons

Celebrating Irish women fiction writers is the theme of a public event.

Where: Eason bookstore on O’Connell Street in Dublin
When: Thursday 31st March at 7.30pm.

Headlined by Patricia Scanlan, whose book Love and Marriage is just out from Transworld Ireland, the roll-call for the evening includes Cecelia Ahern, Sheila O’Flanagan, Claudia Carroll, Melissa Hill, Monica McInerney, Niamh O’Connor, Sarah Webb, Alex Barclay, Kate Thompson, Claire Dowling, Liz Lyons, Marita Conlon-McKenna, Ciara Geraghty, Catherine Dunne and Alison Walsh.

The event is free, but, with space for only 150 people, tickets must be booked in advance on 01-8583800.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Poetry Now Festival Saturday

Saturday at the festival started with a workshop lead by Fiona Sampson, a fine poet and editor of Poetry Review. The workshop was crammed to the gunnels with talented poets and it was good to meet them. But what competition! And all creeping up on the first collection milestone. Fiona went through a poem from each poet (would have been easier with copies) A couple of gems I wrote down and paraphrase.
At the beginning you have to beguile your reader who is not totally on your wavelength.
You shouldn't have to read a poem twice to let it say what it wants to say
Beware of stapling the poem to the page with punctuation

She was full of praise for the poems but what I should have asked her whether she would take some for Poetry Review if we all submitted. I may do so anyway...

And Seamus Heaney won the Irish Times award for his collection Human Chain. A terrifically strong shortlist and some kind words. He was very humble and gracious in accepting.

More later as I'm hurrying back to see Don Paterson read now.

Seamus Heaney Centre, Poetry Summer School 2011

If you've a week to spare at the end of June, this would be very good.

A Week of Creative Practice
Monday 27 June - Friday 1 July 2011
Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, Queen's University Belfast

Sessions by
Leontia Flynn
Ciaran Carson
Sinead Morrissey
Medbh McGuckian

Applicants should submit by email no less than three and no more than six poems to Caroline Crothers by 18 April 2011

There are limited places available and those who are successful will be notified by 2 May 2011. 

Contact: Caroline Crothers, about application procedures and costs.

Not sure why they're not advertising the costs online though...

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Poetry Now Festival

The Canadian poet, Ann Carson gave the keynote address at the Poetry Now Festival on Thursday night. She was the first woman poet to win the TS Eliot prize. The theatre was packed to the rafters but only the gentle waft of disco drum and bass was to be heard over her address. She was introduced by Belinda McKeon, the festival curator, and came on to warm applause.

Her long discourse started with untranslatable words used in Homer’s work when talking about things that come from the Gods. With a made up word, the reader has to pause. And that’s good for the Gods. At least I think that’s what she said. She also told us that Cliche is an onomatopoeiaic word, being the sound the printer's stereotype made when hitting the paper. A over-frequently used phrase having it's own stereotype made up.

She moved on to Joan of Arc who refused to define the ‘voices’ that told her how to live her life, and death. She was illiterate so her words were spoken in Middle French and translated into court, legalise Latin. But she mangled her meaning when she did not want the meaning to be cut and dried to the judges’ understanding of contemporary angels and various visitations. At least I think that’s what she said.

Moving swiftly on to Francis Bacon, she said that he wanted to paint a scream. Not a person screaming per se but a sensation of a scream. She made particular reference to his picture of a version of a Velasquez picture of a Pope Innocent X

Then onto some German dude who translated Homer into German but turned his untranslatable words into words that were more sensation than sense. And they locked him up. He wanted to rip the lids off words and plunge his arms in. See PJ Nolan's blog for more on this.

Loads of ideas fired one after the other late at night was hard to keep up for this member of the MTV generation. My mind would wander off following one thought and when I came back, she'd moved on. Worth going though.

Belinda also made the, not unexpected, announcement that the Poetry Now festival as a standalone festival is no more. From 2012, it will be incorporated into the Mountains and Sea literary festival which happens in September. With its own curator, it hopes to introduce poetry to more than just the regular die hards. 
Loads more happening this weekend. See the programme here. See you there! 

There's a very good write up here

Friday, 25 March 2011

Lightship Literary Competitions

Lightship Publishing are a new publishing house who will publish literary fiction and poetry. To help fund their lists and discover new voices, they will run annual international writing contests: the Lightship International Short Story Prize, the Lightship International Poetry Prize, the Lightship International Flash Fiction Prize, and First Chapter.

This is their inaugural year and they are absolutely thrilled to have writers, agents and editors of the highest calibre, Toby Litt, Kachi A. Ozumba, Jackie Kay, Tibor Fischer, Simon Trewin and Alessandro Gallenzi, as respective judges in the 2010-2011 competitions.

Experienced readers will assist the named judges in selecting the shortlists.

Prizes: The winners of the Lightship International Short Story Prize and the Lightship International Poetry Prize will be awarded £1,000 each. The winner of the Lightship International Flash Fiction Prize will be awarded £500.

Lightship Publishing will be publishing a paperback anthology of the winning entries, in partnership with Alma Books. The winner and nine runners-up in each competition - Short Story, Poetry, and Flash Fiction - will be published. Lightship Publishing will stage an awards ceremony for the winners and runners-up in Kingston-upon-Hull in October 2011.

More info here

Deadline for all will be 30th June 2011.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Waterstone's 11

Although Waterstones is closing down all over, they have an innovative idea here to promote debut novels. They showcase a chapter of 'carefully chosen' (for this read those that the publishes paid for) so you can have a read before deciding whether to buy. I think it's a great idea.

See here from Follow the Thread book blog

One of them is Kevin Barry, he of There Are Little Kingdoms, a brilliant short story collection. He has a mainstream, alternate world novel called City Of Bohane coming out next month I think. I have acquired a review copy to read so I'm reading it ahead of the posse. (Dunno about the hat, though Kevin.)

And what's more, they're not all white, they're not all men and they're not all young. Diversity rules.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Tips on Memorising poems

I am not good at memorising things. I forget lemons and toilet paper when I go to the shops. I forget my pin number. I forget what I forget. So I'm not good at memorising poems. But I try. Sometimes I send myself to sleep at night trying to remember my lines. (It would help if they rhymed)

I do think that that handful of paper that inevitably, in my case anyway, falls or gets mixed up. And then there's that barrier thing between you and the audience. Sometimes for reasons of fear, sometimes paranoia, sometimes it's just a teddy bear.

So I'm taking note of some simple tricks here.
- use mental images. Good idea.

And here some tips on developing your 'performance' (Yes, I know sometimes that can be considered a dirty word)
- Breathe (always good)

Give it a go.

Thanks to Sarah Griff for pointing me here.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Poets to Check Out - Don Paterson

Why Do You Stay Up So Late

Very excited. He's reading at Poetry Now Festival soon.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Can you tell a story?

There's an interesting and lucrative competition run by Lyons Tea to make and tell a story. They have a roadshow where you can record it or you can video yourself and upload it on the site. Have a listen to some of the ones there already and also some of the ones told by the Lyons storytellers. I liked the way Clare Muireann Murphy told hers.

The judges filter to the top 10. They are stand up comedian, Karl Spain, novelist and actor Claudia Carroll and storyteller and wordsmith Clare Muireann Murphy.

The top 10 are then put online for people to vote for (with all the shananigans that can entail) but the prize is only massive, €10,000. There are prizes by province too.

It's all here.

They say the are running a nationwide search for Ireland's top storyteller. A story can be fact or fiction - that's your call. If you’ve got the gift of the gab, put your money where your mouth is and tell us your favourite story in under 2 minutes.

Deadline: midnight on Monday 11th April 2011.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Workshops like busses

None for years, then loads come along at once. The Guardian is jumping on the wagon lead by the MAs and MFAs, followed by Faber and I don't know who else and running their own creative writing masterclasses.

It could be quite good but, if I were them, I'd make it selective. There's nothing more frustrating than being way ahead or way behind the rest of the class.

This course may already be filled, of course. 

When will the Irish Times jump on board?
"All pens are filled with potential"

Sarah Hall and Adam Foulds and Hanif Kureishi.

An amazing opportunity to improve your creative writing skills with three of the finest writers in the land

Dates: 9-10 April 2011

Location: Kings Place, London N1

Course price: £400.00 (inclusive of VAT)

Maximum number of places: 30

This intensive two-day course, led by Adam Foulds and Sarah Hall, and with a guest appearance by Hanif Kureishi, is offered to writers interested in short and long fiction. Hosted at the Guardian offices, the atmosphere will be one of shared enthusiasm, commitment and utmost encouragement. The programme will take the form of workshops, both fun and formal, which combine exercises designed to inspire and generate work, with discussions about technique and editing skills.

Strong fiction must eliminate weaker writing, but few, if any, writers produce the perfect first draft. What does the process involve and how can imperfect text be improved upon without losing its original energy?

How does the relationship between a writer's intuition or free expression, and the materialisation of character and subject matter, really work? Why does style and perspective matter? What makes for naturalistic dialogue and a realistic landscape? Can the trajectory of a story be planned or might it be 'found' retrospectively after the first draft is finished, then marshalled in the next stages? What do readers enjoy reading and is the writer obliged to take this into account while writing?

Three of the country's finest writers will offer their expert guidance in exploring these fundamental questions. Writers at all stages are welcome.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

This is not a political blog

But it is about writers and poets.

Have you got a vote in the Seanad Éireann Election 2011? (I haven't)

You have to be an Irish citizen and a graduate of either TCD or an NUI university to vote for one of three senators. That is to say, TCD has three and NUI has another three.

(Also a separate voting school is newly elected TDs (166), outgoing senators (45) and city and county councillors (883). Total electorate of 1094.)

For the TCD senators there two of the three sitting candidates are up for election again and there are 18 other candidates on the ballots. Lots of people are thinking about not voting, mainly because they think the senate is a waste of money.

(Personally I believe a second house in some shape or form is a necessity to keep some kind of check on the first house, but I'm only allowed to vote for the first house)

This year though you have a choice. You can vote for a poet, a real published, really rather good poet. And you can vote for a scientist, a real science professor, all rolled into the one candidate. What more could you want? Science is a necessity to get the country out of the hole we've dug for ourselves. Arts and Literature are a necessity to get over ourselves.

Have a look at Prof. Iggy McGovern's website here before you decide whether or not to vote. He pleads his case more eloquently than I can. He's worth your consideration. Paddy Power are currently giving him odds of 50-1. Let's try and increase that.

Issue of Ballot Papers: 21 March 2011
Close of Poll: 27 April 2011 at 11:00am (votes must be returned by post)

Friday, 18 March 2011

Golden Pen

Enter your Poems and Stories in the 13th Annual Golden Pen Competition.
First prize is €100 for adults and €50 for students. Prizes for 2nd and 3rd placed writers plus publication in our Festival Magazine

Entry fee: ADULTS €5 : (£4 or $5, UK/USA)
STUDENTS: €3 or £2

Stories limited to 2000 words, poems 70 lines.

Send your poems and stories to:
The Golden Pen,
Co. Galway.

Deadline: 1st Apr 11

Per the Stammering poet, it's run by the hard-working and immensely likable John Corbett, it is very much a one-man show down in Gurteen, co Galway, though the poems are sent off anonymously to be judged.

No online entry but all short-listed entrants are invited down to afternoon tea and made extremely welcome.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

DLR Voices Presents

Happy St Patricks Day!

Lucy Caldwell & Elizabeth Day

A county arts group supporting their local emerging artists. There should be more of this!

Hear these two brilliant young Irish novelists reading from their latest novels The Meeting Point (review here) and Scissors Paper Stone (Reviewed here)

When: Wednesday March 23rd 2011, at 7.30pm

Where: County Hall, Marine Rd, Dun Laoghaire

Tickets €5.00 from Pavilion Box Office

Lucy Caldwell is currently a Royal Literary Fund fellow in the English Department at Royal Hollaway Uni.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

North Tipperary County Council’s Grants

Do you live in North Tipperary?

The Following are the closing dates for North Tipperary County Council’s Support Schemes for the Arts 2011.

Support for Professional Artists
Blas International Summer School Bursary
Tyrone Guthrie Bursary
Drama League of Ireland Summer School Bursary
Solo Artist Exhibition
Local Drama Scheme
Artist in Primary School Scheme

Deadlines for all: 31st March 2011
except Artist in Primary School Scheme – 8th April 2011

Guidelines and applications forms are available here.

If you have any questions or queries in relation to any of the above schemes, please do not hesitate to contact the arts office:
T: +353 (0)67 44860.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

19th National Student Poetry Competition 2011

Are you or do you know any young poets? That's under 18.

Windows Publications, in association with Cavan Crystal, is pleased to announce the opening of their 19th National Poetry Competition.

In addition to cash prizes in each category the winner (who must attend the ceremony in May in Cavan) will be presented with a beautiful and much coveted Cavan Crystal goblet sponsored by Cavan Crystal Design. The first prize for each of the student categories is €100 or equivalent.

Entry to this competition is free. Entrant details (name, age, school or contact number) must be clearly marked on the BACK of each entry if posting work or at the end of the work if sending by email. Poems should NOT have been published before or won a prize in any other competition, and must be the student’s OWN work.

Competition entries will also be accepted on line as well as by post. Send entries to or by post to Cavan Crystal Hotel, Dublin Rd., Co. Cavan clearly stating which category you are entering for.
  • Junior Category- Open to all students aged 10-13 throughout Ireland in primary or national school education or equivalent.
  • Senior Category- Open to all students aged 13-18 throughout Ireland in second level education or equivalent.
  • Irish language Category- Open to all students in Ireland between 10 and 18.

Deadline: March 31st
Judges: Heather Brett and Noel Monah

Monday, 14 March 2011

William Trevor / Elizabeth Bowen International Short Story Competition 2011

I am a little wary of this competition. There were some strange things happened to it a couple of years ago when it was just William Trevor's name, the details escape me, but, as always, buyer beware.

It costs 20 Euro and is snailmail only.

Mitchelstown Literary Society, the organising committee, is pleased to announce that entries are now being accepted for the above Competition; this being the first under this banner.

The short listing adjudicator for the competition is Vincent McDonnell, who is a well known short story writer and has won several prestigious national competitions in recent years. He will select a short list of circa 25 stories.

The final adjudicator will be John MacKenna, whose recent book of short stories, “The River Field”, has received much critical acclaim. If competition, in any facet of life, is the act of testing oneself against, or being judged by, the best then, in this competition, that tenet certainly holds true”.

Each story should contain a maximum of 3000 words

Deadline: Friday 29th April 2011 (Last post)

The winner will receive the Prize of 2,500 Euro and a Laptop Computer. Five runners up will receive cash prizes of 200.00 Euro each.

There is an entry fee of 20.00 Euro per entry and each entry must have an official entry form attached.

Entries, by post only, to:

Trevor/Bowen International Short Story Competition,
37 Upper Cork Street, Mitchelstown, Co. Cork, Ireland

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Books I've been reading

Part II in an irregular series.
Books I've read recently and books I forgot to mention last time.
Click on the links to buy at Amazon (and support a starving writer)

Started Early, Took My Dog
Kate Atkinson
Love Kate's writing. Parallel stories interwoven and witty. There's a great dog too.

Skippy Dies
Paul Murray (Paperback - Feb 4, 2010)
Enjoying this - witty, great boy characterisation and sad too. Not 100% convinced by the girl characters, too many problems, not much normality. Longlisted for the Man Booker prize and others.

Invitation to a Sacrifice (Salmon Poetry)
Dave Lordan (Paperback - Jun 30, 2010)
There are some terrific, hard hitting poems here. Also some that probably work better on stage. Lots of Anger. Loud.

Ghost Light
Joe O'Connor 2009
Lyrical writing. Interesting characters but I found the wingeing and complaining a bit much. It's chosen as the One City One Book this year in Dublin which will do wonders for sales.

Sprig Muslin
Miss Georgette Heyer (Paperback - Jun 2, 2005)
Luciously witty regency romance. She's very popular for a reason. Strong girl characters, dashing chaps and period detail.

Heartstone (Matthew Shardlake 5)
C. J. Sansom (Hardcover - Sep 3, 2010)
Tudor crime solved by an ingenious and imperfect humpbacked lawyer. Great reading.

Friday, 11 March 2011

South Dublin County Council Arts Bursaries & Awards 2011

South Dublin County are generous enough to offer grants to those living or working in the county. Unfortunately I don't work there any more. I'm Dublin City now and they don't car about me.

Applications are now invited from artists of all disciplines living or working in South Dublin County for South Dublin County Council’s Arts Bursaries and Awards 2011.

Bursaries for Individual Artists 2011
South Dublin County Council allocates bursaries annually to support individual artists in all disciplines to pursue a particular project or to further enhance their career within the arts. We encourage applications from artists engaging with unusual or challenging forms and concepts in their practice, and artists exploring different ways to address complexity and/or engage with ‘an audience’. The successful applicant’s proposal should endeavour to be developmental in the context of the artist’s work/medium as well as the artist’s personal development. The maximum award is E2500.

For application forms and further details contact:
Blaithin Keegan, The Arts Office, South Dublin County Council, County Hall, Dublin 24.
T: +353 (0)1 414 9000 ext. 3365.
Alternatively, you can download information and application forms at: under the ‘Arts Grants and Bursaries’ section.

Deadline: 31st March 2011 at 1pm

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Waterford Writers Weekend

Or as it used to be known, The Sean Dunne festival.

18-20th March 2011.


Friday 18th March
 2.00: Central Library: Poets Thomas McCarthy and Leanne O’Sullivan will read from their collections. 

9.30:  Henry Downes Pub: Open Mic Night - a night of music, poetry, prose and performance in a relaxed and fun environment facilitated by poet Thomas McCarthy.
Admission: Free.

Saturday 19th March

1.00: Central Library: Waterford's Tea Party - Come along and meet RTE's business editor David Murphy and author and columnist Martina Devlin, to discuss the state of the nation, the Banksters who are still at large and anything else you fancy over a nice cup of tea.
 Admission: Free.

 2.00 to 5.00: Tower Hotel: How to get published - Writing workshop with Vanessa O’Loughlin.
 Admission: €5. Booking necessary.

3.00: Central Library: Readings by Ed O’Loughlin from his soon to be published "Toploader", Peter Murphy "John the Revelator" and Brian Leyden "The Home Place". 
Admission: Free.

7.00: Tower Hotel: Compass Writers Group - Poetry, prose and music in a Sunday Miscellany style event.
Admission: Free.

 Sunday 20th March
11.00: Central Library: SUPERMAN IS BORING -creative writing workshop for 8 to 12 year olds with Eimear Cheasty. Booking necessary, Admission: Free.

More here

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Poets to Check Out - Kim Addonizio

For International Women's Day. A poem called 'What Woman Want'

(I'm not sure it ticks all my boxes, no mention of chocolate and eyeliner that doesn't smudge and world peace but hey)

Writing and Working

Reading and Discussion that I think is part of International Women's Day.

Thursday 10 March 2011, 6pm
Goethe-Institut, 37 Merrion Square, Dublin 2
in German and English
Admission free

Three novelists, Siobhan Parkinson, Rachel van Kooij and Olga Flor, will talk about their experience of not only being a writer but of pursuing other careers as well – such as physicist, special needs therapist and publisher. The influence of these activities on the women’ writing and the difference between the Austrian and Irish literary landscape will also be a focus of discussion.

Olga FLOR is a Viennese-born novelist who has lived in Vienna, Cologne and Graz. She studied Physics and has worked in multimedia; her first novel „Erlkönig“ was published 2002, the second novel called „Talschluss“ in 2005 and her third novel „Kollateralschaden“ was nominated for the German Book Price in 2008.

Rachel van KOOIJ was born in Wageningen, The Netherlands and moved to Austria at the age of 10. She studied educational science and special needs therapy and works in an institution for adults with mental disabilities. She has published seven books for children and teenagers and most of them have been awarded prizes. Her books have been translated into several languages (Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian and Dutch). For her book “Klaras Kiste” teaching materials have been provided to German teachers in Secondary schools all across Ireland in this school year.

Siobhán PARKINSON is a novelist and one of Ireland‘s best known writers for children. She has about 20 books in print, a bagful of awards and nominations and her books have been translated into Danish, German, French, Italian, Russian, Latvian, Japanese, for instance. As well as being a writer she has been both the editor and the publisher of a new children‘s programme called „Little Island“, which brought out its first batch of books in March 2010.

Johanna ÖTTL is the Austrian lecturer at Trinity College Dublin.

Presented by the Austrian Embassy Dublin
Supported by the Goethe-Institut Irland

Website here

Monday, 7 March 2011

Animated Poem

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Wigtown Poetry Competition 2011

The Wigtown Poetry Competition is Scotland’s most prestigious poetry prize. Fees are quite steep though.

Winning poets will be invited to appear at the Wigtown Book Festival in 2011.

The winners, the runner-up and 8 commended poems will be published in Southlight, the Dumfries and Galloway Literary magazine supported by dgArts and by Wigtown Book Festival.

Deadline: 5pm Tuesday 3rd May 2011
Winners notified by Friday 5th August 2011

Winners will be published on from Saturday 24th September 2011.

1st Prize £2500
Runner-up £500

Eight additional prizes of £25 each
Judge: Brian Johnstone

Gaelic Prize £300
Judge: Aonghas Phàdraig Caimbeul - Angus Peter Campbell

Scots Prize £300
Judge: Rab Wilson

Fee structure

The first poem submitted costs £8.00
Multiple entries: the first three poems cost a total of £22.00. Each subsequent entry after the first three costs £6 or a total of £16 for every additional block of 3, ie:

1 poem £8; 2 poems £16; 3 poems £22; 4 poems £28; 5 poems £34; 6 poems £38; 7 poems £44; 8 poems £50; 9 poems £54; 10 poems £60; 11 poems £66; 12 poems £70 etc.

Link here

Friday, 4 March 2011

Another Publishing Day

If you haven't been to one of these days before, they can be really useful.

From Inspiration to Publication, Publishing Seminar

Saturday March 12th: 10.30am-4.30pm

Novelist Emer Martin will join the Irish Writers’ Centre at 19 Parnell Square in hosting an information day on publishing that will include Literary Agent Yvonne Kinsella and Book Editor Deirdre O'Neill. The day will feature talks from industry experts and will offer the opportunity to pose questions to the speakers.

The day will commence with a talk on 'The Editorial Process' by Deirdre O'Neill, former managing editor at New Island Books (2008-2010). This will be followed by 'The Author-Agent Relationship’ by Yvonne Kinsella, Literary Agent for Prizeman & Kinsella Literary Agency. The next talk, ‘Publicising a Book from Manuscript to Paperback’, will be given by Helen Gleed O'Connor, Literary Publicist for Gill Hess Ltd (clients include Random House, Transworld, Simon & Schuster and Faber & Faber). After lunch, Fiction Buyer for Eason's Stephen Boylan will discuss 'Book Trends and the Marketplace'. The final talk will be 'Sustaining a Writer's Life' from Emer Martin.

Registration is from 10.30am; tickets are €60 for non-members, €50 for members and must be booked in advance by paying online or calling the Centre.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Interesting Links

How some publishers make cover pages - Windmill Books. (Others just reused stock photos which is why some books look familiar. Yes, you have read a book between those covers before)

Poetry Digest - Submit your short poem with an apple theme and have it baked on a cake. Delicious!

Why Philip Henscher thinks we as a society don't value poetry enough to buy it. Do you agree?

A story of editing from Dalkey Archive press from Mima Simić

Famous writers as Lego men and women from Flavorwire. Nuff said.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

World Book Day at the Irish Writers' Centre

Wondering what to do for World Book Day this Thursday 3rd March?

Read a book! Pass on a book.

Also you can go to the Irish Writers Centre, Dublin.

The celebrations will kick off at 12pm with a free Inkslingers creative writing session led by Andrew McEneff. This is a structured hour where participants will be given a series of writing prompts.

This will be followed at 1pm with Lunchtime Poetry Readings where celebrated poets, recent winner of the Michael Hartnett Prize, Peter Sirr, Gerald Dawe, Paul Perry, winner of the Arvon Poetry Prize Jean O' Brien, Richard Halperin and Aifric Mac Aodha, read from their latest collections.

At 3pm the Irish Writers' Centre will launch a new series of Madaptations with a film screening of James Joyce's The Dead. The Madaptations series will be held once a month at the Centre and will showcase films that have been based on books.

The celebrations will conclude at 7pm with a dramatic performance of Patrick Kavanagh's The Great Hunger performed by Peter Duffy.  With echoes of the Great Famine in the title and in the text, the poem focuses on the life and struggles of the anti-hero and small farmer Patrick Maguire.

The Irish Writers’ Centre is a non-profit organisation that promotes contemporary Irish literature. Since its foundation in 1991, the Centre has welcomed many award-winning writers through its doors, including Nobel, Costa, Man Booker, IMPAC, and Pulitzer Prize winners. It has also served as an important platform for breakthrough talent, with many young writers giving their first public readings here.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Woman Factor

I don't know much about this but it sounds interesting. (They didn't ask me. I'm a diverse nationality.)

ArtWave is delighted to invite you to our next 3-day event – The Woman Factor. The main idea of the event is to bring together women of all ages and nationalities to show the diversity and creativity of females in Ireland and to celebrate their achievements and passions.

We don’t want to focus on any particular form of art but prefer to gather up all passionate females in one place and one time. The event is divided into 3 blocks: art, fashion and business.

The festival will take place in The Back Loft , La Catedral Studios, 7-11 St. Augustine Street (Off Thomas Street), Dublin 8 ( and will be held on the following dates and times:

The 4th of March 2011 – Opening Night – 7pm to 11pm
The 5th of March 2011 – 2pm to 11pm
The 6th of March 2011 – 12pm to 6pm

Line up:

Visual Artists:
1. Sandra Corrigan Breathnach - Painting
2. Niamh Curry - Painting
3. Siobhan Doyle - Posters
4. GoldGinger - Photography
5. Marta Golubowska - Painting
6. Debbie Lush - Painting
7. Sarah Manson - Printmaking
8. Nathalie McGlynn – Mixed Media
9. Joanne Murray - Sculpture & Mixed Media
10. Aneta Naczas - Painting
11. Magda Nowacka - Photography
12. Hiromi Okumura - Painting & Mixed Media
13. Serena O'Neill - Mixed Media
14. Helen Paisley - Printmaking
15. Elis Taves - Photography
16. Ciuin Tracey – Photography
17. Marta Wakula-Mac - Linocut
18. Joanne Walker - Mixed Media
19. Żaneta Witkowska - Painting

21. Aoife Barret - Sculpture
22. Annika Berglund - Ceramic Sculpture
23. KasiaForest - Glass Sculpture
24. Aisling Ní Chonraoí - Mixed Media & Sculpture

Fashion & Business:
25. Laura Cassidy - Fashion
26. Lisa De Beer - Fashion
27. Tatty Franey - Knitting
28. Fafa Hardiman - Fashion
29. Ula Kapala - Jewellery
30. Sarah O'Connor - Fashion
31. Delta O'Hara - Comics


Friday, 4th March:
8:00 pm - The Zoryanna - Bellydance Troupe
8:30 pm - Jenn Kirby - Economic Fluctuations composition
9:00 pm - Delta O’Hara – sex phone monologues

Saturday, 5th March:
7:30 pm - Apollonia Tribal Bellydance
8:00 pm - Women's poetry group - The Prufrocks - Barbara Smith, Nuala Ní Chonchúir & Mary Mullen
9:00 pm - Rampant Productions – "Amy I want to make you hard” – Katie Holms & Sinéad O'Loughlin.

Come in, enjoy art, fashion, business & performance with a complimentary glass of wine.