Saturday, 27 August 2016

Abridged 0 – 48: Mercury Red Submission call

The submission calls for Abridged magazine, a poetry and art publication, are always a good read.
This is the age of the inspirational. We wake up each morning to a torrent of messages on social media informing us that if we ‘be ourselves’ and ‘believe in ourselves’ we can achieve the impossible. Transformation will be quick and painless. A screen full of medicine men (and women) selling easy answers with beautiful backdrops. Conversely when we do achieve something there are legions of ‘trolls’ ready to lay siege to us. The age of the inspirational is an age of extremes. Love is public and anger is quick to surface. We search for the impossible and when it can’t be found we want to scorch the earth. Our loves, our hates, are quick. Our fear is now public domain.
This fear remains in the ether, an indistinct agent in our psychological lives, both invisible and disturbing as hypothetical warfare. When we feel under attack it solidifies and we name it.  It is in naming the thing that should be feared that it comes into focus, even merely as mirage or red herring. By naming it, mythologizing it, adorning it with colours and connotations so as to turn it into a child’s villain, we cast it from ourselves and make it temporarily stable enough to identify: a tangible enemy.  A named fear is a catalyst for all that frightens, within and beyond ourselves. Telling a story of good and evil, of black and white masks the problematic complexity of these qualities incestuous and changeful relationship. Light can obscure as much as darkness, and on each the other depends for definition.

Red Mercury is a mythical explosive. Abridged in 0 – 48: Mercury Red explores our need for immediate public affirmation, our virtual emotional lives and our search for the impossible personally and as a society then the anger when we realise our Nirvana is unattainable. 
Submissions may be up to three poems and can be sent to preferably in Word format or as part of the email. Art should be up to A4 landscape in size and 300 dpi or above. 
Please note this is a landscape format issue rather than our usual portrait. 
Deadline is 23rd September.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Resurgence Poetry Prize 2016 - Ecopoems

Do you have a true ecopoem or two?
The Resurgence Poetry Prize is the world’s first major ecopoetry award. Three prizes will be awarded each year for original and previously unpublished ecopoems in English (or any dialect of English). Poets may submit as many poems as they wish but each poem must not be more than 54 lines in length..  
Poems do not need to address a specific theme, but to be eligible a poems will in some way – thematically, structurally, linguistically or formally – investigate the interrelationship between human culture and the natural world.  A poem’s spoken quality – its suitability for being read and recorded aloud – will form part of the judging criteria. 
All details are on the Rules page.
With a first prize of £5,000 for the best single poem embracing ecological themes, the award ranks amongst the highest of any English language single poem competition. Second prize is £2,000 and third prize £1,000.
Deadline: 1st October
Head Judge: Jo Shapcott. The judges will read all eligible poems
The previous year's winners are on this page where you can also navigate to how to enter.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Cornwall Contemporary Poetry Festival Open Poetry Competition 2016

Prizes: 1st prize: £600    2nd prize: £150    3rd prize: £50
Entry fee: £5 per poem, £3 per poem thereafter
Closing date: 3 September, 2016
Judge: Alison Brackenbury. The judge will read all poems submitted to the competition. There will be no sifting of entries.
Poems must be typed and no longer than 40 lines
Fee £5 for the first poem and £3 for each additional entry

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Kubla Khan / Imaginary Worlds Poetry Competition

In this the bicentenary of the first publication of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Kubla Khan, the Friends of Coleridge invite poets to enter poems for a prestigious celebration of this visionary poem under the theme, “Imagined Worlds”.
Winning poems will be published in The Coleridge Bulletin, the internationally distributed publication dedicated to furthering the understanding of Coleridge and his powerful influences on poetry and thought. 
The Awards Night will be held at CICCIC Taunton on Coleridge’s Birthday, 21st October 2016.
Fee: Adult (18+), entries £5.00 for first poem. £3.00 for up to two subsequent poems.
Young Person’s (10-17), entries free of charge for up to three poems.
 You can enter up to three poems. The length of each must not exceed 40 lines.
Adult First Prize £500. Two Runners up: £200 each
Young Person’s First Prize £75. Two Runners up  £25 each
Gregory Leadbetter. Gregory is a well-known poet and lecturer, and Vice-Chair of the Friends of Coleridge.
Liz Cashdan. Liz is a poet who has written a sequence based on Coleridge and his circle.  Her most recent collection is Things of Substance: New and Selected Poetry (Five Leaves 2013).
Ian Enters. Ian is a poet with three publications to his name; translator of Anglo-Saxon poetry and performer at the British Museum; novelist with two novels published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson; and dramatist of musicals and opera. He was until recently Chair of the charity Reading Matters.
Deadline for entries5pm Wednesday 31st August
Enter online only. Full details, rules and how to enter can be forund on the Friends of Coleridge website here:

Friday, 19 August 2016

Manchester Review Submissions

The Manchester Review publishes two issues per year in Spring and Autumn. During their submission period they welcome unpublished fiction, poetry and essays from both established and new writers. 

Please make no more than one submission per issue. 

Simultaneous submissions are permitted. They only accept Word documents

In the subject line, please include your name and the category (Fiction/Poetry/Art/Non-Fiction) and make sure that identifying details are also on your submission.

Prose Please send only one piece of fiction or non-fiction. Very rarely do we publish works longer than 6,000 words.
Poetry Please send no more than 3 poems.
Art Please email a link to your online portfolio. Unfortunately, they cannot accept music, visual art, or video submissions by post or as email attachments.
They strongly encourage online submissions to

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Poetry Workshop at the Five Glens Arts Festival

I'm running a poetry workshop at the Five Glens Arts Festival, Glens Centre, Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim.

Poetry's oldest duty is preservation. The life we live eludes us as we live it, and when we are old we cannot credit what we have lost -- measured by the fragments that we keep – Donald Hall

Memories are increasing disposable in our throwaway society of soundbites and changeable fashion, process, ideas and images. Too many things are about speed up, speed up, newer, better, shinier. But these very memories we have are potentially a rich source of inspiration for writing. We can preserve the moments, places, people, thoughts and relationships, be they beautiful, mundane or uncomfortable, by capturing them in poems, to hold and to keep.

This  workshop if for anyone who would like to being to write poetry or for those who already have some memories captured on paper. It will be a safe, supporting environment so you can leave with the draft of at least one piece of writing with energy and confidence.

€15.00 pre-booked €18.00 on door  (max 12 people)

Saturday 27th August 11am

followed at 4pm by the results of the Dermot Healy International Poetry competition.

Please pre book!

Also for those with smallies, there is an Origami workshop , 2pm for smallies/beginners (and their accompanying adult) and 3pm drop in for older, more ambitious. Led by the lovely Grace Dempsey.

The Five Glens Arts festival was created in response to the profound level of creativity which runs in a fine seam through the entire North West of Ireland.  The Arts in all of their formats are alive and very well in this part of the world with the concentration of professional creative practitioners not found elsewhere across Europe.

Here in Irelands North West, tucked away in the mystical lands of North Leitrim, you will find the market town of Manorhamilton. It is nestled at the very heart of The Five Glens of Leitrim, Glenfarne, Glenade, Glenboy, Glenaniff and Glencar. These glens have always been alive with artistic endeavour and enterprise.

The Festival is a celebration of the arts in their myriad forms and is a reflection on the profound level of creativity which is to be found in this special place.  We celebrate the Visual Arts, Literature and Poetry, Dance, Theatre, great food and of course Music throughout the weekend with local, national and internationally advertised events. Come and experience the talent brought to you by these artists in what has proven to be a great weekend to mark the last days of summer.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

The Poetry Divas are going to Anam Cara Writer's and Artist's Retreat

Next Saturday, 20 August 2016 The Poetry Divas are going to Anam Cara Writing Retreat in Beara, Co Cork. And we have a special guest diva, Eileen Sheehan. Should be great. Please come along if you are anywhere near.
The Poetry Divas is a collective of women poets. We read our own poems at events and festivals all over Ireland, blurring the wobbly boundary between page and stage. We tailor each show to the occasion and audience and aim to give a deliciously infectious show that’s bound to touch a nerve. We are all well-published and anthologised poets in our own right: Kate Dempsey's debut collection, The Space Between, was published by Doire Press in 2016; Maeve O’Sullivan has published three collections: Initial Response (haiku, 2011), Vocal Chords (poetry, 2014) and A Train Hurtles West (haiku, 2015); and Special guest diva Eileen Sheehan's collections are Song of the Midnight Fox and Down the Sunlit Hall. Given the name and ethos of the venue, our theme for this performance will be friendship." After their presentation, the mike will be open for more poetry and song.
Donations on the night in aid of Cork Art Cancer Support House in Bantry.
8:00 P.M.
Anam Cara Writer's and Artist's Retreat, Eyeries, Beara

To book a seat, ring 027 74441.
Information on the Anam Cara retreat and other upcoming workshops and events here