Saturday 31 December 2016

The Story House – ‘Writing for Young People’

The Story House – ‘Writing for Young People’ 
Mon. 20th to Sat. 25th February at Lisnavagh House, Co. Carlow
This is a unique five day taught residential course, led by two award winning writers, Sheena Wilkinson and Elizabeth Rose Murray, with midweek guest writer Patricia Ford (of Childrens Books Ireland). Limited to 12 participants – with workshops, one to one tutorials with each writer, and time and space to write. A deposit of €200 secures a place on the course – the fee of €700 is fully inclusive of all accommodation, food, workshops etc. 
Writing Changes Lives – 3 x 1 day Saturday workshops Jan. 28th, Feb. 4th & Feb. 11th in Brewery Lane Theatre
These are my own writing workshops, based on the work of Pat Schneider and ‘built on a trust in the inherent talent in people and trust in the power of writing as a process’. Anyone who has written with me I think understands how that is proven over and over as we write together in the workshops. For more background I highly recommend Pat Schneider’s book Writing Alone and With Others – it is in local libraries and in the Book Centre, Waterford. The fee for the workshops is €150. Suitable for anyone beginning, or beginning again, to write.
2017 Brewery Lane Writers’ Weekend – Fri. April 21st to Sun. April 23rd
This year in Brewery Lane we will be joined by two very talented writers and experienced teachers of writing, Lia Mills and Catherine Dunne, and already there is significant interest, just through word of mouth. The emphasis this year will be on the tools of fiction and memoir, with workshops and one to one meetings to discuss your work. There is an early bird offer of €160 if paid before Fri. 19th February, after that date the full fee of €175 will apply. Limited to 12 participants. 
For bookings and enquiries please email:
Link here

Friday 30 December 2016

Centre Culturel Irlandais residencies

Deadline: Wednesday 11 Jan 2017

Artist Residencies in Paris!

Our annual residency programme offers great opportunities for artists of all disciplines to tap into the resources of Paris and the CCI, as well as being an important means of showcasing Ireland's dynamic contemporary culture on an international stage.

Residencies of up to 3 months running from September of the same year to June of the following year, open to practitioners in all art forms with a record of professional achievement. Travel from Ireland, accommodation and a monthly stipend of €700 per month included. Applicants will be notified of the outcome in March.

The artist in residence will be asked to participate in the cultural programme of the Centre Culturel Irlandais.

Applicants must be Irish citizens or normally resident in Ireland, with professional involvement in creative practice. (Does that count out quite a lot of serious poets?)

There are some supported residencies in partnership with various organisations. See link here

Thursday 29 December 2016

3 free taster writing classes in the National Library

There will be 3 free taster classes on the following dates in January: 

SATURDAY a.m. January 14 and 21, and Sat p.m. on January 21. 

Both A.M. sessions will run in the lovely Cafe Joly at the National Library, Kildare Street and start at 11.00 a.m. 
P.M session will start at 2 p.m. on 21/1 in the bar of Buswells' Hotel. Molesworth Street. JOIN US opportunity now exists for 

ADVANCED workshops on Tues, Weds and Thursday nights, for 10,10 and 6 workshop meetings respectively. Friday night 

START TO WRITE in Glasthule is also accepting 2 joiners from Jan 13th. 

New term of Saturday morning classes at the NLI from JANUARY 28th. 

Contact Yvonne Cullen at 086 1701418 or at to book or enquire.

Tuesday 27 December 2016

Maria Edgeworth Literary Poetry Competition 2017

Poetry Competition

€250 - First Prize

€75 -  Second prize

€50 - Third Prize

Deadline: 24 Feb 2017

The Maria Edgeworth's festival will be starting 5th May 2017 in Edgeworthtown.

1. Entry Fee must accompany all entries. Each submission is €5.
2. All entries must be the original work of the entrant and must not have been published, accepted for publication, broadcast or honoured by the closing dates for entries.
3. Name and address to go on a separate attached sheet.
4. Poems limited to 40 lines.

Judge: Professor Iggy McGovern

Cheques made payable to: Edgeworth Literary Society or Payment can be made online through PAYPAL at

Entries to be sent to: Competition Secretary, Edgeworth Literary Society, Old School House, Ballymahon Road, Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford

Wednesday 21 December 2016

Nollaig na mBan event at the Irish Writers Centre

This sounds like a lovely evening for traditional Women's Christmas on Friday 6th January 7:30pm €10. I would love to be invited to read.

A Nollaig na mBan event honouring Maeve Brennan's centenary

Join us on 6 January for our annual celebration of Nollaig na mBan, which this year coincides with the centenary of Maeve Brennan's birth. Broadcaster and journalist Sinéad Gleeson will MC this special evening of entertainment, with contributions from writers Claire-Louise BennettAngela BourkeDoireann Ní Ghríofa and Anne Enright alongside music from singer-songwriter Inni-K.

As in previous years, we're encouraging those attending to take part in a New Year's Kris Kindle extravaganza. Bring along a much-loved book by a female writer, wrap it and label or tag it with a description of no more than three lines. If you bring a book, you go home with one too!

Maeve Brennan was born on Dublin's Great Denmark Street just along the way from the Irish Writers Centre on 6 January 1917. She moved with her family to Washington DC in 1934 and later settled in Manhattan where she eventually joined the staff of The New Yorker, to which she contributed book reviews, fashion notes, essays, and short stories. The stories were gathered in two volumes, In and Out of Never-Never Land (1969) and Christmas Eve (1974). Maeve Brennan died in the Lawrence Nursing Home in Arverne, New York, on 1 November 1993. The Stinging Fly Press recently reissued The Springs of Affection, the posthumous selection of her Dublin-based stories, first published in 1997. They are also publishing a new edition of The Long-Winded Lady, Maeve's columns from The New Yorker, to coincide with her centenary.
Link here

Tuesday 20 December 2016

Cinnamon Poetry Pamphlet Prize

Poetry Pamphlet Prize
4 prizes of 30 copies plus publishing contracts for each of the four winners.
Open to beginners and established writers.
Judged by Ian Gregson.
The fee is £10.

Deadline: 31 March, 2017

Submit online, 15-25 poems of up to 50 lines each (pamphlet competitions)

Sunday 18 December 2016

Cúirt New Writing Prize 2017

The Cúirt New Writing Prize, in memory of Lena Maguire, is now open for  submissions.

The categories are poetry and fiction.

There is a €500 cash prize for the winner of each category and the opportunity to read at the Cúirt/Over the Edge Showcase event at Cúirt 2017.

The entry fee for each submission is €10, this can be paid via the Paypal button.

This year’s judges are poet Doireann Ní Ghríofa and writer Sarah Maria Griffin.

The youth strand of the prize ‘Young Cúirt’ is for ages 12-17. The winner will receive €100 cash prize and will read at the Cúirt Labs in April.

The closing date for submissions is Tuesday 31st  January 2017 at 5pm.

More information here

Friday 16 December 2016

Recommended Independent Irish Bookshops Part 2

Getting close to Christmas, I hope you have books on your list. Here are some year round recommendations of lovely local independent bookshops to visit  and support. I haven't visited every bookshop in Ireland so these are just personal recommendations.
If you have a favourite bookshop I've missed, please let me know

Part 2 - Dublin and surrounding

Books Upstairs, D'Olier Street, Dublin
Long an institution near trinity, they moved round the corner to a lovely new premises. There is a cafe upstairs where there are frequent events and more treasures in the basement. The poetry section is wide and generous, including my own book and I've read there a couple of times. The people are full of time for talking about books.

Gutter Bookshop, Cow's Lane, Temple Bar, Dublin
Run by the inimitable Bob, the Gutter book shop wasn't long in becoming a Dublin institution. There's a lovely selection of Irishm British and international titles and an imaginative children's section. They are often to be found supplying books to the various literary festivals around Dublin but the poetry section is tiny.
They have regular readings and book group.
There's a branch in Dalkey too. Website

Alan Hanna's Bookshop, Lower Rathmines Road, Dublin
Another instititution, you can spend a lot of time persuing the selection of old and new. They serve tea and coffee too.


Dubray Books has a number of bookshops in and around Dublin stocking best sellers, literature, great non-fiction and more esoteric selections. They often have signed copies too.


Chapters Bookstore Parnell Street, Dublin is a large store with a wide selection, passionate, knowledgeable booksellers and second hand books upstairs.

Winding Stair Bookshop on the Quays, Dublin is a beautiful shop where you can take a cup of tea and read in the window. They've a great selection of new and classic books; the poetry section includes my book and it well worth a visit. There are readings from time to time, it's a small space but welcoming.
Last time I was in they had lovely cards and magazines.


Wednesday 14 December 2016

Recommended Independent Irish Bookshops Part 1

Getting close to Christmas, I hope you have books on your list. There is something very special about opening the door of a bricks and mortar bookshop and wandering around the shelves, checking the recommendations and talking to the booksellers. There's the smell of books too, so delicious.

Here are some year round recommendations of lovely local independent bookshops to visit  and support. I haven't visited every bookshop in Ireland so these are just personal recommendations.
If you have a favourite bookshop I've missed, please let me know

Part 1 - Outside Dublin

Charlie Byrnes Bookshop, Cornstore Mall, Middle Street, Galway
a must visit excellent shop stacked full of books with nooks and crannys to explore, table displays of book selections with great support for local writers. Their poetry section is wide and includes my book so I like it!
They have regular readings and events.

They also have a large section of second hand books so it's impossible to leave without buying some.

Barker and Jones, Naas, Co Kildare
This is like book emporium. It has the usual selection of bestsellers, children's books, newspapers and magazines, cards etc. There's an excellent cafe with indulgent cakes and they are great at supporting local authors. I read there and was made very welcome.


Blackbird Books, Solstice Centre, Navan Co Meath
I was very fond of this new bookshop in Naas but I haven't had the chance to visit since they moved. They do everything with such care, a terrific selection of recommendations, support for local writers and they stock poetry including my book, and great coffee and cakes too. The owners are lovely too, what's not to like!


Stonehouse Books, Kilkenny.
Another trhiving local bookshop in Kilkenny down Kieran Street. Make sure you drop in and buy some books. They also stock some poetry including mine!

Link here

Maynooth Bookshop, Co Kildare
This shop must make its living with supplying school books but that doesn't stop them stocking lots of intriguing titles including my own. Great for stationary too.


Kinsale Bookshop, Co Cork
Kinsale has an embarrassment of bookshops and must be a terribly well read town to support them all. Long may that continue.


Kerr's Bookshop, Clonakilty, Co Cork
Clonakilty also supports a few bookshops. I do like this one, always welcoming, great for recommending books.

Saturday 10 December 2016

The Moth Retreat

There are new retreats popping up all over for writers and artists, each with their own ethos. This one is from the lovely people who run the Moth Magazine.

The barn features a large studio/living area and kitchen/breakfast room downstairs, and a bedroom and bathroom upstairs.

Fresh eggs are provided every morning, and fresh vegetables (when in season), in warm, inviting accommodation that is in keeping with The Moth aesthetic, and where a keen eye has been kept on William Morris’s golden rule: ‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.’

There is an easel in the studio downstairs, and a writing desk upstairs, and a bicycle is provided (though the publishers of The Moth, Rebecca O’Connor and Will Govan, will be on hand should you need to purchase groceries or a lift to Cavan Town).

The Moth retreat is situated along a beautiful country lane in Ireland (3 kilometres from the local village of Milltown and 19 kilometres from Cavan Town) and surrounded by some of the county’s famed 365 lakes. Just a few kilometres away is Drumlane Abbey, founded by Saint Colmcille in the sixth century. The county also hosts the source of the River Shannon and has its own Burren, with numerous geological sites recognised by UNESCO.   

How to apply:
Accommodation is €300 a week and is self-catered. A minimum stay of 1 week is required, and a maximum stay of 2 weeks. The accommodation is specifically for artists and writers.

Link here

Thursday 8 December 2016

North West Words Poetry Competition

North West Words is a non-profit orgranisation based in Donegal.  This competition is now in its fifth year and is open to original and previously unpublished poems in English.

This prize is open to anyone over the age of 18 as long as the poem is the original work of the author submitting it. Entries must not have been previously published in any media, self-published, broadcast, and/or won any competition.

The maximum number of poems per entrant is 3.

Send your poem(s) along with a cover letter with name, address, and phone number and/or email address, and title(s) of each poem submitted. Please do not put your name or personal contact details on the same page as the poem(s).

Postal entries to North West Words Poetry Prize 2016, Upper Corkey, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal.  Online entries should be attached in one document and copied into the body of the email and sent to

Deadline: Saturday, 31st December 2016.

North West Words is a non-profit organisation run on voluntary effort.

The competition fee of €5 per entry (up to three poems) goes towards the administrative costs of the competition. Payment may be made by Cheque, Postal Order, Money Order or via Paypal on our website

The 2016 English Poetry competition will be judged by Kate Newman from Summer Palace Press.

A shortlist will be published on North West Words’ Facebook page and at North West Words’ January event in Florence Food Company. The winner will be announced and the prize awarded at North West Words Event in Florence Food Company, Letterkenny, on Thursday, 23rd February 2017. (The winning poet will be notified on Thursday, 16th February 2017) The author will be invited to read their winning poem at this North West Words event.

 Copyright remains with the poet, but North West Words reserves the right to first publication or broadcast of the winning poem.

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Honest Ulsterman Submission Call


There's a new Honest Ulsterman Submission Call now open. Honest Ulsterman is an online

We're calling for poetry (up to 4 poems), prose and critical writing/interviews for our Februrary issue. Prose can be up to 5000 words. We'd also welcome aural/video poetry.

Submissions can be sent to

Deadline: 20th January 2017.

Link here

Thursday 1 December 2016

Eavan Boland: Inside history launch

Tuesday 29 November 2016

Submissions open for Skylight Magazine

ISSUE 8 of Skylight magazine is scheduled for Spring 2017
Submissions will be accepted up to 1 Jan 2017 (deadline midnight 1 Jan).

Please send up to three poems, along with a short biographical note (max 60 words), to Work should be unpublished.

Poems to be no longer than 40 lines.

Please send your poems both as an attachment (.doc, .docx, .txt or .rtf) and in the body of the email.

The editors are also looking for original artwork. We will be featuring one artist in each issue, publishing four or five pieces. If you would like to be this artist, please email your work during the submission window.

Contributors will receive one copy of the magazine.

Sunday 27 November 2016

Reading at The Listeners

I'm reading with Maurice Devitt this Monday 28th November 8pm at The Eden House, Rathfarnham. 
All welcome. 
It should be an innovative joint reading.

Space to Write

There are residencies and retreats for writing and other artistic spaces popping up all over the place. Each has its own ethos and feel. Here's one in a restored Victorian villa historically named ‘Glenhassan Hall’ facing Northern Ireland’s Downhill beach, Coleraine, Co Derry. It has a draw for a free stay at the end of January.

Space to Write 2017 is now taking bookings.

From Friday the 27th of Jan - Feb 5th.  It's 2 weekends plus the week in between.  

These dates are set aside for writers to have 'Space to Write' at a very low rate ( less than half normal price per room) The minimum booking is 3 nights, price is £22 per single room per night. We provide a beautiful space, a real fire, and endless tea and coffee. You bring yourself and the project you are are working on and food/drink for self-catering. There is no requirement to meet with the other participants or share what you are working on, however this tends to happen naturally. There is a gentle and supportive atmosphere and you will meet wonderful encouraging people.

The FB event is here:  Join it to be entered into the draw for a free stay!  

To reserve a space email McCall with your preferred dates at or send a PM. 

Downhill Beachhouse

Thursday 24 November 2016

Scottish Arts Short Story Competition

The Scottish Arts Club Short Story Competition is open to writers worldwide aged over 18 years, by 30 September 2017, published and unpublished.
Stories entered for the competition should be 1,500 words or less and can be on any topic.

A team of dedicated readers assists the selection process with the writer Alexander McCall Smith making the final selection of the winner and the runners-up.

The Isobel Lodge Award for New Scottish Writing is open to all unpublished writers over 18 years by 30 September 2017 who were born in Scotland, had their primary residence in Scotland or were studying in Scotland on 1 January 2017.


Every story submitted carries an entry fee of £10 payable as a donation to the Scottish Arts Club Charitable Trust via credit/debit card, PayPal or cheque. All funds raised through the competition will be channelled through the Scottish Arts Club Charitable Trust to benefit the arts in Scotland.


  • All stories should be in English, double spaced, 12pt, in Microsoft Word or in a PDF format. The title of the story and page number should appear on every page. This should be inserted using the header format option.
  • The total number of words excluding the title should be listed at the end of the story.  

SUBMISSION: Stories are submitted via email with an entry form to

The Scottish Arts Club Short Story Competition includes awards for:

  • The overall winner – £800
  • Two runners-up – £100 each
  • The Scottish Arts Club Members Award – Trophy
  • The Isobel Lodge Award for New Scottish Writing – £500
  • All finalists – signed copies of an Alexander McCall Smith novel

All finalists in the short story competition will be informed personally by email or by telephone by 15 September. Finalists stories will be published on the websites of the Scottish Arts Club and the Scottish Arts Club Charitable Trust.

The awards will be presented on Saturday 14 October 2017 during the Scottish Arts Club Short Story Awards Dinner.

All the stories from 2016 may be read on the web site of the Scottish Arts Club Charitable Trust – where writers may also enter the 2017 competition.

Deadline: 31st March 2017

Monday 21 November 2016

The Charles Causley International Poetry Competition 2016

The Charles Causley International Poetry Competition is to be judged this year by their patron, Sir Andrew Motion.  When asked what he will be looking for in the winning entries he said:
‘I’m looking for poems that surprise me – not by their ostentation, but by making me see, think, remember, recover things I’ve forgotten I already know.’
This years winners will be announced next year, in what would have been Charles’ 100th year, and will be included in the celebrations and publications which will mark this important moment.
The 1st prize winner will receive £2000 and the opportunity to stay at Causley’s former home in Launceston, Cyprus Well, during his centenary year for a week-long stay.
The 2nd prize winner will receive £250 and the 3rd prize winner £100.
Five highly commended poets whose work shows particular promise will be offered a mentoring development opportunity with one of our writer’s in residence during 2017.
Entries will be shortlisted by an expert panel and the final decision will be made by Sir Andrew Motion.
Fee: The first poem submitted costs £7. Subsequent entries in the same submission cost £5 per poem. 
 40 lines of text maximum, no minimum. The title is not included in the line count. Lines between text/stanzas are not counted in the line count. Titles, epigraphs and dedications are also not counted as lines. 
Postal Entries only. Link here
Deadline: 1st December

Sunday 20 November 2016

Haiku for Science Hack Day


It’s really simple
These are really simple
tap tap tap

In principal,
we should be able to
tap tap tap

that little arrow
see the little checkmark
that’s when the fun starts

Look, if I wave
I change the numbers
on the screen

I don’t know much
I can follow instructions
that’s important

You need to use
a proper crimper
Of course we have one

Him? He knows stuff
he just takes shit apart
and wiggles it

How long did it take
for him to fix it
oh seconds

Making prototypes
we have more ideas than time
to make them all work

hot duck in plastic -
ideally to mould it
saw it in half

It has chemistry
electronics and software
mechanics and art

the motor squeezes
the drop falls, splashes, lit up
the camera flashes

duck on the bottom
incoming wave bobs duck on top
powers LED

Mother’s pattern
drawn into the present -
laser cut fabric

Limerick drivers
One cyclist retaliates
vest and LEDs

So many photos -
two people watching a third

Floating lanterns
LEDs and thermocouples
such pretty colours

Pimp my chair
Help me overcome
daily obstacles

braille display -
little wheels and pins
one way internet

We’re brewing beer
squirting carbon dioxide
displacing O2

Who set off
the fire alarm?
who’s on fire?

When’s the next one?
Five years of never again
Never again

Saturday 19 November 2016

Pickled Body Submissions

Call for Submissions: Issue 3.2 – Egg

The online mag, The Pickled Body is looking for poetry submissions.

Call for Submissions – Issue 3.2: Egg
Deadline: November 30, 2016

The egg is surreal*. Consider what it is, where it comes from. Wonder whether or not it came first.

The egg is versatile (think metaphor for breast, eye, the beginning, the end; think puns). The egg is volatile (think salmonella). In The Great Gatsby it’s the tail end of East and West. Eat it; on its own – over easy, scrambled, poached – or as part of something bigger than itself – cake, quiche, meringue. It is all things, and it is nothing. And Dali, if you take Picasso’s word for it, had a monopoly on them.

Send up to three of your best egg poems to

Link here

Thursday 17 November 2016

The Rialto poetry pamphlet competition

The rather brilliant UK poetry magazine Rialto has a new poetry pamphlet competition.
1st prize: publication of the winning pamphlet + launch reading + up to £200 travel expenses
Poets on the shortlist of 10 will each get a paragraph of feedback. The winner and 3 others will have a poem published in The Rialto. All shortlisted poets will have a poem published on our website.
Deadline: Wednesday 30 November 2016  
Judge: Hannah Lowe
Please send us 18-24 pages of poems. Poems should be typed in single spacing on one side of A4 paper and in a font size of 12. Start each poem on a new page.  Maximum 40 lines per page.  If you include a poem sequence in which the poems are 14 lines long or less then you may put two on a page.
More guidelines and submission details here

Tuesday 15 November 2016

Cinnamon Press Debut Poetry Collection Prize

  • Prize of £300 plus publishing contract.
  • Up to 25 runners up published in a poetry anthology.
  • Open to those who have not had a full collection published.
  • Judged by Jan Fortune.
  • The fee is £12
  • Entrants  should not previously have had a full poetry collection published.
  • Entries should be submitted electronically, via the forms on each competition page, in .doc, .docx or .rtf file formats only. Please ensure you have up to date virus protection before sending any files. (If you have problems please email for guidance.). You may also send send your work by post, without your name on the MS, but please add a cover sheet with your contacts details and the name of your work.
  • Submit 10 poems up to 40 lines
  • Deadline: 30 November, 2016
Guidelines and online submissions here

Sunday 13 November 2016

Women’s Way Short Story Competition

Woman’s Way is launching a short story competition for the second year. We want all our readers who enjoy writing to enter our competition.

Our theme this year is REINVENTION. This year, we’re narrowing the genres to five and will be picking one winner from each genre. These are:

  • Romance
  • Horror
  • Childrens/Young Adult
  • Humour/Comedy
  • Crime/Thriller

Our winners’ stories will appear in our Christmas annual, issue 51 (on sale December 27) plus some extra special gifts.

Note: They are not saying what the prize is...but there is no fee

  • Stories must be previously unpublished though you can submit more than one story per category. We will not accept poetry, scripts or an opinion piece
  • Word count: One page stories of a maximum of 800 words
  • Entries should be typed on double line spacing on side of paper only, Times New Roman, 12 point, with wide margins. All stories must be in English and each page numbered
  • Please add a cover page to each story which includes: your name, postal address, email address, contact number, name of story, word count and category you’re entering. Also include a 50-word biography
  • Stories may edited to Woman’s Way’s house style

More info on
Send your completed stories and cover page to 

Deadline: 1st December

Wednesday 9 November 2016

Doolin Writers Weekend Competition

Doolin Writers Weekend Competition is now open for entries for short stories, poems and flash fiction

Judges Sinéad Gleeson, E.M. Reapy and Rita Ann Higgins. 

This year they've gone “green” and are asking for submissions online if possible.

In 2017 it'll be the 5th year of Doolin Writers’ Weekend, at Hotel Doolin Ireland from 3rd to 5th of February 2017. Some names on the programme so far: Sara Baume, Mike McCormackClaire-Louise BennettAlan McMonagleDeclan MeadeElaine Feeney with many more to be announced. 

I'm hoping they're going to ask me, TBH. It has a great reputation for fun.

For more information on the competitions please follow this link http://www.hotel

Deadline 13th January 2017

Monday 7 November 2016

Some upcoming book launches - Salmon Press

3 from Salmon Press to be launched on |Tuesday 8th November 6.30pm in Books Upstairs.

Fish On A Bicycle - New and Selected Poems by Jean O'Brien
This New & Selected is a revisiting of Jean O'Brien's four collections starting with The Shadow Keeper in 1997 and moving up to the present day. Her new poems mark a maturing of her work dealing with ill health, parenthood, nature and everything in between. As with her previous collections her work is honest and direct and calls for a similar response from the reader. As ever she broaches hard subjects without fear or compromise and faces her own mortality. These poems are dealt with in a light-hearted way that belies their seriousness, they are lively and always readable.

The Art of Dying by Adam Wyeth
From mountain pass to storm-tossed seashore, from Barcelona to the Drakensberg, these new poems by Adam Wyeth feature journeys both witty and surreal.  There is much that is busy transforming here, from kitchen to ice-rink; rock to hatching egg.  In the richly imagined Talking Tree Alphabet, a birch tree becomes Marilyn Monroe holding down her skirt, while the blackthorn is a ‘ravaged whore’. At the heart of the collection, the still point around which the energies flow, is a boy’s relationship with his father, the absurd indignity of death, and the ceaseless unfolding of the generations: ‘An ancient vellum/ where the next life is written’. Language, the raw material of the poet who shapes and makes sense of the world, is celebrated without forgetting the humble source of it all, Yeats’s foul rag and bone shop, or ‘thorns/that draw blood and score the heart completely’ (from ‘Gorse’). Dancing on the edge of civilization, preferring the energizing potential of dream and myth, Wyeth’s is a refreshing new voice on the Irish poetry scene.  Katie Donovan

Slow Clocks of Decay by Patrick Chapman
Slow Clocks of Decay is Patrick Chapman’s seventh poetry collection, his most mature and expansive to date. Exploring universal themes through the lens of his remarkable imagination – the loss of friends to suicide; the insidious nature of depression; the inevitability of ageing; and the destructive effect of religion – Slow Clocks of Decay culminates in a bravura sequence that conjures the poet’s own final journey as a fantasia of Hitchcockian intrigue set in a Paris of the mind.

Sunday 6 November 2016

Picaroon Poetry call for Submissions - Troubadour

Troubadour will be an anthology of poetry inspired by music and musicians.
Call for Picaroon anthology submissions! 
Here at Picaroon, we get so many poetry submissions paying tribute to genres such as jazz, country, and the blues, or specific singer-songwriters like Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, and David Bowie. Either way, and whatever your view, it’s clear: music means the world to many poets, and in many cases the two art forms are closely entwined.
Hence our title: “troubadour” was originally a word used to describe a certain type of medieval poet, but has, over the centuries, come to mean a singer. A troubadour seamlessly blends words and music.
This anthology will be edited by Kate Garrett and Robert de Born (poet, songwriter & musician), and published in Spring 2017.
The deadline for submissions is Sunday 5 February 2017.
  • Submit up to 4 unpublished poems about music, inspired by music, as tributes to music – the interpretation of the theme is up to you.
  • Submit all of your poems in a single Word document (not one poem per document – this gets very confusing), or in the body of your email. Please do not send PDFs.
  • Send your poems to with the subject line “Troubadour Submission”.
  • Unfortunately we cannot accept found poetry for this book, due to stringent copyright laws around song lyrics, so please don’t send any.
  • If you are sending a simultaneous submission, please let us know as soon as possible if it’s accepted elsewhere.
  • Payment for the anthology will be one contributor copy of the paperback.
  • Once again, the d, and the book will be published in Spring 2017 (probably April).
    We look forward to reading your
Deadline 5 February 2017
Link here

Tuesday 1 November 2016

Launch of new books by Eleanor Hooker and Catherine Ann Cullen

Two new collections by two super poets,  A Tug of Blue by Eleanor Hooker and The Other Now by Catherine Ann Cullen. Dedalus Press. You'll end up buying both, believe me.
Tuesday 8th November 7pm
The Teachers Club

Friday 28 October 2016

Café Writers Poetry Competition

Deadline: 30th November 2016


  • 1ST  £1000       
  • 2nd £300 3rd £200  
  • Six Commended Prizes of £50
  • Funniest Poem not winning another prize £100

The Norfolk Prize   £100
awarded to the best poem from a permanent Norfolk resident not winning another prize

Entry Fee: £4 per poem; or £10 for 3 poems and £2.00 per poem thereafter

Sole Judge: Andrew McMillan

Andrew McMillan was born in South Yorkshire in 1988: his debut collection Physical is the first ever poetry collection to win The Guardian First Book Award, it also won the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize, was short-listed for the Dylan Thomas Prize, the Costa Poetry Award, the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, the Roehampton Poetry Prize and long-listed for the Polari Prize; it won a 2014 Northern Writers’ Award, and both an Eric Gregory Award and a Somerset Maugham Award in 2016 from the Society of Authors.  He lectures in Creative Writing at Liverpool John Moores University and lives in Manchester.

Competition Rules

  • Maximum of 40 lines (excluding title) on one side of A4.
  • Entries must be entirely the work of the entrant and must never have been published, self-published, published on any web-site or broadcast.
  • Entries must be your own original work and in English.
  • Entries must show no name, address or identifying marks other than the title.
  • Prizewinners will be notified in writing by 31st January 2017.  The list of prizewinners will be displayed on the website after the prize-giving ceremony at Café Writers on 17th February 2017.

Enter online or by post details here