Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everybody.

Some poems for the day and time here at Poetry Foundation.
My favourite has to be this one by Richard Hoffman.

December 31st

All my undone actions wander
naked across the calendar,

a band of skinny hunter-gatherers,
blown snow scattered here and there,

stumbling toward a future
folded in the New Year I secure

with a pushpin: January’s picture
a painting from the 17th century,

a still life: Skull and mirror,
spilled coin purse and a flower.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Christmas


Our First Christmas Tree 

The countryside his common
wealth: holly, ash plants
his to harvest as required,
kindling in spring,
mushrooms in summer,
blackberries in autumn.

That winter we insisted,
so he took his saw
into starless dark
far beyond the stables,
guided by barbed wire,
returned with a trophy tree.

We crowned it with a silver-paper-covered
cardboard star, hung homemade ornaments
and tissue paper novelties,
pretended to be happier.

I bought one this Christmas
daylight, sized and packaged,
legal, lacking the challenge
of something on the margin,
the tang of trespass,
infant irritant
on the noisome
vain empire of excess.

from Asking for Directions (2012)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

West Cork Literary Festival

The programme of workshops for the 2015 West Cork Literary Festival has been announced. If you book a place on one of these workshops before January 5th, you can avail of a special early bird price.  

The Festival has a new Director for 2015. Eimear O'Herlihy was formerly General Manager and Executive Director of the Everyman Theatre in Cork as well as Manager of the Cork Film Festival. The full programme will be announced in the New Year.

Workshops at the 2015 West Cork Literary Festival: Monday 13 - Friday 17 July 2015. Bantry.

Writing a Novel with John Boyne.
The Short Story with Tessa Hadley.
Poetry with Leanne O'Sullivan.
Memoir with Carlo Gébler
Investigative Reporting with Nick Davies
Playwriting with Deirdre Kinahan
Words Allowed with Dave Lordan
Wild Women Writing with Magi Gibson
Travel Writing with Anthony Sattin

For more details or to book online, go to Workshops.

Online booking is the only booking method available until January 5th 2015.

It will be possible to book by ringing the Festival office from January 5th onwards on +353 (0) 27 52788
Please note - the Early Bird price of €160 is for bookings made online before January 5th. The price is €175 for all bookings made from January 5th onwards.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Poetry Ireland Introductions

Poetry Ireland Introductions Series is a showcase for emerging poets working towards a first collection and with a track record of publication in journals and magazines.

This series offers emerging poets writing in Irish or English a public reading in the Irish Writers’ Centre in May or early June.

Introductions readers are chosen by an independent established poet who will lead a workshop focusing on form and craft.

A second facilitator will lead a workshop/master class focusing on the art of reading/performing poetry in public.

Submit now! For the 2015 Introductions Series. Deadline: 31 January 2015. Full details here.

To apply: Send a short covering letter accompanied by no more than 10 pages of poems. Poems may be previously published or unpublished. Poets submitting must ideally have work published in journals and magazines.

Applications should be sent to: Ayoma Bowe, Introductions Series, Poetry Ireland, 32 Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

Selected applicants are usually informed within two months and, depending on the number of submissions, approximately 12 poets are selected each year.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Bealtaine Writers Launch Second Anthology of Poetry

In the Irish Writers Centre on Wednesday, 10 December, at 6.30pm the Bealtaine Writers will launch their Second Anthology of Poetry.

The Bealtaine group have been meeting at the Irish Writers Centre every month for the past fifteen and a half years.

Macdara Woods says in the Foreword of the Anthology: "They are an autonomous, serious, supportive group of writers, who believe in poetry, there are many truly marvelous realities at large in these pages and for the reader the joy of finding them."

All are welcome to come along and celebrate the launch with them on Wednesday 10 December at 6.30.

Congratulations to the group and especially to member, Tom Dredge, who is also a member of Boyne Writers Group.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize

Just four weeks left to enter the Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize and win €10,000, or one of the three runner-up prizes of €1,000! You can write on any subject and there's no line limit.

The Prize is open to everyone, as long as the work is original and previously unpublished. The entry fee is €12 per poem, and you can enter as many poems as you like.

This year’s competition will be judged by the poet Michael Symmons Roberts. His most recent collection, Drysalter, has been widely praised. It won the Costa Poetry Prize and was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot prize. Guardian review here. He read at the Mountains to the Sea Festival in Dun Laoghaire this year and was very impressive.

You can enter online or by post. Closing date: 31 December 2014.   Full details, rules, entry on the website.