Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Tubbercurry Literary Festival Competitions

Entries are being accepted for three writing competitions being run in association with the third annual Tubbercurry Literary Festival, in County Sligo.

There is a short story competition; a poetry competition and a rhyming poetry competition to be entered.

Short Story -
Prizes: €100 or €50.
Open to original unpublished short stories in the English language. Limit 1,500 words.
Entry fee €10 per story. There is no restriction on the number of entries.

Poetry competitions:
Free Verse Competition
Prizes: €100 or €50.
Open to original unpublished poems in the English language. Limit 200 lines.

Rhyming Verse Competition:
Prizes: €100 or €50.
Entry fee €10 per poem. There is no restriction on the number of entries
Open to original unpublished poems in the English language. Limit 200 lines.

The author’s identity or contact details must not appear on any poem but be supplied on a separate cover sheet.

Entries must be typed on one side of A4 paper.

Post entries to: Tubbercurry Literary Festival, Rhyming Poetry Competition, Leyney Writers, 25 Ballina Road, Tubbercurry, County Sligo.

Winners will be publicly announced at Tubbercurry Old Fair Day and will be notified in advance so they will be able to read their winning entries at the evening event at Teach Laighne on August 12, 2008.

Deadline: 13th June

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Galaxy Award Winners Announced

These awards, the Nibbies are more, I think, populist and popular. Books that real people buy and read.

JK Rowling won the Outstanding Achievement award, for Harry Potter, her fifth Nibbie. Gordon Brown (is he a reading Prime Minister?), who presented the award, said: 'She has joined a distinguished line of British authors whose work has got the whole country reading, and whose books will be read for many years to come by successive generations.'

Ian McEwan won the Author of the Year award for On Chesil Beach, which was also named the Book of the Year. Not sure I'm too keen on this. It's a bit like a commiseration because he didn't win any of the biggies. I didn't enjoy the extract in the Guardian so I didn't get the book.

Russell Brand won the biography category with My Booky Wook. This has been recommended to me.
Khaled Hosseini was voted the 'Richard & Judy' Best Read by the general public for A Thousand Splendid Suns. this is usually a reliable recommendation and I have this under my bed pending reading.
Patricia Cornwell won the crime thriller award for her novel Book of the Dead.
Costa-winner Catherine O'Flynn took home the Waterstone's Newcomer of the Year accolade for her novel What Was Lost. Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman secured the popular non-fiction prize for Long Way Down. (Loved the TV programme; they're so blokie and don't always get on)
The popular fiction award went to Kim Edwards for The Memory Keeper's Daughter.
Geri Halliwell presented children's author Francesca Simon with the Children's Book of the Year for Horrid Henry and the Abominable Snowman.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Two Rivers Meet

The wonderfully inventive whitehousepoets are working with some poets from Newcastle, joining the Shannon and the Tyne.

A special edition of the White House Poets' journal entitled Two Rivers Meet: Poetry from the Shannon and the Tyne will be launched featuring poets from both Limerick and Newcastle.

A delegation of poets from Newcastle will attend a civic reception at Limerick City Hall followed by the launch at The White House on O'Connell Street. The event marks the cultural twinning of the two cities through cultural and literary exchange.

The White House, 52 O'Connell St, Limerick

T: 086 8657494 / 087 2996409

Maybe we could do something similar, the Thames and the Liffey. Any suggestions?

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Sh*tty First Draft

Check out these tutorials featuring Jack Black. You have to give yourself permission to write a fairly dodgy first draft, yes, all the way to the end, otherwise you can never get to the better 2nd draft, even better 3rd draft and so on until you've typed your fingers to the bone.



Well I didn't win the Hennessy award but, as everyone keeps saying, it's brilliant just to be nominated. I was extremely ungracious and slightly violent in a quiet way, which is most unlike me. So sorry to anyone I dissed or swore at or whatever. Really, I'm a nice person! Anyway, it was a great event. I talked to loads of extremely talented, charming, kind, enthusiastic and good looking people. Sorry I missed Evelyn. I thought I talked to everyone. I'm hoping the nive PR lady will send me some of the many, many photos. It was just like a wedding, lots of standing around and photos and talking to people you thught you recognised but turned out not to be a relative from your side but someone you saw once at a book launch, type of thing.

Shortlist and winners with all the links I could dredge up:
First Fiction:
Evelyn Walsh - The Lump
Brian Kirk - Worm
Tony O'Reilly - A Living Thing
WINNER Michael O'Higgins - The Great Escape
Dan MacGuill - The Knife
Simon Henderson - Scene From A Bar - Remember Giselle

Emerging Fiction:
Nicola Jennings - Muscle Memory
WINNER and OVERALL WINNER Valerie Sirr - Summer Rain
Mark Kilroy - Bog People
Kate Demspey - I Don't Watch the End
Mary Burke - Shakespeare's Daughter
Lawrence Byrne - Housekeeping

Emerging Poetry:
Bernadette McCarrick - Christmas, Villenelle
Monica Ni Choilean - The Proposal
Michelle O'Sullivan - The Kiss of Judas, Reverie, Future Tense
Michael Massey - Old Men Ride Old Hondas, In Stillness, The Glint of a Winchester
Aoife Casby - Bringing Tea to the men working with Maloney's combine...
WINNER Mary Madec - In Other Words

I'm over it now (really) and writing away so I hope you are all doing the same.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Orange Shortlist

Here's some more books worth looking for, the Orange prize shortlist for women writers.

Among the first-timers on the list is Sadie Jones, with The Outcast, a portrait of small-town hypocrisy described by The Times as "elegantly written".

Another first-timer is Heather O'Neill, for Lullabies for Little Criminals, and Patricia Wood, for Lottery.

Nancy Huston was selected with Fault Lines, her eleventh novel, and Charlotte Mendelson for her third novel, When We Were Bad, a story about Liberal Jews in England.

Rose Tremain was selected for her tenth novel, The Road Home, a story about Lev, a modern-day economic migrant from Poland.

The winner will be announced at a ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall in London on June 4.

Missing were Anne Enright and A. L. Kennedy, whose book 'Day,' I would love to readl it won the Costa. Also missing Deborah Moggach and Linda Grant who were on the Orange longlist last month.

Monday, 21 April 2008

PJ O'Connor RTE Radio Play Competition

I'm really confused, concerned and possibly angry. The deadline for this competition was March 18th 2008 and yet there is an announcement on their website of the shortlist on 15th March 2008. How can that be? Most of the plays are submitted in the last week. Weren't they a little concerned that they only got 150 plays when in 2007 they got 200, in 2006 they got 235 and in 2005 they got 365?

An independent panel of actors and writers read all of the plays and chose a total of 13 for the shortlist. The short listed plays are now being read by a panel of judges, Danish theatre critic and playwright Jesper Bergmann, director and producer Selina Cartmell and chaired by actor and writer Mark O'Halloran (Adam and Paul/Garage)

1) Piano Lessons by Sarah Brennan from Donnybrook, Dublin

2) At the Hop by Wayne Denniston from Newtownforbes, Co. Longford

3) Lust for Money by Philip Doherty from Gortnakesh, Co. Cavan

4) 10! 9! 8! 7! 6! 7! 8! 9! 10! by Kevin Gildea from Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin

5) Get a Life by Ciarán Gray from North Strand in Dublin

6) The Lottery by Shay Linehan from Dun Laoghaire, Dublin

7) Something's Been Lost by Felim MacDermott from Knocknacarragh, Galway

8) Said the Bear to the Woman by Martin Malone from Kildare Town

9) Living Room by Andrea McCartney from Belfast

10) Will You Swap Knees With Me by John McManus from Knocknacarragh, Galway

11) Home Is Where the Heartache Is by Muireann Ní Aoláin from Ashbourne, Co. Meath

12) Deliver Us From Evil by Billy O'Callaghan from Douglas, Cork

13) Thinking Ahead by Jack Olohan from Rathfarnham, Dublin

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in the RTÉ Donnybrook studios on Tuesday 6 May at 6:30pm

What about mine? I sent it on March 12th, pleased to be in early. Who do I call?

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Trinity Reading Review

I've been to 2 of the 3 Trinity readings.

Tuesday April 1st Derek Mahon, Mary Morrissy and George Szirtes
Introduced by Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin

This had a huge turnout. We had to change lecture theatre to fit everyone in.

Derek Mahon, the Belfast poet was the main draw here. He doesn't read much these days, I believe. He read some new stuff and was warm, witty and entertaining. His Collected Poems has been reprinted by Gallery Press.
He was followed by the writer and current Irish Writing Fellow at the Oscar Wilde Centre, Mary Morrissy who read a imaginative but long extract from her creative non-fiction from the point of view of Sean O'Casey's sister.
Then George Szirtes, the political and sometimes humorous Anglo-Hungarian poet with a well known blog.

I didn't make it to the following Tuesday, Sebastian Barry, Poet and Professor in the School of English, the University of St Andrews, Douglas Dunn, and Creative Writing graduate and author of The Mushroom Pickers, Jacqueline McCarrick. Introduced by Deirdre Madden.

Then last Tuesday I went to Anne Enright, Peter Fallon and Bernard O’Donoghue. Introduced by Gerald Dawe.

Peter Fallon poet and publisher started and did a low key reading.
Anne Enright, Ireland's famous, most recent Booker winner read a great short story from her new collection, Talking Pictures. She's a good reader and the voice in the story was very strong, funny, poignant.
Last was Bernard O’Donoghue, a witty Cork poet with great stories/introductions for each poem.

I saw Anne Enright again this weekend in an interview at the Franco-Irish festival in Dublin Castle. I went mainly to experience simultaneous interpretation. The lesson is, incoherence in French can only be translated as incohenrence in English. Ah well.

Friday, 18 April 2008

Over the Edge Competition

Over The Edge New Writer of the Year 2008

New Writer of The Year 2008 competition

€1,000 in prizes plus major reading opportunity
Deadline: August 1 2008

The Over The Edge is open to both poets and fiction writers
The winner will receive a cash prize of €600, a spot as a Featured Reader at an Over The Edge: Open Reading, and the title Over The Edge New Writer of The Year 2008.
The runner-up will receive a cash prize of €300
the third-placed writer will receive €100.

Entries should be sent to Over The Edge, New Writer of the Year competition, 3 Carbry Road, Newcastle, Galway, Ireland with an accompanying SAE.

Entries will be judged anonymously, so do not put your name on your poem(s) or story. Put your contact details on a separate sheet.

Criteria: fiction of up to 3,000 words, three poems of up to 40 lines, or one poem of up to 100 lines.
Poems and stories entered in the competition must not have been previously published.

Fee €15 and an SAE. Fee payable by cheque or money order to Over The Edge.
All entries must be typed.

To take part you must be at least sixteen years old by August 1st 2008 and not have a book published or accepted for publication. Chapbooks excepted.

A shortlist of 8 will be announced in Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop on Wednesday, August 20th, 2008.
The Over The Edge New Writer of The Year 2008 will be announced at the Over The Edge reading in Galway City Library on Thursday, September 25th, 2008. The winner will be a Featured Reader at a reading to be scheduled in Galway City Library in Winter 08/09.

Judge is Celeste Augé. Celeste Augé was born in Canada, but moved to Galway, Ireland when she was 12 years old. She writes both poetry and fiction, and is a graduate of the National University of Ireland, Galway’s MA in Writing Programme. Her poems have appeared in a wide variety of literary journals. She has read her work as part of Poetry Ireland’s Introductions series and also at the Cúirt Festival/Over The Edge showcase reading in 2006. In 2006, she was awarded the Publication Assistance Grant by Galway County Council. Tornadoes For The Weathergirl, a chapbook of her poems, was published in 2007. Her first full collection, The Essential Guide to Flight, will be published next year by Salmon Poetry.

For further details contact Over The Edge on 087-6431748 or e-mail or see

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

I blogged about this when it was announced. The winner has now been picked. Fresh Kills by Bill Loehfelm.
Home Page (The top three are all men, 5 of the top 10 were women.) Amazon customers voted to pick the grand-prize winner. I wonder were the lads better at drumming up votes? Just a thought.

The Hellraiser of the Hollywood Hills by Jennifer Colt
Casting Off by Nicole R. Dickson
Bad Things Happen by Harry Dolan
The Wet Nurse's Tale by Erica Eisdorfer
The Butterflies of Grand Canyon by Margaret Erhart
Ring of Lies by Karen Laugel
Fresh Kills by Bill Loehfelm
Motherless Children by Randall Luce
The Prospect of My Arrival by Dwight Okita
Wrecking Civilization Before Lunch by John Ring

They received more than 5,000 entries. Over 800 fiction entries were eligible for customers to read, rate, and review.
Editors at Penguin Group (USA) reviewed the Top 100 semifinalists based on early customer reads and full manuscript reviews provided by Publishers' Weekly.
The leading Top 10 finalists were selected for the customers' vote.

Monday, 14 April 2008

Interview with a writer

I'm thinking of interviewing writers and agents and maybe publishers as part of this blog, different genres and levels of publications.

Any burning questions you want me to ask?
Anything unique and insightful?
Anyone volunteer or you can suggest?

I have a few people in mind I know but am open to ideas.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Salman Rushdie Reading

As a kind of trailer for the Dublin Writers Festival (which I always think should be renamed the Dublin Readers Festival as there is nothing for writers in the audience)
anyway, as I was saying, they have Salman Rushdie reading at the Gate. Tickets 18 Euro (quite dear I think)

April 20th. That's next Sunday at 8pm

What better way to anticipate this year's Dublin Writers Festival than a special 'in conversation' with the 'Booker of Booker's' winner Salman Rushdie on the eve of his new novel The Enchantress of Florence.

"Rushdie is still our most exhilaratingly inventive prose stylist, a writer of breathtaking originality." - Financial Times

For how many authors does the publication of a new work constitute a true 'literary event'? Marquez? Coetzee? Roth? Rushdie.? The list is short, the names iconic, the company exclusive.
Rushdie made his name in 1981 with the Booker-winning postcolonial epic Midnight's Children. Its vast historical sweep and provocative mix of myth, politics and magic marked what Malcolm Bradbury called "a new start for the late 20th-century novel". Rushdie is the author of eight further novels including the Whitbread-winning The Moor's Last Sigh. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, a Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres, and a board member of American PEN.
His latest novel - The Enchantress of Florence - is vintage Rushdie; a sprawling 16th-century saga of Mughal princesses and Ottoman sultans that traces the connections and disruptions between East and West, nationhood and identity.
An eagerly anticipated new novel. A rare Dublin visit. A must see literary event.

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Reading Poems

OK, so back to my premise, there are reading out loud poems and reading on the page poems and, surtitles excluded, they usually aren't found in the same poem. Although in saying that, there can be poems that are one type of poem if you just hear them and when you read them on paper, you get a whole new interpretation or slant to them.

Anyway, I just didn't get Sinead Morrisey's poem "Through the Square" window which was judged the window of the highly prestigious and rich National Poetry Prize. I thought it was just me. I can be quite thick on poems. And stories, sometimes. And films too. I got all the way to the end of The Sixth Sense without twigging. She read it at the Poetry Now festival (not a reading out loud poem, I suggest) but that was the right thing to do although, if she mentioned it won the competition, I missed that bit. I didn't get it/ Was it about Playschool ("Through the round window, the arched window or the square window, children?")

And I read it too online and I still didn't get what quality made it the winner. And then it turns out, I was not alone. Carol Rumens in the Guardian agreed with me. If she had been judging, it wouldn't have won.

And the lesson here, apart from that there are reading out loud poems etc..., is that just because your poem/story/novel/screenplay doesn't win or get shortlisted in a competition, or accepted in a magazine or by an agent or staged or whatever, doesn't mean there isn't someone else out there who will recognise the quality that makes it uniquely yours and a winner.

Friday, 11 April 2008


I've become interested in residencies. I have just been awarded one in Europe (OK Germany) for two weeks in the summer, which is very exciting, and I was looking at other possibilities. Of course, you can always just rent a room or a cottage somewhere that doesn't specifically cater for writers too or go on a retreat - they're not all religious.

This one you have to pay and I'm not sure that it's a good deal. How much would a self catering cottage cost over the winter in Galway anyway?


Cave Cottage residency is a new programme for writers providing one week terms at a 300 year old thatched cottage on the sea near Clarenbridge, Co. Galway. The programme provides for accommodation for 1 person for 1 week or more. Open to all Writers local and foreign. Selected readings of work will be showcased at an event in the cottage.
The first application deadline is 15 May 2008 and the residency is for weekly periods ranging from November 1 2008 to March 7th 2009.
As we are a new programme and not fully funded, the price per week will be €200. Included is the entire cottage, fully furnished with linens, kitchenware and cost of utilities. Accompanying family/partners permitted at small extra fee. Travel, food and all other expenses is the responsibility of the writer.
Cave Cottage looks out to Dunbulcawn Bay, oyster catchers in their boats and the ruins of an ancient castle across the water. Over 300 years old and one of the last genuine thatched cottages of its kind in the west of Ireland. Twenty minutes from Galway city but secluded in a working farming area just 10 feet from the water, providing the opportunity for undisturbed work . A turf fire, hand crafted kitchen, large bedroom and lots of nooks and cranny's make the cottage an idyllic setting.
Send your CV and work sample to before 15th May 2008.

Paris Irish College. This one sounds lovely but you're competing with people from other art forms.

Artists-in-Residence at the Irish College in Paris

Recent and upcoming artists-in-residence at the Irish College in Paris include visual and performance artist Aoife Desmond, poet Paul Durcan and bowmaker Gary Leahy (one of only two full-time bowmakers in Ireland).

To apply for a residency between September 2008 and July 2009, or for further information, write to Sheila Pratschke, Director, Centre Culturel Irlandais, 5 rue des Irlandais, 75005 Paris or by email

Again this one sounds like any old cottage marketed at writers. Do think the finances through before you apply. Anyone can buy a desk and aim their holiday home at writers.

Writers Retreat | Coney Island

Inish Mulclohy Lodge "is situated on the beautiful unspoilt Coney Island in Sligo Bay. The Lodge is a converted barn and has stunning sea and mountain views."
"The lodge has all mod cons and oil central heating and is is available to writers between the months of February - April for €400 per week and May and June for €450."
For further information contact

India - Writers’ Retreat in Kerala, India. This one has massage and monsoon.

Raheem Residency, a heritage hotel at Alleppey Beach, Kerala, south India, transforms itself into a Writers’ Retreat at certain times of the year. It’s because of a private passion for books and for writing that we want to share this place with writers. I am the Irish owner, a former TV presenter and a scribbler of sorts. Raheem Residency is an old (1868) colonial villa and the home of the Raheem’s for one hundred years until we bought and restored it in 2003. Our facilities - 7 rooms, 15 metre-pool, Ayurvedic Massage centre, Yoga etc are classified by the Tourism Dept as 4-star. We are in a quiet location opposite a beach, 1 hr 40 mins south from Cochin International airport. The town of Alleppey is 10 mins away by rickshaw and still retains a truly Indian character – undeveloped for tourists and therefore still friendly and simple while having all the chaos of any Indian affair. We are classified by the government of India as a genuine Heritage Hotel. The special tariff for writers is about half the normal price of staying with us in the tourist season.
Room, Breakfast & Dinner per night: €75 for single occupancy but you may bring a non-writing partner to share your room for an additional charge of €30 per day to include Breakfast and Dinner for her/him too (please note, we have just two Twin-bedded rooms; all others are big old-style Kerala beds, including a few 4-posters). Minimum Stay: 14 days. Total Number of Rooms: 5 Doubles; 2 Twin (so please book as soon as you can).

Next Available Dates:
June and July are the monsoon season in Kerala, a perfect time to be quiet, still and to knuckle down to your writing project. But a word of clarification: many people who have not been in monsoon climates think that cold rail pelts down all day long. It doesn’t. Contact:

Writing retreats don't suit everyone but they suit me. I get way from the washing and the Tesco run and concentrate/knuckle down. I can't wait!

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

2008 IMPAC shortlist

The 2008 Impact shortlist is announced. This is a very rich prize voted for by libraries.

The shortlist was selected from a total of 137 novels nominated this year. The Award is worth €100,000 and is the world’s most valuable literary prize for a single work of fiction published in English. The eight shortlisted novels are among 137 nominated by 162 public library systems in 122 cities worldwide.

The Speed of Light – Javier Cercas (Spanish) in translation. Bloomsbury
The Sweet and Simple Kind – Yasmine Gooneraratne (Sri Lankan) Perrera Hussein Publishing House
De Niro’s Game – Rawi Hage (Lebanese / Canadian) House of Anansi Press
Dreams of Speaking – Gail Jones (Australian) Harvill Secker / Vintage
Let It Be Morning – Sayed Kashua (Israeli) in translation. Black Cat / Grove Atlantic
The Attack – Yasmina Khadra (Algerian) in translation. Vintage / Nan A. Talese
The Woman Who Waited – Andrei Makine (Russian) in translation. Sceptre
Winterwood – Patrick McCabe (Irish) Bloomsbury

Read any? Me neither.

The themes of the 2008 shortlisted titles are international and include war, love, terrorism, politics, religion, family and murder, says Deirdre Ellis King, Dublin City Librarian. Nominated by public libraries in Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Ireland, Lebanon, Sri Lanka and the USA, they prove that such a high standard of literature can be read and appreciated by anyone. Literature is not just for academics; everybody in Dublin is entitled access to a Dublin City library card and to any of the libraries, free of charge.

A judging panel of five, chaired by non-voting former Chief Judge of a US Court of Appeals, Hon. Eugene R. Sullivan, will select one winner from the eight novels shortlisted. Other judges are: Helon Habila, Patricia Duncker, Aamer Hussein, Eibhlín Evans and José Luis de Juan.

The winner will be announced by The Lord Mayor, Cllr. Paddy Bourke, Patron of the Award, in City Hall on 12th June 2008.

Monday, 7 April 2008

Poetry Now Review

Well a great weekend again. Congratulations to all involved in the running and organising.

I'm sorry I missed the opening address by Ruth Padel. It sounded worth listening too.

The Prize for the best collection was won by Harry Clifton Irish Times/ Poetry Now award for "Secular Eden," a collection only published in the US so hard to get hold of. Books Upstairs who had a stand in the foyer sold out in no time!

The workshops were good and well attended. Could have done perhaps with a little more time. My guys said my poem was "A Tour de force with joyous movement" which is pretty cool. We had a discussion on semi-colons versus dashes and how/whether to pronounce the h in where or Thailand.

Seamus Heaney said Hello to me too in the crowd, which was a thrill. (I know, I know)

And I got my first freebie as a result of this blog (keep 'em coming) a free ticket to the final reading on Sunday. Thanks Belinda. This reading was astonishing. I missed the introduction from Mr Stinging Fly, Declan Meade, which was supposed to be educational. First was Brian Turner, a US poet who was in Iraq so his poems are understandably, suffused with thoughts about the war. Then Sinead Morrisey who read some quite difficult poems which may have been easier to follow if we'd had the text. That's an idea. What about surtitles for poems? There are, in my opinion reading on the page poems and listening poems and you should know which is which. Plus she uses words I know I should know but I don't. Not good in a reading. She read the poem 'Through the Square Window,' which won this year's National Poetry Competition,a great achievement. Then Kei Miller, a Jamaican poet living in England. I could listen to him all day.

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Another Blog about Blogs

Keeper of the Snails is Clare Dudman writing about the process of writing (and reading).

Arts Management blogs about, well, the clue's in the name.

John Self on Asylum has good book reviews.

Carrie Etter another poet in the Oxfam Poems for a Better Future leaflet.

Clive James has a website with some good poetry and commentary.

Cousin Ryumi blogs about writing about Japan in Ireland.

David Maybury blogs about Dublin and Writing, mostly about writing.

Exultations and Difficulties has some great poetry reviews. Warning - this site can keep you busy for hours.

Flirty Something is always worth a trip. Life as it is lived.

Guardian Poem of the week chosen by Carol Rumens. Her commentaries are insightful.

L Plate Author blogs about struggles with her novels.

Leigh Forbes blogs wittily about The Art of Subtle Procrastination (aka research)

Lily Sheehan blogs about her writing too.

Minimalist Poet writes about his minimalist lifestyle.

Patrick Chapman, the poet blogs here.

Patrick Daniel Toland posts occasional poetry

PJ Nolan is another online Irish writers/blogger.

Poem of the week does exactly what it says on the tin, with a US bias.

Sarah Dunnakey is looking for the Write Words.

So you want to be a writer is written by a creative writing academic.

Sunrise Sunset is a blog from Donegal (mostly) about novel and play writing.

Vanessa Gebbie, the editor of Cadenza blogs about the writing scene.

The Western Writers Centre has entries not just about the centre, but arts in general.

Women Rule Writer is a short story and poetry fan and creator.

Friday, 4 April 2008

Orange Long List

This is the prize for women writing in English. The list is a mix of established names and debut writers. How many have I read? None (though Ann Enright is under my bed (the book, not the author)) How many have I heard of? Five. Looks like a bit of reading to be done.

Anita Amirrezvani The Blood of Flowers
Stella Duffy The Room of Lost Things
Jennifer Egan The Keep
Anne Enright The Gathering
Linda Grant The Clothes on Their Backs
Tessa Hadley The Master Bedroom
Nancy Huston Fault Lines
Gail Jones Sorry
Sadie Jones The Outcast
Lauren Liebenberg The Voluptuous Delights of Peanut Butter and Jam
Charlotte Mendelson When We Were Bad
Deborah Moggach In The Dark
Anita Nair Mistress
Heather O'Neill Lullabies for Little Criminals
Elif Shafak The Bastard of Istanbul
Dalia Sofer The Septembers of Shiraz
Scarlett Thomas The End of Mr Y
Carol Topolski Monster Love
Rose Tremain The Road Home
Patricia Wood Lottery

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Festivals this weekend

There are a lot of festivals this weekend. The venerable Poetry Now Festival in DunLaoghaire (Never remember how to spell that...) with Ruth Padel, Famous Seamus, Jamie McKendrick, Daljit Nagra, George Szirtes, Henri Cole, Mimi Khalvati, Sinead Morrissey and many more.

The Sean Dunne Festival in Waterford inlluding Colin Bateman, Peter Fallon, Gabriel Rosenstock, Carlo Gébler, Christopher Fitz-Simon ans Robert Curley, to name but a few and the combined talents of the Waterford Youth Arts creative writing class. The festival will include launches by Richard Tillinghast, John Ennis, Alan Garvey and Grace Wells.

John Hewitt Literary Festival in Carnlough, Antrim with David Park, Frank Ormsby, Mary O'Donnell, Ian Sansom, Peter Wyton, Miriam Gamble, Iggy McGovern, Maureen Boyle, Kevin Higgins, Anne-Marie Fyfe, Richard Irvine, Paul Maddern, and C L Dallat.

so you've no excuse. Get your bottom down and support your poetry festival.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

One City One Book - Dublin

One Book, One City.Bakersfield, California has Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
Carlsbad, California has The No. 1 Ladies' Dectective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
Marin, California has Saving Fish From Drowning by Amy Tan (highly recommended)
South Bend, Indiana has An Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen
Westport, Conneticut has The Wonderful World of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Gainesville, Florida has Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
Highland Park, Illinois has Maus: A Survivor's Tale by Art Spiegelman
Kansas has Indiana Cold Blood by Truman Capote (terrific read)
Bangor, Maine has Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (Is this the Welsh connection?)
Baton Rouge, Louisiana has Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
North Attleborough, Massachusetts has To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
North Reading, Massachusetts has A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson (Love his stuff, especially audiobooks)
Kalamazoo, Michigan has Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver (another great)
Las Vegas, Nevada has The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Rockingham County, North Carolina has The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Lynchburg, Virginia has Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria by Beverly Daniel Tatum

and loads more. These books read like they are chosen (mainly) by people who love books and want to share the love. Long may it last.

Dublin has Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift. A host of free events is planned. But aren't we supposed to read it too? Are there subsidised books? Free books? Bookcrossing? Also I think it would be a better idea to have one adult and one children's as it's hard to find a book to be all things to all readers.

Title: Gulliver Comes to Dublin
Venue: Jeanie Johnston, Custom House Quay, Dublin’s Docklands
Date & Time: Tuesday April 1st – 11.00 am
Description: Special opening event featuring Capt. Lemuel Gulliver himself!
Booking Details: Admission free, booking not necessary

Title: Sand sculptures inspired by Gulliver’s Travels
Venue: chq Building, IFSC, Dublin’s Docklands
Date & Time: Tuesday 1st – Tues 15th April
Description: Built by sculptors Duthain Dealbh, these sculptures will emerge from the ground in and around the chq building – a fascinating spectacle to watch!

Title: Little and Large
Venue: Docklands, Wolfe Tone Park & South King St
Date & Time: Every Saturday & Sunday in April
Description: Watch out for ‘Little’ and ‘Large’ each weekend in April. These characters will be asking questions based on the four chapters of Gulliver’s Travels. Answer correctly and you will be entered into a draw for a family weekend break.

Title: ‘No horse is a rational being’: Swift’s studies at Trinity College Dublin and the writing of Gulliver’s Travels
Venue: Farmleigh, Phoenix Park, Dublin
Date & Time: a talk by Professor Ian Campbell Ross, School of English, TCD.
Date & Time: Sunday 6th April 3pm

Title: Gulliver - 21st Century Writers’ View
Venue: Dublin City Library and Archive, 138-144 Pearse Sreet, D2
Date & Time: Monday 7th April at 7.00 pm
Description: Man Booker Prize winning author Anne Enright and best selling author Joe O’Connor share their views on Gulliver’s Travels with Niall MacMonagle.
Booking details: Admission free but booking essential: Tel: 01 674 4873

Title: Gulliver Fun
Venue: Finglas Library, D 11
Description: with children's author Fiona Tierney and illustrator Úna Healy for children aged 3 – 5
Date & Time: Tuesday 8th April at 11.30am
Booking details: Admission free but booking essential: Tel: 01 8344906

Venue: Ballsbridge Library, D 4
Date & Time: Wednesday 16th April 11.30am
Booking details: Admission free but booking essential: Tel: 01 6689575

Venue: Walkinstown Library, D 12
Date & Time: Thurs 24th April 11.30am
Booking details: Admission free but booking essential: Tel: 01 4558159

Title: Jonathan Swift and Dublin
Description: a talk by Professor Ian Campbell Ross, School of English, TCD
Venue: Dublin City Library and Archive, 138-144 Pearse Sreet, D2
Date & Time: Thursday 10th April, 7.00 pm
Booking details: Admission free but booking essential: Tel: 01 674 4873

Title: Gulliver’s Travels Film Screenings
Venue: IFI Cinema, 6 Eustace St., Temple Bar, D2
Date & Time: Saturday April 12th – 12.30 pm
Description: Screening of classic children’s animated feature Gulliver's Travels by the makers of Popeye & Betty Boop. Bring all the family!

Title: Gulliver’s Travels Film Screenings
Date & Time: Sunday April 13th – 12.30 pm
Description: Words Upon The Window Pane – feature length film based on a play by W.B.Yeats, featuring Jonathan Swift & starring Geraldine Chaplin, Jim Sheridan, Brid Brennan and Donal Donnelly
Booking details: Tickets available free from IFI Box Office
Tel: 01 679 3477

Title: Gulliver’s Dublin
Venue: City Hall, Dame St.,D2 - for four nights only
Date & Time: Tuesday 15th – Friday 18th April at 8.00pm
Description: Eamon Morrissey’s acclaimed one-man show
Booking details: Tickets: €10. To book : Tel: 01 2225434

Title: Swift and Gulliver’s Travels
Venue: National Library, Kildare St., D2
Date & Time: Thursday 17th April 7pm
Description: A talk by Prof. Andrew Carpenter, School of English, UCD

Title: Jonathan Swift- a documentary
Venue: Cabra Library, D 7
Date & Time: Thursday 17th April, 7.00 pm
Description: Screening of Jonathan Swift – a Kieran Hickey documentary

Venue: Central Library, Ilac Centre, Henry St., D1
Date & Time: Monday 21st April – Saturday 26th April each day at 1.00 pm

Title: Interactive fun for children: Michael Moylan brings Swift and Gulliver to life!
Date & Time: Tuesday 22nd: Cabra Library 10.00am Tel: 01 8691414
Raheny Library 12.00pm Tel: 01 8315521
Wednesday 23rd: Rathmines Library 10.00am Tel: 01 4973539
Ballyfermot Library 12.00pm Tel: 01 6269324/5
Booking details: Admission free but booking essential – contact each library

Title: Organ Recital
Venue: St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Date & Time: Wednesday 23rd April at 6.30pm
Description: An organ recital of works composed or in common usage around the time of Jonathan Swift, given by Peter Barley, Organist and Master of the Choristers

The Dublin Writers’ Festival - 11th – 15th June, will feature a panel discussion on Swift and his place in Irish literature. Panellists will include biographer Victoria Glendinning and critic John Mullan.

Title: ‘SEVERAL REMOTE NATIONS’ - Illustrations from Gulliver’s Travels
Venue: City Hall, Dame Street, D2
Date & Time: From Thursday 3rd April -
Description: An exhibition of illustrations from the collections of Dublin City Libraries

Title: Gulliver – 20 years on!
Venue: Dublin City Library and Archive, 138-144 Pearse Sreet, D2
Date & Time: From Tuesday 1st April,
Description: Photographs of Dublin’s 1988 Millennium celebrations, featuring the giant Gulliver

Title: Exhibition of material on Swift from the holdings of the National Library
Venue: National Library, Kildare St, D2
Date & Time: Throughout April during library opening hours

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

International Women's Day

OK, it's late notice but Poetry Ireland is doing a reading for International Women's Day in Dublin (now there's a surprise, anywhere else in the country doing anything?) Unitarian Church, St Stephen's Green

Wednesday 2 April @ 7.00pm

Poetry Ireland in association with Dublin City Arts Office presents a reading 'In The Spirit of International Women's Day'.

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Medbh McGuckian, Julia Piera (poet and Director of the Cervantes Institute), Ileana Malancioiu (Romanian poet and philosopher), Leland Bardwell and Jennifer Johnston, with sean-nós singers (and sisters) Róisín, Naisrín and Zarah Elsafty.


Unitarian Church, 112 St Stephen's Green West, D2

T: 01 4789974 E: