Sunday, November 24, 2019

Boyne Berries March 2020

Boyne Berries 26Boyne Writers Group has decided to make their journal, Boyne Berrries, an annual publication from issue 27, March 2020. From 2006 until 2019 Boyne Berries was published twice yearly in Spring and Autumn but increases in printing costs and in postage charges has meant that it was has become more difficult to sustain two issues a year.

So we decided to publish one issue a year to coincide with Trim Poetry Festival to be held on 13 & 14 March 2020. The issue will include the ten shortlisted poems from the poetry competition which will open very shortly.

The submission period for Boyne Berries 27 opened on Saturday 23 November 2019 and closes on Wednesday 1 January 2020 at midnight. The full submission details are on the Boyne Berries Blog. 

The main rules are that poems should be no more than 40 lines long while fiction and prose should be no more than 1000 words. A short biographical note should be included and this should be brief, no more than 50 words.

One of the things which really annoys an editor is when in spite of such rules, writers submit much longer biographies. I've even had writers send long bios and suggest that I, the then editor, cut them down to size. No thanks!

Anne Tannam will be the poet in residence for the 2020 Trim Poetry Festival and the Poetry Competition will open on 1 December 2019 and close on 12 January 2020.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

LitLab at Ardee Baroque

Ardee Baroque festival is one of the important early music festivals in Ireland. It has played host to some of the finest Irish and international artists of this genre and had many memorable and thrilling performances. It has, over its fifteen years, built up a loyal audience.

Ardee Baroque returns for its sixteenth year with a programme of some of the most popular and loved works by Handel, Vivaldi, Gluck, Back and even Irish composer Turlough O’Carolan. Whether you’re a seasoned baroque music fan or someone completely new to it, this year’s Festival is tailored to provide entertainment for all.

The festival takes place this weekend, Friday 22 November to Sunday 24 November 2019. Full details of the Festival are available on the Ardee Baroque Festival website

LitLab writing group is delighted to be associated with Ardee Baroque having been invited to read at the festival for the last four years. This year the LitLab reading will be on Saturday 23 November at 2 pm in Ardee Library. We will read from our latest anthology “Where You May Find Yourself”. Entry Free.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Trim Stained Glass

My poem in the Meath Writers Circle 2019 Annual is titled Stained Glass St Patrick's Church Trim and is concerned with the wonderful stained glass windows by three great stained glass manufacturers, Meyer of Munich, Hardman of Birmingham and Earley of Dublin.

The windows were recently cleaned and restored.

This stanza below from the poem refers to the the martyred Blessed Oliver Plunkett, since canonised, by Earley, erected in 1921 at a cost of £76.

The picture is taken from the parish website which has excellent images of many of the windows.

The seventeenth century hangman pauses, noose 
cocked, sensing in the holiday of a heretic’s execution 
years of dragged-out discord, the tables turned,
criminal sainted, his head honoured in a high church. 
Here, aghast at consequences, he hesitates forever. 

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Meath Writers Circle 2019 Magazine

Boyne Writers Group is by no means the only writers group in Trim. The longest established must be the Meath Writers Circle started by the late well-know Trim poet and writer, Tommy Murray. They meet monthly and for the last five years have published an annual magazine.

Frances Tallon of the Meath County Library Service launched the 2019 edition of the annual on Thursday 7 November in Trim Castle Hotel.

I was among the large attendance of friends and contributors, many of whom read their poems or stories. As the editor, Frank Murphy, says "The magazine includes both modern and traditional verse with articles on the healing power of music, short stories, pieces that are of historical interest, topical issues, children's poetry, performance poetry, lyrics with video links".

I was delighted to have my poem Stained Glass in St Patrick's Trim included. Others included are Peter Fallon, Tom French and Orla Fay and poems written by James Joyce, John Boyle O'Reilly and Tommy Murray are also included.

With more than sixty pages in A4 format it would make a great Christmas present.

Noel French on "Wolves in Dunboyne"

Eugene Kane reading with chairperson, William G Hodgins, and editor, Frank Murphy, looking on.