Friday, March 27, 2015

Boyne Berries 17 Launched

Boyne Berries 17 was launched last evening in the Castle Arch Hotel. A large crowd included contributors who had travelled from as far away as Galway and Cork to be present.

Boyne Writers chairperson, Caroline Carey Finn, welcomed everyone and introduced Adrienne Leavy (right) who launched the issue. Adrienne lived in Dundalk, County Louth, for the first twenty-five years of her life but immigrated to the United States and now lives in Arizona. She has a Ph.D. in English Literature from Arizona State University frequently lectures on various aspects of Irish literature.

Adrienne thanked the group for inviting her to the launch and complimented the editor, Orla Fay, on the publication. She talked about how important small magazines have been and are to Irish writers. She mentioned how importance acceptance by Boyne Berries was to her writing. She thanked Boyne Writers Group for their work in establishing and continuing to publish the magazine.

Editor, Orla Fay, (left) then introduced each reader and we were treated to a feast of wonderful poetry and prose. As usual the variety of topic and treatment was impressive and the audience enjoyed all, the humorous and the sad, the wise and the witty.

One contributor, M.J. Iuppa who lives on a small farm on the shores of Lake Ontario, had sent a sound file with a greeting and a reading of her poem and this was played.

The evening ended with a presentation to Paddy Smith to mark his retirement from the chair of Boyne Writers after six years service.

Then tea, coffee biscuits and plenty of chat.

To purchase a copy of Boyne Berries 17 please use the PayPal button top right.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Boyne Berries 17 Launch

Boyne Berries 17 will be launched on this Thursday 26 March at 8.00 pm in the Castle Arch Hotel, Trim by Adrienne Leavy.

Adrienne Leavy was born in Ireland and lived in Dundalk, County Louth, for the first twenty-five years of her life. She was educated at Trinity College, Dublin. After receiving the degree of Barrister-at-Law and being called to the Irish Bar, she immigrated to the United States.

She practiced law in Arizona for ten years before returning to post-graduate education to pursue her interest in Irish literature.

Adrienne holds a Masters Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (with a focus on Irish Studies) from Arizona State University West, and a Ph.D. in English Literature from Arizona State University.

The subject of her doctoral dissertation was the representation of women in the poetry of the Irish poet Thomas Kinsella.

Adrienne frequently lectures on various aspects of Irish literature and her poetry has been published in many Irish literary journals including A Modest Review, Boyne Berries, Crannóg, Revival and The Stony Thursday Book.

Recently she set up the Reading Ireland website which promotes Irish Literature and contemporary Irish writing.

Many of the contributors will attend and read their pieces on Thursday. All welcome, no charge, tea, coffee and biscuits.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Reading Ireland: Website and Magazine

I'm delighted to have an article and two poems included in this new E-journal published by Adrienne Leavy as part of her Reading Ireland website initiative.

Reading Ireland is a website dedicated to promoting Irish Literature and contemporary Irish writing. It has biographical and critical entries on twentieth-century and contemporary Irish writers, links to a number of Irish independent bookshops and publishing houses, along with information on Irish literary journals.

Every quarter, Reading Ireland will publish an E-Journal, Reading Ireland: The Little Magazine,  The aim of this publication is to provide essays and articles analyzing Irish literature, past and present.

Volume 1, issue 1 appeared on March 15 2015, and is being made available at no cost so that you as the reader can decide if this is a publication you would like to receive on a quarterly basis. You can download it from this page. After issue 1 the journal will be available to subscribers for an annual fee of $40.

Contents for issue one includes the following:

An essay on James Joyce’s short story collection Dubliners and the innovative ways in which scholars, readers and writers are still in conversation with Joyce’s stories one hundred years after publication.

An essay by Irish poet and historian, Michael Farry, on the 1911-1912 correspondence between Sligo men James Marren and Thomas O’ Grady, and the Irish American Joseph McGarrity (1874-1940). It provides a fascinating, factual context to some of the issues at play in Joyce’s story, “Ivy Day in the Committee Room.”

A critical appraisal of the work of Jennifer Johnston, one of the foremost Irish writers of her generation. An interview with Jennifer Johnston.

Book reviews of Thomas Kinsella’s latest poetry collection, Late Poems and of Colm Tóibín’s new novel, Nora Webster.

Spotlight on The Klaxton 1923-1924.This single issue magazine, with its confrontational and polemical style, could be considered an Irish style Blast. Published in the winter of 1923-1924 by Abraham Jacob Leventhal.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Poets Meet Politics Competition Results

The winning and shortlisted entries in the 2015 Poets Meet Politics competition were read at the Sarah Walker Gallery, The Pier, Castletownbere, County Cork, on Saturday last 14 March 2015. I was delighted to have a poem highly commended and to make the journey for the event. The readings were introduced by the competition judge, Derek Sellen.

The winner of the competition was Afric McGlinchey. with her poem I is Another. Second place went to Shirley McLure for Dad's Canvassing Card and third was Jacks for Office by Michael Casey. I was impressed by all the poems and very interested in how poets approach such an open topic.

The full results and Derek's comments are on the website. Also some photographs from the event.

I was impressed by the judge's selection. It was clear that he appreciated the breadth of the subject and the winning/commended poems include the directly topically political and the more sideways treatment of the topic. My poem, The Gun, probably belongs to the latter category.

The winning and commended poems, 23 in all, are published in the Poets meet Politics 2015 Anthology which is available from the Hungry Hill website. Well worth 4 euro!

Earlier on the day I attended a poetry workshop led by the competition judge, award-winning poet, Derek Sellen. A most enjoyable and useful session. The nine participants had submitted a poem each and these were critiqued. It was fascinating to hear the reactions of the participants to each piece.

Opinions were freely given, suggestions were offered, punctuation and syntax were examined, meanings were queried and the big questions - Where to break the line? How much to tell the reader? - were discussed. I really enjoyed the workshop, thanks to the facilitator and the participants.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Poetry Day Ireland 2015

Poetry Ireland is presenting Poetry Day Ireland on Thursday 7 May 2015. We’re on a mission to make poetry both inescapable and irresistible, and we are actively inviting individuals, groups and organisations to get involved.

We have a number of headline events planned for 7 May (at least one in each province) including Paul Durcan in conversation with Tipperary hurling manager Eamon O’Shea at the Source Arts Centre in Thurles, poets/crime fiction writers Sophie Hannah and Paul Perry reading at Green St Court, a Yeats event in Thoor Ballylee, and an event at the Verbal Arts Centre in Derry/Londonderry.

Poetry Ireland’s Writers in Schools scheme will visit an island off the northern, western and southern coasts and approximately 10,000 patients in hospitals throughout the country will receive a menu of poems on the day through the AHCI (Network of Arts and Health Coordinators in Ireland).

Third level institutions including University College Cork and University College Dublin will be taking part, and all schools will receive a specially commissioned poetry lesson plan.

We’ll also be running a Poem in Your Pocket campaign, printing thousands of elegant mini cards with poems, which will be distributed all over the country to make sure that great poetry shows up in many unexpected places from Kerry to Derry.

All Poetry Day Ireland events and activities will be listed on a dedicated webspace at

We are inviting all libraries, arts offices, arts venues, bookshops, poets and poetry fans to get involved with Poetry Day Ireland.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

National Student Poetry Competition 2015

Windows Publications in association with Cavan Crystal announce the 23rd  National Student Poetry Competition 2015 adjudicated by Heather Brett and Noel Monahan.

€100 1st Prize in each category with several runner-up prizes and over 50 highly commended certificates
Closing date Friday 20th March 2015

Entry to this competition is free. Entrant details (name, age, school or contact number) must be clearly marked on the BACK of each entry if posting work or at the end of the work if sending by email. Poems should NOT have been published before or won a prize in any other competition, and must be the student’s OWN work.

Entries will also be accepted on line as well as by post and from individual students as well as entries sent by schools. Class poems and poems written by groups of students are acceptable but there will be only one prize given per winning poem.

For email entries please send to: or by post to Windows/Cavan Crystal Poetry Competition, Cavan Crystal Hotel, Dublin Rd. Cavan, Co. Cavan, Ireland  on or before FRIDAY 20th MARCH  2015, clearly stating which category you are entering.

The award ceremony will be held in Cavan Crystal Hotel on Sunday 10th May at 4pm. It is a condition of the awards that top prize winners must be present at the ceremony before a prize can be awarded.

Junior Category: Open to all students throughout Ireland and the U.K. in primary or national school education or equivalent. (8-12/13 years)
Senior Category: Open to all students throughout Ireland and the U.K. in second level education or equivalent. (12-18 years)  

Irish Language Category - Open to all students between 10–18 years old.