Friday, October 28, 2016

The Poet's Quest For God

I'm thrilled to have a poem included in this anthology "The Poet's Quest For God: 21st Century Poems of Faith, Doubt and Wonder" edited by Fr Oliver Brennan and Todd Swift.

The original call for submissions went out in 2012 and there were times since then when it seemed that the anthology might not be published. But thanks to the perseverance of Todd Swift of Eyewear Publishing and the help of many others, it has finally appeared and I got my copy earlier this week.

It's a weighty tome of 457 pages, billed as "21st century poems of faith, doubt and wonder". My poem, "A Present from America", is based on a visit to what could only be described as a Religious Goods Supermarket in Modesta, Califonia and being struck by what was available there and what was not. I did find the CDs of Christian Rap music which my son had asked for.

This major anthology gathers work from renowned contemporary poets from around the world. These include poets from a wide variety of faiths – as well as agnostics and atheists – and the volume is introduced by renowned religious scholar Professor Ewan Fernie.

The anthology includes work by over 300 poets from the UK, Ireland, the US, Canada, India, Australia and beyond. These include Rae Armantrout, Patience Agbabi, Charles Bernstein, Fanny Howe, Andrew Motion, Michael Symmons Roberts and Ruth Padel.

Among the Irish poets whose work is included are Colin Dardis, Rachel Coventry, Barbara Smith, Nessa O'Mahony, John F. Deane, Vona Groarke, Susan Millar Dumars, Kevin Higgins and many more. You can check the full list of contributors and purchase a copy on the Eyewear website.

There are articles on the anthology here,
and on the Irish Catholic newspaper website:

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

1916-2016: An Anthology of Reactions

I was delighted to have a piece included in "1916-2016: An Anthology of Reactions" published by The Limerick Writers’ Centre in association with Limerick Ireland 2016 Committee of Limerick City and County Council. The editors are John Liddy and Dominic Taylor and they have compiled a handsome volume which has stories and poems but also articles on aspects of 1916 and on this year's commemorations as well as pieces from relatives on Limerick native Con Colbert.

Group at the launch - Mayor, editors, contributors.

"It is a book of historical and literary reaction, a compilation of articles, essays, poems, stories and illustrations from writers and artists of varying opinion and hue. The book attempts to bring the reader on a journey that begins before the Rising, the events during Easter week and its aftermath".

My piece, "Molly Courage", is a sort of a prose poem in the style of the Molly Bloom soliloquy from "Ulysses" in the voice of the figure of Courage at the base of the O'Connell monument in O'Connell St. Dublin. The figure has a bullet hole in the right breast supposedly inflicted during the rising.
Editors: John Liddy and Dominick Taylor

It was launched on Thursday 20 October by Limerick native, Dr. John O’Callaghan, author of "Con Colbert" in the 16 Lives biography series from O’Brien Press. He lectures in St Angela’s College, Sligo.

I was delighted to attend the launch and chat with many of those included in the volume.

"1916-2016: An Anthology of Reactions" is available to buy online at and from all usual outlets and good bookshops. For further details contact Dominic Taylor; Tel: 087 2996409; E: