Friday, 30 April 2010

Readings at SoGo Festival

From Stephen James Smith:

Anyone wanting to recite poetry or sing a song meet in the Circus in the Powerscourt Town House Center tomorrow 1st May @ 12.30 lunch time, South Williams Street

There will be an event there as part of the SoGo Festival all are welcome to perform there in a 2 hr slot, so spread the word and come with your words....

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Festival of The Fires - Poetry Divas Reading

Yes, the fabulous Poetry Diva Collective will be appearing at The Festival of The Fires

When: Saturday 1st May 2010 around 7pm on the Button Factory Cabaret Stage

Where: The Hill of Uisneach is located approx 5 miles outside the village of Ballymore. That's near Mullingar in Westmeath.

It's all about lighting bonfires for Bealtaine, the summertime festival. Festival of the Fires is a ceremonial and cultural experience aimed at enriching the mind and increasing the knowledge and appreciation of our history and our sacred sites. The lighting of the fires will be at the heart of the rekindled festival, but the body and soul of it will be a widespread array of cultural, artistic and historic events and entertainment taking place.

It promises to be an event unlike anything ever witnessed in modern times - an iconic national celebration to truly ignite the summer.

So why not come along and light some fire?

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Royal Irish Academy

I thought this sounds readlly interesting:

Where: 19 Dawson Street, Dublin 2

When: Thursday, 6 May 2010, 6 – 8.30pm

Places are free but registration is essential

This seminar will explore the state of writing and reading in Ireland in 2010 and will consider the role for the literary artist at a time of economic and social upheaval and crisis.

The event will consist of two panel discussions on writing and reading with a break between panels. Panelists to include Rosita Boland, Mary Cloake, Kit Fryatt, Mia Gallagher, Julian Gough, Jack Harte Declan Kiberd, Kevin Power, Ian Sansom and David Torrans.

The first panel, chaired by Caroline Walsh, Literary Editor, Irish Times, will examine writing in 2010 and discuss the role of the public intellectual and the writer. Should the writer have a polemic role in Irish society? Is it their responsibility to reflect the current state of the nation or are there other aesthetic and political options for response? In what ways can the contemporary writer work to the moment and reflect the zeitgeist? Has the writer a political responsibility to reflect the possible in art at a time of economic crisis and political turmoil? This will be a conversation between the panel members and the audience for this public discussion.

The second panel, chaired by Eibhear Walshe, Chair Academy Committee for Literatures in English, will focus on reading and the ways in which we read literary texts in Ireland in 2010. The panel will consider the modes of reading - book clubs, online and virtual reading and the role of the writer within community arts. There will also be some time given to how we buy and access writing and a look at how our reading patterns have been changed in light of economic recession.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Three poets launching their collections

The Dedalus Press, in association with Poetry Ireland, is pleased to announce the launch of three new poetry titles:

The Fullness of Time: New and Selected Poems by Gerard Smyth
When God Has Been Called Away to Greater Things by Grace Wells
The Last Falcon and Small Ordinance by Paul Perry

When: Tuesday 04 May 2010 @ 7.00 pm
Where: Damer Hall, St. Stephen's Green, Dublin 2

All welcome

Further information on all poets/titles at the Dedalus Press website here

Monday, 26 April 2010

Great Line up at On The Nail for May

The next monthly 'On The Nail' literary reading takes place
When: Thursday 6th May 2010 at 8.00pm
Where: The Locke Bar, George's Quay, Limerick.

Organised by The Limerick Writers' Centre this popular monthly reading and open-mic continues to attract audiences with a mix of poetry, prose and music.

This Months Guest Readers Kevin Higgins, Mary Madec and Susan Millar DuMars.

Kevin Higgins is co-organiser of Over The Edge literary events in Galway, Ireland. He has published three collections of poems The Boy With No Face (2005), Time Gentlemen, Please (2008) and Frightening New Furniture (2010) all published by Salmon Poetry. His work also features in Identity Parade – New British and Irish Poets (Ed Roddy Lumsden, Bloodaxe 2010).

Mary Madec was born in County Mayo. She started writing poetry about six years ago and since then has published in Crannóg, West 47, The Cúirt Annual, the SHOp, The Sunday Tribune, WOW and Iota among others. In Spring 2007 she was chosen for the Poetry Ireland Introductions; she was runner-up in the Raftery competition and published in the WINDOWS anthology. She also organises a community-writing project Away with Words for people with intellectual disabilities. Mary won the 2008 Hennessy Literary Award for Emerging Poetry. Mary’s first collection of poems, In Other Words, is just published by Salmon Poetry.

Susan Millar DuMars was born in Philadelphia in 1966 to a Belfast-born mother. She holds an MA in Writing from the University of San Francisco. Her poems and short stories have been published widely in the US, UK and Ireland. Susan's stories have been short-listed for many awards, and in 2005 she received an Irish Arts Council Bursary for her fiction. American Girls, a volume of her short stories, was published by Lapwing in 2007. Big Pink Umbrella (Salmon Poetry, 2008) is the first full collection of her poetry. Her second collection of poems, Dreams for Breakfast, is just published by Salmon Poetry.

Everyone is invited to take part in the open-mic after the main event, poets, storytellers, musicians and writers .

free admission and free finger food for everyone attending.

Further information contact: Dominic Taylor 087 2996409 email web
To view videos of April reading go to:

What happened at the Hennessys?

Two winners, Madeline D'Arcy (First Fiction) and Olive Broderick (Poetry) swapping details and drinking champagne!
See the Sunday Tribune link for details of the winners.

Carlo Gebler was the bad guy short story judge which didn't win. He said about my story, Ginny Doran Writes Down the Whole Honest.

It at first appears to be Ginny Doran's bubbly accounts of her life. However, the jaunty tone gives was to the unexpectedly dark. This story is sly (in a good way) adroit and ingenious.

I have given up on sulking. It's too wearying. I now am telling myself how many successful and wonderful writers were shortlisted and didn't win. Paula Meehan for example.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Ledbury Poetry Festival Competition

I have a few competitions and stuff from this Mslexia issue.

Ledbury Festival is 2-11 July 2010.

Prizes Category 1 (18 and over)
First Prize: Ty Newydd writing course in 2010
Second Prize: £250
Third Prize: £150

Category 2 (12 – 17)
First Prize: £100
Second Prize: £50
Third Prize: £25

Category 3 (11 and under)
First Prize: £25 book token
Second Prize: £15 book token
Third Prize: £10 book token

Fee: £3.50 for 1st poem, £2.50 for subsequent
young adult and children: 1st poem free, £1.50 subsequent.

Details here

Deadline: 5pm Thursday 10 June 2010
Judge: Billy Collins (Adult) and Brian Moses ( Children and Young People)

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Poets to check out - Robert Hayden

Just love this poem

Friday, 23 April 2010

Bealtaine in Tipp

For the Bealtaine Festival, an annual festival which celebrates creativity in older age all over Ireland, Templemore Library in Tipperary will host a Writing Workshop with Vincent McDonnell on Wednesday 12 May 2:30pm-4:30pm.

To book your place for this free event, contact Templemore Library on 0504 32555.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

More info on the Kildare Readers Festival

Here's some more info on the programme for this free festival. Totally Naas based.

It sounds good. But I do feel they should have done more with local writers groups, like my own, even just for information. A sense of community is so important and not hard to do. With all due respect to Mae Leonard,  there are plenty other writers in Kildare...

Friday, 14th May
Mayor’s Festival Reception 18.00 – 18.30

Festival opening event with Joseph O’Connor 19.00 – 21.00

Saturday, 15th May
Sheila O’Flanagan in conversation with Julie Duane 10.30 – 11.30 Ballroom Osprey Hotel

Kildare Author Panel: Readings from John MacKenna, Patricia Groves and Rob Kitchin with Dermot Bolger 12.00 – 13.30 Ballroom Osprey Hotel

Laura Cassidy reads from her debut novel and talks to Linda Geraghty about her career as a writer 12.00 – 13.00 Merlin Suite Osprey Hotel

The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award with Cathy McKenna - A guide to the contenders in 2010 12.00 – 13.00 Fulmar Suit Osprey Hotel

A Walking Tour with Mae Leonard 12.00 – 13.00 Departing from Naas Library

War and Conflict: The Kildare Experience – James Durney and Martin Malone with Local Studies Librarian, Mario Corrigan 14.30 – 16.00 Ballroom Osprey Hotel

The Short Story: Readings with Claire Keegan 14.30 – 15.30 Merlin Suite Osprey Hotel

Dermot Somers reads from his novel Ar Muir is ar Sliabh 14.30 – 15.30 Fulmar Suite Osprey Hotel

Presentation of Cecil Day Lewis Literary Bursary Award by Claire Keegan 16.00 – 16.30 Merlin Suite Osprey Hotel

Stories for the Ear presented by Neil Donnelly 16.00 – 17.00 Fulmar Suite Osprey Hotel (I'm involved with this I realise)

John Connolly reads and is interviewed by Stuart Neville 19.30 – 21.00 Ballroom Osprey Hotel

Sunday, 16th May
Beckett & Beirut, Belfast & Athy: Dermot Bolger in conversation with Brian Keenan and John Minihan 11.00-12.30 Ballroom The Osprey Hotel

Poetry Reading Venue in Donegal

North West Words has a writer's venue in Donegal.

They feature a published author followed by an OPEN MIC session on the last Thursday of each month in Cafe Blend, High Road, Letterkenny.

Next Session: Thursday, April 29 from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Featured Poet: Janice Fitzgerald Simmons

If there are any Poets interested in being featured contact them

All Ireland Open Mic listing updated here.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

2010 Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award

Actress Kate O’Toole and author, Giles Foden adjudicated and chose the final five shortlisted novels for this year’s prize fund of €15,000. They are: The Infinities by John Banville, Glover’s Mistake by Nick Laird, Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann, The Space Between Us by John McKenna and Not True & Not Unkind by Ed O’Loughlin.

The winner will be announced on Wednesday the 2nd of June at the official opening of the Festival which will run to Sunday 6th of June.

Writers’ Week is taking place from Wednesday 2nd June to Sunday 6th June 2010.

Full details of the 2010 Festival can now be found on

Dublin City Arts Grants

Dublin City Council invites applications from artists who wish to be considered for a Bursary of €4,000 towards studies at an advanced level or the development of work/ professional skills.

Artists, resident in Dublin City Council’s administrative area, can apply for a Bursary in Visual Arts, Music, Dance, Drama and Literature. One Bursary will be awarded in each discipline.

Application forms, guidelines and criteria may be obtained by contacting:The Arts Office,Dublin City Council,The LAB, Foley St, Dublin 1.

Tel: 222 7850 or email:

Deadline: 5pm Friday May 14th 2010.

Only applications in hardcopy form will be accepted.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Poets to check out - Thomas Lux

The People of the Other Village.
It reminds me of this brilliant short story at the New Yorker. Human Nature by George Saunders. Mp3 listen here.

J G Farrell Novel Award

Do you have a novel in progress?
Do you have a Munster address?
Do you want to win a place at this year's West Cork Literary Festival 5th -10th July?

Prize: a place on the Fiction workshop during the festival and a week’s accommodation in the 4 star Maritime Hotel

Judge: novelist Peter Cunningham.

Deadline: 28 May 2010
More details here.

And more details on other workshops and events here.
The stellar lineup includes: Enda Wyley & James Harpur, Alex Barclay & Nuala Ní Chonchúir, John Boyne, Leanne O'Sullivan, Martin Malone, Philip Ó Ceallaigh, Michael Palin, Eavan Boland, Margaret Drabble and Fay Weldon

Monday, 19 April 2010

Poetry London Competition

One from this issue of Mslexia.

Judge: Michael Longley, winner of the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry

Deadline: 31st May 2010

Prizes: 1st Prize £1000, 2nd Prize £500, 3rd Prize £200, Commendations: four of £75 each

Fee:  £3 per poem for subscribers, £5 for non-subscribers

Details here

They're looking for sterling cheques. No online submission

Terrific Line up for Dublin Writers Festival

Mark your diaries for this ever-successful and innovative festival.
When: 1st - 6th June 2010

Full Programme here.

Highlights for me:
What: Ian McEwan &; Stewart Brand
Where: National Concert Hall
When: Tuesday June 1st 7.30pm
Price: €15.00/€20.00 (Concessions available)

What: David Mitchell (I'm a huge fan, really looking forward to his new book)
Where: Project Arts Centre
When: Wednesday June 2nd 7:30pm
Price: €12.00/€10.00 Concession

What: Anne Enright Reading Stories, on Alice Munro
Where: Dublin Writers Museum
When: Saturday June 5th 11:00am

What: Sarah Bakewell, Declan Kiberd & Ruth Padel
Where: Project Arts Centre
When: Saturday June 5th 6:00pm
Price: €12.00/€10.00 Concession

What: Hanif Kureishi
Where: Project Arts Centre
When: Saturday June 5th 8:00pm
Price: €12.00/€10.00 Concession

What: Yann Martell (Life of Pi guy who also writes a regular suggestion of books for the Canadian Prime Minister to read and why)
Where: Dublin City Gallery - The Hugh Lane
When: Sunday June 6th 2:00pm
Price: €10.00/€8.00 Concession

What: The Gallery Press 40th Anniversary Poetry Celebration
Where: Abbey Theatre
When: Sunday June 6th 7:30pm
Price: €20.00/€15.00 Concession

They have a festival blog (but last year it was lack lustre. Could do better. I could do much better)

Sunday, 18 April 2010


The arts elite welcomes 7 new members

Aosdána, the affiliation of creative artists in Ireland, elects 7 new members at General Assembly in Armagh bringing its total membership to 246.

While this is the first time the Aosdána General Assembly has been held in Northern Ireland, the meeting reflects the long-standing tradition of all Ireland collaboration and interaction between artists and arts organisations.

New members include: Yvonne Farrell, Vona Groarke, Francis Harvey, Conor McPherson, Gráinne Mulvey, Sheila O'Donnell and Kevin Volans. Congratulations to them.

But what is Aosdana?
The Arts Council established Aosdána in 1981 to honour those artists whose work has made an outstanding contribution to the arts in Ireland, and to encourage and assist members in devoting their energies fully to their art.

Members of Aosdána may avail under certain conditions of the Cnuas, a stipend which is designed to enable them to devote their energies fully to their work. The Arts Council reassesses eligibility of the Cnuas every five years. (that's money, by the way)

I don't ever expect to get elected to such a high-falutin body. In the words of Groucho, I don't care to belong to any club that will have me as a member

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Workshops at the IWC

Anthony Glavin and Nuala Ní Chonchúir are teaching weekend Short Story workshops in the IWC. This makes them more affordable than the weekly ones.

 If you'd like to ensure a place on one of these courses bookings can be made via their website, or by calling the Irish Writers' Centre on 01-8721302.

Writing the Short Story with Anthony Glavin - 1 day
Saturday 24th April: 10.30am-4.30pm €70

This short-story workshop is designed for those who have always wanted to try their hand at short fiction or have just begun. Structured around on-site writing exercises, examination of one or two classic short stories, and discussion of various elements of fiction, from language and setting to characterisation and theme, the workshop will also look at the various “seeds” of fiction and the importance of finding your own voice.

Short Fiction Workshop with Nuala Ní Chonchúir - 2 days
Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th May: 10.30am-4.30pm €140

This two-day workshop will be a structured guide to short fiction writing; topics covered will include character, style, dialogue, 'show don’t tell', setting and language use. Participants will receive handouts and will workshop stories submitted in advance (up to 3000 words). Nuala will also hand back each participant's full story with feedback notes/suggested edits. There will be discussion on PR, writing competitions, publishing opportunities etc. This course is designed for intermediate and advanced writers.

Dublin Review of Books Flash Fiction Competition

I haven't ever written a good piece of flash fiction. Maybe now, with less writing time, I could try it. This one is 500 words. Is that still flash?

Dublin Review of Books has announced the opening of its Once Off Flash Fiction Contest.

Stories will not be limited to content or style, although there are important factors to consider before submission:
  • Does the writing exercise brevity, yet still have the ability to stand on its own? Does it have a beginning, middle and end?
  • Is the voice compelling? Is the writing free of clichés?
  • Does the story have something to say? We are looking for literature not therapy.
Prize: 1,000 euro grand prize, publication of the top three entries in the Dublin Review of Books will add to the portfolios of the winning writers.

Judges: Final decisions will be made by authors James Ryan, Eilis Ni Dhuibhne and an appointed editor from the Dublin Review of Books.

Deadline: 1st June

Submit up to 3 flash fiction stories of no more than 500 words apiece.

Fee: Entry fee is 10 euro , payable online.

See submission guidelines for details on eligibility and the deadline. (Update: fixed the link)

Update 30 Sep - Winners here

Friday, 16 April 2010

Meath Welcomes Me!

Photo courtsey Frank Murphy. Orla Fay asking me how to make a living as a poet.

Does anyone remember the Dustin the Turkey rip off, I've never been to Meath? (A squarky version of I've never been to me)

Well, I've been to Meath and they're lovely!
I was the featured reader at the Boyne Readings in Trim with the Meath Writers' Circle and the Boyne Writers and special guests. A lovely venue, discerning audience, diverse and imaginative open mic AND tea and biscuits. Long may it last. Meath is a lucky county to have a regular poetry reading and open mic night. Give them your support.

I met the lovely Michael Farry who reviews it here. See the photo of my fans buying the Poetry Divas pamphlet and my new pamphlet Good Sherry Trifle. See sidebar for purchase details! Michael read a super poem about Frank Miller, named for the bad guy in High Noon.

Also Frank Murphy who read a squirmy (in a good way) story about the Dublin Meath bus. He reviews the reading at the Tara Poetry Blog.

Not forgetting the MC Paddy Smith who contributes the the Meath Chronicle. (Flamboyant? Moi?)

Also the talented poet Orla Fay who blogs here.

And the Sheriff of Navan.

P.S. Talented cartdriver anime blogger still stranded in Ireland because of this

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Kilkenny County Council Arts Office Grants and Bursaries 2010

Kilkenny County Council Arts Office has announced the availability of the following awards for Kilkenny born or based arts practictioners:

-Drama League of Ireland Summer School Bursary 2010
-Tyrone Guthrie Bursary 2010

For further information and application forms on these bursaries please contact Niamh Finn, Arts Administrator, Kilkenny County Council Arts Office, No. 76, John Street, Kilkenny.

T: 056 779 4138
Application forms can also be downloaded from here

Deadline: 4pm on Friday 7th May 2010.

Poets to check out - Frank O'Hara

I am remiss in my Frank O'Hara-ness but I adore Mad Men. Check it out. You can watch it on RTE player and presumably on the UK channels too. Here is the heard-to-read Don Draper with his square jaw and hidden depths reading Frank O'Hara's poem Mayakovsky' from Meditations in an Emergency at the end of season two, episode one.

Fantastic Language.

Interesting Links

How to write a 50 word book blurb, mainly for shelves in bookshops. I love these memory-joggers.

If you haven't read it, the controversial piece by Marie Johnston in Poetry Ireland Review 100 about sub-standard poems (and apparently therefore poets) published in old copies of the magazine. I do agree with some of what she is saying. There are many poems published that I don't get. Either they are just an interesting observiation (so what?) or poetry as therapy or too convoluted/up their own bum or just plain boring. However, the way the article is written leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Emerging poets haven't had time to develop a thick skin and naming and slagging off poets seems unnecessarily cruel. Plus most of the poets she does single out as good are real old school.

Interesting post from A Newbie's Guide to Publishing about e-publishing/self-publishing and the like.

The Thought Fox is a blog from Faber and Faber. Worth a look.

And here's the Faber and Faber podcasts.

Fabulous photos from I Could Read the Sky from Stephen Pyke.

I'm in the Meath Chronicle.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Three Times Daily

At Jessica's request:

April 21st 2010 sees the launch of Three Times Daily, a collection of works from a new generation of Irish writers.

Featuring an exciting selection of fiction, non fiction and poetry, Three Times Daily was guest edited by Dr. John Kenny (NUI Galway) and opens with an introduction by acclaimed Irish writer, Gerard Donovan.

The launch will take place as part of the Cuírt International Festival of Literature and everyone is more than welcome to come along for an evening of selected readings, music and refreshments.

Where: Bar No. 8, The Docks, Galway City
When: Wednesday, April 21st 2010, 5:30pm - 12am. 

Wish I was going to Cuírt...

South Tipperary Artist Bursary Award

The Art Service of South Tipperary County Council is pleased to announce that applications are now being invited from individual artists, resident in or originally from South Tipperary for the 2010 Artist Bursary Award Scheme. The aim of this scheme is to support artist’s living in and from South Tipperary in developing their own arts practice.

There are two awards:
-Emerging Artist Award, E1,500 (1 award available)
-Artist Award. E3,000 ( 2 awards available)

Applications will be considered from artists working in all art forms:

-For the creative research and development of new work.
-Initiatives that can demonstrate the development of an artist’s existing practice
-To allow time for an artist to concentrate on their practice, releasing them from other commitments.

This is not an education bursary. The Bursary Award is open to individual artists at all stages of their career, (one award will be allocated to an emerging artist), working in any art-form, art practice discipline or genre. Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they are practising professional

For further information, guidelines and an application form, please contact:
Sally O;Leary Arts Officer, South Tipperary County Council, County Museum, Mick Delahunty Square, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.
T: 052 6134565

Deadline: Friday 30th April 2010.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Prose Readings at the Irish Writers Centre, Dublin

This sounds great.

Where: Irish Writers Centre, Parnell Square
When: Wednesday April 14th at 7pm.

The first reading features writers Kevin Barry and Catherine Phil MacCarthy.

What a terrific duo. I wonder who's next?

This event is free and open to everyone.

There will be a wine reception before and after the readings.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Nighthawk's Oxfam CD

(Lovely image courtesy of

Nighthawks have put together an excellent EP in order to raise much needed funds for OXFAM Ireland. The EP contains:

1 – ‘The Celtic Tiger Song’ – Shane Browne.
2 – ‘Essential Fashion Item (Gay Best Friend)’ – Totally Wired.
3 – ‘The Road to Termonfeckin’ – Read by Kevin McGahern.
4 – ‘The Break-Up Song’ – Trevor Browne.
5 – ‘The Crackle’ – Written and read by Colm Keegan.

5 euro, on sale at the OXFAM shop on Parliament Street, near Temple Bar. Telephone - 01 670 7022.

The EP will be officially launched this Saturday (April 17th) in the Parliament Street OXFAM shop at 2pm. The launch will include a short performance from ALL the acts on the EP.

However, the fun doesn't end there! Nighthawks are also putting together a special one-off stand-up comedy night in order to celebrate the release of the EP.
Where: Cobalt Cafe, 16 North Great Georges Street
When: 8pm on Saturday, April 24th
Tickets: 10 euro each, price includes a FREE copy of the EP!!! and every cent raised goes directly to OXFAM Ireland.Purchase from the OXFAM shop on Parliament Street.

Stand-up comics performing at Nighthawks on the 24th will include Enda Muldoon, Totally Wired, Kevin McGahern, Shane Browne, Trevor Browne, Jim Elliott and Tomie James.

Reading in Trim

(Image a painting by the fabulously talented and lovely Irene Fastner, Munich)

The Meath based writers group, Boyne Writers, in the form of the excellent Michael Farry (consistently interesting blog here)

When: this Thursday April 15 at 8pm 
Where: The Village Hall, Knightsbridge Village, Longwood Road, Trim

Please come along. It's a small event and the more audience, the merrier. There's an open mic after.
Also tea and biscuits included for you 5 Euro in. What more could you want for a Thursday evening?
I will have copies of the Poetry Divas pamphlet with me, as well a new one of just my poetry, called 'Good Sherry Trifle' if you want a copy.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Abridged call for submissions

Via the lovely Nuala at Women Rule Writer blog.

Abridged is lovely publication out of Derry that, at least as far as my own stuff, seems to print the more quirky poems I have. They also take art.

This time the theme is Magnolia.

Deadline: 21st May.

They say: 
In the world of colour charts and iconic English sheepdogs, Magnolia represents the fence-sitting hue that neither offends or accosts the senses. Adorning the walls of TurnKey packaged homes of first-time buyers or haunting the corners of final destination rest homes of howls and despair, Magnolia stalks us from the cradle to the grave. It is the bastard offspring of white: it is the disgraced sibling of beige. It is nothingness yet it is everywhere. It is Abridged 0 – 21.

A maximum of 3 poems may be submitted of any length. Art can be up to A4 size and can be in any media. It should be at least 300 dpi. Submissions can be emailed to or posted to:
Abridged c/o The Verbal Arts Centre,
Stable Lane and Mall Wall,
Bishop Street Within,
Derry BT48 6PU.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Edwin Morgan Poetry Competition

From the Stammering Poet.

Edwin Morgan Poetry Competition. You can enter online and pay over paypal.
One of the richest poetry competitions in Britain.

More rules here.

Prize: First prize of £5000 and lesser prizes of £1000, £500 and £50 (x 2)
Judges: Robert Crawford and Kathleen Jamie. (Unrelated note. Robert was born in the same hospital as my sister)
Deadline:1st JUNE 2010

* Maximum of 60 lines per poem
* Entries must be entirely the work of the entrant and must never have been published, self-published, published on any website or broadcast (this includes publication on social networking sites, e.g. Facebook).
* Entrants can submit up to 3 (three) poems, provided the appropriate entry fee is included: the entry fee is £5 per poem

You can read last year's winners on the website. (One man, 4 women!, judges one of each)

Friday, 9 April 2010

Crime Writing

Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in the lovely Yorkshire town of Harrogate have a competition worth a stab.

Write a crime story between 2,000 and 5,000 words long.

The first line is provided by Stuart MacBride:

In my experience, those who beg for mercy seldom deserve it.

Deadline: noon on May 16th

Prize: Three finalists will win tickets to Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, Harrogate (with travel and accommodation included), where they'll get to the chance to rub shoulders with leading authors and agents of the crime writing world. The winner will be announced during the weekend and will win a Sony e-reader, a library of 100 crime books including a signed Stuart MacBride back catalogue and they'll also see their story turned into a special online, downloadable e-edition by HarperCollins.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Irish Writers Centre Spring/Summer Courses

6 week courses

Feature Writing with Lucille Redmond
14th April to 19th May: Wednesdays 6.30-8.30pm.

The Shape of Poetry with Caitriona O'Reilly
20th April to 25th May: Tuesdays 6.30pm-8.30pm

Beginners' Creative Writing with Pat Boran
5th May to 16th June: Wednesdays 6.30pm-8.30pm

Writing Children's Fiction with Oisín McGann
6th May to 10th June: Thursdays 6.30-8.30pm.

10 Week Courses

Finish your Novel with Conor Kostick
12th April to 14th June: Mondays 6.30-8.30pm.

Beginners Creative Writing with Jean O'Brien
13th April to 15th June: Tuesdays 6.30-8.30pm

Writing Historical Fiction with John Givens
20th April to 22nd June: Tuesdays 6.30-8.30pm

The Novel with Juliet Bressan
21st April to 23rd June:Wednesdays 6.30-8.30pm.

Intermediate Creative Writing with Nessa O'Mahony
22nd April to 24th June: Thursdays 6.30-8.30pm

For more information see the website

Kenyan Orphan Charity Poetry Competition

From Sheenagh Pugh at Good God! There's writing on both sides of the page.
Donate £5 to a Kenyan Charity and maybe win a poetry competition too.

Judge: John Hegley.

It's short poems. Poems must not exceed 30 lines (not including title) but you can enter online.

FEES: Each poem submitted will cost £5.00 including subsequent poems. Only sterling ( cheques,postal orders or money orders will be accepted) . Please make cheques payable to: Educating Kenyan Orphans.
So that will cut out most Irish and American poets. Stupid. Paypal is so easy to set up.

Deadline: 7th June 2010


First Prize £1000
Second Prize £500
Third Prize £300
Fourth Prize £200

There will be a reading given by John Hegley at the Rook Lane Chapel, Bath Street, Frome, Somerset.

The winners will receive their prizes and be able to read their poems at the reading on the 17th July 2010.

More Rules here

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Templar Poetry Collection

Templar have a good flock of poets in their archives. Here's their collection competition.

Short collections of poetry of between 18 and 24 pages.

Poems may be of any length and written in any style. Additional Title & Contents pages should be included with submissions.

Judged anonymously. 

Successful poets will be contacted in June 2010.The full results will be posted on the Templar Poetry Website in August 2010.

The poetry must be original work and may have been published previously in magazines, anthologies and other media; but must not have been published as part of a pamphlet or full collection.

Fee: £18. Postal Submission, £20 for Online submission.

Deadline: 8th May 2010.

Prizes: The four winning pamphlets, along with a selection of the best individual poems selected for inclusion in the competition anthology, will be published at the 2010 Derwent Poetry Festival in Derbyshire in November 2010. The festival offers readings to the pamphlet and anthology poets, alongside the Festival guest poets.
Each of the four winners will receive £500, ten complimentary copies of their pamphlet and the option to submit a full collection for later publication.

ALL writers submitting work receive a complimentary copy of the anthology (RRP £8) in October.I think this is a good idea as it gives an indication of the competition.
More details on their website.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Muse Writers' Group Open Mic

The lovely Orla organises this.

When: Friday 9 April @ 7.00pm

Muse Writers' Group presents an open mic event featuring poets, prose writers, singers and musicians.

Anyone is welcome to perform for maximum of three minutes.

Where: The Winding Stair Bookshop, 40 Lower Ormond Quay, D1

Playwrights at the New Theatre

From the Irish Writers' Centre blog. (Follow them)

The New Theatre in Temple Bar, Dublin is looking for budding or experienced playwrights to participate in playreadings.

These readings will take place the first Saturday of every month.

The theatre is currently seeking outlines which can be sent to to the attention of Jane or Anthony.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Buy these books. Support your blogging poets.

See TFE for a summary of some of the blogging poets you may/should have read.
Part Uno
Part Deux

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Poem for the Poetry Bus with Swiss

Not happy poem for the Poetry Bus, driven this week by Swiss. See here for more links.

Slow Poison

Removed for more work!

The Éigse Michael Hartnett Arts & Literary Festival 2010

When: April 22nd to April 24th
Where: Newcastle West, Co Limerick

Highlights. Full programme on the Website

Thursday 22nd April

When: 1.15 p.m. Also on Friday
‘An Unsung Hero – Tom Crean’. Author Michael Smith will give a lunch time presentation on the endeavours of Antarctic explorer Tom Crean based on his book for adults.
Venue: Adare Library
General Audience - Admission Free / All Welcome

When: 8.00 p.m.
Official Opening of Éigse Michael Hartnett by the Cathaoirleach of Limerick County Council, Councillor David Naughton
Keynote Speaker: Abbot Mark Patrick Hederman OSB
on ‘Irish Poets, learn your trade: Poetry as speaking Truth’
Venue: Newcastle West Library

Friday 23rd April

When: 10.00 p.m.
The Aran Islands - A Dramatic Recital of J.M. Synge’s work adapted by Eamon Grennan and performed by Tegolin Knowland and Sean Coyne, The Aran Islands records Synge’s impressions of the natural and human character of Inishmaan. Adapted for two voices, it is partly a romantic lyrical evocation of this wild place, partly a series of anecdotes, partly an almost anthropological study of the people’s lives, their habits and their folk-tales.
Venue: Desmond Hall, The Square, Newcastle West.
Táille isteach €7 / Admission €7

Saturday 24th April

When: 11.00am
Michael Hartnett Memorial Lecture: Fintan O’Toole will give this year’s lecture on ‘Secular Prayers’: Michael Hartnett, Enchantment and Disenchantment.
Venue: Courtenay Lodge Hotel, Newcastle West
Táille isteach €7 / Admission €7

When: 11.00 am
Tegolin Tales Theatre Company: Dramatic masked performances of fairytales for children aged 3 to 8 years with actors Tegolin Knowland and Sean Coyne.
Venue: Newcastle West Library
Admission Free / All Welcome

When: 3.00 p.m.
The Hartnett Viva Voce:
Join us for a lively afternoon of poetry, song and story. Participate in the ‘Open Mic’ where prize money will be awarded for the best performed original poem and the best performed Hartnett poem. Prize money of €300 for the Viva Voce winner in the original poem category and €100 for best read Hartnett Poem.
Viva Voce adjudicating panel: Eileen Sheehan, Gabriel Fitzmaurice & John Cussen.
Venue: Ned Lynch’s, The Square, then onto Cartlidge’s Pub, Maiden Street.
Bí Linn agus Fáilte / All Welcome

When: 8.00 p.m.
Poetry Reading with Rita Ann Higgins, Gearóid Mac Lochlainn and music and song with Dorota Konczewska
Venue: The Courthouse, Gortboy, Newcastle West.
Táille isteach €10 / Admission €10

Crochet Reef

If you're in Dublin between now and 10th June, do make a point of going to see this exhibition at the Science Gallery, near Trinity. It's so beautiful, you will be moved, overwhelmed. I guarantee you will come out a better person. Really.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Poet to work with Architecture Firm

WANTED: Poet to collaborate with Architect.

CODA Architects in Bristol are seeking expressions of interest from poets who wish to explore the dialogue between poetry and architecture.

CODA aim to gain a poetic viewpoint on architecture, the sites they build on, the type of projects they work on or even the materials they use to help generate alternative responses to these issues when designing.

A fee of £1000 is available for the poet engaging in this project.

If you feel that this is a project that you could contribute to please submit an expression of interest, comprising your CV and an indication of how you see the project might work (five hundred words maximum) to Ronnie Rennoldson: email by 3 May 2010.

Mslexia Short Story Competition Winners

Oh look, they're all women. Oh yeah

1st Prize: Love: A Painting by Sarah Klenbort
2nd Prize: The Journey by Anne Bentley
3rd Prize: The Upside-down Jesus by Karen Jones

Three runners-up: 'The Cupcake Tree' by Jennifer Moore,
'The Decisive Moment' by Ilona Jesnick,
'Reading Brother Boniface' by Maria Hoey.

Congratulations to all of our winners! The top three stories, plus the three runners-up and Tracy Chevalier's essay, are published in issue 45 of Mslexia:

Order it here.

Read Tracy Chevalier's judges report here

Friday, 2 April 2010

Colum McCann at Tallaght Library

As a part of READISCOVER 2010, we are delighted to welcome prestigious author Colum McCann to the County Library, Tallaght 
When: Thursday 22nd April at 11am. 
Book: please ring the library at 4620073
Tickets: Free
Interviewed by the astute, John Kelly.

Colum McCann is the author of two collections of short stories and five novels, including This Side of
Brightness, Dancer & Zoli. His newest novel Let the Great World Spin won the prestigious National Book
Award 2009. His fiction has been published in 30 languages and has appeared in The New Yorker, The
Atlantic Monthly, GQ, Paris Review, Bomb and other places.

And don’t worry if you can’t make the event or it gets booked up, you can tweet @SDDCLibraries or email questions in to Colum, and we will feature a selection of them which will then appear on the Podcast later.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Arts Festival Programme Co-Ordinator Required.

Contract – 4 months.

Kilkenny Arts Festival (KAF) is Ireland’s oldest and one of its largest multi-disciplinary arts festivals. Taking place annually in August, KAF is a premier artistic celebration with an international reputation for cultural excellence.

We are now looking to recruit a Programme Co-ordinator.

THE ROLE: The Programme Co-ordinator will report to and assist the CEO in producing and delivering a successful festival to the highest standards. You will manage key relationships with programme curators, venues, artists and staff .

THE PERSON: The successful applicant will have experience in festival, event or project management. You should have experience in hiring and managing staff , excellent communication skills and be able to deliver in a very demanding environment.

For a detailed Job Description please go to the website
Applications with cover letter and CV to:
Kilkenny Arts Festival,
9-10 Abbey Business Centre,
Abbey Street, Kilkenny
or by email to:

Deadline: Monday April 12th

National Poetry Competition UK

I don't know why I would bother entering this. The winners are real poetry heavyweights.

1st Helen Dunmore, Orange Prize winner for "The Malarkey"
2nd Ian Pindar for Mrs Beltinska in the Bath. Pindar's first collection of poetry, Emporium, will be published next year.
3rd prize of £500 was won by John Stammerstook, whose third collection is published in April, for Mr Punch in Soho.

One woman and 2 men.
Do they have a shortlist?

Judges: 2 men and a woman. Ruth Padel, Daljit Nagra and Neil Rollinso.

Guest Post from Maeve O'Sullivan - Poetry Now (Part II)

After the exhilaration of the Strong Award and Reading, it was time for a spot of lunch and a stroll down the pier to bolster ourselves for more poetic inputs. The afternoon’s offering was a three-way reading featuring poets from Scotland, the Czech Republic and Ireland, in that order. Pat Boran of Dedalus Press did the honours on the introductions this time, and described the first reader’s poems as having “an opening into otherness”.

John Burnside then proceeded to open up the world of hunting for us in the form of a long poem “The Fair Chase” from his most recent collection “The Hunt in the Forest”. I have to say it’s not a world that I’m familiar with, nor have a particular interest in, so I did find my attention waning. I preferred the two that he read at the end, “Orpheus” and “Loved and Lost”, both quite poignant and with killer closing lines.

Silva Fischerová was born in Prague and is young enough to remember enjoying mustard sandwiches during the Communist era. She read from her recent collection of poetry in English, “Language is a Foreign Word” which has recurring images of falling. Her voice is rich and expressive, but I found it hard to catch some of the words and lines, unfortunately. The work ranged from social commentary through poems about poetry to a more personal lyric, especially one in which she recounts her mother dying while she was eight months pregnant.

The third and final reader was Achill-born John F. Deane, founder of both Poetry Ireland and the Dedalus Press. Boran described Deane as a Christian and Catholic poet and praised his “consistency of vision and intent” since the publication of his 1977 debut. The work that Deane shared included an elegy to Samuel Beckett, a description of a cobbler on Achill Island, and a poem that linked different colours to the various seasons of life (ending with black, not surprisingly!). My favourites were “A Poem of the Goldfinch” which referenced an incident in GM Hopkins’ life, and the final poem, “Canticle”, which aimed to describe the music of the spheres using beautiful imagery.

After all that it was time to board the DART and get back to regular city life after a few glorious days of all things poetic.