Saturday 28 February 2009

National Tree Week reading on Lyric FM

Hi all

One of my old pieces for the Quiet Quarter will be repeated on Lyric FM the week starting Monday 2nd March at 11:45, I think on the Tuesday. It will be available as a download later in the week.

Friday 27 February 2009

RTÉ P.J. O'Connor Radio Drama Awards

Have you ever considered writing for radio? There are many opportunities and a good way to break in is to try for the P.J. O'Connor competition. Here's the gen:

The aim of the competition is to encourage new writers to radio drama and to increase awareness of the possibilities and scope of radio as a medium in the field of drama.

Rules: 28 minute play (rule of thumb is one page per minute when properly formatted)
Prizes: €3,000 for first prize, €2,000 second, €3,000 third prize.
All plays are planned to be recorded and broadcast. They shortlist between 12 and 20.

If you are a new writer in this medium, there is a great weekend course they offer shortlisted writers in writing for radio. And you may get lucky too. Sometimes they record and broadcast shortlisted plays and you are paid the standard RTE rates.

Deadline: March 13th 2008

Tips: Listen to lots of radio drama. You can get the BBC afternoon play online for a week.


Don't use too many characters in one scene. Confusing.

Use people's names for the first while so listeners know who the characters are.

Don't use too many characters in the whole thing as there is a limit to the cast numbers.

Start a new scene with a new voice.

Remember the listener can't turn back the page to check what's going on so be clear.

You can go anywhere - Bogner beach, a Bali nightclub, Outer Mongolia, outer space, underwater, Victorian Dublin, Roman Alexandria, Stone Age Kenya.

Use sound effects to allow the listener to picture (if that's the right word) the setting. But don't go over board.

Music is always good for mood.

Other guidelines are similar to short stories. Start in the action so the listener doesn't turn off. Don't use similar sounding names for multiple characters.

Thursday 26 February 2009

Writing Workshops in Laois

The courses running from February to May are open to all levels of writers and are planned to assist and explore the work of the individual writer and to give guidance in a constructive and non-intimidating manner.

Course Two with John Maher are Tuesday 24th March, Tuesday 31st March, Tuesday 7th April and Tuesday 21st April from 7pm-9pm in Áras an Chontae, Portlaoise

Course Three with Ann Egan takes place on Tuesday 5th May, Tuesday 12th May, Tuesday 19th May and Tuesday 26th May from 7pm-9pm in Áras an Chontae, Portlaoise. Fee for 4 week course is €50/€40 concessions.

Places are limited and booking is essential— creative writing course brochure now available from The Arts Office, Laois County Council, Áras an Chontae, Portlaoise – Details here.

Wednesday 25 February 2009

Dublin Book festival

The launch of the Dublin Book Festival is Wednesday 25th February at 6pm in Front Hall of the National Library.
Light refreshments will be served. I love light refreshments.

The festival is Friday, Saturday and Sunday 6th, 7th and 8th March in Dublin City Hall, Dame Street.
I hope they've sorted out the problems they reportedly had last year with acoustics when multiple readings were going on simultaneously.
Admission Free.

The idea is promote books published by Irish publishers. Great idea and lovely setting.

A series of poetry readings and debates will see established names such as Dermot Bolger, Gerry Murphy, Pat Boran, Mary O'Malley, Gerard Smyth, Peter Fallon, Theo Dorgan, Ruth Carr, Vincent Woods and Paul Perry share the podium with emerging writers, such as Caroline Lynch, Lorna Shaughnessy, Aifric Mac Aodha and Helena Nolan.

Workshop: 10 places are available, free of charge, to participate in a workshop
with Medbh McGuckian, one of Ireland's best known poets on Friday, 6 March. (What time?)

Please submit an application to with a paragraph describing your background in poetry and your achievements to date, along with a sample of 5 poems. Selected participants will have some of these poems workshopped at the event.

This sounds well worth doing.

Tuesday 24 February 2009

Do nothing for free

I'm in agreement with Harlan Ellison. Pay the Writer. Does the printer get paid? yes. Does the bookshop get paid? Does the truck driver who distributes the book/magazine/whatever get paid? Does the paper manufacturer get paid? Does the designer get paid? Yes. Why not pay the writer? Don't undervalue yourself (and others) and do things for free.


Castlepalooza is a two-day music and arts festival set in the historic Charleville Castle in Tullamore, Co. Offaly. This year Castlepalooza will take place on Saturday and Sunday, 1 and 2 August 2009, and will showcase a range of music from both Irish and international artists.

In 2009, the organisers of Castlepalooza would like to extend their programme by facilitating art exhibitions, installations, recitals, performances, workshops and markets. Castlepalooza is interested in hearing from artists who have ideas for performances, installations or interventions, to be part of this year’s festival.

To submit your proposal please send a one page proposal along with a current CV and supporting images by email, with 'Midlands Proposal' in the subject box, to Susanna at:

Deadline for submissions: 23 March 2009

Monday 23 February 2009

From Mslexia Listings - Flarestack

Flarestack Poets Pamphlet Competition

They are looking for two poetry collections, 20-30 poems.
Prize: publication plus £250. 20 copies of your pamphlet
Runners up to be published in an anthology.
Fee: £18.
Deadline: postmarked 28 Feb 09

Very expensive again and a little known, new publisher. I'd think twice.

Sunday 22 February 2009

International Women's Day Celebration

From the lovely Women Rule Writer's blog

An Evening of Poetry and Prose to Celebrate Women's Writing

Wednesday, March 4th

Central Hotel, Exchequer Street, Dublin


An evening of poetry and prose with Catherine Cullen, Claire Kilroy, Medbh McGuckian, Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, Enda Wyley and others.

This is a great list of writers worth listening to.

Saturday 21 February 2009

An advert in Mslexia

Brian Moore Short Story award

Open to everyone of Irish descent (how far back? do you have to prove it?) and to residents of Northern Ireland.

Judge: Richard Bausch
Presentation: Belfast, May 2009
Prizes: £750, £300 and £200

Winner published in Verbal magazine.

Deadline: 1st March 2009
Fee: £5 per story

See website

Friday 20 February 2009

Poetry Now Festival

The lovely people at DLR Libraries, lead by the tireless Belinda McKeon, have organised this years Poetry festival. It runs from Thursday 26th to Sunday 29th March at the Pavilion Theatre, Dún Laoghaire and features:

Paul Batchelor, Sujata Bhatt, Frank Bidart, Colette Bryce, Paddy Bushe, Harry Clifton, Carol Ann Duffy (oo yes), Ian Duhig, Adam Foulds,

Ellen Hinsey, Valzhyna Mort, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Robert Pinsky, Tomaž Šalamun,
John Sampson, Tomas Venclova

(Any chance of a ticket, Belinda?)

The Irish Times Poetry Now Award 2009 will be awarded during the festival, the recipient chosen from a shortlist of;

Colette Bryce : Self-Portrait in the Dark (Picador Poetry)
Ciaran Carson : For All We Know (Gallery Books)
Leontia Flynn : Drives (Cape Poetry)
Pearse Hutchinson : At Least For A While (Gallery Books)
Derek Mahon : Life on Earth (Gallery Books)

Judges for this year’s award are Kit Fryatt, Sean O’Brien and Joseph Woods.

Poetry Now 09 also features readings by poets shortlisted for The Rupert & Eithne Strong Award 2009, which recognises first collections published in English or Irish by Irish presses or by Irish writers in 2008, and the award announcement itself. The shortlist here consists of;

Áine Moynihan : Canals of Memory (Doghouse)
Simon Ó Faoláin : Anam Mhadra (Coiscéim)
Patrick Cotter : Perplexed Skin (Arlen House)
Ciaran Berry : The Sphere of Birds (Gallery Books)

Workshops Saturday 28th March 10:30 am 25 Euro facilitated by Colette Bryce and Frank Bidart. Aimed at poets working towards a first collection. Apply before 10th MArch. Details in the brochure.

I'm not sure I want to go to a workshop with a poet who is younger than me. Anyone else?

Thursday 19 February 2009

Ennis Bookclub Festival

6-8th March

The three-day programme of events, in association with Clare County Library includes John Boyne, author of “The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas”; Salley Vickers, best selling British novelist and author of “Miss Garnet’s Angel”; John Breen, author of “Alone It Stands”; Jennifer Johnston, Booker Prize nominated writer; Allan Guthrie, Scottish crime novelist; Mark O’Halloran, award winning writer and actor; journalist and broadcaster Kevin Myers and many more.

The festival will be launched on Friday the 6th of March by novelist John Connolly and there will be a GIANT BOOK CLUB meeting to discuss his novel “The Book of Lost Things”.

Wednesday 18 February 2009

In praise of Mslexia

The long promised post on why you should subscribe or at least a copy of Mslexia. It's a quarterly magazine based in Newcastle on Tyne aimed at women who write (but men may read too.)
There are regular columns, opinion, pieces, poems and short stories and listings. And lots of interesting ads, some verging on the vanity publishing but mostly clearly so labeled. They have a try before you buy offer if you live in the UK.

In the Jan/Feb/Mar issue there was:
- Letters (not all fawning endorsements)
- a feature on Welsh women writers, fiction and poetry
- competition to design a Mslexia cover, deadline 27 Feb, prize £500
- An interview with Maggie O'Farrell. The interviews traditionally feature a 'How to write a book' list by the writer.

Get excited when a character turns to you and says, "Actually, I'm not going to do that, I'm going to do this!"

- Article on grant applications
- Interview with Amanda Ross, the buyer for Richard and Judy
- One in a series with a poet on how they wrote and revised a poem, this time by Ruth Padel. Always interesting to get an insight into how someone else's thought process works.
- A writing 'workshop' by Bernadine Evaristo on the importance of beginnings in a novel.
- One in a series of going from a first draft to the published version of part of a nove. The before and after process and thinking behind it is great.
- Poetry workshop by Colette Bryce about a submitted poem before she workshoped it with the poet and after.
- article on duologues on the radio
- writing exercises
- Curious incidents. Mine your memory for true life events that touch or teach the reader.
- Flash fiction
- Poems and short stories in the theme of the Four Elements with a commentary by Lavinia Greenlaw
- How to write a bestseller using Cecelia Ahern as an Example
- Reviews including Debut novels (these don't get reviewed many other places) and Crime
- Literary landmarks. Ground breaking works in the history of Women's literature.
- Profile of an independent press, this time Beautiful Books, imprints Burning House and Bloody Books.
- Out Now books by Mslexia subscribers
- Article on comedy writing with websites
- listings, mainly UK based. There have been Irish ones from time to time so if you run an Irish writing competition/festival/whatever, there's no harm in letting them know. A good deal of time ahead of time.

Tuesday 17 February 2009

Creative Writing Exhibition at NGG

No Grants Gallery (NGG) is a Temple Bar Cultural Trust initiative to support artists who do not have grants or other public funding to support their work. It is an exhibition space that allows total accessibility for artists. Our main aim is to encourage independent artists who have not received public funding and who struggle to establish themselves in the art world. We at Temple Bar Cultural Trust are here to provide a creative outlet in an environment that is as passionate about art as the artists themselves.

The Creative Writing Exhibition at NGG is a new initiative at the Gallery and will see a collaboration of all literary writers exploring poetry, lyrics and book extracts. The collection will be individually framed or mounted by the artist and hung at NGG from the 1st - 15th May. On Tuesday the 5th May, there will be a Slam session by a collaboration of performers representing the displayed pieces. The NGG Creative Writing Exhibition is open to a great range of artists so if you are interested in showing or performing please contact Carol Eakins on

NGG - No Grants Gallery - c/o Temple Bar Cultural Information Centre, 12 East Essex Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2 - Ph: 01 677 2255

NGG - Upcoming exhibitions

Monday 16 February 2009

Who do you write for?

Here's a thought provoking post. Who is your reader? Should you write with a particular reader in mind? Or should you just write for yourself. There is a danger there of writing to amuse yourself and thereby =restricting yourself to an audience of one. (and perhaps your mother)

You do have to be very carefully not to write down to your reader, explain too much, describe everything and leave no room for the reader's imaginiation to fill in the gaps themselves. And you do have to give enough clues to get them to keep up.

At tricky line to walk.

Sunday 15 February 2009

Bards in the Bog

We SO need this here too. The Shetlands leads the way. See here.

The 12 line max poems will be displayed in the loos in the leisure centres, large print so they can be read from a seated position. There is a kick off reading. It doesn't specify which convenience is the venue.

What a great idea. Makes a change from reading ads for safe sex, pregnancy advistory centres (positive choices, isn't that a contradiction in terms) and quality in the workplace posters.

Local poets only.
Deadline 12th March

Saturday 14 February 2009

Mid Market Writer's View

A sobering article, confessions of a semi-successful writer from a midlist writer on the reality of a writer's life. I'd like to imagine it's different in the US compared to the UK and Ireland but I fear I am fooling myself.

Friday 13 February 2009

I Wish I Was in Glasgow

I wish I was in Glasgow for the Aye Write Festival Friday 6th March and Saturday 7th March. THey have a great lineup. Makes me realise how insular and tired the same old line up is in many Irish festivals.

Alan Bennet, AL Kennedy, Mark Billingham and Doctor Who to name but a few. Bring it on!

Thursday 12 February 2009


Another from the (review of) How Not To Write a Novel.

A great many plots problems that show up in unpublished manuscripts can be resolved with a single strategy. Know what the chase is and cut to it.

Start your story in the middle of a conflict, not any old conflict (my neighbour's bath is overflowing,) one that matters to the protagonist. (my bath is overflowing and my hunky electrician is about to be electrocuted and my cat is sitting on the washing machine)

Don't faff around describing the weather and the protagonist's clothes and what they had for breakfast. Cut straight to the water lapping over the top of the dyke (levee).

Another rule

In most novels, a pet should have about as high a profile as an armchair.

Not Lassie though.

Wednesday 11 February 2009


Make your own bus slogan here.

Tuesday 10 February 2009

A Play for Children - Adults Writing Competition

Imaginosity, Dublin Children’s Museum is looking for a playwright for the under 11's audience.

1st Prize e1000
2nd Prize e300
3rd Prize e200

Writers must be over the age of 18
Deadline: Submissions will be accepted between January 19th and March 13th 2009
Winner announcement: Monday March 30th 2009
Entry forms: here

The “TNCC Kids Stage” at Imaginosity is on the hunt for creativity and imagination in a children’s playwright, and a panel of renowned adjudicators including; Victoria Smurfit (Actress and Writer), Peter Sheridan (Writer and Director), Marie Louise Fitzpatrick (Children’s writer), Jim Culleton (Artistic Director, Fishamble) and Orla Kennedy (CEO, Imaginosity) will pick the very best entrants from a nationwide new writing competition. The competition aims to encourage all budding and established writers both young and old to write a play especially suited to the “TNCC Kids Stage” at Imaginosity.

The panel is on the lookout for qualities such as originality, imagination and flair. Most importantly, they will also consider how the story will appeal to children up to 10 years of age.

Outlining what he is looking for in entries, Peter Sheridan explained, “I am looking for imagination, humour, emotional engagement, good characterisation and writing that deals with contemporary concerns of children.” Sheridan also went onto stress the importance of new writing without which “the theatre will shrink and die”.

Speaking at the launch in the “TNCC Kids Stage” Orla Kennedy CEO of Imaginosity explained her delight at this new initiative, “We are delighted to be able to offer this wonderful opportunity to writers who are interested in children’s theatre; it is a special and unique medium”. She also explained why the competition had come about, “In developing our theatre programme we became aware of a gap in the amount of theatre available for children. The “TNCC Kids Stage” at Imaginosity is unique and challenging, and is in itself an exhibit platform for drama and discovery and we wanted to offer an opportunity to writers of children’s plays to adapt to our space while providing creativity in simple well written scripts.”

The “TNCC Kids Stage” at Imaginosity’s Programme in partnership with The Natural Confectionery Company (TNCC) has been in full swing since September 2008, rolling out workshops and performances for children on a continuing basis, and this new writing competition is yet another example of the benefits the partnership has affected. This partnership will continue to fund the artistic development of a range of theatrical initiatives in the museum’s innovative children’s theatre.

The Plaza, Beacon South Quarter, Sandyford, Dublin 18 - Co Dublin
Tel: + 353-1-2176130, Email:

Monday 9 February 2009

Photos as inspiration

Have a look at this slideshow of nature photos. Take one as your inspiration. Be it a poem, a story, a piece of prose. Just a snapshot of the image or a what happened next of the story of the photographer.

Sunday 8 February 2009

Culture Ireland

Culture Ireland promotes the Irish Arts abroad. In December 2008 they spent

52,000 Euro on Film
105,900 Euro on Visual Arts
185,250 Euro on Music
and a whopping 390,000 Euro on Theatre and Dance.

Guess how much they spent on Literature. No. Guess.
18,100 Euro

Current deadlines 15 February for events happening from May onwards, so forward planning is the key here. If anyone wants me to do a reading abroad, ask me now!

I mean I know staging things costs more but it seems out of proportion to me. I imagine their funding will be cut this year.

Literature Across Frontiers/Vona Groarke and Conor O'Callaghan performing at the Literary Café and Academy, Prague, on the 17th and 18th February 2009 900 Euro

Maurice Scully giving poetry readings in various venues, California from the 1st - 7th April 2009 800 Euro

Paul Perry giving readings at the University of Central Missouri and in the Writers Place, Kansas City in March 2009 1,000

Billy Ramsell giving readings at the March Hare Poetry Festival, Newfoundland, Canada from the 11th - 14th March 2009 1,500 Euro

Edition Rugerup/ Nimrod Forlagab/Gabriel Rosenstock and translator giving a reading at the Leipzig Book Fair on the 13th March 2009 1,500 Euro

Kevin Higgins and Susan Millar DuMars giving readings at the 2009 AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programmes) Conference in Chicago from the 11th - 14th February 2009 1,400 Euro

The Munster Literature Centre/William Wall and Thomas McCarthy giving readings at the Shanghai Literary Festival and Irish Week from the 10th - 15th March 2009 2,500 Euro

Perth Writers Festival / Sebastian Barry participating in the Perth Writers Festival, Australia from the 26th February - 2nd March 2009 2,500 Euro

Oilibhéar Ó Braonáin / Dr Ian Malcolm to give a public lecture on the Irish Language and the Ulster Protestant tradition at the European School, Luxembourg on 12th February 2009 1,000 Euro

Alliance Francaise Dublin presenting the 10th Franco-Irish Literary Festival in Dublin Castle on the 3rd- 4th April 2009 5,000 Euro
I went to this last year. It was very good. Recommended, depending on the readers.

Note the application deadline for events from May onwards is 15th February so get a move on.

Saturday 7 February 2009

The Gaps

JB Priestly's essays. Don't have a gun in the room in act one if someone isn't going to use it by act 3.

A reader will quickly expect a love interest where none is intended. A man and a woman with something in common thrown together by circumstances. Oh yes. Love will blooms all right, thinks our reader and will be hurt if nothing comes of it.

A bomb expert character is introduced. There had better be a bomb to diffuse.

The son is violently allergic to bees. Buzz.

The reader fills in the gaps, even if the author didn't intend gaps to be there.

This also leads to the rule to leave some gaps for a reader to fill in. Don't explain everything.

Hilda looked at her watch for the tenth time. Her foot in its red leather boot was tapping a capella on the platform. The annoucer mumbled something incoherent and un-apologetic over the tannoy. The train was late.

Yes. We know. Why should we care?

She took out her mobile. Still no message from Tom. Where was he? She caught a glimpse of her reflection in the ...kidding...

Friday 6 February 2009


More from the (review of the) book How Not To Write a Novel.

While it is your job to know a great deal about your characters, itis seldom necessary to share it all with the read and by 'seldom' we mean 'never.'

I had an argument about this in a creative writing class. I was getting them to build up a character from a bunch of objects found in his/her pocket.

Start with sex and age. Then clothes, house, upbringing, family. Only then name. Job, favourite TV programme, dinner, what they have for breakfast.
Why do we need to say what they had for breakfast?
You don't need to say it. It will probably never come up in your story (the same way you rarely mention people going to the toilet or women having their periods or a heavy cold) but you should KNOW your character well enough to know if he/she is a Kellogs Special K type of a person or a single black coffee or tea and toast or porridge or a short stack with extra syrup.

But just because you know, don't man-handle it into your story if it's irrelevant.

Thursday 5 February 2009

How not to introduce a character

Reading the review of How Not To Write A Novel and the great posts from agent Author Author's blog.

Many novels are written an autohagiography by people who think a character needs to stand in front of a mirror to see that her breasts are medium-sized but nice and perky.

day in, day out, screeners are routinely introduced to characters by front-loaded visual images, a good third of them bouncing off reflective vases, glasses of water, and over-large silver pendants. We’ve all seen it: the first-person narrator who catches sight of his own reflection in a nearby mirror in order to have a reason to describe himself.

Guess what I found in the opening page of my novel?! Yes. It's gone now. Check yours.

Dulcie checked herself in the mirror. She was pale as the insipid, low fat yogurt she bought from Lidl. Perhaps a bit of make up would be a good idea. Irene would spot even the palest slick of lipstick straight away and wonder why she’d bothered. Cora’s make up came out of its dusty bag only for the Christmas party, dates and the odd trip to the theatre. No make up today. She pinched her cheeks and looked again, a temporary improvement.

But how does this gel with another rule from the book?

Novels are seldom rejected because the characters are described too well.

Wednesday 4 February 2009

Writing with rules

Check out this fascinating discussion on Rachelle Gardner's blog about writing and writing rules and which order you should try it. I am of the school that believes (now) that you can't write a symphony without practising your scales so why would you be able to write a novel flat out without some practise.

Any opinions?

Tuesday 3 February 2009

What makes good writing for children?

How did Barry Cunningham choose the shortlist for the children's writing competition for Chicken House? (This is the guy who is supposed to have discovered JK)

But in the end it's about how much I believe in the world that the writer creates, no matter how bizarre; how strongly I feel the children's experience shines from inside the book; and how skilfully I'm drawn to sharing the emotions and choices the characters make. Then there's the trick-ier judgment, the level of skill the writer shows. Do the characters treat each other as real people, even if they have two heads?

Well, a large number from this year's entry had some of these elements, but only five moved me to react as I did when I first read Harry Potter, or Inkheart, or Reavers' Ransom.

Threads by Sophia Bennett
Funny, serious and absorbing. The lives of a group of friends who love fashion and style become entwined with a young, brilliantly talented African refugee with a painful background.

Marshes of Magdalen by Victoria Suzuki
A colony on another planet runs into trouble from the survivors of the previous failed expedition and the intelligent life forms already there. Physically gripping and exciting, with very real teenagers at its heart.

The Psychic Squad by Shar Ros-Elman
Children with psychic abilities are singled out for special training. The question of whether they are to be used for good or evil is mixed in with their relationships to each other.

Charlie Squires Goes Elsewhere by Justine Windsor
Amusing fantasy romp for younger readers. A young boy follows his mother through a painting to an alternative world of mild peril, but strong adventures.

Chasing the River by Anne Giraud
A beautifully written African odyssey. A young refugee from a massacre travels through a devastatingly beautiful landscape and battles with danger, betrayal and impoverishment. Hope, resourcefulness and courage beat in his breast.

You can read extracts on the times site.

Monday 2 February 2009


I do love Haiku. Here's an enlightening article on all things Haiku in the Guardian by Billy Mills.

It's more than the 17 syllables. I am of the school of thought that it has to be 17 syllables. Are you? I don't hold with those short thoughtful three line poems that think they're Haiku. I know Japanese have more syllables to do the same thing but it strikes me as cheating.

I like using a season word (kigo) but I'm not joined at the hip.

Here are no seasons –
we wear the same clothes year round,
watch weather through glass

Apparently a haiku without a season word is a senryu. I like using the dash too.

Picnic on the grass
carefree ducks on man made lake -
water is water

If you're into Haiku, there's a deadline coming up in Scotland

Deadline: February 14
Haiku Scotland will take haiku, senryu, tanka and any short poetry form.
Submissions should be no more than 8 poems and can be sent by email (no attachments) to or by snailmail to
Haiku Scotland, 2 Elizabeth Gardens, Stoneyburn, EH47 8BP, Scotland.
Other closing dates: 14 May, 14 August and 14 November.

Sunday 1 February 2009

Eigse 2009

Corkonians get it on in February.

Éigse 2009: Humour, Irony and Wit is a festival of poetry and prose presented by the Munster Literature Centre.
Wednesday, 18th February to Saturday, 21st February.

Not all irony is funny and not all humour induces belly laughter. Humour can be subtly nuanced or it can be in-your -face obvious and is often shaped by cultural considerations. Ridicule - a French arthouse film of some years back, notoriously claimed that the English had no wit but something called humour instead. Arguably one person’s wit is another person’s mere humour. To acknowledge this we have gathered together a disparate motley crew of literary clowns whose origins include America, Britain, Estonia and Japan as well as Ireland. We have poets, novelists, essayists and chancers of many genres.

Wednesday 18th February

Book Launch: Cailleach: The Hag of Beara by Leanne O’Sullivan
The launch of Leanne O’Sullivan’s second poetry collection Cailleach: The Hag of Beara, published by Bloodaxe Books, England. The book takes its title from An Cailleach Bhéarra, or the Hag of Beara, who is a wise woman figure embedded in the physical and mental landscape of western Ireland and Scotland, particularly in the Beara Peninsula in West Cork.
Where: Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin Street.
When: 7.30 pm. Complimentary wine reception.

Thursday 19th February

Book Launch: Done Dating DJs by Jenny Minniti-Shippey
Munster Literature Centre is proud to present the winning chapbook of the 2008 Fool for Poetry Chapbook Competition. Published by Southword Editions.
Where: Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin Street.
When: 7.00 pm.

(I'm not surprised the evenutual winner of this expenseive chapbook competition was American based. It was obviously aimed at the US market. I'll be interested to see the shortlist to be posted this month. Great title by the way.)

Readings: Humour and Irony
A quickfire, varied reading by a selection of mostly Cork-resident poets known for their sense of humour and irony. Featuring John Corless, Billy Ramsell, Liz O’Donoghue, Ian Wild, Matthew Sweeney and Cliff Wedgebury.
Where: Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin Street.
When: 8.00 pm.

Readings: Neil Rollison & Fiona Pitt Kethley
A reading by two British poets renowned for mixing the humorous and the erotic. Neil Rollinson & Fiona Pitt-Kethley.
Where: Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin Street.
When: 9.00 pm.

Friday 20th February

Readings: Dave Lordan & Alan Titley
A reading by two Cork expatriates who have made their family homes in Dublin each is noted for their biting satire. Dave Lordan (poet) & Alan Titley (poet, novelist who works in Irish and English)
Where: Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin Street.
When: 7.00 pm.

Readings: Dennis O’Driscoll & John Hartley Williams
Two distinguished poets, one Irish the other British whose work is distinguished by their European sensibilities. Dennis O’Driscoll and John Hartley Williams.
Where: Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin Street.
When: 9.00 pm.

Saturday 21st February

Humour in Poetry Workshop with Matthew Sweeney
A workshop focusing on humour in poetry with poet Matthew Sweeney. Limited to ten individuals.
Where: Munster Literature Centre, Frank O’Connor House, 84 Douglas Street.
When: 10.00 am
Fee: €30.
Please phone the Munster Literature Centre on 021-4312955 for reservations.

Book Launch: Trucker's Moll by Rosemary Canavan
Trucker’s Moll (Salmon, 2009), Rosemary Canavan’s second collection, continues her preoccupation with identity, landscape and change. She reveals the power of land to transform, to hold secrets, to heal and to destroy.
Where: Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin Street.
When: 2.00 pm.

Readings: Gina Moxley & Kevin Higgins
A reading by two Irish writers who have established reputations as dramatic readers of their own work.
Where: Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin Street.
When: 4.00 pm.

Readings: Paddy Estonian, Paddy Irishman & Paddy Japanese Man
Three absurdists not only from different corners of the globe, arguably from different corners of the universe. Andres Ehin, Gerry Murphy and Yatushiro Yoshimoto.
Where: Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin Street.
When: 7.00 pm.

Readings: Julie O’Callaghan & Dan Rhodes
A reading by American-Irish poet Julie O’Callaghan and British novelist Dan Rhodes.
Where: Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin Street.
When: 9.00 pm.