Sunday, 19 October 2014

2nd Ó Bhéal Winter Warmer Festival

Great Line up at Cork's Winter Warmer Poetry Festival.

They didn't ask me though.

Details here

21st – 22nd November 2014

Ó Bhéal’s second Winter Warmer festival weekend. Over twenty excellent poets will read and perform in the amphitheatre at Sample Studios, some of whom will be accompanied by musicians. Snatch Comedy Improv will be performing a set of poetry-focused comedy games,Sawa-Le will be performing poetry-theatre, a selection of poetry-films from around the world will be presented by Malgorzata Kitowski (from PoetryFilm), and these will be followed with a judges selection from the 2014 Ó Bhéal poetry-film competition. There will also be a closed-mic for ten local poets.

Free Admission to all events.
Includes Eleanor Hooker,James Harper, Mary O'Donnell, Sarah Clancy, Thomas McCarthy,Louis de Paor, Alan Jude Moore, Paula Meehan

Friday, 17 October 2014

Donegal Creameries North West Words Poetry Prize

The Donegal Creameries North West Words Poetry Prize is in its third year.
Judge: Kate Newmann of Summer Palace Press 
Deadline: 14 November
Prize: €250 and perpetual Donegal Creameries North West Words Poetry Cup
Fineprint here

The maximum number of poems per entrant is 3. 
Entry fee: €5 (covers maximum entry of up to 3 poems)
I think an entry of 3 poems is a very good idea. One poem is such a lottery.
Send your poem(s) along with a cover letter with name, address, and phone number and/or email address, and title(s) of each poem submitted. 
Post entries to North West Words Poetry Prize 2014, 54 Thornberry, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal. 

No on-line submissions so I would imagine the number of entries will be lower, greater chance of winning? A shortlist but only one prize.

A shortlist will be published on on North West Words’ Facebook page and at North West Words’ Christmas event in Café Blend mid-December. 
The winning poet will be notified on Thursday, 15 January 2015
The winner of the competition will be announced and prize awarded at North West Words in Café Blend, Letterkenny, on Thursday, 29 January 2015. 

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Cuisle Limerick City International Poetry Festiva

This year Cuisle Limerick City International Poetry Festival celebrates its twentieth anniversary with a special five day run, October 15 to 19, 2014.

Some of Ireland's best loved and most celebrated poets will join guests from their sister festivals across Europe. A special series of 'Poetry in Public Places' events honours Limerick City of Culture 2014. Cuisle establishes Limerick City as a centre of excellence for poetry locally, nationally, and internationally. Cuisle are delighted to host important figures from the world of contemporary poetry, including Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Macdara Woods, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, and Paddy Bushe. Newer names like Ed O’Dwyer and Caleb Brennan light the way for the next generation. Special guests John Davies and Sam Riviere from the UK join celebrated European poets Iztok Osojnik and Veronika Dintinjana.

The Cuisle Festival includes writing workshops, an open mic night, special tributes to Samuel Beckett, and the launch of the annual Stony Thursday Book, this year edited by Peter Sirr. Additionally, Tim Cunningham will launch his new poetry volume. There is a substantial education programme, including readings and workshops for schools. Poets Geraldine Mitchell, Conor O'Callaghan, Tom French, and Bridget Wallace round out the roster.

The 'Poetry in Public Places' initiative has four components. For "A Door Into The Dark" a dozen artists from Limerick Printmakers responded to the work of poets who have previously read at Cuisle. The resulting work is installed along Patrick Street. "Ghost Sonata" has been specially created by Mark Whelan. It consists of one long poem written on the windows of Roches Street. In cooperation with RTÉ Lyric FM, "Poems on the Air" places recordings both on the airwaves and in various retail spaces. Finally, Shedman will bring his famous travelling shed to Limerick. As he tells us: "My shed is very accessible. Anyone can come in to tell me their shed stories, to bring anecdotes and poems, pictures and photos, recollections and fantasies." A popular favourite!

The poetry of Samuel Beckett is a special feature of Saturday's festival. At 4pm join Cuisle for "Roundelay", a staged reading by the Fourfront Poets, previously featured in both Ireland and the UK. At 7pm Gerry Dukes will talk on Beckett, followed by noted actor Barry McGovern performing Beckett's poetry for stage. Not to be missed!

Lunchtime readings will be scheduled Thursday and Friday at 1pm (Sunday at 3pm) in the intimate surround of the Captain's Room at the Hunt Museum. Evening readings are located at 69 O'Connell St., Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7pm.

All events are ticketed, on the door, at an accessible €5. For the complete schedule and more information, including contributor bios and photos, please visit

Monday, 13 October 2014

Dalkey Creates

An inaugural writing festival for Dalkey
Thursday 16th– Sunday 19th October 2014
Booking online at
and at the €3 Bookshop in The Tramyard, Dalkey

The festival is all about creating, and the best part of it all is the opportunity for everyone involved in workshops and classes to perform their work to an audience in Dalkey Town Hall on the last day of the festival. Aside from memoir, creative writing, screenwriting, blogging and song-writing classes with some really super tutors (Ferdia MacAnna, Eleanor McEvoy etc) we have some unusual events like a literary kayaking tour around the Dalkey coastline, and a food writing course which includes a meal at a fab Dalkey restaurant. 

And of course, the Open Mic event which I’m HOPING will be really popular with emerging writers all over – Hazel Gaynor is adjudicating!  

Uniquely, the Festival will be bringing new words to life, providing a platform for writers who want to read or have their work performed in front of a live audience on the final day. One such event will be 'Memory Lane', the culmination of a memoir writing project between local school children and senior Dalkey residents. 

The Festival is also hosting a number of other literary events, including Jennifer Johnston in conversation with Martina Devlin on Friday 17th at Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre. Our own Maeve Binchy will be celebrated in the production of ‘Scenes from Minding Frankie’ by Shay Linehan on Saturday 18th at 7.30pm also at Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre.

Booking online at

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Francis Ledwidge Poetry Award

Deadline: November 5th 

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Taking Flight - Menu of Poems

Every year, the Arts in Health organisation commissions a pamphlet of poems. They are for distribution in hospital wards, in waiting rooms, Community and Day Care Centres and other health settings for patients, visitors and staff all over Ireland. They even come with some Meals on Wheels. This year, I curated the pamphlet. I took as my theme, Taking Flight.

In particular I was thinking of how reading a poem can take out of where you are for a short time. How your imagination can take you somewhere else, how sometimes you can even fly.

Bearing in mind the sometimes stressful environment of the readers, I was looking for poems that were not so gloomy, more uplifting. I only had a small amount of space to play with so I had to leave some lovely behind. I could have filled three of four pages with no problem at all.

You can read more about it here and download a copy for yourself or your organisation. Try reading these poems aloud. Try writing your own. And we'd love to get feedback, especially from people who've read them in a health setting.

We're launching on Wednesday 8th October at lunchtime in Naas Hospital.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Romanian Cultural Exchange

To mark the first Romanian Cultural Days festival, the Romanian Cultural Institute in London and the Embassy of Romania in Ireland will host a literary event with Romanian poet Ioan Es Pop and Irish writer and traveller Peter Hurley discussing writing and tradition, preceded by the screening of Dieter Auner's Off the Beaten Track (2010), a chronicle of life in Romania's countryside.

The moderator for the discussion will be Irish Times journalist, Stephen Collins.

All welcome and booking is not required.

Full programme here