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Thursday, February 1, 2018

St. Brigid's Day Poem

St. Brigid’s Day Prayer


Here we lay our winter’s sorrow

for the dark eye

and from the source of the healer

we find the milk of the white cow at Imbolc.


The sheep are on the hill

and it is bitterly cold

yet basking in new lamb’s light

Meath rises from genuflection.


Listening to the land and the season

she becomes deified.  We pay homage

and show appreciation for the return

of what we love.


In reverence

we do not take for granted

the mother’s blessing;

the maturing and coming to fruition


of the afterlife sown,

time and again,

by the waterwheel of the river

and the miller’s trickling hands.


When the wailing rain

bring us to ruin

I name you, I pronounce you

and call you into existence


asking she who is intrinsically one

that we would have the strength

and direction of one hundred

hurtling birds in a storm.


Queen of February come to us

now that we are leaving

the season of death behind,

fill our branches once again.


In the great stirring of bulbs and animals;

snowdrops, daffodils and primroses,

foxes, badgers and hares, all call your name –


O Goddess, O holy woman!


Órla Fay


Sunday, December 17, 2017

Some Recent Publications Part Two

It had slipped my mind that Clear Poetry, a UK based zine edited by Ben Banyard, published two of my poems in September.

It was a real joy to write some poems for The Pickled Body's "A lot of what I like is trash" submission over the summer and to have a poem included in the issue which can be read here.

In June The Honest Ulsterman published my poem A Day of Rain which had been very cathartic to write.

Thanks to Dodging the Rain for including "The Singing Lighthouse" on their site in the autumn.

Another highlight of the year was the inclusion of a villanelle in Lagan Online's "Inking the Unthinkable".

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Some Recent Publications


I had two poems included in The Meath Writers Circle's 3rd Annual Magazine as seen above. The magazine includes a lovely foreword by Frank Murphy remembering writers and poets past; FR Higgins, Tommy Murray, Jonathan Swift, Francis Ledwidge, James Clarence Mangan, Myra Lalor and John Wiseman. Thanks to Michael Farry for passing the magazine on as I could not attend the launch night. Boyne Berries 23 is now open for submissions and details can be found here.

Most recently I was delighted to have a poem about a visit to Paris published online at STEPAWAY MAGAZINE, issue 25, which is based in Newcastle, and edited by Darren Richard Carlaw. The premise of submitting work for this magazine is to write about the city:

StepAway Magazine is an award-winning online literary magazine which publishes the best urban flash fiction and poetry by writers from across the globe. The title of the magazine draws inspiration from Frank O’ Hara’s landmark flâneur poem, “A Step Away from Them”. Our magazine is hungry for literature that evokes the sensory experience of walking in specific neighborhoods, districts or zones within a city. This is flânerie for the twenty-first century.

I was also thrilled to have some poems included on the wonderful Poethead which is edited by Christine Murray.

Cyphers Magazine also published my poem York's Walls in its most recent issue 84 and I attended the launch night in November.



Friday, September 22, 2017

Shortlist for The 2017 Red Line Book Festival Poetry Competition announced!

We are delighted to announce the shortlisted poems, judged by Mary O'Donnell, in The 2017 Red Line Book Festival Poetry Competition!
The shortlist, in alphabetical order by title, is:

Digital shadow Orla Fay
The flight of the spiderlings
Paul McMahon
Home leave John Davies
The imaginary daughter
Alyn Fenn
The lean season Evan Costigan
Metamorphosis Alyn Fenn
Preparation Donna Deeks
Six ways to wash your hands (Ayliffe 1978) Annemarie Ní Churreáin
The sleepover lie James Anthony
Spring, Ballintemple Benjamin Keatinge
A subjective history of orchids Rachel Coventry
There was no funeral Jessamine O’Connor
Tweets Felicia McCarthy

Shortlisted entrants are invited to read their work at our Poetry First event in the Civic Theatre on Wednesday 11th Oct, where the winners will be announced.
Alongside our Poetry Awards Ceremony, we will also be having a panel discussion on First Collections, chaired by Nessa O'Mahoney, and featuring Brian Kirk, Eamonn Lynskey and Phil Lynch.

More info here:

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Over the Edge New Writer of the Year Longlist 2017

I was also over the moon to make the longlist for poetry in this years Over the Edge New Writer of the Year Competition. I entered 3 very different poems in the competition which is judged this year by Nicki Griffin. Good luck to everyone. You can read the longlist for fiction and poetry here:

The Dermot Healy Poetry Award 2017 Short List

It was a thrill to be longlisted and then shortlisted for The Dermot Healy Poetry Prize, judged this year by Vona Groake. Fellow Boyne Writer Evan Costigan also made the shortlist. It is truly a fine shortlist. My poem is called The Resonance of Shells. The longlist and shortlist can be read here


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Boyne Berries 22, The Ledwidge Issue

Cover Design Rory O'Sullivan
It's great to say that Boyne Berries 22, The Ledwidge Issue is gone to the printer for a first proof. I'm always relieved when I get to this stage though there is a lot of editing and proof-reading to be done yet. I'm lucky to have the assistance of fellow Boyne Writer, Frances Browne, in this.
This issue contains 44 poems, 4 pieces of non-fiction, 5 pieces of fiction, 5 photographs and 5 pieces of artwork. I'm looking forward to letting you know more soon and I'm delighted to show you the front cover.