Tuesday 30 December 2014

The Space Between - my first full poetry collection

I have some very exciting news to finish off the year. My first full collection will be published in the Autumn of 2015 by the wonderful Doire Press. I'm very excited about this, as you can imagine.

The collection is called "The Space Between" which is a line from my poem "Reaching Agreement." You can listen to this poem here. We're working on a cover currently. I'll blog about it when it's finalised.

What's it about? I think a first collection is pulled from many years of poems so the themes are more disparate. Check out the tagxedo above. If I take out the red-headed man, just one poem, a good one but not the heart of the whole collection, it looks like this.

So it must be about hands, love, time and watching but it's also about Science, creativity, life, family and feminism. There are cats too.

Some of the poems from my dinky chapbook from 2011, Some Poems from moth editions are included. It's been sold out now for ages so if you didn't manage to get a copy, you're in luck. You can probably pre-order, either with Doire or ask me for a signed copy.

We'll launch it in the autumn and I'm looking for opportunities to read around the country and beyond at the end of year so do get in touch if you can help. I'll be doing some promotion next year, blogging, tweeting, interviews I hope and whatever else you can suggest.

Doire Press is based in Connemara, It has been going since 2007 and has published some great books, poetry and fiction since then, finding its niche in publishing new and emerging writers who give voice to what it means to be Irish in a changing Ireland. These writers includes poets Adam White, Kimberly Campanello, Kevin O’Shea, Susan Lindsay, Jo Hemmant and Dimitra Xidous; and fiction writers Aileen Armstrong, Celeste Auge, Jim Mullarkey and Madeleine D’Arcy. The founders are John Walsh and Lisa Frank. There's an interesting interview with John here on writing.ie

The high standard of the books is reflected by the shortlisting of the brilliant 2013 collection "Accurate Measurements" by Adam White for the Forward PrizeYou can buy books such as this one using Paypal or even old school style cheques here to support the publisher. God knows, small publishers need all the support they can get.

Other books planned for release in 2015 include:

  • By the Light of Four Moons by John MacKenna
  • Line of Drift by Robyn Rowland
  • The Lie of the Land by Elaine Gaston
  • In Another Country by Rafiq Kathwari
  • The Way They Might Look at You by Paul O’Reilly
  • In a Hare’s Eye by Breda Wall Ryan
Should be a terrific year.

Monday 29 December 2014

Strokestown Poetry Festival and Competition

Strokestown have gone online. It's a high standard competition. 

Category 1:  The Strokestown Poetry Prize

A poem in English of not more than 70 lines.
Prizes: €1,500, €500, €300 & 3 runners up prizes of €100.
The six shortlisted poets will also be invited to read their work at the festival.

Category 2: Duais Filíochta Dhúbhglas de hÍde  - The Douglas Hyde Irish Language Poetry Prize

A poem in Irish, of not more than 70 lines.
Prizes: €500, & 5 runners up prizes of €100
The six shortlisted poets will also be invited to read their work at the festival.

Category 3: The Percy French Prize for comic verse

Witty poem of not more than 70 lines on any subject – but must be funny, suitable for family audiences and radio broadcast.
Prizes:  €300, €200, and 5 runners up prizes of €100.

Category 4: The Roscommon Poets Prize

A poem in Irish or English of not more than 70 lines submitted by a resident of County Roscommon or a member of a County Roscommon Writers Group
Prizes: 1st. €100, 2nd. €75 & 3rd. €25
Fee: €6 per entry via PayPal, For postal entries each poem must be accompanied by a fee of €5/£5 Sterling/$5 US dollars. 
The Strokestown Poetry Awards shortlists will be announced in mid-March, and the prizes will be announced and awarded during the Strokestown International Poetry Festival, Co. Roscommon, Ireland, which will take place over the weekend of 1-3 May, 2015.
Deadline: Friday February 27th. 2015
Link here

Saturday 27 December 2014

CWA Margery Allingham Short Story competition

The CWA Margery Allingham Short Story competition was set up in 2013 to celebrate the short story and Margery Allingham’s contribution to crime writing. Supported by the Margery Allingham Society this competition runs annually.
The competition is open to all – both published and unpublished authors- and is for UNPUBLISHED short stories of up to 3,500 words. It's judged completely anonymously.
The winner will receive £1,000
Deadline: 6:00pm on 16th March 2015
Fee: £10 by paypal
Link is here

They don't specifically say but I'd guess the story should be in the crime genre.

Sunday 21 December 2014

Doolin Writers' Weekend

Doolin Writers' Weekend takes place at Hotel Doolin from the 27th - 29th March 2015. 

Hotel Doolin in association with Tramp Press and Salmon Poetry are delighted to announce the launch of the Doolin Writers' Weekend Competition 2015.  

This year we have two prizes, a short story prize and a poetry prize.  

The Prize fund for 1st place is €1000 for each of the competitions and a publishing consultation with Tramp Press (short story) and Salmon Poetry (poetry).  

fee is €10 per entry 

Deadline Monday 2nd March 2015  at 5pm.  

Shortlisted authors will be announced on Friday 13th March and the winners announced at the Doolin Writers's Weekend 27th -29th March 2015.

Short Story Prize Judged by Eilis Ni Dhuibhne 1 st Prize- €1000 + publishing consultation with Tramp Press* + publication in the Clare People 2 nd Prize- Free Pass to Doolin Writers’ Weekend including entry to all workshops and events and 3 nights complimentary accommodation. Poetry Prize Judged by Jesse Lendeman Salmon Poetry 1 st Prize- €1000 + publishing consultation with Salmon Poetry* + publication in the Clare People 2 nd Prize- Free Pass to Doolin Writers’ Weekend including entry to all workshops and events and 3 nights complimentary accommodation.

For Terms and Conditions and to download an entry form, see link here

Saturday 13 December 2014

Tin House - Submissions sought.

Tin  House is a terrific magazine of writing based in the Portland, Oregon. It seeks submissions until 31st May but of course you can send earlier.


  • Please submit only one story or essay (ten-thousand-word limit), or up to five poems at a time. 
  • Cover letters should include a word count and indicate whether the submission is fiction, nonfiction, or poetry.

Link here with more details

As usual, please get your hands on a few copies first. It's an excellent magazine.

Their blog's worth a visit too here

Thursday 11 December 2014

The Hermit Collective

The Hermit Collective bring their pop-up show of art, poetry and music to King House, Boyle, on Saturday 13th December 11.30am -2pm. 

They are an eclectic group of well-known and unknown talents, who have been successfully performing around the North West since their first event in Boyle library on Mayday this year. They have featured in the Bundoran Fringe Festival, the Five Glens Arts Festival, played the Charlestown Arts Centre, and Culture Night in Ballaghaderreen library. 

The event is, as always, free! 

See the website for more info:  www.hermitcollective.weebly.com 

Tuesday 9 December 2014

Brilliant Illustration - Apps for Poets

From the blog of Angela Carr, adreamingskin.com, I found this fantastic illustration by illustrator and poet, Ali Shapiro

Find more of Ali’s work and words at www.ali-shapiro.com.

Sunday 7 December 2014

Poets to Check Out - Galway Kinnell

I was sadden to read recently of the death of the American poet Galway Kinnell. Here's a poem called Oatmeal worth reading.

It may be funny on the surface but beneath that are layers. Much like the skill and art of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. Do not underestimate the humourous poem.

My current favourite Galway Kinnell poem is The Road Between Here and There. Fantastic. Search it out.

Here are some more:

Friday 5 December 2014

Magma poetry Prizes

The rather good poetry magazine Magma has a different editor every time so you can't get complacent about what will appear.

They hve two compeitions for a short and a medium poem

Magma Judges Prize 2014
Poems of 11 to 50 lines. 1st prize £1,000, 2nd £300, 3rd  £150. In addition to receiving cash prizes, winners will be invited to read at Magma’s prize-giving event in Spring 2015. All winning entries will be published in the magazine.
Entry: £5 for the first poem, £4 for second, £3.50 for third and each subsequent poem, reduction for Magma magazine subscribers.
 Closing Date: 19-Jan-15

Magma Editors’ Prize 2014
Poems up to 10 lines. 1st prize £1,000, 2nd £300, plus 10 Special Mentions £15 each.
Entry: £5 for the first poem, £4 for second and £3.50 for the third and each subsequent poem. Magma magazine subscribers benefit from reduced fees.
Closing Date: 19-Jan-15
More informationhttp://magmapoetry.com/competition/

Wednesday 3 December 2014

Submissions sought for Ropes

The literary journal Ropes from the students of the Masters in Literature and Publishing at NUI Galway is looking for submissions of Poetry, Prose, Artwork and Photography.

Deadline: 30 December 2014

They're on Twitter   and Facebook  

Please email submissions to Ropes.submissions@gmail.com 

All proceeds are going to ACT for Meningitis who do incredible work. 

Monday 1 December 2014

At The Edge

AT The Edge, Cavan, proudly presents: The Cavan Literary Night with Three Border Poets: Noel Monahan, Kate Ennals and Dermot Maguire

Tuesday 2 December 2014, 6.30pm – 8pm in Johnston Library, Farnham St, Cavan

Followed by Open Mic (one poem or one page of prose – register at 6.30pm –  first come, first served. Further information from kateennals@live.co.uk )

The evening also includes the launch of Also publishing a pamphlet of the Cana House Poets, 3rd series.

Event Free. Everyone welcome.
Supported by Cavan Arts Office

Sunday 30 November 2014

Skylight magazine submissions

Late notice I know but...

Submission deadline for the Spring issue of Skylight 47 is 1 December 2014.

Please send up to four poems, along with a short biographical note (no more than 60 words), to skylightpoets47@gmail.com. Poems to be no longer than 40 lines and should be previously unpublished.

Please send your poems as an attachment (.doc, .docx, .txt or .rtf) and in the body of the email.
The editors would be interested to receive ideas for reviews, particularly of recent debut poetry collections, and original artwork.

Contributors will receive one copy of the magazine.

Saturday 29 November 2014

The North Magazine

The North is a first rate poetry magazine based in Sheffield. Get yourself a couple of copies or subscribe first.

  • Please send work by post and not email. 
  • Include either a stamped addressed envelope, or IRCs and an addressed envelope. Tell us if you don't need the copies back.
Well, these don't exist in Ireland so I'd suggest telling them that and giving them your email. Failing that, I think it is possible to buy UK stamps online. 
  • Send up to 6 poems.
  • Please put your name and address on every sheet. Our office is full of pieces of paper, and things can slip astray of their moorings.
  • We have no restrictions on subject matter or style, but remember we're a magazine of contemporary poetry. We have high editorial standards. We look for energy, imagination and technique.
  • We try to reply within 6 weeks of receipt.
  • Taking out a subscription won't affect your chances of publication. But it will win you our love and respect, and help to keep us afloat.
  • We also need good critical articles and reviews to do with contemporary poetry. In first instance, just send us ideas, synopsis, etc.
Link here

Note: If I mention a magazine, paper or online, I do endorse that magazine's standards and ethos. The opposite does not hold though, just because I haven't mentioned a magazine, doesn't mean that I don't endorse it. I may not even had read a copy. Magazine publishers, feel free to get in touch about possible future posts.

Thursday 27 November 2014

Penny Dreadful Seeks Submissions

The Cork based publication 5th edition is looking for

Ball-grabbing, punch-in-the-face writing from nice, courteous ladies and gents.

Deadline: 6th December
Stories = Up to 2 of up to 3000 words each.
Poetry = 6 of whatever length you like as long as you don’t take the piss. (Note: Please include all submitted poems in the same file, or they may not be considered for publication)
Bio = Please include a short bio (100 words max) and any internet website linking things which are suitable for good, Christian eye-balls.

Link here

You could always buy a copy to see what rings their bells (and give it to someone else for Christmas-why-not?)

Tuesday 25 November 2014

The 2014 Whitby Residential Week

This sounds brilliant. We could do with something like this in Ireland.

“One of the most vital and vitalising literature organisations in the country” Andrew Motion

Sunday 7th December (evening) to Friday 12th December (morning) 2014

The second annual (completely upgraded, with all-new brilliant writing exercises) Poetry Week on the wonderful East Coast. This will be a highly-structured, demanding but hugely enjoyable course with ‘the best poetry tutors in the world’ (The Guardian).

Mornings will be devoted to tailor-made exercises based on classic and contemporary poems.

Afternoons will include small group work and writing time/free time in Whitby. We will brave the 199 steps, the piers, the bookshops, the Abbey by night and there will be time for you to try ‘the best fish and chips in the world’ (Whitby Gazette).

Evenings will include the Poetry Business’s unique ‘World Poetry Festival’: where each course member will give a ten minute reading ‘as’ a 20th Century poet of their choice. Also the Poetry Business’s celebrated ‘Secret Poem’ game, with truly amazing prizes.

The week will involve a little (enjoyable) pre-course work, and depends upon the willingness to share your own writing and collude in the study of favourite poets. (Re)reading Dracula before you arrive is optional

Places are £500 or £600 each. The higher rate gets you a 4* ensuite double room with hospitality tray. For £500, you get a standard room (with 4* hostel rating) that includes an in-room wash-basin and bathroom on the corridor.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided for all writers, plus cake. There is a set menu but special diets can be provided for. There is also a bar.

The course will be held at Sneaton Castle in Whitby (YO21 3QN).

The centre is situated in beautiful and extensive grounds adjacent to St Hilda's Priory, and within walking distance of the historic seaside town of Whitby.

Please e-mail office@poetrybusiness.co.uk to reserve a place.

Sunday 23 November 2014

Angry Manifesto - Political Poems sought

Subtle or in your face? The Angry Manifesto is looking for political poems.

The Angry Manifesto is a brand new poetry magazine, aimed at protest and the current political world we live in today.
They want to hear your words of dissent: why we should vote? why we should'nt vote? why you feel alienated from the current political parties today? They want your bile, your angry, your  words of protest, they want poems that will change and mould peoples views at the next general election in May 2015.

Send no more than five poems with no more than thirty lines each, they don't want poems about London, Religion, Love, and Sparrows.
All poems most be on a political theme, as this is a political / protest magazine.
Please send your poems theangrymanifesto@gmail.com with a short bio, because the poems should do the talking.  
Deadline: 1st Jan 2015.
Each issue will have a guest editor, so get writing.  

Friday 21 November 2014

Granta is Accepting Unsolicited Submissions

After a long hiatus Granta, one of the world’s most prestigious literary magazines, is again accepting unsolicited submissions.

Granta publishes fiction, non-fiction and poetry. There are no strict word limits, though most prose submissions are between 3000 and 6000 words and the editors advise they are unlikely to read more than 10,000 words of any submission.
Alongside the print edition, the online New Writing program publishes stories, poems, essays, interviews, animations and more from established Granta alumni as well as new voices.
All submissions will be considered for both the print and online editions (unless otherwise stipulated in the cover letter). Selection is extremely competitive and only a very small fraction of submissions will be chosen for publication. Reading recent editions of Granta will help you assess whether your work is likely to be a good match.
Writers must submit their work via Submittable and there are no reading fees. For further information visit the Granta website
Deadline: 1 April 2015.
As usual, do read a few copies of the magazine, paper and online to see what shakes their tree. It's very classy and quite highbrow. Fantastic opportunity.

Wednesday 19 November 2014

Submissions sought for Mslexia Magazine - Earth Songs

Mslexia, the fabulous magazine of writing by women is looking for submissions for the theme Earth Songs.

Issue 65 (Mar/Apr/May 2015):

Our planet is under threat. This is an opportunity to create its many intricate marvels - in fiction or poetry - or to mourn against their loss. 
Deadline: 9 December 2014
Mslexia welcomes previously unpublished submissions from women for every part of the magazine.New Writing is a substantial section of new poetry and/or prose in the magazine, written by published and unpublished authors, selected and introduced by our New Writing Guest Editor.

Submission details here

Monday 17 November 2014

100 Words, 100 Books

The Book Show, RTÉ Radio has launched a very short fiction/flash competition. 

Prizes: 100 books, publication in a book of the best short fiction received and the shortlisted writers will have their stories read out on stage at a live recording of The Book Show to be simultaneously broadcast live on radio on 6 December.

Deadline: 23 November 2014

  • The competition is open to people born or resident in Ireland and must be in English.
  • Submitted stories must be a minimum of 100 words, up to a maximum of 200 words.
  • All stories must be original and unpublished (including online).
  • No more than three stories by the same author can be entered.
  • A small panel of judges will be judging these with these entries.

Who are the judges?

Enter By Post: 
100 Words, 100 Books, The Book Show, RTE Radio 1, Donny brook Dublin 4. 
or By Email:
bookshow@rte.ie with “100 Words, 100 Books” in the subject line. 

Thursday 13 November 2014

Belfast Launch of Nessa O'Mahony's new poetry collection 'Her Father's Daughter'

And while I'm on the subject of launches, this Friday 14th November if you are in or around Belfast, do get along to Nessa O'Mahony's poetry reading at 6.30pm in No Alibis Bookshop, 83 Botanic Avenue. I've never been but it's enticing and I hear they throw a very good launch. Soon, soon.

In the new poetry collection, she examines the nature of those bonds through poems that combine the autobiographical with the historical as she explores poetically two very contrasting father-daughter relationships from two very contrasting periods of Irish history. 

Nessa’s grandfather, Michael McCann, was a quintessential Irish nationalist of the early part of the 20th century. He fought for the British in World War I, then fought against the British in the Irish War of Independence and finally fought his fellow countrymen in an Irish Civil War.

In this collection, Nessa presents a parallel sequence of poems, one relating to her relationship with her own father, whose decline and death she charts with painful honesty, the second exploring the life of her grandfather, a more mysterious figure whose story slowly emerges through her mother’s memories, and her own research. The result is a meditation on love and losing and on what is retained through narrative and memory.

Reading alongside Nessa will be local poet Colin Dardis, who I believe is also well worth a listen.

Later in November, Friday 28th at 7pm to be precise, the poet Kerrie Hardie will be launching her new collection. Should be another good one.

Launch of Angela Carr's First Collection

One name that has been popping up on the poetry radar a lot recently is Angela Carr. That's Angela T Carr by the way as there is another poet in the US.

Angela was selected to read at this year's Poetry Ireland Introductions, won the Allingham Festival Poetry Competition, has an unsettling poem in the latest issue of Abridged (Torquemada), has been published in Mslexia, The Pickled Body, upcoming in Boyne Berries and the Cork Literary Review, was shortlisted for Over The Edge writer, the Listowel single poem and Gregory O'Donoghue competitions. Her manuscript was highly commended in the Patrick Kavanagh Award and won the Cork Literary Review Poetry Manuscript Competition in 2013.

There's no end to it!

So the manuscript, named "How to Lose your Home & Save Your Life" is being published by Bradshaw Books, launched this week, Friday 14th November at 7pm in the Vintage Room upstairs at Workman's Club, Dublin.

All welcome. Should be a good evening.

Angela blogs here adreamingskin.com 

Tuesday 11 November 2014

Top 10 tips for being a successful poet

Here's some well worded tips on being  successful poet from former Laureate, Andrew Motion.


I like his comments about rhyme

Use everything in your toolbox.
read your poetry out loud
is crucial. How does it feel in your mouth? Do you stumble?

Mind you, he's not defining 'successful' 

Sunday 9 November 2014

50 Reasons Not To Date A Poet

This is rather fun.

50 Reasons Not To Date A Poet

although American biased.

17. They will secretly judge your metaphors.

Reminds me of the line in a poem by Kate  Tempest which, if memory serves, reads
Don't fall in love with me or I'll put you in a poem
They also missed the reason, a poet has no reliable income and will always be looking for financial help. 

Friday 7 November 2014

The RSPB and The Rialto Nature Poetry Competition

As well as offering poets the chance to win considerable cash prizes and publication of their poems, this competition will raise money for conservation and poetry.

1st PRIZE £1000
2nd PRIZE £500
3rd PRIZE A Place on a Creative Writing Course at Ty Newydd in 2015 (worth £550)
ADDITIONAL PRIZE, a personal tour with Mark Cocker of his most cherished wild life places in East Anglia. Mark is one of Britain’s most celebrated writers on nature.

The judge is celebrated poet, writer and broadcaster, Simon Armitage. 

The entry fee is £6 for the first poem and £3.50 for each subsequent entry.

Full details and the facility to enter online can be found on The Rialto website:

Please do note the term ‘Nature Poetry’ will be given a wide interpretation by the judge. Here are some thoughts by Michael Mackmin in The Rialto editorial:

So what is Nature Poetry? As the flier says, the judge will give this a wide interpretation. I’d imagine it won’t have to be just poems about creatures and beings that share the planet, or about ‘environmental concerns’. We are all air and water, everything we eat comes from the earth or the sea, most people know the roughness of a leaf or the heft of a stone can change a mood or express a feeling. I asked a 16 year old, What is nature? and she said, insects and grass: I asked a 32 year old the same question and she said, the sun and the moon and the stars and flowers and fruit and babies. You might just have to write your poems and take a risk.

Closing date of the competition is midnight on March 1st 2015

Wednesday 5 November 2014

The Bristol Poetry Prize

1st Prize:  £600 plus an invitation to read your poem at Bristol Spring Poetry Festival 2015 
2nd Prize: £300 plus an invitation to read your poem at Bristol Spring Poetry Festival 2015 
3rd Prize: £100 plus an invitation to read your poem at Bristol Spring Poetry Festival 2015 

Judge: Penelope Shuttle (All poems will be seen by Penelope Shuttle)

Entry fee: £6.00 per poem
All profits generated by the Bristol Poetry Prize will directly fund Bristol Poetry Festivals 2015.
By post
To enter the competition by post, download the instructions and rules as a doc or instruction and rules as a pdf.
Postal entries postmarked no later than Friday 8 January 2015 will be accepted.

To enter the competition online, download the rules as a doc or download the rules as a pdf, read them and fill in the form below and attach your poems.
You will then be taken to a payment page where you can pay by PayPal or debit/credit card.
Online entries must be received no later than midnight 9 January 2015. 

Monday 3 November 2014

Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize

There are four cash prizes for a single unpublished poem  €10,000 for the overall winner and three runner-up prizes of €1,000.
The Prize is open to everyone, as long as the work is original and previously unpublished. The entry fee is €12 per poem, and you can enter as many poems as you like. 


or simply send your poem(s) along with a cheque or postal order made payable to 'The Moth Magazine Ltd.' and an entry form (downloadable here)
or a cover letter with your name and contact details and the title of poem(s) attached to: 
The Moth, Drummullen, Cavan, Co. Cavan, Ireland 

This year’s competition will be judged by the poet Michael Symmons Roberts‘an outstanding writer’ whose poetry has won the Forward Prize,
the Costa Poetry Prize and the Whitbread Poetry Award, as well as being shortlisted for the Griffin International Poetry Prize and the T.S. Eliot Prize.

Please make sure you READ THE RULES before entering the competition. 


Saturday 1 November 2014

Poetry Divas at Allingham festival

The Allingham Festival is a Creative Arts & Literary Festival in the northwest of Ireland. Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal is the home of the 19th century poet William Allingham and his fine artist wife, Helen. 'Creativity Across Borders' is this year's theme

There are lots of interesting event but most importantly on SATURDAY 8TH November at 8pm the Poetry Divas will be reading as part of the Wonder of Words. It will be wonderful.

See you there

Link here  

Wednesday 29 October 2014

Dublin Book Festivalhttp://www.dublintown.ie/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/dublinbookfestival1-1500x515.jpg

There's lots going on at the Dublin Book Festival. Almost too much. And not all of it the same old faces and voices (although quite a lots I feel I've heard ad nauseum before TBH). Also the website I'm finding hard to navigate.

Here are some highlights but do have a look at the programme too.

Thurs 13 Nov / 6.30pm
Lines of Vision: Alex Barclay, Kevin Barry, John Boyne and Donal Ryan In Conversation with Seán Rocks 
The National Gallery of Ireland | €10 / €7 | BOOK NOW
Fri 14 Nov / 7.00pm
 Sun 16 Nov / 7.30pm
Irish Writers Centre | €10 
Bookings through the Irish Writers Centre