Monday, July 28, 2014

Oxfam Sligo Poetry Reading and Book Sale

Oxfam Sligo shop invites you to their book sale and poetry reading on Wednesday 30th July. Book sale from 10am with an open mic poetry reading session from 12 noon.

The open mic is an invitation for people to share their own poems or read their favourites from the greats. Poets and novices are welcome!

They promise that the sale will include some real gems and interesting books spanning many genre including Poetry, Irish interest, Old books, Literature, Non Fiction; Memoirs, Science, Natural History and more.

The 55th Annual Yeats International Summer School, will be in full swing in Sligo and events on Wednesday include:

09.30 Lecture: Herbert Tucker - Incantatory Yeats. Hawk’s Well Theatre.
11.15 Lecture: Michael O’Neill - Yeats’s Endings. Hawk’s Well Theatre.

1.00pm: Open Mic hosted by Young Yeats. The Yeats Memorial Building

8.00pm Gallery Press Poets Reading: Ciaran Carson, Ciaran Berry, Andrew Jamison. Methodist Church, Wine Street.

9.00pm  Seisiun: Fred Finn Branch Comhaltas Ceolteoirí Eireann. The Glass House Hotel.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Cavan Writing Workshop

A two day writing workshop will be facilitated by Kate Ennals on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th August in Cana House (behind St Felim’s School) Farnham St, Cavan Town from 10.00am – 3.30pm The two day workshop will include discussion on writing and poetry and set a range of different exercises: poetry, free writing, character development, dialogue. The poems/writing of each participant will be work shopped by the group.

The aim of the weekend is to stimulate different writing ideas and to work together. The workshop will be varied and hopefully challenging.

There will be a limit of 10 places allocated on a first come, first served basis. Cost €45. (Light home made lunch included). The weekend is intended to be fun and constructive, providing local writers with ideas and characters that can be developed.

For further information and to register, contact Kate Ennals on facebook or email

Kate Ennals completed the MA in Writing at NUI Galway in 2013, receiving First Class Honours.  She has lived in Ireland (Dublin, Cavan, Galway) working with local communities and writing for the last 20 years.

Kate Ennals was highly commended in the Desmond O’Grady Poetry competition in 2012, won 3rd Prize in the Dead Good Poetry Competition, run by Over the Edge and the Galway Rape Crisis Centre in May 2013. This year, she was shortlisted in the Claremorris Theatre Fringe Festival, in the Doolin Short Story competition in 2014 and the Swiftsatire Battle of the Books competition.

She has been published in the Skylight 47 (2013/2014), in Crannog (2013), Boyne Berries, ROPES, and Burning Bush 2 (2014). She also has poems and short stories published in The Galway Review.
Kate also set up and co-ordinates AT the Edge, Cavan

Monday, July 21, 2014

Sentinel Poetry and Short Story Competitions

Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry and Short Story Competitions: Closing Date: 31 August 2014

For original, previously unpublished poems in English Language, on any subject, in any style up to 50 lines long. This competition is open to all poets regardless of nationality, living anywhere in the world. Judge: Will Daunt.

Prizes: £200 (First), £75 (Second), £50 (Third), £20 x 3 (High Commendation). The winners and commended poems will receive first publication in Sentinel Literary Quarterly magazine.

Fees: £4/1, £7/2, £9/3, £11/ 4, £12/5, £16/7, and £22 for 10 poems.

Enter online and pay securely by PayPal or print out an Entry Form for postal entries here. 

Short Stories:
For original, previously unpublished short stories in English Language, on any subject, in any style up to 1500 words long. This competition is open to all writers regardless of nationality, living anywhere in the world. Judge: Brindley Hallam Dennis.

Prizes: £200 (First), £75 (Second), £50 (Third), £20 x 3 (High Commendation). The winners and commended stories will receive first publication in Sentinel Literary Quarterly magazine.

Fees: £5 per story, £8 for 2, £10 for 3, £12 for 4.

Or send your poems/stories with a cover note titled ‘Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry/Short Story Competition August 2014’, together with a cheque/postal order for the applicable payment in favour of SENTINEL POETRY MOVEMENT to: Sentinel Poetry Movement, Unit 136, 113-115 George Lane, South Woodford, London E18 1AB, United Kingdom

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Stony Thursday Book

The Stony Thursday Book is seeking submissions from local, national and international poets for its next issue, to be published as part of CUISLE, Limerick City's International Poetry Festival in October 2014.

The Stony Thursday Book was founded by Limerick poets John Liddy and Jim Burke in 1975 and is one of the longest-running literary journals in Ireland and celebrates its 39th Anniversary Edition in 2014. This year's editor is Peter Sirr.

Peter Sirr has published eight collections of poetry with Gallery Press, including The Thing Is, 2009, winner of the Michael Hartnett Award, and a Selected Poems, 2005, also published in the US by Wake Forest University Press. Currently, as well as writing, he teaches Literary Translation in Trinity College Dublin. He is a member of Aosdána.

Submissions are being sought in both English and Irish.
How to Submit:
- Each poet should send no more than 6 poems.
- Submitted poems must be previously unpublished.
- Submissions are being accepted by email and by post.
- When submitting poems in hardcopy please write your name and address on
each page. Please mark envelopes: ‘The Stony Thursday Book 2014’.
- When submitting by email please reference ‘TSTB 2014’ in your subject line.

Send poems to: The Stony Thursday Book 2014, Arts Office, Limerick City and County Council, City
Hall, Merchant’s Quay, Limerick or by email to:

Closing Date for Submissions: Friday 8th August 2014.

CUISLE, Limerick City International Poetry Festival will take place in Limerick from 15th - 18th October 2014 and is funded by Limerick City of Culture 2014, The Arts Council; Limerick City and County Council.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

North West Words Magazine

I'm delighted to have a poem included in the first issue of North West Words, a new online magazine from the team based in Letterkenny which organizes poetry readings, workshops etc.

The editorial team of Maureen Curran, Eamonn Bonner and Denise Blake have done a wonderful job and the online publication is very attractive with a mix of poetry, prose, interviews and images.

My poem is called Fish and Chips, written after a meal of same in a hotel in Liverpool some years ago. I wasn't there for a Liverpool football match (No way!) but a Bob Dylan concert.

They will publish three issues a year Autumn-Winter, Spring, and Summer. Submissions are open for the next issue. Send up to three poems, or up to 2000 words of fiction, or up to 800 words of memoir to by September 1. Include an up to date bio and a photo.

If you are an artist or photographer, or reviewer who would like to submit work please contact the team at

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Swift Satire Festival, Trim 2014

The 2014 Swift Satire Festival draws to a close. A slimmer version, but hugely enjoyable. Well done to all involved.

Congratulations to the winner of the Battle of the Books competition winner, Angela Finn from Dublin. The ten shortlisted entries were read last night and the judge, Niamh Boyce, commented on each and announced the winner. Niamh and Angela pictured above.

The ten shortlisted authors were Caroline Carey Finn, Meath, Kate Ennals, Cavan, Darragh McManus, Clare, Emma Mascarenhas, UK, Peter Goulding, Dublin, Briony Hey, London, Karen O’Connor, Tralee,
Caroline Bracken, Wicklow, Angela Finn,  Dublin and Mark Doyle, Navan.

Angela Finn has had some of her writing published in the Irish Independent’s Hennessy Irish Writing Today magazine, New Planet Cabaret anthology, RTE TEN website (Penguin short story 2012) and Fish Anthology 2013. She was short-listed in 2012 for the RTE Francis MacManus competition.

There were two extra judges, Peter Higgins and myself, (above) whose irrelevant and irreverent comments on the entries were designed to confuse rather than to assist the audience in their vote for their favourite entry. One of my choices, Mark Doyle's entry, was chosen as the audience prize winner.

The Kevin Higgins reading and open mic was held in the open air at the Old Rectory, Trim. This was well appreciate by the attendance. Kevin's read from his latest poetry collection and said that he has chosen those which most seemed in keeping with the savage satiric spirit of Swift. The audience loved them.

More photographs here on Facebook.
The Festival website.
Kevin Higgins' blog and his Facebook page.
Blogs by shortlisted author, Kate Ennels and and by competition judge, Niamh Boyce.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Swift Satire Festival, Trim. 2014

The Swift Satire Festival celebrates the life, works and legacy of Jonathan Swift. The seventh Swift Satire Festival will take place in Trim, Co Meath, this weekend, July 12-13, 2014.

Click here for the full programme of events

What's On in Brief.

Poetry in Motion. Starts: 10:30. 
Stand on a box on the streets of Trim and read poetry aloud. Books supplied.

The Feat of Clay. Start: 11:30
Stand in the footsteps of Swift during a fun outdoor reading of his wicked satire on religion, A Tale Of A Tub. You’ll have one foot on the sod of Co Meath, one foot on the clay of Straid Dam lake, Co Antrim, where Jonathan Swift famously killed time on a Sunday morning while waiting for his congregation to turn up for Service during the period he was ministering at the parishes of Kilroot, Templecorran and Ballynure, Co Antrim. Participation is free.

Registration takes place from 11.30am! Please email Paddy Smith at or text/ring 086 1577526 to book your place.Venue: Trim Castle grounds (opposite Garda Station)

Here’s a video about the task of bringing Co Antrim soil to Co Meath for the big occasion!

Official Launch. Start: 12:00. 
The official launch of the 7th Swift Satire Festival in Trim. All welcome – come along for a few brief speeches on the grounds of the spectacular Trim Castle grounds (opposite Garda Station)

Guided Tour of Swift's Trim: Start: 13:30. 
Historian Richard Haworth brings you on a walking tour of the town of Trim including visits to St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral and Talbot’s Castle/St Mary’s Abbey, the house once owned by Stella and, later, by Jonathan Swift. €5 per person. Limited to a maximum of 50. Starts Trim Castle grounds (opposite Garda Station)

Poetry in the Parlour - Open Mic. Start: 16:00 
featuring poet Kevin Higgins from Galway. Tickets: €5. Venue: The Old Rectory on Loman Street

The Battle of the Books: Start: 20:00. 
Judgement night in this €500 international poetry and prose writing competition. The 10 shortlisted writers (or their stand-ins) will read their entries, which judge Niamh Boyce will then comment upon before announcing her winner at the end of the night.

The audience will vote for their own winner, who will receive the €100 Audience Prize, and helpful advice (and some fun) will be delivered by two Mentors, Peter Higgins and Michael Farry. (How do I get involved in this sort of thing!) Tickets: €5. Venue: Trim Castle Hotel.

View the Battle of the Books shortlist here.


A Bite of Satire: Start: 12:30. 
A two-course lunch featuring a one-man show on the life and literary legacy of Flann O’Brien/Myles na Gopaleen, Flann’s Yer Only Man, written and performed by Val O’Donnell.

Plus the World Premiere of a 10-minute play, Ah Feckett, written and performed by two graduates of the Gaiety School of Acting, Brian Burns and Owen Martin.

Then, over your coffee at the end of lunch (at about 3pm, we reckon), listen to a prominent national figure delivering a 40-minute talk, The Swift Lecture. This year’s speaker is John Lonergan, the former Governor of Mountjoy Prison who will talkon Would Jonathan Swift be proud of Modern Ireland?

€25 per person. (Includes lunch, the two stage performances and The Annual Swift Lecture). Venue: Trim Castle Hotel

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Trim Swift Festival - Poetry in the Parlour

Trim Swift Festival event, Poetry in the Parlour takes place on Saturday 12 July at 4pm in the Old Rectory on Loman Street, Trim. This is a two-and-a-half-hour session of poetry, with an Open Mic, with featured poet Kevin Higgins from Galway.

The parlour in The Old Rectory has been kindly made available by Martina Quinn. It has space for less than 40 people. Time is also limited, so the Open Mic readers will be the first 25 readers to arrive. The poetry of Jonathan Swift will also be featured during this session. If the weather suits, we will move from the parlour to the grounds of the Old Rectory.

Tea/coffee and biscuits served at the interval. Tickets: €5

Kevin Higgins’s poetry features in the generation-defining anthology Identity Parade – New British and Irish Poets (Ed Roddy Lumsden, Bloodaxe, 2010) and one of his poems is included in the recent anthology The Hundred Years’ War: Modern War Poems (Edited by Neil Astley, Bloodaxe, April 2014). The Ghost In The Lobby (Salmon, Spring 2014) is Kevin’s fourth collection of poems.

More information including ticket details on the festival website.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Trim Swift Festival - The Feat of Clay

Swift Satire Festival, Trim has featured a novelty reading of one of Swift's works each year. This year has possibly the most novel reading of all with The Feat of Clay reading at 11:30am on Saturday 12 July.

This is a fun outdoor reading of Swift’s wicked satire on religion, A Tale Of A Tub, simultaneously by 125 people. Each reader will have one foot on the sod of County Meath and the other foot on the clay of Kilroot, County Antrim, where Jonathan Swift ministered before coming to Laracor, Trim. How will it be done? Come along and see!

The fact that this takes place on the twelfth of July is especially significant.

Participation is free. Registration takes place at 11.30am! Email Paddy Smith at to book your place. Venue: Trim Castle grounds (opposite Garda Station)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Swift Festival, Trim - Battle of the Books

The Swift Satire Festival in Trim takes place on Saturday July 12th and Sunday 13th, 2014.

The satire battle between the Boyne Writers Group and Meath Writers Circle has been discontinued and in its place, retaining the name, is judgement night in the €500 international poetry and prose writing "Battle of the Books" competition.

The 10 shortlisted writers (or their stand-ins) will read their entries, which judge Niamh Boyce will then comment upon before announcing her winner at the end of the night.

The audience will vote for their own winner, who will receive the €100 Audience Prize.

Helpful advice will be delivered by two "Mentors" who will champion or denigrate each of the shortlisted writers. I seem to have been persuaded to play the part of one of these, Peter Higgins is the other. A press release says "Any similarity between Statler and Waldorf from The Muppets and our two Mentors, Peter Higgins and Michael Farry, is not entirely coincidental". Indeed!

Niamh Boyce is from Athy and won the overall Hennessy XO New Irish Writer of the Year and the Emerging Poet Category for her poem “Kitty”. Her unpublished poetry collection has since been highly commended in The Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award 2013. Her novel, The Herbalist (Penguin Ireland) won Newcomer of the Year at the Irish Book Awards 2013. She also writes short fiction and is working on a new novel.

This takes place at 8pm on Saturday 12 July and tickets to this event are : €5.