Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Drogheda Poetry Readings and Workshop

Drogheda Arts Festival 2013 and Droichead Arts Centre in association with Gallery Press present

Gallery Goes……

an afternoon of poetry, discussion and book signings with three of Ireland’s finest poets, Tom French, Medbh McGuckian, Conor O'Callaghan on Saturday 4 May, 1.30pm in Droichead Arts Centre. Tickets €5 Teas/Coffees/Scones.

This will be the first outing for Conor O’Callaghan’s new collection, The Sun King. The readings will be followed by a creative writing workshop with Conor O’Callaghan entitled “Describing Sex”  Fee €15 (includes reading).

The workshop is a practical embarrassment-free workshop about the crucial skill of describing acts of love in writing. We will look at successful poems and famous scenes from fiction, identifying a few aspects common to these pieces and how those aspects make them work. We will also look at a few less successful examples. Limited number of places on the workshops.

Box office: 041 9833946. Free online booking.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Panama Cafe Poetry Reading, Dundalk

This was actually a great idea which worked very well as part of the Dundalk Book Festival - readings in two cafés in the town centre from 2pm to 7pm. The two were the Panama Café, where the coffee certainly is good, and The 23 Seats, where the coffee is probably as good.

An eclectic collection of writers and performers kept the diners amused and entertained all day. It was difficult to tell who had come for the food and who had been enticed by the writers. Some came for food and stayed for poetry and vice versa.

Lots of Dundalk writers, poets but also writers of novels, science fiction, memoir, journals etc. A wonderful variety. Many of the local writers seem to be involved with one or other of the groups facilitated by the multi-talented Ferdia MacAnna, writer in residence in DkIT. Many featured in the recent publication, No Bother.

I read twice in the Panama, early and late and really enjoyed it. Start with something that gets a laugh and the audience is on your side, so I started with The Truth (still here halfway down on the Prole Competition page) which did the job. I also read my Manchester United poem in honour of another great season - there didn't seem to be many supporters there though.

Poet Richard Halperin read in both cafés and was one of the stars of the day. He read from his Anniversary collection (Salmon) and also from his second collection which is being launched in the Irish Writers Centre on 6 June.

Barbara Smith, fellow Doghouse poet, did a fine job as MC and with her Poetry Divas contributed greatly to the colour and fun of the event. They had copies of their new chapbook Poetry Divas 4 for sale. It contains many of their Greatest Hits including their Pair Bond (now performed with visual aids) and Flaming for Vincent, each stanza of which starts Oh give me a red-headed man. The chapbook should be available on Kate Dempsey's blog page.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Reading at Dundalk Festival Today

Off to Dundalk this afternoon to do a spot at the Cafe reading there at the Dundalk Book Festival. I'm one of the various authors, poets and performers who will be "entertaining, inspiring and spellbinding [some hope!] audiences" at two local cafes The Panana Café in Market Square and The 23 Seats in Crowe Street. I'm on in the Panama sometime between 2 and 3 and probably will do a spot in the other cafe later.

What to read? Something funny or even amusing (I must have something like that) something topical (No! No! not the recession - but it's funny!)something easy to read and easy to "get" at one listed. Well, I'll try me best. I do have a cafe poem, just published in the Galway Review actually and online here. Wonder what the chocolate cake is like in the Panama Cafe. I've heard the coffee is good.

The Panama MC is local writer and Doghouse poet, Barbara Smith, and she and her Poetry Divas will perform their own brand of performance poetry to open and close the reading. Others who are expected to perform include writers from the Dundalk No Bother group and Ardgillen/Skerries writers as well as John King children’s writer, Christine Larkin fiction, May Toal poetry/fiction, Nessa Toale fiction, John Gilmore humourist and Richard Halperin poetry. Noel McGee will perform an extract from his one man show I Kavanagh.

Other events include Irish Crime Writers Niamh O’Connor, Declan Hughes and Declan Burke being interviewed and reading from their work at 1pm. Successful local author Jaki McCarrick will launch her new latest book at Carroll’s bookshop 5-6pm.

In the evening evening, Irish Women Writers Christine Dwyer-Hickey, Claudia Carroll and Catherine Dunne take the stage (7-9pm) to read from their books.

Full programme on the website.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Poetry Readings - Mullingar and Sligo

Two poetry readings one after another, Mullingar Scribblers on Monday evening and the Poets' Parlour, Yeats Memorial Building on Tuesday evening. I really enjoyed both and was impressed by the numbers at each and the enthusiasm shown by the participants.

Mullingar Scribbers is a writing group facilitated by Grace Brennan. I talked about my writingand the experience of having a collection published, interspersed with readings of some of my poems. We had a lot of discussion about form and themes, language and grammar, and we ended with an exercise.

I gave them as a prompt half a line from one of my poems "I remember my cat". They produced a great variety of pieces, prose and poetry,taking the prompt to unexpected places. The Scribblers meet every week and publish anthologies of their work regularly, volume 5 was published last year.

Then the Poets' Parlour in the Visitors Centre of the Yeats Memorial Building in Sligo. A very friendly setting with a fire on and fellow Doghouse poet Monica Corish present. The first half consisted of the open mic which had the usual impressive variety of theme and treatment. Almost everyone present was a writer and read on the night so it was a very knowledgeable and sympathetic audience.

Eily Kilgannon was a great host and MC and contributed to the evening by reading some of the love poetry of Shakespeare it being the week of the Bard's birthday. We also had poems by W.B.Yeats, Hilaire Belloc and Brian Patten.

I was the second half of the night and read about twelve poems mostly from the Doghouse collection. I really enjoyed reading in Sligo. I think was the first time I had read poetry in the county so it was special.This Poets' Parlour takes place once a month and will take a break during the summer. Check the website for details.

There is also a Yeats Poetry Circle which meets every Wednesday morning in the Visitors centre from 10.30am to 12.30pm which gives an opportunity for poetry lovers to socially gather, to share their favourite poetry,  poetic inspiration and recite from heart. All Welcome!

Now a rest before Dundalk on Saturday.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Dundalk Book Festival

A major new book Festival will be held in Dundalk on the week-end April 26-27, 2013.

The festival will be launched by author and playwright Peter Sheridan (whose mother hails from Dundalk) at DKIT at 1pm on Friday April 26. Peter will read from and perform his own works, including his latest book.

On Saturday April 27th, Dundalk town centre will host a series of book festival events featuring readings and Q and As by famous Irish crime novelists, graphic novelists, poets, short story writers, memoirists and other performers.

The line-up includes Irish women writers Christine Dwyer-Hickey, Claudia Carroll, Catherine Dunne and Jaki McCarrick, celebrated crime writers Declan Burke, Niamh O’Connor and Declan Hughes, best-selling author, founder of Writing.ie and self-publishing guru Vanessa O’Loughlin, acclaimed children’s writing workshop Fighting Words, successful children’s writer Sarah Webb, Irish graphic novelists Tommie Kelly, Alan Nolan, Patrick Brown and Rob Curley, and magnificent, unpredictable and captivating foursome The Poetry Divas, along with local writers and performers.

Various local (and some not so local) authors, poets and performers will be entertaining audiences at two local cafes The Panana Café in Market Square and The 23 Seats in Crowe Street from 2 until 7 or later. The line up is not finalized but I'll be there as will John King, Christine Larkin, May Toal, Ciara O’Connor, Nessa Toale, John Gillmore and Richard Halperin.

And of course that mega-talented foursome The Poetry Divas will be there to enthrall the public and terrify the other performers!

Full details of the programme on the website. More on their Facebook page.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Reading at the Poet's Parlour, Sligo

The Poet’s Parlour, organised by the Yeats Society, Sligo is a monthly social gathering for poetry lovers as well as aspiring, emerging and experienced poets who may wish to share their own poetry with others.

It takes place in the Visitors Centre of the Yeats Memorial Building at Hyde Bridge in the centre of Sligo.

I'm delighted to be the guest poet at the next Poet’s Parlour which will take place on Tuesday 23 April at 8.00pm.

All welcome. The evening will include an open mic. Entry 5.00 euros (2.00 euros for members) including refreshments.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Spring at Last. I Think!

The change in the weather recently is very welcome. Everything in the garden seems a month behind this time last year. Our primroses and cowslips are in full bloom. The equivalent picture from last year is here.

A nice display from the few Snake's Head Fritillaries also. A poem about these flowers by Anne Ridler (1912-2001) here on the Poetry Archive site.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Roger Hudson's Poetry Launch in Drogheda

A well-attended, enjoyable launch of Roger Hudson's latest poetry collection Plaything of the Great God Kafka in Drogheda on Friday evening. The book is published by Lapwing in Belfast and is available on their website here.

The launch took place at the Highlanes Gallery, a former church, in Drogheda, and the Mayor of Drogheda, Paul Bell welcomed everyone and complimented Roger on his work in Drogheda. Joe Woods, poet and Director of Poetry Ireland, himself a Drogheda native, launched the collection remarking on the wide range of styles and experience which were evident in the work.

Roger then read some of the poems, some he performed with musical improvisation by Breifne Holohan and others in multiple voices with Brian Quinn and Nuala Leonard.

Good to see other Louth poets there including Susan Connolly, published by Shearsman and Marie MacSweeney also published by Lapwing.

Photos Top: Joe Woods launches the collection. Below: Roger reads from the work.

Friday, April 12, 2013

International Poetry Chapbook Competition

Doire Press, Galway, has just announced its 2013 Second Annual International Poetry Chapbook Competition.

The winner will each receive 75 copies of their own professionally edited and printed chapbook published by Doire Press. Chapbook will be perfect-bound, contain up to 40 pages, feature colour front and back cover, as well as their own isbn and barcode.

Ten shortlisted entries will be included in a print anthology.

Entries: 3 poems per entry (6 pages max). Deadline: 29 May 2013.

Entry fees: €10 for first entry, €8 for each additional entry.

Judge: Kevin O’Shea, author of  The Art of Non-Fishing (2012). Kevin won the 2012 Cuirt New Writing Prize for poetry and was twice shortlisted for the Over the Edge New Writer of the Year competition. He is a member of the Skylight Poets.

The judging for the contest is completely anonymous. Entries must include cover page with full contact information and titles of the three poems. Entrant’s name must not appear anywhere on the manuscript. Entries will not be returned unless accompanied by a self addressed stamped envelope.

Entries must not have won any other competition but can have been published in literary journals or magazines.

Enter by post or by email. Full details on the competition page here.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Roger Hudson Drogheda Poetry Launch

“More than a Booklaunch” is how Drogheda poet Roger Hudson sees the launch of his latest book of poetry Plaything of the Great God Kafka (Lapwing Publications, Belfast) to be held at the Highlanes Gallery, Laurence Street, Drogheda on Friday 12 April at 7.30pm. It will be launched by Joe Woods, poet and Director of Poetry Ireland, himself a Drogheda native.

The event will also feature display of a selected number of Roger’s complex photomontages that present multi-faceted views of modern life comparable to the poems – “visual poems” he calls them or even “motionless movies”. Some poems will be performed with musical improvisation by Breifne Holohan and others in multiple voices with Brian Quinn and Nuala Leonard.

Roger promises that the poems coupled with the pictures will give a colourful view of the development over a lifetime of his often quirky worldview, assembling narratives of life incidents and social and political observations that range through Vietnam War atrocities, the Cuban missile crisis, puberty, propaganda, prejudice, prostate biopsy, the banking crisis and much more in what amounts to a kaleidoscopic autobiography.

Roger has lived in Drogheda for over ten years now, playing an active role in its artistic life including Drogheda Creative Writers and its awards, open mics, anthologies and grand slams, and exhibiting his photomontages at Droichead as well as working on his previous collections Lifescapes (in Side-Angles with Steve Downes) and Greybell Wood and Beyond, also with Lapwing.

Drogheda Mayor, Councillor Paul Bell will officiate. Refreshments will be served. All welcome. Event supported by Create Louth. Signed copies available on the night at €10.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Boyle Arts Festival Poetry Competition 2013

I'm delighted that the Boyle Arts Festival is recommencing its Poetry Competition for 2013. I've been shortlisted for this a couple of times and one of the Boyne Writers, Brendan Carey Kinane, won it in 2007.

Prizes:  €500 first prize plus 4 x €50 highly commended. Closing Date 15 June.
Shortlisted poems will be notified ahead of the awards which will be held on Sunday 28 July 2013  in King House, Boyle at 7pm.

Entry €5 per poem
Entry form must accompany poems.
Entrants may submit as many poems as they wish
The name of the entrant must not appear on the poem itself
Poems, in English must be the unpublished, original work of the author
Poems must be printed on one side of A4 paper maximum length 40 lines
Poems will not be returned.

Poems will be judged by Geraldine Mills who has published two collections of short stories and four collections of poetry. She has been awarded many prizes and bursaries including the Hennessy/Tribune New Irish Writer Award, an Arts Council Bursary and a Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship. Her next short story collection is forthcoming from Arlen House in 2013.

Geraldine will also be hosting a poetry workshop on Sunday 28th July between 11.30 and 1pm, €20.
This workshop is aimed at writers who wish to explore the elements that are necessary to produce a good poem. Using a series of short writing exercises, participants will engage with weaving words together to create a poem that is a primary experience for writer and reader.

More information and entry forms from the website or email info@boylearts.com

Thursday, April 4, 2013

My Tara Project

Artist Michael Fortune wants to know about your Tara. My Tara is a project which considers the various relationships people have with the Hill of Tara in County Meath. Between now and July 2013 the artist is inviting people to become involved in the project by contributing their stories and photographs to compile a broad range of personal experiences of Tara

These accounts will be published on a website, a Facebook page and a selection will be included in a limited edition photographic-based publication which will be launched in September 2013.

Stories and photos can be about something which happened 5 minutes, 5 years or 50 years ago; a family pic taken when a relation was home from abroad; an account of a walk you regularly take there; an early morning sunrise you witnessed from the site etc. Contributions are welcome from anyone; local residents, visitors, international tourists; natives and strangers alike.

To be part of this project please send Michael your photos and stories by email (mytaraproject@gmail.com) or the Facebook page (My Tara Project). If these methods don't suit feel free to contact him by phone and you can arrange to meet Michael on phone at 087 6470247.

The project has been supported by the Arts and Heritage Office's of Meath County Council and is part of their ongoing creative exploration of the Hill of Tara.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Call for Submissions - Family Matters

A multinational and multicultural team of editors, who pledge to make their choices based only on artistic merit, invites all writers to submit their works of poetry and prose to a new anthology on the topic of “Family Matters.”

Why? Family matters individually, socially and politically. Our most important relationships begin, run their harmonious or inharmonious race and end in the family. They may explain our deepest feelings, wildest dreams, or most unsettling nightmares. In the final analysis, family relations often make or break our personalities, partnerships or careers.

More details here.

Poems: Send 1-3 poems in the body of an email.
Short Stories: maximum word count 800 – 2,000 sent in the body of an email or as an attachment (.doc; .rtf). All Submissions must be written in the English language.
Send submissions and queries to: submit@nivasini.com with the subject line "Family Matters"Please include a short bio of 50 words [include age, interests and your email id/blog/facebook page/twitter handle] in your submission.

Deadline for Submissions:1 July, 2013.

The Editors:
Frank Joussen is a German school teacher who writes poems, short stories and essays in English. At the school where he teaches, Frank works in a One-World group with volunteers from India and Brazil.

Christina Cowling is the author of two poetry books titled “Flexing my Muse” and “Soulground for Women.” She has co-edited and edited anthologies for the Canadian Authors Association and the Canadian Federation of Poetry.

Nivedita Narsapuram, born in Hyderabad, India, works with Thomson Reuters full time and freelances with Young World—The Hindu, an Indian Newspaper and Hyderabad-based Wow Magazine. Her poems have been featured in a couple of anthologies and have been included in the recently released, Inklinks.