Monday 31 August 2009

The way they line up - poem

For TFE's challenge.

Stephen’s clutching pencils;
he studies his hand,
tilts his head,
aligns one that's slight out of kilter,
stops and stares, frozen in his own bubble.
I’m reading his report.
He climbs off the sofa,
bashes his head against the cushions,
pulls them to the floor,
stops again.
He walks through the room
ignoring talk,
eyes focused on something
that’s not a face,
stands under the centre lamp
and looks up.
Before him, the rest of life flows,
parts like a current round a rock
and joins up again beyond.

Books 2009

10th - 12th September & 19th - 20th September (children's events)

Marina Lewyka, Sebastian Faulks, Edna O'Brien, Diarmuid Gavin, Brian Keenan and many more are all taking part in the second BOOKS 2009 festival located in Trinity College Dublin and Independent Colleges, Dawson Street.

There's also a crime mini-festival with Alex Barclay, John Connolly and other crime writers and a programme of workshops for budding writers.

Children's events with Roddy Doyle, Derek Landy, Sarah Webb and others will happen in the National Gallery the weekend of 19th & 20th September.

See website.

Sunday 30 August 2009

Mountains to the Sea

A new initiative from what has to be my favourite library group, dlr.

When: 9th to 13th September
What: Loads of talks and readings for adults and children.

See the programme here. Including

Barry McGovern reads Samuel Beckett
One of the greatest Beckett actors, Barry McGovern, will read from a selection of the master's works.
Pavilion Theatre 10/8 Euro 11th September @ 8pm

First Fictions with Kevin Power, Paul Murray & Ed O’Loughlin
Three Irish first novelists read from their critically-acclaimed novels.
County Hall 12th September @ 12 noon

DLR Library Voices presents Sebastian Faulks
One of the UK's most popular novelists pays a rare visit to Dublin. Sebastian Faulks will read from his new novel A Week in December.
Pavilion Theatre 10/8 Euro 12th September @ 3pm

Leviathan Political Cabaret
The famous Leviathan Political Cabaret comes to Dun Laoghaire for the festival with MC, our own David McWilliams. Local theme and contributors
Royal Marine Hotel 15/12 Euro 12th September @ 9pm

Sadie Jones, Claire Kilroy and Jill Dawson read from their new novels
Three of the finest contemporary women novelists read from their new novels
Pavilion Theatre 10/8 Euro 13th September @ 1:30pm

Border Crossings: with Anne Enright, Hugo Hamilton & Richard Flanagan
Three distinguished writers read from their work and discuss the concept of a "national literature."
Pavilion Theatre 10/8 Euro 13th September @ 3pm

Saturday 29 August 2009

Culture Night

Culture Night 2009 takes place on Friday 25th September. The organisers expect half a million visitors to attend Culture Night across the 11 participating towns, cities and counties.

Renowned for its free mix of events, street activity and ‘All Sorts’ of talent, Culture Night 2009 will transform the participating areas of – Dublin, Cork, Galway, Letterkenny, Limerick, Mayo, Roscommon, Sligo, Tralee, Waterford, Wexford - into an accessible cultural wonderland offering people of all ages the chance to experience culture in various and unusual forms including visual art, architecture, dancing, family fun, music, poetry, street performance, painting, talks, theatre and traditional forms of culture.

Culture Night will also take place in the Cathedral Quarter of Belfast this year on Friday September 25th.

Sounds like a blast. Any space for the Poetry Diva Collective?

Friday 28 August 2009

Poetry Diva Collective III at Electric Picnic

Poetry Divas Collective hit Electric Picnic, the wonderful music and arts festival in Stradbally Estate, Co Laois

When: Sunday 6th September at noon
Where: Literary tent
Where else: Body and Soul at random times and places (during daylight hours) If you leave me your mobile number, I'll text you.

I adore Electric Picnic. There is so much going on. You could spend the whole 3 days wandering round, looking at things, joining in things, eating, drinking, making merry, see no music and still be left with things you meant to catch and didn't. And the music is great.

Body and Soul Music lineup here at State Magazine.

Support Acts for the Poetry Divas include:


In the Literary area there are: (Check out Minefield for details.
Dermot Bolger, Colm Keegan, Michael O’Loughlin, Kevin Power, Brian Keenan, Roddy Doyle, Rita Ann Higgins, Donal O’Kelly, Theo Dorgan, Eileen Casey, Siobhan Daffy, Claire Kilroy, John Banville, Irvine Welsh.

Slam Poetry: Nuala ni Chonchuir, Dave Lordan, Elaine Feeney, Stephen James Smith, Raven, Katie Lawless and the lovely The Poetry Chicks.

Comedy: Tommy Tiernan, Sean Hughes; Dead Cat Bounce AND a heady mix of superstars, circuits stall warts and the best of emerging talent

Theatre Stage
The Poe Show: Michael James Ford and Trevor Knight open up the world of Edgar Allen Poe.

Waiting for IKEA (Wicked Angels) is the story of friendship, family, community and sunbed obsessives.

Moonshine Travellers (Patrick McCarry) It's Ray Harknett's first night on the job as a roadie. Mentored by a veteran stagehand, Ray takes on the task of being an 'amp jockey' to help raise funds for his own band's promo EP, Neon Love.

Seven Times Me (Zupakat Productions UK) an autobiographical solo theatre show written and performed by Kat Francois. The show brings to life her childhood upbringing in an impoverished, abusive but lively home and her struggles with a British establishment as a black woman.

Three Weeks (Zupakat Productions UK) combines storytelling, poetry and dance, to deliver a poignant representation of a woman's life.

Other Peoples Stuff (Independent Youth Theatre) Somewhere between Heaven, Hell, Brown Thomas and Primark, there is a shop.

Stags and Hens by Willy Russell (Rail Theatre Company)

Whacker Murphy's Bad Buzz (City Theatre) a one man comedy play from acclaimed writer Edwin Mullane and directed by Tom Hickey.

Lineup for Thisispopbaby here.

Thursday 27 August 2009

Keats and Mrs Gaskell

From the Guardian via the Vermont Poetry Newsletter

Keats House in Hampstead, the low pale villa where the poet lived, has been renovated and was opened to the public in July.
It is the house where he penned Ode to a Nightingale and asked the girl next door to marry him. Yet Keats lived there for just two years, albeit his most creative. It prompts the question – does this postcard-pretty house of a writer who died at 26, which will attract those who like visiting pretty houses in Hampstead, deserve a £424,000 grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund, supplemented by the Corporation of London?

How many struggling poets and other writers could do a lot with a fraction of this grant? I think it's outrageous. How many visitors will it get after the first summer?

Let’s contrast the apparent ease of finding the money for the young man Keats with the struggles over Mrs Gaskell, whose former house is at 84 Plymouth Grove, Ardwick, Manchester. It is a Grade II*-listed Regency-style villa, and it is on the English Heritage buildings at risk register. The Gaskell Society says it needs over £2m to save it, yet it has secured just £260,000, covering the first phase of renovation.

I hope the society does not find the rest of the money and splits the money they have already on struggling novelists, women or otherwise.

Wednesday 26 August 2009

Watch this

Part 2

This won the Oscar for short animation last year - courtesy of my anime obsessed offspring.

I cried. Will you?

Poetry Performance Skills

Could your performance skills do with a wash and brush up? What about this?

Space Inside Arts presents Speak Up! - performance skills workshop for poets and writers, facilitated by Siobhán MacMahon.

When: 7 October 2009 from 10.00am - 4.00pm

Participants are asked to bring along a piece/s of their work.

Where: Tinakilly House Hotel, Rathnew, Co Wicklow

How much: €45, which includes a light lunch.

To reserve a place contact Carol Boland on 0851138367 or

Tuesday 25 August 2009

Mirror Poetry

What is a mirror poem? AKA a Palindrome poem or I have seen them called Specular too.
Basically it's a poem that reads the same lines forwards as backwards.



Sometimes LineD is not repeated.

From (a very small amount of) research, they seem to have started in 1967. Doppelganger by James A Lindon which becomes all creepy when the lines read backwards.

In more recent times, the English poet Julia Copus has popularised it. Read The Backseat of My Mother's Car from her collection The Shuttered Eye (Bloodaxe 1995). In fact in an interview she does say she apparently invented it, though James A Lindon may disagree.

I (probably) have a mirror poem in the autumn/winter issue of Orbis. Click here for some backcopies online.

Monday 24 August 2009

Clifden Arts Week

Clifden have some literature events including the energetic, 70 year old Famous Seamus.

When: September 7th to 17th (surely more than a week?)
Where: Clifden

In a celebration of his 70th birthday a reading with Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney.
18 September, 8pm | Venue: St. Joesph's Church, Clifden
15 Euro.

Reading with Paul Muldoon.
26 September.
15 Euro.

Reading with one of Ireland’s leading poets Michael Longley.
23 September, 8pm | Venue: Station House theatre
15 Euro.

Readings by three Galway based authors: Maureen Gallagher, whose poetry collection Calling the Tune has just been published, Patricia Burke Brogan with her new and selected poems, Decollage and Alan McMonagle with his just published collection of short stories Liar, Liar.
17 September, 4:30pm | Venue: Clifden Library

Sunday 23 August 2009

Galway City Council Public Art Commission: Call for Submissions

First of all, please follow the Poetry Diva Collective on twitter. I'm new to this thing, not sure why anyone would want to know what I'm doing all day but I can see the uses as far as letting people know real time about events.

With a bit of imagination, this could be a wonderful arts opportunity

Galway City Council invites artists and arts practitioners of all disciplines to submit proposals for a public art commission to take place in the Carrowbrowne Halting Site, Headford Rd, Galway. The budget for the Carrowbrowne Public Art Commission is €15,000.

The practitioner is asked to respond to the context of the Carrowbrowne site and its community towards the development of a new public arts project that will be informed by the culture and lives of the Traveller Community.

Proposals for any medium of the arts including Drama/Music/Dance/Literature/Sculpture/

Visual Arts/Film/Performing arts are accepted, as are proposals for temporary and engaged projects as well as permanent installations.

Proposals from members of the traveller community professionally involved in the arts are welcome.

Deadline: 4.00pm Friday 25th September

Submissions to: Megs Morley, Public Arts Officer, Galway City Council, College Rd, Galway.

The full project brief is available to download here

Saturday 22 August 2009

Illustrated Word Exhibition

The Illustrated Word Exhibition Mark 2 is back again by popular demand.

Where: NGG Gallery, Temple Bar Cultural Information Centre, 12 East Essex Street, Temple Bar, Dublin
When: 1-15th September

A mix of work from both established and up-coming writers.

The exhibition will include all forms of writing and artwork including poetry, haiku, drawing installations, interactive writing, textiles and graphic novel extracts. These works will be displayed at NGG for two weeks until Tuesday September 15th. Artists and writers include Beverly Ranger who has worked with Damien Rice, Isolde Carmody who as a visually impaired artist makes use of sound, texture and non-print writing systems such as Braille and Ogham, Darren Caffrey, Tara Ní Nualláin, Hannah Breslin, Patrick Dillon and Nathaniel Dwyer.

(No familiar names for me there)

The Exhibition will be launch with an open mic evening at NGG on Wednesday 2nd September at 6pm with a selection of live performances. This will be a collaboration of writers and performers giving the exhibition a voice.

Poetry from the horsebox

Poetry from the horsebox
Originally uploaded by Colm Byrne

Found a photo of the Poetry Diva Collective at the Flat Lake Festival. Thanks Colm Byrne

Friday 21 August 2009

Rathlin Island Literary Festival

This sounds fun. An intriguing line up of tutors.

“Let Me Take You To The Island” is a literary festival initiated by Ballycastle Writers Group

Where: Rathlin Island
Rathlin Island sits in the Irish Sea seven miles from Ballycastle town on the lovely North Coast and in the heart of the Glens of Antrim.

When: 11th-13th September 2009
Board the Rathlin Ferry from Ballycastle Harbour at 4.30pm on Friday for the short crossing to the Island.

The festival is celebrating it's tenth year. Events include workshops in poetry, song, film, stage and short story; concerts; book and CD launches; drama performances and readings.

This year’s tutors include: Dermot Bolger (Writing a Novel); Dave Duggan (Writing for the Stage); Kate Newmann (Poetry 1); Ruth Carr (Poetry 2); Colum Sands (Songwriting); Teresa Godfrey (Screenwriting) and Damian Gorman (Six Rules for the Writing of Anything).

See their website here.

Fee: £295 or 345 Euro includes all workshops, meals, accommodation (shared)

Anyone in or near Castlerea?

Arising from the development of Castlerea Sewerage Scheme, Roscommon County Council invites submissions from artists for the creation of new work in visual art, literature, and architecture/urban design as part of this commission.

This competition will be conducted in two stages. For Stage 1, artists are invited to apply for one of three short-term Artist in Residence projects, one in Visual Art, one in Literature and one in Architecture/Urban Design. These projects will take the place of the traditional Stage 1 application process, but are to be considered comprehensive standalone short residencies in themselves similar to Roscommon County Council’s Art@work programme.

Following the successful completion of these residencies, one of the three artists selected will be invited to devise a longer term project for Castlerea. A detailed Project Brief is available online from here.

Deadline: 10 September 2009

Thursday 20 August 2009

Knit A Poem

I've never been a knitter. My teacher sent me home with my terrible attempt and asked my mother to show me. She sent it back saying it was better than anything she could produce. Now sewing is another matter.

But the Poetry Society in the UK are celebrating their centenary by knitting a poem, letter by letter. See here. Great idea.

Over 700 knitters around the world are now knitting (and crocheting) the individual letters of an as-yet secret poem. Once the squares have been sewn together the assembled work could span some 40-feet. The final knitted poem will be revealed in all its glory in October 2009.

There is still time to register to be involved with knitting or crocheting the blank squares that will form the spaces between words and the edging of the poem.

Wednesday 19 August 2009

Cape Clear Storytelling Festival

There's a lot to be said for listening to a story. I remember well a sunny, spring afternoon at the Ennis Book Club Festival a couple of years ago, in a room listening to Mary O'Donnell reading a complete short story to us. It was lovely, like being back as a child listening to one of my parents.

I'd like to go to Cape Clear but it clashes with Electric Picnic Music and Arts Festival, Stradbally. But if you're way out west, it's supposed to be fantastic.

When: September 4th-6th
Where: Cape Clear, Co Cork. If you're not staying, the last ferry leaves at 6 pm.

This renowned weekend is now in its 15th year, each year gaining remarkable success. The festival offers a mix of international fame and multicultural diversity, suitable for all ages and nationalities.

The atmosphere is relaxed and easy going, and the background of the island’s stunning scenery viewed from the different venues, promotes a festival of unique standing in the world of storytelling.

This year’s storytellers include:

Jimmy Crowley

Clare Murphy

Ian Stephen

Mats Rehnman

Lyn Ford

Tuesday 18 August 2009

Flat Lake Festival 2009

Small technical problem with the slideshow above apparently fixed now. Normal service resumed.

Yes. The Poetry Divas stormed through the green fields of Monaghan and on to the back of a horsebox stage at The Flat Lake Festival. We were fabulous. Barbara Boobs Smith, Maeve Callas O'Sullivan and Kate Cow's Arse Dempsey. We had a lovely, attentive audience sitting on haybales and even standing to hear us. Thanks to Pat McCabe for making us welcome and featuring us on Radio Butty. 106.0 FM. (Does anyone have any photos of us?)

The sun shone, which was unexpected. So everyone was extra happy. The lovely organisers even put our tent up for us.

Also appearing were the Prufrocks - Liz Gallagher, Jaki McCarrick, Mary Mullen, Nuala Ni Chonchuir, Barbara Smith (also a Diva) in the theatre tent. The audience gradually swelled to scarily large numbers and I caught a piccie of a totally engrossed famous audience member. We met him after and he said he found the poetry reading very relaxing and would we please go to watch him spinning disks at 11 pm in the Butty Barn, so we did. Can I mention those cheekbones?

We also met the lovely Poetry Chicks. I was a bit scared of them beforehand having seen them on Youtube, but they are as nice as they are tough. And they're pretty tough.

The highlight for me was Jinx Lennon. A revelation and a complete Dundalk original. I also greatly enjoyed Donal O'Kelly's one man show about Rossport Shell security man and what I caught of the lovely Dermot Bolger. All in all an eclectic mix of fun and skewness.

I'll be back (if they'll have me)

Sunday 16 August 2009


Galway County Council Individual Artist Bursaries 2009

Deadline: 4pm, 26th August 2009

Applications are invited by the Arts Office for the 2009 Artist Bursary Awards. This fund provides funding to individual artists. Galway County Council will offer bursaries in respect of the professional development of individual artists practicing in any of the artistic disciplines (Film, Literature, Music, Visual Arts etc). Funding will be allocated towards:
• Further educational or training opportunities
• Development of new work (recording, exhibitions, publication, residency etc).

Application forms are also available on Galway County Council’s website

Saturday 15 August 2009

Back soon. Happy Weekending

Friday 14 August 2009

Faber Academy - 6 month Novel Writing course, Dublin 2009

Faber are running an intensive course. For the money, would you be better to get a mentor or even do an MA or Open University?

Join course directors, novelists James Ryan and Eilís Ní Dhuibhne, and special guest tutors including Joseph O’Connor, Claire Kilroy and Anne Enright, on a practical course for aspiring writers, designed to develop a wide range of novel writing skills.

Course begins on 7th October 2009.

Price: €3,000

All classes will take place at the Winding Stair Bookshop
40 Lower Ormond Quay
Dublin, Co. Dublin, Ireland

The course consists of 22 two-hour evening sessions and 7 full-day sessions. All evening sessions will take place on Wednesdays from 6.30pm-8.30pm. Full-day sessions will take place on Saturdays from 10.00am-5.00pm.

Thursday 13 August 2009

Bill Naughton Short Story Competition

Here's a smaller competition worth considering.

Maximum length of story is 2,500 words
Name and address must not appear on story
All work must be unpublished

Entry Fee: £5.00 (Sterling), €7.00 (Euro) or or $10.00 (U.S. Dollars) per story.
Three stories may be submitted for the price of two.

Postal Entries:

Bill Naughton Short Story Competition,
Box No 2008,
County Mayo

Deadline: 4th September 2009

Prizes: First: € 200.00 / Second: €130.00 / Third: € 65.00

Prizes will be presented at the Kenny Naughton Autumn School.

Wednesday 12 August 2009

Is it just me?

Is it just me or is this another one of the really expensive for no apparent reason type of workshops? I find this new proliferation worrying. And who has the dosh? Not me.

Maybe we should start up a workshop of poor, starving in a garrett (sp?) writers, committed to their writing, who meet once a week somewhere nice for 6 months and work on their novel/poetry collection/short stories. There are specialist talks for small amounts of dosh all year round if you look.

The Stinging Fly is looking for writers in the early stages of writing a novel, for their upcoming workshop at the Irish Writers' Centre, who feel they will benefit from a relationship with a group of others engaged in the same process.

The group (of no more than 10 writers) will meet once a week in a workshop setting over a 6 month period. A serious long-term commitment from all participants is required. The ultimate aim is for each participant to complete a strong first draft of her/his novel.

Alongside the workshops, on one Saturday every month, there will be a series of specialist talks on issues around the process of writing and the imagination. The workshop and group discussions will be overseen by the writer Sean O'Reilly.

See here for more details.

The cost of workshop €1,500 and will start on 12 October.

Presuming Sean O'Reilly and the specialist presenters don't get €9-15,000 between them, where does the money go?

Tuesday 11 August 2009

Greetings Cards

This market pays, if you write the type of thing they go for:

Blue Mountain - click here for guidelines.

Response within 4 months.

$300 for worldwide greetings card use.
$50 if in an anthology.

They take specific mother, father, aunt etc and general birthday, thank you etc themes but also seasonal. Deadlines:

Christmas & General Holiday: August 10
Valentine's Day: October 12
Easter: January 1
Mother's Day: January 26
Father's Day: March 9

Purple Ronnie.
How many ways do I love you?
I think there are probably two
The rumpety pump way is all very well
But I like the soppy way too.

Edward Monkton

Buy me, Lady," said the frock, "and I will make you into a beautiful and whole and complete human being." "Do not be silly," said the Man, "for a frock alone cannot do that." "True," said the Lady. "I will have the shoes and the bag as well"

Monday 10 August 2009

The End of Quiet (Quarter)

Had an email from Máire Nic Gearailt saying that her programme Lyric Notes is finishing after 10 years in September and taking the lovely 4 minutes daily that is The Quiet Quarter along with it. What a shame. The programme will be sorely missed as will the demise of one of the few paying markets.

We should write to Lyric FM asking them to keep an avenue open for writers. And for listeners.

Sunday 9 August 2009

Revival call for submissions

Call for submissions Issue 13 of Revival. (Unlucky for some)

Deadline: 31st August 2009

Email or post.
32 lines max; lines longer than 65 characters, including spaces, will run over onto the next line as it is an A5 chapbook.

email submissions should be included in the body of the email AND as attachment; if sending more than one submission, e.g. 2 or more poems, please send as one attachment, rather than as multiple attachments.

Saturday 8 August 2009

Poetry Divas II

The Poetry Divas return in a blaze of glory (no rain please) at the Flat Lake Festival,

Where: Hilton Park, Clones, Monaghan.

This eclectic festival covers Arts and Literature (isn't Literature an Art?)

When: August 14th, 15th, 16th

Who: The Poetry Divas Collective.
Supporting acts include: Pat McCabe, Cillian Murphy, Dermot Bolger, Matthew Sweeney, Eoin McNamee, Show Jump Poetry, The Poetry Chicks (google them, very different to the Divas; we may have to challenge them to some kind of face off - suggestions? They look quite tough), The Brad Pitt Light Orchestra, many many more

It will include film screenings, theatrical debuts, literary and historical talks, heated debates, sculptural exhibitions, poetry recitals, eccentric discourse, children’s entertainment, sticks of rock, campfire camaraderie and some delicious food 'n drink that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

Tickets still available. They're looking for volunteers if anyone's interested.

Friday 7 August 2009

Books and Chocolate

What better? Galaxy are hoisted their petard (what exactly is a petard? Some kind of flag?) to the book wagon. Long may it last. My personal preference is for a bar of Lindt Orange and Almond and I'm not just saying that because the lovely people at Lindt gave me free tickets to The Taste of Dublin last month when I gorged on chocolate and all things foodie.

But anyway, you can enter a competition for a free book. One of:

- One Shot (Lee Child)
- The Memory Keeper's Daughter (Kim Edwards)
- The Other Boleyn Girl (Philippa Gregory)

- The Broker (John Grisham)
- Anybody Out There (Marian Keyes)
- The Undomestic Goddess (Sophie Kinsella)
The Secret Life of a Slummy Mummy (Fiona Neill)
- Things I Want My Daughters to Know (Elizabeth Noble)
- Crystal (Katie Price)
- No Angel (Penny Vincenzi)

I've read the ones in italics.

You either enter the code on the promotional bar (UK and Ireland - hurrah!) on their website or you can even click on a link and enter with no purchase (although Galaxy don't seem to know Ireland has no postcodes)

Deadline: 31 August 2009

Thursday 6 August 2009

Kilkenny Arts Festival

I've a fondness for Kilkenny. They're upping the literature stakes this year. Although it seems expensive to me in these straightened (straitened?) times.

When: 7th to 15th August
Where: Kilkenny
How much: Quite a lot

William Trevor (Ireland)
The Irish Film Institute presents - William Trevor On Screen
Sat 8th Aug
Set Theatre, John Street, 10.30am-4.30pm
Admission: €16/€13(full day); €13/€11(two films)

Kamila Shamsie (Pakistan) & Eugene McCabe (Ireland)
Reading from their latest works
Sun 9th Aug
The Parade Tower, Kilkenny Castle, 11am
Admission: €13/€11

Paula Meehan, Don Paterson with Susan McKeown & Aidan Brennan (Ireland / Scotland)
Tue 11th Aug
The Great Hall, Kilkenny Castle, 10pm
Admission: €13/€11

Seamus Heaney & Dennis O' Driscoll (Ireland)
Thu 13th Aug
St Canice’s Cathedral, 6pm
Admission: €13/€11

Garrison Keillor (US)
American author, storyteller, humorist, columnist, musician, satirist, and radio personality.
Fri 14th Aug
Set Theatre, John Street, 6pm
Admission: €13/€11

Peter Murphy & Colm Toibin (Ireland)
Sat 15th Aug
Set Theatre, John Street, 3pm
Admission: €13/€11

Thomas Kilroy (Ireland)
Interviewed by Fintan O'Toole
Sun 16th Aug
The Parade Tower, Kilkenny Castle, 12.30pm
Admission: €13/€11

They also have Theatre & Dance, Classical Music, Music, Wired, Visual Art, Craft - new, Street, Children's Events.

Tuesday 4 August 2009

Main Stage

Yes, The Poetry Divas stormed the Castlepalooza festival. We played the main stage on Sunday afternoon. If you think there were 2,000 paying guests there and a good few hundred workers, volunteers, security, other artists, that's very large for a poetry reading. OK, so not all of them were listening and the nice lady in the pancake shop had to go to Aldi to get some more eggs and missed it but all the same. They could hear us in the campsite.

We gathered some fans. We had audience participation and waving. One audient even yelled "One More Poem" when we had one more poem to read. How cool is that?! Lots of people came up after and we did a couple of smaller, almost exclusive readings in the campsite as well as rocking the ballroom on Saturday evening.

There was Tiger Beer, cupcakes and even Champagne. So more power to Castlepalooza for having us. We loved it. We loved everybody. See you next year.

The music was good too. Special mention to Project Jenny Project Jan.

Guardian Short Story Competition Winner and Runners Up

Read the stories that were picked. An eclectic collection. Not sure of the point some of them. Another win by an MA student.

Box Fresh by Roger Stephens
A man takes an eventful bus journey.

One Street Corner Too Soon by Dan Purdue
It's the kind of night when Important Things happen, but will everything go to plan?

Stations by Bernard O'Leary
A home-made pendant unlocks the story of a desperate drive.

Parvathy's Well by Poornima Manco
A change in the weather brings an unwelcome revelation for a nine-year-old girl.

Blind Guy by Andy Knudsen
A man struggles to decide whether to warn his blind colleague that he may be ill.

Lisa Blower:
Broken Crockery
Winner of our short story competition, Blower, 35, gave up her career in commercial radio three years ago and is studying creative and critical writing at Bangor University. She has written stories since childhood, but this is the first she has had published.

Monday 3 August 2009

Castlepalooza Festival 2009

See also this from Caught Out.