Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Dublin Book Festival

There's lots going on at the Dublin Book Festival. Almost too much. And not all of it the same old faces and voices (although quite a lots I feel I've heard ad nauseum before TBH). Also the website I'm finding hard to navigate.

Here are some highlights but do have a look at the programme too.

Thurs 13 Nov / 6.30pm
Lines of Vision: Alex Barclay, Kevin Barry, John Boyne and Donal Ryan In Conversation with Seán Rocks 
The National Gallery of Ireland | €10 / €7 | BOOK NOW
Fri 14 Nov / 7.00pm
 Sun 16 Nov / 7.30pm
Irish Writers Centre | €10 
Bookings through the Irish Writers Centre

Monday, 27 October 2014

Penguin Ireland

A message from the new editor, Claire Hennessy at Penguin Ireland tells me to spread the word that they are actively seeking children’s and YA submissions at the moment, particularly fiction for 7+.

As with all submissions to publishers, agents or magazines, read the submission requirements very carefully and adhere to them to the letter.

We strongly encourage submissions via email, to:
If you wish to submit electronically, please send a Word document consisting of a cover letter, short synopsis (no more than 500 words) and the work itself. The cover letter should include a brief summary of your book (a couple of sentences – not a synopsis) and a short note on yourself. Please do not send separate documents: all three elements should be included in a single document.

More details here

Also do your homework, what else have they published recently?

So if you have something, buff it up and send it to Claire. 

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Dublin Launch of Galway Magazine Skylight

As you may know the Galway launch of Skylight Issue 4 was a success. The poet Helen Mort, who launched the issue that evening, was very kind in her words of praise about the issue. There were quite a few readings by contributors and the editor, Nicki Griffin, finished the evening very fittingly by reading a poem by Kevin O'Shea, which is printed on the last page of the magazine. 

But they're not finished yet ... On November 15th at 12.30, in Pearse Street Library, they are having their Dublin launch. If you couldn't make the Galway launch, this is a great opportunity to join them and celebrate the release of the issue - and, very importantly, get your hands on a copy.
They hope to see as many of you as possible there!

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Gregory O'Donoghue International Poetry Prize

The Gregory O'Donoghue International Poetry Prize is now open for submissions! This is a prize for single poem, named in honour of a late Irish poet long associated with the Munster Literature Centre. 
Note that this competition has a history of giving the prizes to international poets, often in the academic tradition. My own personal opinion. I'd love to win...
First prize is 1,000 Euro (on 7 October 2014 approx. USD 1263 or GBP 784), a week-long writer’s retreat at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre and publication in Southword Literary Journal
The author who takes first prize will have the chance to read the winning poem at the Cork Spring Poetry Festival in February 2014. 
There will be a second prize of E500, third prize of E250, and ten runners-up will each have their poems published and receive Southword’’s standard fee of E30.  (
Deadline 30 November 2014 
Judge is poet Matthew Sweeney 
More information, including submission guidelines, may be found on the websiteor via their Facebook group:

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Dublin City Council Arts Grants

Dublin City Council invites applications for funding towards arts projects and programmes in the city which are complementary to the following objectives:

  • Stimulating public interest in the Arts,
  • Promoting knowledge, appreciation and practice of the arts, or
  • Improving standards in the arts within its functional area (Dublin City)
** So nothing about supporting artists here specifically.

Application forms, guidelines and criteria may be obtained from:

City Arts Office, Dublin City Council, The LAB, Foley St., Dublin 1
Tel: 222 7843 
or E-mail:


Deadline: Monday 10th November 2014 at 5pm 

Sunday, 19 October 2014

2nd Ó Bhéal Winter Warmer Festival

Great Line up at Cork's Winter Warmer Poetry Festival.

They didn't ask me though.

Details here

21st – 22nd November 2014

Ó Bhéal’s second Winter Warmer festival weekend. Over twenty excellent poets will read and perform in the amphitheatre at Sample Studios, some of whom will be accompanied by musicians. Snatch Comedy Improv will be performing a set of poetry-focused comedy games,Sawa-Le will be performing poetry-theatre, a selection of poetry-films from around the world will be presented by Malgorzata Kitowski (from PoetryFilm), and these will be followed with a judges selection from the 2014 Ó Bhéal poetry-film competition. There will also be a closed-mic for ten local poets.

Free Admission to all events.
Includes Eleanor Hooker,James Harper, Mary O'Donnell, Sarah Clancy, Thomas McCarthy,Louis de Paor, Alan Jude Moore, Paula Meehan

Friday, 17 October 2014

Donegal Creameries North West Words Poetry Prize

The Donegal Creameries North West Words Poetry Prize is in its third year.
Judge: Kate Newmann of Summer Palace Press 
Deadline: 14 November
Prize: €250 and perpetual Donegal Creameries North West Words Poetry Cup
Fineprint here

The maximum number of poems per entrant is 3. 
Entry fee: €5 (covers maximum entry of up to 3 poems)
I think an entry of 3 poems is a very good idea. One poem is such a lottery.
Send your poem(s) along with a cover letter with name, address, and phone number and/or email address, and title(s) of each poem submitted. 
Post entries to North West Words Poetry Prize 2014, 54 Thornberry, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal. 

No on-line submissions so I would imagine the number of entries will be lower, greater chance of winning? A shortlist but only one prize.

A shortlist will be published on on North West Words’ Facebook page and at North West Words’ Christmas event in Café Blend mid-December. 
The winning poet will be notified on Thursday, 15 January 2015
The winner of the competition will be announced and prize awarded at North West Words in Café Blend, Letterkenny, on Thursday, 29 January 2015. 

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Cuisle Limerick City International Poetry Festiva

This year Cuisle Limerick City International Poetry Festival celebrates its twentieth anniversary with a special five day run, October 15 to 19, 2014.

Some of Ireland's best loved and most celebrated poets will join guests from their sister festivals across Europe. A special series of 'Poetry in Public Places' events honours Limerick City of Culture 2014. Cuisle establishes Limerick City as a centre of excellence for poetry locally, nationally, and internationally. Cuisle are delighted to host important figures from the world of contemporary poetry, including Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Macdara Woods, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, and Paddy Bushe. Newer names like Ed O’Dwyer and Caleb Brennan light the way for the next generation. Special guests John Davies and Sam Riviere from the UK join celebrated European poets Iztok Osojnik and Veronika Dintinjana.

The Cuisle Festival includes writing workshops, an open mic night, special tributes to Samuel Beckett, and the launch of the annual Stony Thursday Book, this year edited by Peter Sirr. Additionally, Tim Cunningham will launch his new poetry volume. There is a substantial education programme, including readings and workshops for schools. Poets Geraldine Mitchell, Conor O'Callaghan, Tom French, and Bridget Wallace round out the roster.

The 'Poetry in Public Places' initiative has four components. For "A Door Into The Dark" a dozen artists from Limerick Printmakers responded to the work of poets who have previously read at Cuisle. The resulting work is installed along Patrick Street. "Ghost Sonata" has been specially created by Mark Whelan. It consists of one long poem written on the windows of Roches Street. In cooperation with RTÉ Lyric FM, "Poems on the Air" places recordings both on the airwaves and in various retail spaces. Finally, Shedman will bring his famous travelling shed to Limerick. As he tells us: "My shed is very accessible. Anyone can come in to tell me their shed stories, to bring anecdotes and poems, pictures and photos, recollections and fantasies." A popular favourite!

The poetry of Samuel Beckett is a special feature of Saturday's festival. At 4pm join Cuisle for "Roundelay", a staged reading by the Fourfront Poets, previously featured in both Ireland and the UK. At 7pm Gerry Dukes will talk on Beckett, followed by noted actor Barry McGovern performing Beckett's poetry for stage. Not to be missed!

Lunchtime readings will be scheduled Thursday and Friday at 1pm (Sunday at 3pm) in the intimate surround of the Captain's Room at the Hunt Museum. Evening readings are located at 69 O'Connell St., Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7pm.

All events are ticketed, on the door, at an accessible €5. For the complete schedule and more information, including contributor bios and photos, please visit

Monday, 13 October 2014

Dalkey Creates

An inaugural writing festival for Dalkey
Thursday 16th– Sunday 19th October 2014
Booking online at
and at the €3 Bookshop in The Tramyard, Dalkey

The festival is all about creating, and the best part of it all is the opportunity for everyone involved in workshops and classes to perform their work to an audience in Dalkey Town Hall on the last day of the festival. Aside from memoir, creative writing, screenwriting, blogging and song-writing classes with some really super tutors (Ferdia MacAnna, Eleanor McEvoy etc) we have some unusual events like a literary kayaking tour around the Dalkey coastline, and a food writing course which includes a meal at a fab Dalkey restaurant. 

And of course, the Open Mic event which I’m HOPING will be really popular with emerging writers all over – Hazel Gaynor is adjudicating!  

Uniquely, the Festival will be bringing new words to life, providing a platform for writers who want to read or have their work performed in front of a live audience on the final day. One such event will be 'Memory Lane', the culmination of a memoir writing project between local school children and senior Dalkey residents. 

The Festival is also hosting a number of other literary events, including Jennifer Johnston in conversation with Martina Devlin on Friday 17th at Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre. Our own Maeve Binchy will be celebrated in the production of ‘Scenes from Minding Frankie’ by Shay Linehan on Saturday 18th at 7.30pm also at Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre.

Booking online at

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Francis Ledwidge Poetry Award

Deadline: November 5th 

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Taking Flight - Menu of Poems

Every year, the Arts in Health organisation commissions a pamphlet of poems. They are for distribution in hospital wards, in waiting rooms, Community and Day Care Centres and other health settings for patients, visitors and staff all over Ireland. They even come with some Meals on Wheels. This year, I curated the pamphlet. I took as my theme, Taking Flight.

In particular I was thinking of how reading a poem can take out of where you are for a short time. How your imagination can take you somewhere else, how sometimes you can even fly.

Bearing in mind the sometimes stressful environment of the readers, I was looking for poems that were not so gloomy, more uplifting. I only had a small amount of space to play with so I had to leave some lovely behind. I could have filled three of four pages with no problem at all.

You can read more about it here and download a copy for yourself or your organisation. Try reading these poems aloud. Try writing your own. And we'd love to get feedback, especially from people who've read them in a health setting.

We're launching on Wednesday 8th October at lunchtime in Naas Hospital.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Romanian Cultural Exchange

To mark the first Romanian Cultural Days festival, the Romanian Cultural Institute in London and the Embassy of Romania in Ireland will host a literary event with Romanian poet Ioan Es Pop and Irish writer and traveller Peter Hurley discussing writing and tradition, preceded by the screening of Dieter Auner's Off the Beaten Track (2010), a chronicle of life in Romania's countryside.

The moderator for the discussion will be Irish Times journalist, Stephen Collins.

All welcome and booking is not required.

Full programme here

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Plough Prize

Liz Lochhead, the Scots Makar, will judge the 2014 Plough Prize. 

Deadline: 30 November 2014.
  • Entry fee: £5 per poem
  • Forty lines or under, no theme
 1st prize £1,000
2nd prize £500
3rd prize £250

Details  and entry forms downloadable from

Friday, 3 October 2014

Bailieborough Poetry Festival

Here's the programme for the Baileborough Festival

Thursday 9 October:
Opening of festival and exhibition of work by artist Róisín Duffy in Bailieborough Library @ 8pm.

Friday 10 October:
Reading by Welsh poet Nerys Williams to mark the centenary of the birth of Dylan Thomas. @8pm
(Murtagh’s Lounge).

Poetry Aloud- open mic night in local pub @10pm.

Saturday 11 October:
Poetry workshop facilitated by Nerys Williams in Bailieborough Library Arts Space @10 – 12 am.

Presentation of Bailieborough Poetry Competition Prizes and reading of short-listed poems in
Bailieborough Library Arts Space @2pm.

Skirmish of the Writing groups @ 5pm (Murtagh’s Lounge).

Evening of poetry starting with local performance poet, Patsy McDermott, followed by a reading by
Iggy McGovern to close the festival @ 8pm (Murtagh’s Lounge).

More details on the website.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Paint to Page - A Poetry Workshop with Enda Coyle-Greene

Horace once wrote that, 'A picture is a poem without words.'

During this workshop, through creatively stimulating writing exercises, close reading of poems that have paintings or photographs as their point of reference, and lively group discussion, we will look at how the two art forms frequently confront and speak to each other.

Participants may also bring along a poem (not necessarily art-related in subject!) with which they would like some gentle, constructive help.

Facilitated by poet Enda Coyle-Greene:

Date: Saturday, October 11th, 2014
Time: 11am to 4pm
Location: United Arts Club, 3 Upper Fitzwilliam Street, Dublin 2.

Cost: €50
(under charging I think)

Lunch & light refreshments included

Link here

Book directly through the Arts Club - phone 01 661 1411