Wednesday 27 July 2016

Reading at the Monasterevin Gerard Manley Hopkins Society Weekend

I am happy to be reading from my collection in my home county of Kildare this coming Saturday 30th June at the Gerard Manley Hopkins Society Weekend Festival in Monasterevin.

Please come along and bring your friends and family for what sounds like a lovely afternoon of poetry and chat.

Venue: Monasterevin House

By kind permission of the Presentation Sisters.
  3.30 pm Poetry Reading by Richard Halperin
Richard W. Halperin’s most recent volume of poetry is Quiet in a Quiet House.  It concerns people and places of the past.  Nature is interrupted by keening, laughter and rants.  Memory is an important theme and people are presented as souls.
 4.00 pm My Favourite Hopkins Poem
Participants will be invited to read their favourite Hopkins Poem.
 4.30 pm Poetry Reading by Kate Dempsey and Paddy Bushe
Link for the full programme here

Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J. (28 July 1844 – 8 June 1889) was an English poet, Roman Catholic convert, and a Jesuit priest, whose posthumous fame established him among the leading Victorian poets.  His experimental explorations in prosody (especially sprung rhythm) and his use of imagery established him as a daring innovator in a period of largely traditional verse.
Hopkins in Monasterevin
Hopkins moved to Dublin in 1884 and died there in 1889. During this time he was a professor of Greek and Latin at University College Dublin.  In letters to his mother and friend, English Poet Laureate Robert Bridges, he fondly mentions taking 6 or 7 short breaks at Monasterevin House with the Cassidy sisters commencing in 1886.  The Cassidy family were wealthy Catholic whiskey distillers.

Saturday 23 July 2016

Metro √Čireann-Kenan Institute for Ethics Intercultural Writing Competition

The 2nd Annual Metro √Čireann-Kenan Institute for Ethics Intercultural Writing Competition seeks to simultaneously enrich Irish intercultural life and foster the development of the next generation of Irish writers. All Irish residents, immigrants and non-immigrants, are encouraged to enter, and no submission fee is required. 

Submissions of original fiction that illuminate the ethical challenges of intercultural diversity in Ireland are invited in the following genres:
• a short story (2,000 words maximum)
• a novel extract (2,000 words maximum)
• a selection of poetry (5 poems maximum) 

All submissions must be previously unpublished. Our panel of judges will pay attention to the following criteria:
• Engagement with Themes of Ethics and Interculturalism
• Creativity/Originality
• Organization/Structure
• Impact on Reader
• Initiative of Beginning Writers

€3200 will be awarded in total to the winners!
Age 14-17 winner (€800) and runner-up (€400)
Age 18-21 winner (€800) and runner-up (€400)
Age 14-21 Spirit of Intercultural Ethics winner (€800)

All submissions must be typed using 12-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced, and sent to with the entrant’s full name and the word ‘Submissions’ in the subject line. Submissions should also include a cover page that provides the entrant’s personal information (name, age, address, telephone number) and details about their work (age category, title).

Submissions are due by Midnight on July 31; winners will be announced on August 5.

Thursday 21 July 2016

Red Line Book Festival Poetry Competition

The annual Red Line Book Festival Poetry Competition is now open for submissions. Part of the Red Line Festival in Tallaght in October, it receives entries from all across Ireland!

Judge: poet Michael O'Loughlin,  judged anonymously.

Prizes: 1st Place €300, 2nd Place €200, 3rd Place €100

Free to enter but you have to print and post with the application form.

A maximum number of 2 poems per person may be submitted.
Poems should be in English and be a maximum of 40 lines (not including the title and spaces between stanzas).
Note: Only for poets yet to publish a full length collection.

For more information on the rules of the competition and how you can enter please click here

Deadline:  Friday 12th August, 2016

Tuesday 19 July 2016

Save As Writers International Competition

Deadline: midnight, Wednesday 31st August 2016

Founded in 2002 by Luigi Marchini, Save As Writers started as a small group of creative people meeting to critique each other’s poetry and prose. Since then many local writers have relished membership of this friendly and vibrant group, sharing interesting and varied material, whilst appreciating all the group offers.

Save As gives support and a voice to novice and experienced writers and publishes their work in the group’s anthologies and solo collections. Their website advertises local and international opportunities for writers to practices their craft, attend courses and submit for publication. In addition to this, Luigi and members run renowned competitions and workshops which attract submissions and attendees from near and far.

It is 100 years since the Easter Rising. To commemorate this event, SaveAs Writers invite poems and short stories on the theme of REBELLION.

Interpret the theme as you wish – political, social or personal rebellion

  • 1st place – £100
  • 2nd place – £50
  • 3rd place – £25
*Publication in an anthology

  • Poetry: Simon Smith, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing UKC
  • Short Stories: Derek Sellen, award-winning writer
  • Entries are judged anonymously and the poet’s name and address should not appear on the poem or short story itself.
  • Poems: 60 lines max
  • Short stories: 3000 words max
Entry Fees
  • £3.00 per poem / £8.00 for three
  • £4.00 per short story / £10.00 for three
  • Winners will be announced at the Awards Evening on Saturday, 29th October 2016, as part of the Canterbury Festival.
More info:

Entries may be emailed to

Sunday 17 July 2016

The Caterpillar Story for Children Prize

Prizes: 1st prize €500 plus a 2-week stay at The Moth’s Artists’ Residence; 2nd prize €300;

3rd prize €200

For an unpublished story (of no more than 1,500 words) by an adult for children aged 7–11. The three winning stories will appear in the winter issue of The Caterpillar.

Judged by Mark Lowery, award-winning author of The Jam Doughnut that Ruined My Life, Pants are Everything and Socks are Not Enough
Entry fee €12

Deadline: 30 SEPTEMBER 2016

Friday 15 July 2016

The Ogham Stone Call for Submissions

Deadline: 28 Aug 2016 5pm

The Ogham Stone, the University of Limerick’s literature and arts journal, is currently inviting submissions for the Spring 2017 edition.

The journal has fast become an influential platform for writers and artists to present their work, and it remains committed to showcasing exciting new work by emerging and established artists. Last year the journal published just under fifty pieces, including short stories, flash fiction, poetry and artwork, and featured new work by Irish writers Colum McCann, Paula Meehan, Joseph O’Connor and Mary O’Malley.
The Spring 2017 issue welcomes submissions in fiction, memoir, poetry, visual arts and photography, short graphic novels, and creative non-fiction
  • All words submitted should be contained within a Microsoft Word document, double-spaced and typed in 12 point font (Times New Roman).
  • All submissions must be emailed to
  • Individuals may submit up to 3 pieces, in any category or cross-category.
  • Prose must not exceed 2,000 words in length. Short graphic novels in double page spread format.
  • Poetry should be submitted the way in which you wish it to appear on the page and no longer than 50 lines.
For detailed submission guidelines please see:

Wednesday 13 July 2016

Drabble about Huntington's Disease

What's a drabble? A flash fiction piece I think.

Your Drabble should be no more than 150 words. It should tell the story of Huntington’s disease and how it impacts on the lives of the people that live with it

Writing out of the HD shadow
Huntington’s disease (HD) is a neurological condition that is still hidden in the shadows and our aim is to use the power of storytelling to raise awareness.
The competition will be judged by Alan and Michael and they will present prizes to three talented writers at the winners event in September 2016.
The Prizes
Over 16
1st Place, £500 and a framed copy of your entry signed by the celebrity writers..
2nd Place, £300 and a framed copy of your entry signed by the celebrity writers.
3rd Place,£100 and a framed copy of your entry signed by the celebrity writers.
Under 16
1st Place, £100 and a framed copy of your entry signed by the celebrity writers.
2nd Place, £50 and a framed copy of your entry signed by the celebrity writers.
3rd Place, £20 and a framed copy of your entry signed by the celebrity writers.

Deadline: 31st of August 2016

Fee of £5.00 for each entry over the age of 16, if you are under 16 there is no administration fee.
Link here

Monday 11 July 2016

Winchester Poetry Prize 2016

Like the festival from which it springs Winchester Poetry Prize aims to surprise and delight.

Judge: Mimi Khalvati

Entry fee: £5 for first poem, £4 for subsequent poems
Closing Date: 31 July 2016

  • First Prize: £1,000
  • 2nd Prize: £500
  • 3rd Prize: £250

In addition to receiving cash prizes, winners will be invited to read at a special prize-giving event at Winchester Poetry Festival on Sunday 9 October 2016. Winning and commended poems will also be published in a competition anthology to be launched at Winchester Poetry Festival.

Poems not longer than 40 lines (excluding title)

Entrants do not need to be resident in the UK to enter, but please note, travel expenses to read at the prize-giving in Winchester are not covered.

To find out more visit this page 

Saturday 9 July 2016

Boyne Berries Call for Submissions

Deadline: Sunday July 24th 2016 midnight

The submission period for Boyne Berries 20 is now open. Boyne Berries 20 will feature poetry and fiction or prose on an open theme.

Send up to 3 poems per poetry submission. Poems should be no more than 40 lines long.

Fiction and prose submissions should be no more than 1500 words.

Please use Times New Roman 12 and single spacing.
Please include a short biographical note.
Submissions should be placed in the body of the email and attached as a word document attachment. Submit to only.

Submissions which fail to adhere to the above criteria will be ignored.

The magazine will be published in late September 2016.

Boyne Berries magazine was established by the Boyne Writers Group and is published twice a year accepting submissions of prose and poetry from all over the world.

Thursday 7 July 2016

Workshop and reading at Boyle Arts Festival

There's lots happening in Boyle this summer. Their Arts Festival is growing more ambitious every year. Not to miss if you possibly can.

I'm involved in two events both on Saturday 23rd July

A workshop - register now! And a reading. A poetry-packed afternoon.

2pm Poetry workshop with Kate Dempsey ; Memory, €10
Boyle Enterprise Centre
Poetry’s oldest duty is preservation. The life we live eludes us as we live it, and when we are old we cannot credit what we have lost — measured by the fragments that we keep – Donald Hall
Memories are increasing disposable in our throwaway society of soundbites and changeable fashion, process, ideas and images. Too many things are about speed up, speed up, newer, better, shinier. But these very memories we have are potentially a rich source of inspiration for writing. We can preserve the moments, places, people, thoughts and relationships, be they beautiful, mundane or uncomfortable, by capturing them in poems, to hold and to keep.

This workshop is for anyone who would like to begin to write poetry or for those who already have some memories captured on paper. It will be a safe, supporting environment so you can leave with the draft of at least one piece of writing with energy and confidence.

Link here

Then a quick trot over to Druminilra Farm Kitchen

4pm Reading with Gerry Boland, Elaine Gaston and Kate Dempsey

Gerry Boland will read from his recently-published second collection, In the Space Between.

Elaine Gaston's debut collection ‘The Lie of the Land’ was published with Doire Press in July 2015 and she currently has work in The Yellow Nib, Poetry Ireland Review: the rising generation, The Stinging Fly and The Ogham Stone.

Kate Dempsey’s poetry is published in many journals in Ireland and the UK. She runs the Poetry Divas, a glittery collective of women poets who blur the wobbly boundary between page and stage. Her debut collection, The Space Between, was published by Doire Press in 2016.

Link here

Wednesday 6 July 2016

STEAM Haiku from Inspirefest

I went to Inspirefest last week at the Bord Gais Theatre. It was an amazing, inspiring, energising, thought-provoking two days. I tweeted some STEAM haiku throughout. I thought as Twitter is so temporary, I'd share them here for a flavour of the festival, twitter handles, hashtags and all. Silicon Republic, who organised it picked up one for an article here

Enda strides inside
Centre of gravity
Realigns the crowd
#Inspirefest #unofficialpoet

More women on walls
Inspire all generations
Statues and street names
#Inspirefest #unofficialpoet #KayMcNulty

Corseted Ada
Weaving algebraic terms
Visions of futures
#Inspirefest #unofficialpoet @zophilpott @adatheshow

Fingertip chips hide
In the fabric of your lives
Wearables abound
#Inspirefest #unofficialpoet #NoelMuphy #iot

Novel spectacle
Engineers think differently
Artists show and tell
#inspirefest #unofficialpoet @ul

Authenticity -
Crucial for working artists
A corporate world
 #Inspirefest #unofficialpoet

Nude is a concept
Not the colour of my legs
Leboutin heels
#Inspirefest #unofficialpoet #STEAMhaiku @judithmwilliams @Dropbox

Leather goddesses of Phobos
First females in games
#Inspirefest #unofficialpoet #gamerhistory

Black game avatars
Homogeneous designers -
Only two hairstyles
 #Inspirefest #unofficialpoet @br

Why no females here?
Boobs too hard to render
Jiggle physics
 #Inspirefest #seriously #unofficialpoet

Our house is threatened
We immediately don
Chainmail bikinis
#inspirefest #unofficialpoet #STEAMhaiku #womengamers @br

What made you happy
When you were eight years old?
We're tall eight year olds
 #inspirefest #unofficialpoet #swings #tellingstories

Most influential?
Mothers. Let's educate them
Maths for everyone
#Inspirefest #unofficialpoet

Hire smart people
Diverse backgrounds, sex and age
They'll figure it out
#Inspirefest #unofficialpoet

Zipcode and parents'
Level of education
Shouldn't fix your path
#inspirefest #unofficialpoet Alex Bernadotte

First child at college
Travelled with a caravan
We were ten cars deep
#inspirefest #unofficialpoet Alex Bernadotte

'It's so important
to be open minded.
This time we mean it’
#inspirefest #unofficialpoet #heardthesame30yearsago #wanttobelive

Quality content
As long as they look like us -
Unconscious bias
#inspirefest #unofficialpoet #stillafactor

Top criterion
For choosing a career?
Will I fit in
#inspirefest #unofficialpoet #shockingresearch

Social media
The sound could travel further
It was deafening
#inspirefest #unofficialpoet #wtf

Not about theatre
Power is about stories
Who gets to tell them
#inspirefest #unofficialpoet #wtf

I won't ask how you
Manage your work life balance
Or about your kids
#inspirefest #unofficialpoet @minniemelange absolute legend

Help save Bletchley Park
Stephen Fry stuck in a lift
Tweets hooked his support
#Inspirefest #unofficialpoet @Dr_Black #arealpleasure

Untapped potential
Returnships - Older workers
Back in the tech fold
#inspirefest #unofficialpoet @accenture @EllynJShook1

What makes us better?
Equal makes us greater than
No more lip service
#inspirefest #unofficialpoet

Eats strategy
For breakfast
#inspirefest #unofficialpoet

I've a confession
Let me share a story
Please relate to me
 #inspirefest #professionalspeakers #unofficialpoet

What is cool for us
Is life-changing for the blind
Driverless cars
#inspirefest #unofficialpoet

Silicon valley dudes
Have a massive man-crush
On Elon Musk
#inspirefest #unofficialpoet #icantseeit @karaswisher

Hard to parody
A parody of itself -
Silicon Valley
#Inspirefest #unofficialpoet

Build your network
Of people who know you
And know what you know
#Inspirefest #unofficialpoet @jkhoey #wisewords

Build your bank account
For side projects and passions
Still need to eat
#inspirefest #unofficialpoet @jkhoey

Remind yourself
You didn't like everyone
At your college
#Inspirefest #unofficialpoet #candidateselection

Embrace the option
Be the token.
Be proud of this
#inspirefest #unofficialpoet

Some business cultures
Worship the cult of overwork
Top down decision
#inspirefest #unofficialpoet

A good egg
Has to change. Must be hatched
Or go bad
#inspirefest #unofficialpoet @Hatch Human analytics

Yoga at lunchtime
Corporate retention
Prolongs the breakup
#inspirefest #unofficialpoet Katherine von Jan

No change no surprise
Taking H out of HR
Working in silos
#inspirefest #unofficialpoet #rethink #refire

Not ready to quit
Not about to slow down
Refire Rewire
#inspirefest #unofficialpoet Wonderfully uncompromising @gianna212

When was the last time
I was doing something
For the first time
#inspirefest #unofficialpoet @raju talks in haiku

Have to speed up
Evolution. Can't afford
#inspirefest #unofficialpoet #ClimateChange #STEAMhaiku

You can't solve
Exponential problems with
Linear fixes
#inspirefest #unofficialpoet #STEAMhaiku @rmchase

If you want to
Go fast
Go alone

If you want to
Go far
Go together
#inspirefest #unofficialpoet #STEAMhaiku African Proverb #Collaboration

Mission statements
Crammed full of corporate speak -
Pass the sick bag
#inspirefest #unofficialpoet #STEAMhaiku

Build your brand
Clear, credible, relevant
Disrupt, interrupt
#inspirefest #unofficialpoet #STEAMhaiku

Soylent is Slimfast
Invented by men for men
Let's call it tech
#inspirefest #unofficialpoet #STEMhaiku @NellieBowles

Design culture
Not attached to mothership
Won't succeed
#inspirefest #unofficialpoet #STEAMhaiku Mark Curtis

Shite WiFi dams flow
Silences interaction
Constipates haiku
#Inspirefest #unofficialpoet

Some things happen fast
But not always because
Things are improving
#inspirefest #unofficialpoet #STEAMhaiku Lorna Ross

Built environment
Daily rituals
#inspirefest #unofficialpoet #STEAMhaiku

Plan from the endpoint
Legacy -the world is better
Because you were here
#inspirefest #unofficialpoet #STEAMhaiku @TamaraMcCleary

More men called John
Lead top companies
Than women
#inspirefest #unofficialpoet #STEAMhaiku #womennotcalledjohn #diversity

Human-centred design
Challenging too much style
Not enough function
#inspirefest #unofficialpoet #STEAMhaiku

Take a guess
3rd highest cause of death?
Medical error
#inspirefest #unofficialpoet #STEAMhaiku @crblease

Grand Canal bank
Come in, use our WiFi. Talk
Really. There's no catch
#Inspirefest #unofficialpoet #STEAMhaiku @talktoBOI

Awesome Abigail -
Wow! How lucky am I
To be alive
#Inspirefest #unofficialpoet #STEAMhaiku @_elena @Lottie_dolls #teary

Outbox incubator girls
Inspire us all
#Inspirefest #unofficialpoet #STEAMhaiku @OutboxIncubator @marycarty

I wanted to be
A face in the crowd
To fit in

In this body
I didn't like
And didn't want

I'm still the same
The biggest change
Is that I'm happy
 #Inspirefest #unofficialpoet #STEAMhaiku @Broken_Liar

If they won't move
In the right direction
We have to shove them
#inspirefest #unofficialpoet #STEAMhaiku venture capital

LA billboard
You're not stuck in traffic
You are the traffic
#Inspirefest #unofficialpoet #STEAMhaiku

Nothing's changed
There's a lot of noise
More talk, no action
#inspirefest #unofficialpoet #STEAMhaiku

Unconscious bias -
Training is not
A magic bullet
#Inspirefest #unofficialpoet #STEAMhaiku it is conscious

To imagine the future
Build the future
#Inspirefest #unofficialpoet #STEAMhaiku @judithmwilliams  @Dropbox

When canaries die
Don't change the canary
Change the atmosphere
#Inspirefest #unofficialpoet #STEAMhaiku @adamquinton

Experts predictions
after ten years - wrong, almost
#Inspirefest #unofficialpoet #STEAMhaiku @maureengaffney #massivefan

The brain is structured
To give emotions
Preeminent roles
#Inspirefest #unofficialpoet #STEAMhaiku @maureengaffney

Nine bits of positive
To reverse
One negative
#Inspirefest #unofficialpoet #STEAMhaiku

Little evidence
That optimists
Are ever worse off
#Inspirefest #unofficialpoet #STEAMhaiku @maureengaffney #Yay

Has a touch of the divine
Shows us bigger things
#Inspirefest #unofficialpoet #STEAMhaiku Catch the heart offguard, blow it open

Tuesday 5 July 2016

Scripts Festival in Birr

Some interesting events happening this week in Birr