Saturday, February 22, 2020

Troubles Cover

This is the cover of my forthcoming poetry collection, designed by Lotte Bender for Revival Press, Limerick. The photo is used with the permission of The National Library, Dublin.
The soldiers are Provisional Government of Ireland troops in Sligo on Easter Sunday 1922 for the election meeting addressed by Arthur Griffith.
The collection will be launched by poet, Anne Tannam, as part of Trim Poetry Festival, on 14 March 2020.

All invited!

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Trim Poetry Competition Shortlist 2020

Thanks to the 138 poets who entered 345 poems in the 2020 Trim Poetry Competition. Entries came from Ireland, Northern Ireland, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Switzerland, Wales, UK and USA.

The standard was very high and judging difficult. Finally the two judges, Orla Fay and Michael Farry, have announced the shortlist.

These poems will be included in Boyne Berries 27 to be launched on 13 March 2020 at Trim Poetry Festival and the winner and two runners-up will be announced the following evening.

SHORTLIST (in alphabetical order)

Bearing the Weight of Light by Matt Hohner, USA.
Bird's Eye View by Catherine Conlon, Kildare.
In the Darkroom by John D Kelly, Fermanagh.
Light Rail by David Butler, Wicklow.
Little Snowdrops by Martin Sykes, Mayo.
Mizpah Ring, Man's, circa 1902 by Maria Isakova Bennett, UK.
Nature Lesson by Marian Brannigan, Louth.
Postcard from Symi by Patrick Lodge, UK.
Talking in Pictures by Karen O'Connor, Kerry.
Tree Felling at Lissadell by Maeve McKenna, Sligo.

Friday, February 14, 2020


Cathal Buí Hedge School – Belcoo, Co Fermanagh

PRIZES:  1st £100: 2nd £60: 3rd £40. Plus a trophy

Winners announced at Cathalbui Hedge  School, Healthy Living Centre (beside the petrol station) Belcoo at 8pm on 12 July 2020

Entry is free – Closing date:  17 March  2020

Send entry to:

1 Include a name and a land address or country.
2 Place the poem in the body of the email – not an attachment.
3 The judges’ decision is final
4 Winners must be present on 12 July or nominate a delegate to receive the prize
5 State if you don’t want your entry published in the annual anthology.

Timetable for 12 July Hedge school

3pm: Joyce symposium: Featuring - The Dead, Ulysses and Finnegans Wake.

8pm:   Competition prizes, judges’ comments and readings.

Poetry readings with Noel Monahan, Michael Farry and other poets.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Molly Courage

This is the figure of Courage from the monument to Daniel O’Connell at the southern end of O’Connell St, Dublin. The monument was designed and sculpted by John Henry Foley and unveiled in 1882. 

The four winged figures at the base, Patriotism, Courage, Eloquence and Fidelity, represent qualities attributed to O’Connell. The bullet hole in Courage’s right breast is said to have been inflicted during the 1916 Rising. 

I imagine her response in a prose poem, in the style of Joyce’s Molly Bloom. Called “Molly Courage”, it was first published in Limerick Writers Centre’s 1916-2016: An Anthology of Reactions

This poem will be included in my next collection, Troubles, to be published by Revival Press, Limerick in March 2020.

Irish poet, Paula Meehan, has written a poem in the voice of the figure of Fidelity from the same O’Connell monument.