Sunday 28 February 2010

Green Drinks and Poetry

This sounds interesting. Tuesday 2nd March 2010, Green Drinks will be held on the top floor of Messrs Maguire.

Green Drinks is a FREE event held on the first Tuesday of every month. Come at 6pm for a drink and some free vegetarian food in Messrs Maguire. Each month we have a special guest who speaks for 20mins on a given environmental theme, then you have a chance to grill them with questions.

This month it's a poet. Green Drinks is going a bit artsy. We will be hearing from Barbara Egan - poet and Green Drinks regular.

Barbara spends some of her time working as a psychotherapist, mostly in the area of Trauma and Addiction. The rest of her time is spent in a remote and beautiful place deep in the Wicklow hills, on the edge of a National Park. Here she welcomes guests who seek beauty, tranquillity and the happiness of pure air.

She has been reading and writing poetry for decades and is passionate about sharing the poems she loves...this, despite having little interest in curriculum poetry way back when. She hopes you will not run from her presentation on 'Poetry and Sustainability' on March 2nd, but rather give it a chance to beguile you, to challenge you and perhaps to speak for you.

There'll be comfy seats and free VEGETARIAN hot food platters courtesy of Messrs - and the best thing is, Messrs brew their own beer on site, so you'll not find a greener pint in Dublin City.

Saturday 27 February 2010

10 Rules for Writing Fiction

I'm sure everyone with even the vaguest interest in writing has already read or at least browsed the list after list of Ten Rules for Writing Fiction from a gamut of writers in the lovely Saturday Guardian last week. Now they are looking for feedback and for your ten rules for writing.

(I do like it when publications get involved in a dialogue with their readers. It really promotes the feeling of community.)

Claire Armitstead and Toby Litt ask

Which did you find particularly helpful?
Which did you find irrelevant?
What are your own rules for writing?

Rules I liked:

Elmore Leonard: Never use a verb other than said to carry dialogue.
Roddy Doyle: Do change your mind. Good ideas are often murdered by better ones.

Helen Dunmore: Finish the day's writing when you still want to continue.
Richard Ford: Try to think of others' good luck as encouragement to yourself.
PD James: Read widely and with discrimination.
AL Kennedy: Remember you love writing. It wouldn't be worth it if you didn't.

My rules:

1. Sit down and write. Everyday at least 10 words.
2. Don't beat yourself up everytime you break rule 1.
3. If you're not enjoying it, it's getting to be a slog, your reader will probably not be enjoying it either. Stop and regroup.
4. Always cut your finished piece at least 10%. Even 40%.
5. Join a writing group you trust, ask for feedback and listen to what they say. They're not always right but often they are.
6. Read widely, many genres, science fiction, children's books, poetry, blogs, watch good TV Drama (Doctor Who, Desparate Housewives, Sopranos) Films (ancient and modern, Film4 I love you) listen to music, opera, theatre. If it's good, work out WHY it's good.
7. Use public transport to eavesdrop. Listen in on conversations in shop queues, other people's mobile phone chat.
8. Always, always carry a notebook. Don't assume you'll remember that brilliant idea, nugget of chat, image, emotional response. Write it down.
9. Turn the internet off. (Hah!)
10. If you're stuck, move on to something else and sleep on it.

What about you?

Next (sometime anyway) my ten rules for Writing Poetry. Are they any different? Hell yes.

Friday 26 February 2010

Open Mics and Places to hear Spoken Word

There are more and more places to hear Spoken Word, often interspersed with music. Songwriting being so close to Poetry as to be almost kinky.

Here are some I've heard of. Please add comments with any I've missed. I'm bound to have missed some.

Some have funding and are able to pay, some offer publicity and maybe an opportunity to sell your book/ CD/ DVD, some only offer fame and publicity and maybe a free drink. They are run by, without exception, a dedicated and tolerant bunch of organisers for it has to be said, this is a thankless task, month in, month out.

Three Legged Poets at Atrium, Glor, Ennis Co Clare. 3rd Saturday in the Month.
There readings are free gratis and consist of a short reading by a guest poet followed by an "open mic" session at which members of the group and others can read a poem or two. This is interspersed with live music from a Clare-based musician or musicians.

Ó Bhéal Upstairs at The Long Valley, Winthrop Street, Cork. Monday evenings from 9.00pm. Organiser: Paul Casey. Funded.
Free. Original poetry, storytelling and unplugged ceol

North West Words, Cafe Blend, High Road, Letterkenny. Last Thursday of each month, 8pm. contact them

The Glor Sessions, Downstairs at International Bar, Suffolk St, Dublin. Every Monday night. 9pm. Organiser: Stephen James Smith. No funding.
The Glor Sessions is the weekly night of music and poetry is growing and growing over the last few months and the line-up is always tasty, a mix of music and the spoken word. Sometimes we get finger food.

Brownbread Mix Tapes at The Stag's Head, 1 Dame Court, Dublin. Organisers: Enda Roche and Kalle Ryan. No funding. Last Wednesday of the month. Each gig has a theme. They invite poets, musicians, playwrights and performers. They do a performance related to the theme. They aim to have loads of fun, simple as that.

Last Wednesday Seven Towers at Cassidy's bar, Westmoreland St, Dublin.
Resident writers and open mic. Can get a bit same-y. They also organise Chapters and Verse readings, Wednesday lunchtimes 1:15pm.

Wurn Im Apfel do some kind of poetry night with featured readers and open mic at the Monster Truck Gallery. Bit vague on the details here.

Naked Lunch upstairs in Feile Bar, Wexford Street, Dublin. every other Wednesday night. Organisers: Mike & Niall. No funding.
a poetry/music open mic night, experimental, expanding and running art into the ground. Performances are limited to 2 poems or songs, in order to make sure everybody who turns up gets a chance to perform.

Poetry Upfront happens every so often in Balbriggan. Organiser: Christodoulos Makris No funding.

Gutterbookshop in Temple Bar now do a monthly poetry reading and discussion.

Over The Edge Open Readings at Galway City Library, St. Augustine Street, Galway. Last Friday of the month and Sheridan's Wine Bar, 14-16 Church Yard Street, Galway 2nd Friday of the month. Organisers: Susan Millar DuMars and Kevin Higgins. Funded.
Features Readers and Open Mic.

North Beach Poetry Nights at The Crane Bar, Sea Road, Galway. Middle Monday of the month. Organiser: John Walsh. Funded.
5/3 Euro Entrance.

Poetry and Story Smackdown. Some Tuesdays/Wednesdays. Róisín Dubh, Dominick Street, Galway. More than that I cannot say. Google for more details.

Open Mic, last Friday of the month 8pm Poetry in Bollards Back Room, 31 Saint Kierans Street, Kilkenny.

On The Nail at Locke Bar, Limerick. Monthly first Thursday 8pm. Organiser: Dominic Taylor. No Funding.
Featured readers and music followed by an Open Mic. Free includes finger food.

Whitehouse Poets at White House, O'Connell Street, Limerick. Weekly Wednesdays. Organiser: Ed O'Dwyer. Funded. They have a mix of local, national and international poets reading their work to an always appreciative audience. Free with finger food.

Soundings at the library Newcastle West second Thursday at 8.00pm. Organiser: Eileen Sheehan. Funded.
a reading by our guest poet followed by an ‘open mic’ session for all who would like to read their own poetry.

Boyne Readings at the Village Hall, Knightsbridge Village, Longwood Road, Trim. Third Thursday of the Month. Organiser: Michael Farry. Small funding.
5 Euro. Tea and Biscuits! Featured Readers and open mic.

Cáca Milis Cabaret, Wexford Arts Centre, Wexford. Middle Friday of the month, 8:30pm. Organiser: Helena Mulkerns. No Funding.
Means "Sweetcake" in the Irish language - deliberatly recession friendly, with admission only €8, economic bar, and special guests to be announced each time. The Cabaret features emerging talent from the South East and around the country, as well as touring artists who might be in town.

Thursday 25 February 2010

Artlinks Grants and Awards

If you're in any of the counties of Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford, Wexford and Wicklow, have a look at this.

Four ArtLinks Bursary Awards will be awarded per ArtLinks partner counties, to a successful practitioner or arts group in the categories of dance, music, drama/theatre, literature, film and visual arts. There is one Award available for a maximum of E3,000 and three awards for a maximum of E1,000 available per county. These awards are designed to support the professional development of creative practitioners, or groups, aged 18 and over, who are resident within the ArtLinks five county partnership region.

Downloads and guidelines here.

Deadline: Thursday 1 April 2010

Now That's What I Call The Poetry Divas 1

Tonight at Thursday 25th February 2010, at 7pm The Poetry Divas are the features readers at LitJam at the Centre for Creative Practices in 15 Pembroke St Lower, Dublin. It's a fiver in, which includes tea and/or coffee plus you can bring yuour own refreshments. I was going to bring some Bolly but I'm driving so it'll be sparkling water all the way for me to match the sparkles of the fabulous Poetry Divas.

We're trying something new. On sale for the first time, the first edition of the first Poetry Divas Poetry Pamphlet. See the photo. It's bound to become a collectors' item so if you can't make it tonight and want to buy one (a fiver) email me or leave a comment and I'll see if we've any left. We fully expect to sell out after Dave Lordan's inspiring guest post earlier.

See photo for cottage industry insight. Aren't they fabulous?!

Wednesday 24 February 2010

Dublin Book Festival 2010

Organised by Publishing Ireland, the Dublin Book Festival will take place from Saturday 6th to Monday 8th March 2010 in Dublin’s City Hall, Dame Street, Dublin 2. And it's all FREE!
This year’s programme features over 40 free readings, debates, interviews and events for children.

I can't go. I'll be at the Ennis Book festival but if I could, I'd stop in at some or all of the Be Inspired sessions. I might make some early Monday ones but I have to go to O'Bheal in Cork later.

Note that all the writers in the Emerging Writer sections, poetry and fiction, seem to be emerging from MAs. Same happened last year, if I remember rightly. It's as if that's the only place they can emerge from....

Saturday, 6 March
12pm - 6pm The Good Room with Kate Kerrigan The Lord Edward, Christchurch Place.
12pm - Up for Discussion: Rewriting Ireland's Rebel History Diarmaid Ferriter, Ruan O’Donnell and Niamh O’Sullivan, chaired by Brian Ó Conchubhair
12pm - Festival Forums: Séamus Brennan Memorial Seminar on Irish Publishing
Irish Literary and Cultural Publishing: Obstacles and Opportunities
with Chris Agee, Clodagh Feehan and Lisa Hyde
with Chris Agee, Clodagh Feehan and Lisa Hyde
12:30pm - Be Inspired: Léamh le Deirdre Brennan
1pm - The Irish Times 'In Conversation' Series with Nell McCafferty
1:30pm - Be Inspired: Poetry with Theo Dorgan, Geraldine Mills and Damian Smyth
2pm - Up for Discussion: Úrscéalaíocht na Gaeilge: Ceiliúradh 100 Bliain le Máirín Nic Eoin, Brian Ó Conchubhair agus Sorcha de Brún
2:30pm - Up for Discussion: Critiquing the Critics: The Art of Literary Reviewing with Caroline Walsh, Carlo Gébler, Greg Baxter and Siobhán Parkinson
3pm - The Irish Times ‘In Conversation’ Series: Thomas Kilroy w/Declan Hughes
3:30pm - Be Inspired: Poetry with Paddy Bushe, Gearóid Mac Lochlainn, Niall McGrath and Jean O’Brien
4pm - Up for Discussion: The Irish (and Other Foreigners) with Shane Hegarty
4:30pm - Come Celebrate: Landing Places: Immigrant Poets in Ireland Discussion with Hugo Hamilton, Eva Bourke and Borbála Faragó
4:30pm - Up for Discussion: Writing Lives with Jean Harrington, Éimear O’Connor, Malachi O’Doherty, Eibhear Walshe

6pm til Late Radio Butty with Pat McCabe The Lord Edward, Christchurch Place.

Sunday, 7 March
10:30am - Treats for Kids: Ceardlann Scríbhneoireachta le Siobhán Parkinson
10:30am - Treats for Kids: Creative Writing Workshop with Conor Kostick
12pm - Up for Discussion: A Tribute to Roberto Bolaño with Eileen Battersby and Sergio Marras
12:30pm - Up for Discussion: Todhchaí Scríbhneoireacht na Gaeilge: Deiseanna agus Dúshláin le Ríona Nic Congáil, Celia de Fréine, Caitríona Ní Chleirchin
1pm - The Irish Times ‘In Conversation’ Series with Mary Kenny
1:30pm - Be Inspired: Poetry with Enrique Juncosa, Pól Ó Muirí, Nessa O’Mahony and Ciaran O’Driscoll
2pm - Be Inspired: Readings from Irish Pages with Leontia Flynn, John F. Deane, Tom Mac Intyre, Gabriel Rosenstock, Hugo Hamilton, Paddy Bushe and Chris Agee
2:30pm - The Irish Times ‘In Conversation’ Series Gordon Snell with Sarah Webb
3pm - Be Inspired: Fiction with Ciaran Carson, Garbhan Downey, Karen Gillece
3:30pm - Come Celebrate Cló Iar-Chonnachta: Ceiliúradh 25 Bliain
4pm - The Irish Times ‘In Conversation’ Series Eileen Battersby with Declan Meade
4:30pm - Be Inspired: Poetry with Rosita Boland, Gerald Dawe, Kerry Hardie, Seán Lysaght
5pm - Come Celebrate: Seoladh Scríbhneoirí faoi Chaibidil (Cois Life) in eagar ag Alan Titley

Monday, 8 March
10am - Treats for Kids: The “Lough Neagh Monster”
11am - Treats for Kids: Celebrating the Panda series with Gillian Perdue, Anne O’Hara and Sarah Webb
10:30am - Ireland’s First Children’s Books Laureate with Mags Walsh
11:30am - Possibilities, Partnerships and Publishing in Ireland in Digital Age with Niamh Brennan
12pm - Up for Discussion: Sports Writing with Gerry Thornley, Gavin Cummiskey and Liam Toland
12:30pm - Be Inspired: Emerging Writers: Poetry with Erin Halliday, Davnet Heery, David Rowell and John Taylor
1pm - The Google Book Settlement – Where to Now? with Samantha Holman
1:30pm - Be Inspired: International Women’s Day Poetry Reading with Joan McBreen, Catherine Phil MacCarthy and Louise C. Callaghan
2pm - Up for Discussion: Surviving Redundancy ith Lisa O’Callaghan, Andrew McCann and Frank Scott-Lennon
2:30pm - Come Celebrate: Launch of Nuala O’Faolain’s A More Complex Truth
3pm - Up for Discussion: The Legacies of Feminism with Margaret Mac Curtain, Susan McKay, Ivana Bacik and Catríona Crowe
3:30pm - Be Inspired: Emerging Writers: Prose with Colm Byrne, Tania Tynan and Catherine Finn
4:30pm - Be Inspired: Fiction with Claire Keegan and Molly McCloskey

Tuesday 23 February 2010

Anti Racism Creative Writing Competition

The website's a bit iffy but the meaning's clear.

To mark the EU Year of Poverty and Social Exclusion and the International Day against Racism on March 21, 2010 the Social Inclusion Unit, Community Services Department, South Dublin County Council has a competition. It aims to combat racism and to celebrate culture diversity of people living in Ireland today and is
open to Children and Adults.

Max 500 Words to Convey your personal message against racism through poetry or prose.

Prizes: First prize €150, Second €100, Third €50 and siz runners up €25.

View Poster Adults Competition

Download Application Form

There's also a children's competition. See here.
Deadline: Friday 19th March 2010

Monday 22 February 2010

Eleventh Franco-Irish Literary Festival

When: 16, 17 and 18 April 2010

Where: Dublin Castle and the Alliance Française.


France: Benoit Peeters & Francois Schuiten, Jacques Reda, François Bon, Martine Sonnet, Véronique Ovaldé.
Ireland: Eilis Ni Dhuibhne, Gerard Smyth, Claire Kilroy, Kevin Power,Pat Boran, Patrick James Lynch.
Québec: Catherine Mavrikakis.
Germany: Michael Kleeberg.
Spain: Enrique Vila-Matas.
Mexico: Paco Ignacio Taibo II.

The theme will be: La ville / The City / An Chathair  

Sunday 21 February 2010

Literary Death Match in Dublin

I've been nominated for the Irish Blog Awards. Yay! Thanks. Anyone know how to get to the judges?!


New York based Opium Magazine bring their infamous Literary Death Match series to Dublin.

This sounds intriguing and maybe a little scary.

"a mix of four famous and emerging authors who perform their most electric writing (in eight minutes or less) before a lively audience and a panel of three all-star judges."

The Dublin judging panel features journalist/radio presenter Nadine O' Regan, playwright/producer Philly McMahon, and journalist/TV presenter Una Mullally
Contestants for the evening are award-winning fiction writer and poet Nuala Ní Chonchúir, Stinging Fly's hand-picked reader-representative Colm Liddy, author Brian O'Connell and spoken-word artist Marty Mulligan
The event is hosted by Opium's Todd Zuniga (what a cool name!) and co-produced by journalist Belinda McKeon.

Where: The Sugar Club, 8 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin

When: 5th March, Doors at 7:30, show at 9:15 (sharp)

Cost: €6 preorder; €9 at the door; €6 with a valid student ID.

Saturday 20 February 2010

Guest Post from Dave Lordan - Poetry Chapbooks

I'm delighted to welcome the poet, Dave Lordan to my blog for my inaugural guest blog post. I'd love to hear what you think of the idea and any suggestions or volunteers for future guest posts on other subjects welcome.

I put out my first chapbook when I was 18. It was called 18. It had 18 poems in it.

Neat, huh?

It was part of a package of five chapbooks typed up, laid out, and stapled together by Philip Coleman, who ran the English literature Society in UCC at the time, 1993. We sold them in a packet of 5 for 10 pounds. One of the other chapbooks was by Philip. I don't remember anything about the other three chapbooks. That's one of the things I like about chapbooks. We don't have to be so precious about them as we might be about official publications. They are disposable, not meant to last, forgettable. We buy them with our loose change at the smallest tent in the Electric Picnic, read them with one eye open while looking for somehwere to go for a wee, then throw them away and later on they get trampled in the mud. Brilliant!

My audience at the time was a guy called Eugene from Nenagh in Co Tipperary.

He brought some of his friends to the reading that launched the five chapbooks. A few of them bought the chapbooks. A couple of weeks later I met one of them, a woman, also from Tipperary. She said she liked my poems. I liked hearing that.

Like loads of other poets I was writing and reading poems for years before I was offered an official publication. I don't know how many times somebody told me they liked a poem I had read, and did I have a book they could buy? If I had been on the ball I would have put out at chapbook or two every year.

But I wasn't on the ball. The next chapbook I put out was in 2002. It was called Clonakilty Red Pudding. It was mostly made up of limericks and rhyming satires, all very political. I put this chapbook together myself. It took me about a day to get the layout right on Microsoft Word. It took me about another day to print off 100 copies and staple them together. 12 a4 pages folded to make 24 pages of poetry.. I used coloured card paper for the cover. The point of this chapbook was to raise money to pay my fare and accommodation at the European social Forum in Florence in 2002, a gathering of tens of thousands of political activists from across Europe, which culminated in a 1 million strong march against the forthcoming war in Iraq. I sold out these pamphlets in a few days at political meetings in Dublin. I made 100 of these, at a cost of about a euro each, and sold them for a fiver.

After that I used to get asked to read a lot at demonstrations, political fundraisers and so on. Most people I knew got to know that I wrote.

The third Chapbook I put out was called Indiscipline. It was a joint chapbook with the Galway poet Elaine Feeney, published under the imprint of Maverick Press, run by Stephen Murray and Neil McCarthy down in Galway. Those two have put out some excellent and very well-thumbed chapbooks themselves.

Indiscipline was done professionally at a printers and it is still in print. You can get it in Noble and Beggarman books on South William Street in Dublin. Charlie Byrnes in Galway might have a few as well. You can get your chapbook into a few of the independent bookshops easily enough by just calling around and asking for the manager.

Indiscipline came out around the same time that Salmon were publishing my first collection The Boy in the Ring. I asked Jessie Lendennie, the boss at Salmon, what did she think about it and she was happy enough. We both agreed it would give some extra publicity to my work, and it did.

Really, the only reason I haven't put out more chapbooks is laziness. I can't see any reason why anyone with a few poems, and who feels the impatience to be heard which is natural and necessary to the poet, shouldn't put out their own.

These days there are more and more writers, more and more poems, in Ireland at least. I am delighted about that. It means there is more freedom, more educated people, more voices, more inspiration, more vision. But there are probably going to be less official poetry books published in the next decade than in the last. That's because the money that used to go into the arts, as well as all other social or progressive programs, is going to be used to prop up our failed banks. So, more than likely, if you want a little book, you're going to have to do it yourself.

Dave Lordan can be contacted at dlordan AT hotmail DOT com. His second collection Invitation to a Sacrifice is out this summer with Salmon Poetry. He will be undertaking a national reading tour along with Elaine Feeney in July and August.

Friday 19 February 2010

Cavan Poetry and Warning

I'll be putting up a post by a GUEST BLOGGER this weekend. Watch this space. I've never done this before so you'll have to let me know what you think.


The lovely Windows editors Heather Brett and Noel Monahan are organising the Cavan Crystal/Windows Publications 18th National Student & Adult Poetry Competition.

Deadline: March 31st.

Prizes: Cash prizes in each category and the winner gets a beautiful Cavan Crystal goblet

Student Competition:

Fee: Free.
First prize: for each of the student categories €100
Junior Category- Open to all students aged 10-13 throughout Ireland in primary or national school education or equivalent.
Senior Category- Open to all students aged 13-18 throughout Ireland insecond level education or equivalent.
Irish language Category- Open to all students in Ireland between 10 and 18.

Adult Competition:
First prize:  €500.
Fee: €10 for each three poems entered.

It is a condition of this competition that winning poets make themselves available to come and read their work at the Awards Ceremony in Cavan Crystal Hotel on Thursday May 20th 2010 at 8pm.

Competition entries will also be accepted online as well as by post.
A shortlist of winners will appear by the beginning of May.
More details on the Windows Publications website

Thursday 18 February 2010

How to Write a Sestina

I've written one sestina. It's very tricky with the repeating last words and there's a tendency to show off. My sestina is a bit mad. It was a blank verse poem to start with but it ended with 3 really good (IMHO) last lines.

Now a great tip when writing a sestina is to start with the last, 3 line stanza. These lines give you your six words to repeat and take it from there. I had a start because I had a (not very good) blank verse as a starting point too.

Give it a lash.

Here's a good one by Joe Dunthorne at the Oxfam bookshop.

Wednesday 17 February 2010

Galway Slams - Poetry and Stories

Not 100% sure what a smackdown is. Do they fight with words? If you're near Galway, go and check it out and report back.

First Poetry Smackdown of the Year, on a TUESDAY 23 February 2010 8.30pm

3 guest Speakers:

Lisa Allen - 2010 Cuirt Poetry Slam Finalist
Marcella Morgan - Shortlisted for 2009 'Over the Edge' Writer of the Year
Jimmy Monaghan - From 'Music for Dead Birds'

And open mic.

Róisín Dubh,
Dominick Street,

And then

Loose Lips Story Slam

Wednesday, February 24th 9pm
and the last Wednesday of every month.

Hosted by Tommy Tiernan and Mags Treanor.

Róisín Dubh,
Dominick Street,

Tuesday 16 February 2010

Alexander McCall Smith

The author of the popular No 1 Ladies Detective Agency books is reading at

Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire
Saturday 27th February 2010 at 2.30pm.
Tickets are €8.00 from Pavilion Box Office.

If you have read the book or seen the TV series, at least get down to the library first.

Monday 15 February 2010

Ever wondered about chapbooks

Video from Blackheath books. Fairly labour intensive. Maybe I'll start up my own chapbook press and use the photocopier from someone's work (not mine. I'[m and a unemployed still)

(weak) poem (more of a short fiction piece) by one of their poets Ben Myers.

Sunday 14 February 2010

Poem for the Love Bus

(really cool photo from

Happy Valentines to all my faithful readers, paired, single or otherwise. Here's my poem for the TFE Love bus.

You Have Taken My Heart

I have caught you;
it was skin borne, breath borne
I have lost any immunity
and you are in my bloodstream,
pumping round my body,
flowing through veins, arteries,
capillaries that bruise when you touch me.
I’m feverish, clammy,
My throat swollen with your name,
my condition is chronic.
You infected me with you
and there is no remission.

Saturday 13 February 2010

Laois, Waterford and Monaghan Grants


Laois County Council Arts Service invites applications for the following awards and opportunities to individuals/groups and organizations from County Laois:
- Arts Act Grants 2010
- Artists Patronage Award 2010
- Tyrone Guthrie Residency Bursary Award
- Artists in Schools Scheme 2010
- Drama League of Ireland Summer School Bursary Award

Details and application forms regarding the above schemes are available here.

Deadline: 4 March 2010

Waterford County Council Arts Acts Grants Scheme 2010

This Scheme aims to give financial assistance to arts groups and organisations in County Waterford.

Full guidelines and an application form can be downloaded here.

Deadline: 1 March 2010

Monaghan County Council Arts Acts Grants Scheme 2010

Their website is here. 

The maximum amount awarded to any project will be €1,500, however it is expected that most awards will be in the region of €800.  It is envisaged that this scheme will yield 10 awards annually.

Deadline: 4 March 2010

Westmeath Grants

Westmeath County Council Arts Acts Grants Scheme 2010

- Individual Artists' Bursary Awards 2010
- Arts in Context Residencies 2010
- Arts Act Grants 2010

Details on the website here.

Deadline: Friday February 27th 2010

Friday 12 February 2010

Poetry Now Festival

The brochure is now available for the reliably lovely Poetry Now festival. 25th to 28th March 2010.


This year they have poets from countries including Albania, the Czech Republic, Spain, Mexico, the UK and the USA.

With his keynote address Go Fish: Six Irish Poets, Paul Muldoon will provide dlr Poetry Now 2010 with a rip-roaring kickoff; two nights later, he's scheduled for a reading of his own poetry, when he will take to the stage along with the major Mexican poet Homero Aridjis and Anne Stevenson..

Derek Mahon returns with the eminent US poet Rosanna Warren on Friday night. Friday will also bring a reading by the superb Irish poet Justin Quinn, by his exciting Albanian contemporary Luljeta Lleshanaku, and by this year’s T.S. Eliot Award winner, Philip Gross, who comes to us from Wales.

The contemporary American poet Kevin Young, will be joined by two writers who are among the very best of their respective generations: Ireland’s Vona Groarke and Catalonia’s Joan Margarit. The final reading on Sunday afternoon promises much with Scotland’s John Burnside, John F. Deane and, from the Czech Republic, Sylva Fischerová.

This year’s festival will honour The Gallery Press, the independent publishing house which celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2010. There's public interview with founder and editor of The Gallery Press, Peter Fallon and a special Gallery Press reading.

There are two writing workshops with Vona Groarke and John Burnside, a children’s reading, a conversation on the craft of writing poetry, and the announcement and presentation of The Irish Times Poetry Now Award 2010 for the best collection of poetry in 2009, and of the Rupert & Eithne Strong Award for the year’s best first collection.

Deadline for the workshops: 10th March

Download and view the full programme at and see you there!

Thursday 11 February 2010

Poetry Divas Ride Again

Yes, the rumours are true. If you are very, very lucky and downstairs at the Glor Sessions in the International Bar on Monday night, you will catch the Poetry Divas.

We are a glittery group of poets who've read at lots of cool events - CastlePalooza (main stage,) Electric Picnic and Flat Lake festivals. Each lineup and show is different, blended to the occastion but we guarantee a deliciously infectious show that's bound to touch a nerve and blur the wobbly boundaries between page and stage.

This week's line up is Barbara Smith, Kate Dempsey, Triona Walsh and Niamh Bagnell, bloggers all.

The Glor Sessions is the weekly night of music and poetry is growing and growing over the last few months. The poet Stephen James Smith is the man behind this night and the line-up is always tasty, a mix of music and the spoken word!

Where: International Bar, 23 Wicklow Street, Dublin
When: Monday 15th February 9pm

It's free, there may be lollipops and sometimes the owner even gives us finger food.

Irish Poetry Presses Part 2

Arlen House. Galway. Editor: Alan Hayes. Originally a feminist press. Publishes: Colette Nic Aodha, Orfhlaith Foyle, Nuala Ni Chonchuir, Patrick Cotter, Celia de Fréine, James Martyn, Geraldine Mills, Terry McDonagh. The link just goes to a webpage with an email. Not exactly a high profile online presence.

Doghouse Tralee, Editor: Noel King, Publishes: Aine Moynihan, Barbara Smith, Anatoly Kudryavitsky, Bob Fitzsimons, Hugh O'DOnnell, John W Sexton, Catherine Ann Cullen, Joseph Horgan, Gabriel Rosenstock, Liam Aungier, Tommy Frank O'Connor and others. Check out the author photos. Some are just the littleist bit scary, no?

Bradshaw Books, Cork. No real online presence. Publishes Chuck Kruger, Helen Kidd, Gail Ritchie, Jan O'Brien, Mary Rose Callan, Ann Egan, Eugene O’Connell, Matthew Geden, Roderick Ford and others.

Lagan Press, Belfast, Editor: ? Publishes: Victor Price, Sam Gardiner, David Chambers, Francis O'Hare, Gerald Dawe, Mark Roper, Dierdre Cartmill, Hugh McFadden, Janet, Shepperson, Norman Dugdale, Jean Bleakney, Moyra Donaldson, Maria McManus, Sam Gardiner and others

Lapwing, Belfast, Small press. Editor: Adam Rudden. Publishes: Byron Beynon, Patricia Byrne, Marie Gahan, Margaret Galvin, Mary Hanlon, Jan Oskar Hansen, J.C. Ireson, Deirdre Kearney, Ruth Kennedy, Martin Lytton, Marie Mac Sweeney, Sue Moules, Tommy Murray and others.

Summer Palace Press, Donegal, Small press. Editor: Joan Newmann? Publishes:Denise Blake, Kate Newmann, Ruth Carr, John McGuckian, Don Byrne, Stewart Parker. No web presence, only email Not sure I'd go with a publisher without even a blog. What do you think?

Am I missing any more?

Tuesday 9 February 2010

Over The Edge Poetry Book Showcase

The 2010 Over The Edge Poetry Book Showcase featuring Órfhlaith Foyle, Celeste Augé, Gary King, Gerard Hanberry, Ed Madden, Dave Rock, Edward Lee, John Corless, Patricia Byrne, Colette NicAodha, Geraldine Mills, Mary Hanlon, Eamonn Bonner, James Martyn, Alan Garvey, Deirdre Kearney, Terry McDonagh & Jessie Lendennie with a special guest reading by Japanese poet Hisa Kagawa.

Where: Sheridan's Wine Bar, 14-16 Church Yard Street, Galway  

When: Friday, February, 12th at 8pm.

In this annual retrospective of the year just past, every Galway-based poet who published a new collection of poems during 2009 will read three poems from the collection in question.
All welcome. 

Arts Council Grants

I start this post with the admission that I know nothing about the finances of running a magazine or a small press. But looking at the spreadsheet * of the Arts Council funding decisions, there seem to me to be some real inconsistencies. I'd be interested to see the accounts and applications.


Cyphers 12K down to 7K. How often is this published? The website doesn't work.

Feasta 8.5K down to 6K. Looks like a monthly Gaelic magazine.

Fish. 7K down to 5K. I'd like to see Fish accounts. They get hundreds of entries for the competitions (1,500 for the short story competition) and only publish once a year.

Irish Pages, 13K down to 10K. Editor: Chris Agee. Belfast magazine. Published biannually. Print run 2,800. Why such a big grant for a magazine that comes out every other year?

The Dublin Review 64.5K down to 57K. Quarterly magazine of essays, criticism, fiction and reportage.

The Stinging Fly 54.5K to 50K. Publishes poetry, reviews and short stories quarterly. It's a great mag. Also publishes occasional books. (compare with The Dublin Review 57K)

The Shop 13K unchanged. I think is published twice a year. It's a high quality poetry magazine. Seems like a small grant to me.


Mercier Press 32K down to 20K. How many books do they publish a year? Many are non-fiction which is a bit of a grey area as to the arts (ref: Bertie Ahearn's memoirs tax status)

Carysfort Press 85K to 60K publishes contemporary writing for and about the theatre, and about other performing arts.

Cork University Press Looks like they published 14 books last year including the Fish anthology.

Dedalus Press 95K down to 80K. Poetry. There's no money in poetry and they're a super press (IMHO) Looks like they only published 12 books 2009/2010 though.

Lilliput 95K down to 80K. Mix of genres. Don't seem to publish many a year.

Sliabh An Fhiolair 80K down to 70K. Something to do with the address for Brandon Books in Dingle. No website.

The O'Brien Press 65K to 60K. Publish all sorts of books, lots of them for children. Not really sure why they get a grant. At first glance, they're fairly commercial looking.

New Island Books 115K to 107K. Publish literary stuff and other less commercial titles. Again, can't tell how many titles a year.

Clo Iar Chonnachta 75K to 70K. Irish Music and Irish books in Connemara. Not many titles a year.

Cois Life 37K unchanged. Irish Language publisher. Looks like they have 8 books in 3 years. Too much money.

Salmon 40K unchanged. Publishes poetry. Probably the same or more titles than Dedalus? Yet a lower grant?

The Gallery Press 167K unchanged (I know who I'm sending my collection to...) Poetry and Drama. 400 books in 40 years. That's a lot.

Dalkey Archives Press. New 2K. publication and republication of high quality and out-of-print works, particularly modernist and postmodernist.

Futa Fata. New 10.5K. Another Gaelic publisher in Spiddal. Not sure how many titles they publish.

Liberties Press. New 10K Lots of non-fiction, tax, health, hobbies. Nothing in the literary category. Why the grant?


Dingle Writing Course
25K down to 22.5K. Not sure why they get a grant at all. Do other course organisations? Irish Writers Centre, for instance? Inkwell? Anam Cara? Long weekend cost 420 Euro with accommodation.

* Note spreadsheet from the fabulous Irish Publishing News blog.

Call me Soppy

I love this ad. They screened it during the Superbowl (for lots of dosh)

Try and work out why it is so effective and use it in your own writing.

Monday 8 February 2010

Events at The Gutter Bookshop

I haven't been in the new Gutter bookshop yet in Temple Bar but I will. It's certainly being proactive with events. Here's February. Well worth a look. I may check out the Poetry open-mic...

The Classics Reading Group
Date: Thursday 11th Feb – 6pm until 7.15pm
For all those people who want to read The Classics but need a bit of a nudge! The Dubliners by James Joyce is our choice for February. This Reading Group is currently full but if you’re interested in attending please drop us a line and we’ll check numbers.

Saving Darfur by Rob Crilly
Date: Wednesday 17th Feb – 6pm until 7.30pm
Join us in-store to hear Rob Crilly talk about and read from his new book, ‘Saving Darfur’. Rob Crilly has lived and worked in East Africa since 2004, writing as a foreign correspondent for The Times and The Irish Times amongst others. This book is an eyewitness account of a conflict that differs greatly to the one that is commonly conceived.  This event is free and open to all.

Poetry Night
Date: Thursday 18th Feb - 6pm until 7.15pm                                                                                                      
If you enjoy reading, listening to, or writing your own poetry come along to our second Poetry Night! We’ll be asking for volunteers to read some poetry (either their own or by their favourite poet) but if you just want to listen that’s fine too! We’re also hoping that some published poets will join us to discuss their craft.  This event is free and open to all.

The Badness of Ballydog by Garrett Carr
Date: Thursday 25th Feb – 10.30am until 11.30am
”Something is coming …something big. May knows it, but no one will listen to her. She is an outcast due to her odd ways and freakish ability with animals. Andrew knows it, but he has his position as gang leader to maintain. Ewan knows it, but what can he do? The sea creature is the biggest living thing on the face of the earth. And it won’t stop until it has destroyed Ballydog.”  This is the first book of a trilogy from an exciting new Irish children’s writer.  ”This is a School Event and not open to the Public”’, however if you would like a signed copy of the book please let us know and we will arrange it.

The Gutter Bookshop Book Club
Date: Thursday 25th Feb – 6pm until 7.15pm
This is a general book club that meets monthly to discuss a book selected by its members. The Help by Kathryn Stockett is our February title.  This Reading Group is currently full but if you’re interested in attending please drop us a line and we’ll check numbers.

Sunday 7 February 2010

Irish Poetry Presses (part 1)

There is some kind of a premiership, first division-ness to all poetry presses, including those in Ireland. I'm still a bit vague though as to the order.

Gallery Press. Editor: Peter Fallon. Meath. Publishes Derek Mahon, Alan Gillis, John Montague, Derek Mahon, Richard Murphy, Michael Hartnett, Seamus Heaney, Paul Muldoon, Ciaran Carson, Medbh McGuckian, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Kerry Hardie, Michael Coady, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, John McAuliffe, Seán Lysaght, Vona Groarke, Gerald Dawe, Conor O'Callaghan, Justin Quinn, Peter Sirr, Alan Gillis, David Wheatley and others

IMHO, hardly any women poets...

Dedalus Press Editor: Pat Boran. Dublin, Publishes: Leland BARDWELL, Eva BOURKE, Paddy BUSHE, Enda COYLE-GREENE, Pádraig J DALY, John F DEANE, Patrick DEELEY, Theo DORGAN, John JORDAN, Thomas KINSELLA, James J McAULEY, Philip McDONAGH, Iggy McGOVERN, Paula MEEHAN, Peggy O'BRIEN, Michael O'DEA, John O'DONNELL, Gregory O'DONOGHUE, Billy RAMSELL, Mark ROPER, Gabriel ROSENSTOCK, Richard Tillinghurst, Macdara WOODS, Enda WYLEY and others

More balanced list, dare I say with names I admire.

Salmon Poetry, Editor: Jessie Lendennie,  Publishes: Dorothy Molloy, Gabriel Rosenstock, Dave Lordan, Richard Tillinghast, Sheila O'Hagan, Mark Granier, John Corless, Susan Millar DuMars, Patrick Chapman, Alan Jude Moore, Jo Slade, Stephanie McKenzie, Noel Monahan and others

Specialises in the promotion of new poets, particularly women poets.

Blackstaff Editor: ? . Belfast, Publishes: Patrick Crotty, Andrew Elliott, C.L. Dallat, Gerard Dawe, Michael Foley

Not currently accepting submissions.

New Island Editor: ?, Dublin, Publishes: Tom MacIntyre, Anthony Cronin, Dermot Bolger, Eileen Casey, Aidan Murphy, Conleth O'Connor, Berkeley, Sara Berkeley, Liz McSkeane, David Marcus, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Aidan Murphy, Bill Tinley, Mary O'Donnell, Tom McIntyre, Brian Lynch, Philip Casey

A smaller stable.

Saturday 6 February 2010

Molly Keane Memorial Creative Writing Award 2010

This is the 13th year of the Molly Keane Memorial Creative Writing Award organised by the Arts Office of Waterford Co. Council. Now open for entries.

Previously unpublished short story to a maximum of 2000 words.

Fee: free

Prize: €650 will be awarded to the winner at a special ceremony during the IMMRAMA Literary Festival in Lismore, Co. Waterford (June 10th – 13th 2010).

Deadline: 5pm on Thursday 25th March 2010.  

Full details and an entry form here.

Galway Grants

Deadline : 5pm, 25 February 2010

Applications are invited by the Galway Arts Office for the 2010 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 (recordings, exhibitions, publications, residency etc.)

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

Friday 5 February 2010

Meath and Wicklow Grants

It must be that time of year.

Meath County Council invites applications for the following awards and bursaries being offered as part of its Arts Act Funding Scheme 2010:

- Bi-Annual Arts Grants Scheme Phase 1
- Community Arts Award
- Festival Grant Scheme
- Professional Artists Development Fund
- Tyrone Guthrie Centre Award

More info and forms here
Deadline: 5pm, 12 February 2010

Wicklow County Council Arts Office announces the Wicklow County Council Awards and Bursaries Scheme 2010. Categories available include Individual Artist Award, Artist Project Award, Arts Organisations Award and Arts Festival Award.

Applicants must be from or resident in Co. Wicklow for a minimum of three years. Similarly, arts organisations must be established within the county and festivals should also take place within County Wicklow.

More info here

Deadline: 5pm, 19 February 2010

Thursday 4 February 2010

Gabriel Fitzmaurice at the Gallery Cafe, Gort, Co. Galway

The earlier event in The Gallery Cafe, Gort, Co. Galway, Reading by Gabriel Fitzmaurice and music and poetry by Clare Sawtell and Mary O Sullivan, unfortunately had to be cancelled in January due to the extremely bad weather. Here's the new date. Give them your support.

Sunday the 7th of February at 8.30pm.

Form the Western Writers Centre

Wednesday 3 February 2010

Free Poetry Workshop by Pete Mullineaux at 'The Forge at Gort'

Poet, performer and actor Pete Mullineaux will give a workshop on poetry at The Forge at Gort festival, Gort, Co. Galway, on March 27th 11am to 1pm. The festival is run by The Western Writers' Centre (Ionad Scribhneoirí Chaitlín Maude) Galway.

The workshop is open to all with an interest in poetry.

Pete Mullineaux grew up in Bristol, UK.  'A Father's Day,' poems, was published recently by Salmon Poetry.

Admission is free.

Details should be obtained from the Western Writers'Centre at 087.21781378 or

Early booking is advisable.

Listowel Writers' Week Writing Competitions

It's time to think about entering the competitions for Listowel Writers' Week.

Here's one. There is also short story, Gaelilge, single poem, Full length play, Originals, youth writers, storytelling and fiction slam. A shortlist of 10 stories will be performed during the festival. Also one for Irish emigrants.

Check out the website too for lots of interesting sounding workshops with some great names.

The Collection of Poetry Competition
Entry: 6 - 12 individual poems OR an equivalent longer single work, which may be in sections or in the form of a sequence. This competition is open only to those who have not yet published a complete book of poems. (Individual pieces may have received prior publication but not previously received an award).
Prize: €700 for best collection of poems (6-12), plus financial support towards the publication of a Slim Volume to be launched at next year-s festival.
Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill
Fee: €25.00
Deadline: Friday 26th February 2010.

Submit Entries To
The Collection of Poetry Competition
Writers' Week Ltd
24 The Square

Monday 1 February 2010

Poetry in the National Gallery

I am a fan of the National Gallery - lovely building, great collection, interesting exhibitions, music and poetry. Even a nice cafe and shop.

Poetry Ireland organise a good list of names for Wednesday lunchtimes at 1:05pm. See here for more details.

And it's Free

Wednesday 3 February - Thomas McCarthy
Poet, novelist, editor and critic Thomas McCarthy has published eight collections of poetry with Anvil Press Poetry. He is former editor of The Cork Review and Poetry Ireland Review

Wednesday 10 February - Caitríona O'Reilly
Poet and critic Caitríona O'Reilly will resume her position as editor of Poetry Ireland Review from issue 101. O'Reilly was awarded the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature for The Nowhere Birds (2001, Bloodaxe) and was shortlisted for the Irish Times Poetry Now Award in 2007 for The Sea Cabinet.

Wednesday 17 February - Seamus Heaney
Poet, writer, critic and lecturer Seamus Heaney was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995.

Wednesday 24 February - Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin
Poet, editor, critic and professor Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin is a founder editor of literary journal Cyphers. She has won the Patrick Kavanagh Award, the Irish Times Award for Poetry, and the O’Shaughnessy Award of the Irish-American Cultural Institute. Most recently she was shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize 2009 and the Irish Times Poetry Now Award for her collection The Sun-fish.

Have a read of these

Really sound advice on creating a book trailer for use on youtube, blogs, whatever from a guest post from Myrlin A. Hermes on Nathan Bransford's blog

Bloggers, how to  get comments on your blog posts

An extensive list of magazines in the UK and Ireland who publish short stories from Tania, absolute Labour of Love