Friday, 31 August 2012

Jonathan Swift Creative Writing Awards

This from the Tara Poetry blog.
The Saggart Heritage and Arts Centre are inviting submissions for their annual poetry and prose competitions 
Deadline: 30th of September 
Poems should be no more than 45 lines in length and must be the author's own work and have not been broadcast or published previously. 
Fee of €4 euro per poem or €10 euro for three made payable to the Jonathan Swift Creative Writing Awards
entrants' name not to appear on the typescript. 
Plain font Times New Roman point 12 single spacing etc. 
The prose section is restricted to one entry at €5 euro, 1500 word max. 
Judge: Hennessy Award winner Maria Wallace
Address your entries to: Margaret Ennis "Teach Giuise" Boherboy, Saggart, Co. Dublin. 

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Mountains to the Sea

There is so much going on at the Mountains to the Sea festival in Dun Laoghaire in September as well as the poetry strand, Poetry Now, that used to be a festival in its own right. Here are my choices of highlights outside of the poetry.

Timetable here

Howard Jacobson and Paul Murray

 4 Sep
Howard Jacobson and Paul Murray
In the opening event of this year’s festival, we are delighted to present two of the finest comic authors writing today. How do you follow up the Man Bookerprize winning The Finkler Question?

5 Sep
Sunday Miscellany
For over 40 years, tens of thousands of Irish people have woken up on Sunday morning to thoughtful, affecting and beautiful contributions from a variety of voices punctuated with a piece of apt music.

6 Sep
Joseph O'Connor and Jonathon Dee
A sneak preview of festival favourite Joseph O’Connor’s new collection of stories is sure to be a highlight of the festival. Where Have You Been? is released in October 2012.
Philippa Gregory
7 Sep
Philippa Gregory
Dr Philippa Gregory studied history at the University of Sussex and was awarded a PhD at the University of Edinburgh for her work on eighteenth century novels and their readership. Philippa is a recognised authority on women’s history.
8 Sep
Gerbrand Bakker and Joao Almino
Gerbrand Bakker’s debut novel The Twin was described by The Irish Times as ‘One of those rare works of fiction that everyone should read’. The book was awarded the Dublin International IMPAC Prize in 2010
8 Sep
David Mitchell and Claire Kilroy
Join two of contemporary literature’s most original and compelling voices writing in Ireland today.Mitchell’s best known work Cloud Atlas (2004) was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize

John Banville and Esther Freud

8 Sep
John Banville and Esther Freud
A new novel by John Banville is always a major publishing event and Ancient Light sees him writing at the height of his powers. Alexander Cleave is an actor whose best days are firmly behind him.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Competition! Win tickets to Poetry Now

We here a Emerging Writer Towers

are branching out. We are very excited to announce
that we have a competition for FREE tickets to Poetry Now.

We have two exciting events to choose from:

1. The Keynote Address by James Fenton. Thursday 6th September at 8:30pm at Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire.  See link
Hailed as a ‘modern master’ by Ian McEwan, former Oxford Professor of Poetry and winner of the Queen’s Gold Medal, James Fenton has written some of the most memorable lyric verse of the past decades. This year marks the publication of Yellow Tulips, Poems 1968-2011, a gathering from four decades of work by a writer described by the Observer as ‘the most talented poet of his generation’. Tonight, James Fenton will discuss The Complete Poems of Philip Larkin, a new edition which includes uncollected and unpublished poems and Larkin’s many comments on his work. It may, as John Banville wrote in The Guardian, ‘reveal Larkin as a poet of great and rich abundance’ and be ‘an almost fanatically painstaking piece of work’, but, asks James Fenton ‘is it a welcome experience?’


2. Khin Aung Ay and Louis de Paor. Saturday 8th September at 6.30pm at the Maritime Museum, See link
Khin Aung Aye was born in 1956 in Rangoon. He has published 11 collections of poetry, including most recently 54 Sentences Dictated by Free Thought. He is regarded as one of the great modern poets of Burmese poetry and lives in Bangkok. He will read with his translator, the poet James Byrne who has co-edited Bones Will Crow: 15 Contemporary Burmese Poets. ‘one of the major and necessary voices in international poetry today.’ -Todd Swift, EYWEAR
Louis de Paor’s poetry has won many awards including The Lawrence O’Shaughnessy Award, the first poet writing in Irish to do so. He has published
several collections and this year marks the publication of his Rogha Dánta or Selected Poems. He is Director of the Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway.
‘de Paor is a master of the elegy, the coldeyed,warm-hearted poem that catches you up when you least expect it.’ - Robert Verdon in Muse

Here are some links to poems by Khin aung Ay
Sampsonian Way
Check them out.

So if you want to win a ticket, leave a comment with
  • your name
  • your chosen event
  • the answer to the following question
If you could invite ANY living poet to Poetry Now next year, from anywhere, who would you choose.  And WHY?
Who have you been dying to hear read? Who would shake up Dun Laoghaire? Who would draw crowds and light a few fuses?

I will announce the winner next Wednesday. Chosen by me and an impartial poet judge (my dad) (I have told him yet)

Any questions, let me know. Sorry, let us know.

Poetry Now

There is so much going on at the Mountains to the Sea festival in Dun Laoghaire in September as well as the poetry strand, Poetry Now, that used to be a festival in its own right.
There's also an expanding fringe festival which includes readings in shops, pubs and other outreach venues. I will be reading at the closing event, an open mic - more details to come.

Timetable and brochure here

Here are my choices of highlights of Poetry Now, curated by the poet, Paul Perry this year.

Poetry Now Keynote Address with James Fenton

Thursday 6 Sep
Poetry Now Keynote Address with James Fenton
Hailed as a ‘modern master’ by Ian McEwan, former Oxford Professor of Poetry and winner of the Queen’s Gold Medal, James Fenton has written some of the most memorable lyric verse of the past decades. He'll be discusssing one of my favourite poets, Philip Larkin.
Price: €15/€12

Friday 7th September  8:30pm
at Maritime Museum
James Fenton will be reading with Moya Cannon
Price: €12/€10

Saturday 8th September 1pm
The Irish Times Poetry Now Award
Assembly Rooms, County Hall
The shortlist for the Irish Times Poetry Now Award 2012 is:
  • Moya Cannon – Hands – Carcanet Press
  • Michael Longley – A Hundred Doors – Cape Poetry
  • John Montague – Speech Lessons – Gallery Press
  • Bernard O’Donoghue – Farmers Cross – Faber and Faber
  • Macdara Woods – The Cotard Dimension – Dedalus Press

 Mark Doty and Paula Meehan
Maritime Museum
Price: €12/€10

Sunday 9th September 2pm
Tomas Transtromer Tribute and celebratory panel discussion for the most recent Nobel prize winner for poetry.
Pavillion Theatre.
Entry: €12/€10

Strong Reading
This Year’s nominees are:
  • Ailbhe Darcy, Imaginary Menagerie, Bloodaxe Books
  • Noel Duffy, In the Library of Lost Objects, Ward Wood
  • Eoghan Walls, The Salt Harvest, Seren
  • Nerys Williams, Sound Archive, Seren
Kingston Hotel
Entry:  €5

Monday, 27 August 2012

Southword Submissions

Southword, the online Cork journal are taking poetry submissions until 15th September

Editor: Leanne O'Sullivan. I met her once, she's lovely. And very young.

They submit via Submittable.

There are strict formating guidelines and a limit of 6 poems
Up-to-date biographical note with a cover letter etc etc

Authors are paid €30 per poem published. 

Sunday, 26 August 2012

The Bill Naughton Short Story Competition 2012

In judging this annual short story competition priority is given to stories, which, in their view, display qualities similar to those found in Bill Naughton's work. However, this rule is by no means exclusive and they are most eager to acknowledge excellence where they find it.

A great short story must echo in the reader's mind for a long time - it must compel him to pursue all its implications and question all possible outcomes.

In a novel there is scope to spell things out and in effect to tie up all loose ends, but in a quality short story, little must be said yet everything implied.

Rules and Conditions:

Maximum length of story is 2,500 words
Name and address must not appear on story
All work must be unpublished

Entry Fee: £5.00 (Sterling), €7.00 (Euro) or or $10.00 (U.S. Dollars) per story.
Three stories may be submitted for the price of two.

Postal Entries:

Bill Naughton Short Story Competition,
Box No 2011,
Co. Mayo, Ireland.

Closing Date: Friday 7th September 2012

Prize Money: First: € 200.00 / Second: €130.00 / Third: € 65.00

Prizes will be presented at the Kenny Naughton Autumn School.

Simon Downs (Competition Secretary) oversees the judging process and his decision and that of the judging panel is final.

Link here

Saturday, 25 August 2012


Excitement is rising about the impending Electric Picnic Extravaganze, Stradbally, Co Laois next weekend. It's not all music. You have to check out Mindfield.

The MindField spoken word arena returns again to Electric Picnic with a stimulating spark-filled programme designed to entertain, inform and inflame. Set among the ancient trees on the lawns of Stradbally Hall you’ll find an oasis of literary readings, political debate, performance poetry, science experiments, inspiring talks, news quizzes, public conversations and much more.

At the heart of MindField is the Leviathan tent where economist, author and broadcaster, David McWilliams will host three special Leviathan: Political Cabaret events with panels of eminent international and Irish journalists, academics, politicians and commentators.
Topics include:
  • Does Ireland Really Need a Second Republic? with Fintan O’Toole (The Irish Times), Carol Hunt (Sunday Independent) and Paddy Cosgrave (F.ounders);
  • How Can We Solve the Global Economic Crisis? hosted by Gunther Grun of the ECB (aka Barry Murphy) with David McWilliams, Peter Antonioni (University College London, Economics for Dummies), Professor Brian Lucey (TCD), Norah Casey (Entrepreneur, Dragon’s Den) and Margaret E Ward;
  • Democracy Next?: Revolution in the Muslim World with Libyan-Irish officer of the Tripoli Brigade, Hussam Najjair, who fought in Libya and more recently in Syria; Mary Fitzgerald, foreign correspondent of The Irish Times and others,
all with musical satire from Paddy Cullivan (Late Late Show House Band).
 Sunday’s Ryan Tubridy’s Picnic Brunch takes a jaundiced look at the Sunday papers and a review of the festival in the company of Miriam O’Callaghan, Paddy Cullivan and some of Stradbally’s most tired and emotional. 

Salon du Chat reprise their unique “speed-debating” salon of gourmet conversation chosen from a menu of provocative menu options. Engage in intense dialogue with complete strangers, make new friends and influence people.
The hugely popular Banter public talks series will present a special edition hosted by The Irish Times’ Jim Carroll on How the Irish Media Failed Ireland with Carol Hunt (Sunday Independent), Simon Carswell (The Irish Times), John Ryan ( and Enda Leahy (Mail on Sunday)

The Cáca Milis Cabaret closes Friday night with its rambunctious “postmodern vaudeville” blend of music, dance, spoken word, circus clownery and classic cabaret and the Bradd Pitt Light Orchestra close Saturday and Sunday’s Leviathan proceedings.

Fresh from its critically-acclaimed contribution to the European City of Science celebrations at ESOF2012, Science Gallery returns to Electric Picnic this year with a spectacular line-up of live shows, stimulating workshops, and mind-bending events and enclosed in a spectacular inflatable tent.
Science Gallery’s HACK THE CITY exhibition will transform into HACK THE PICNIC, with artists and scientists bringing their DIY hacker mindset to build, tweak, and modify gadgets, gear, and the whole festival experience for the better.
Running over two days, the Science Gallery line-up has something for everyone, with attractions that include the brand new 100% Hammer-Free High Striker, a live recording of Futureproof, and festival favourite, Ignite.

### I will talking about Science Meets Poetry at the Saturday Ignite. Come and say hello.
There are also live dissections, the steampunk robotic busker, Scientific Sue’s Science Shows, 3D printing and the Science Gallery Shop.

MindField is privileged to welcome back Willie White, now Artistic Director of the Dublin Theatre Festival, to curate the Theatre Stage which features a programme of inspirational and entertaining shows, carefully selected for the Electric Picnic and MindField audience.
Shows include:
  • Bears in Space, a new hour of madness from Collapsing Horse;
  • Come Rhyme With Me, a verbal explosion of slams, jams, backhands and audience spam;
  • Fight Night with Aonghus óg MacAnally;
  • I Heart Alice Heart I (Project) Winner of two Absolut Fringe Awards;
  • Journey to the End of the Night, written, directed and performed by: Dylan Tighe; and Make and Do return to Electric Picnic, 2012 to present a suite of specially designed festival games.
In celebration of festival reliables like wellington boots, random hook-ups and lots of food, we invite you to a lemon jousting contest, a gumboot dance challenge and a game of Love at First sight;
finally there’s a special preview of Singlehood, conceived and developed by Una McKevitt in collaboration with David Coffey, which premieres at the Absolut Fringe this year.

The original Word stage is back with a massive programme of drama, discussion, poetry, prose, comedy, rap, and rock ‘n’ roll, featuring:
  • Velvet Revolution by Mick Donnellan,
  • The Hero Returns, by Maedhbh Haicead,
  • Sex, Lies and Sausage Rolls with Joe Rooney, Fran Healy and Sharron Mannion, plus specials guests;
  • Jolt Theatre Company;
  • Danny Dowling and Friends;
  • The Brownbread Mixtape with their comedy sketches and poetry;
  • Nighthawks hosted by Colm Keegan; and
  • Irish Beatboxing champ Samir.
  • There’s Olaf Tyaransen, Poetry Ireland with some of Ireland’s best-known poets;
  • The Cúirt Literary Festival’s Slam Poetry Finalists;
  • Poetry and beats with Marty Mulligan and The Aftermath and special guests.
  • There’s live music with Crow Black Chicken, The Aftermath and guests plus many more poets, rappers, comedians, philosophers and dreamers.
  • ### The Poetry Divas and their unmissable show at 2pm Saturday (or thereabouts) ###

Amnesty Ireland Amnesty Ireland moves to the MindField arena this year with an outstanding programme of film screenings and talks with their makers including:
  • Conor Horgan with One Hundred Mornings,
  • Juanita Wilson with As If I Am Not There,
  • Darragh Byrne with Parked,
  • Perry Ogden with Pavee Lackeen,
as well as lots of wonderful animation shorts including the Secret of Kells.
The central theme of this year’s Amnesty presence at the Electric Picnic is forced eviction with a special feature of a shanty hut at the centre of the MindField arena.