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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Ofi Press Magazine Special Arctic Issue 52

The Dreamer of Dreams - Edmund Dulac (1915)

The Ofi Press is an international online literary magazine based in Mexico City, Palma de Mallorca, Luxembourg and Savannah, Georgia. Submissions were accepted for a special ARCTIC edition to be co-edited by Jack Little and Agnes Marton, following Agnes' recent research trip to the Arctic circle.

I was delighted to have a poem called Norman Bates Dreams of Snow accepted for this issue of The Ofi Press which I commend for its highlighting of the beauty of the Arctic as it faces global warming melting the ice and companies seeking to exploit the environment for oil. According to Greenpeace The people and animals that live in the Arctic depend on its unique ecosystem to survive. Yet major companies like Shell and Exxon are making aggressive moves to usher in a new “oil rush” in the Arctic Ocean. In some places it has already begun. Russian oil giant Gazprom has already begun producing small amounts of oil from the Arctic in the ocean north of Russia.

I wrote three poems for this submission call and in the end Norman Bates Dreams of Snow wrote itself. There is a lot of quality work to read in this issue and I especially enjoyed Drawing the North by Ellis O'Connor for her first-hand account of being in the Arctic. Congratulations to all involved. You can read the entire issue here

The Ofi Press Special Arctic Issue

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Clasp by Doireann Ní Ghríofa

I picked up a copy of Doireann Ní Ghríofa's first English-language collection of poems, Clasp, in the library recently. I was happy to find that I enjoyed reading her poems and I got the impression that this is someone worth reading and listening to. There is a freshness and a simplicity to her lines that quietly pull you in. 

The poems touch on subjects such as the moral quandary faced by the housemaid of Emily Dickinson; whether to burn her work or keep the poet's words which awaken the maid at night? (Valise of Memories) A trip to Chile is evoked in Maeve in Chile where Ní Ghríofa concludes that though she is very far from home geographically she has never been closer emotionally. Childhood memories arise in Triolet from the keeper of childhood memories, motherhood in Jigsaw and female mutilation in the uncomfortable Instructions To Kill A Daughter's Minotaur. Heady lust swims in After School and In the Post Office. Narcissus is a clever and modern take on the character from myth.  The very Irish issue of industrial school abuse is explored in At Letterfrack. Waking meanwhile is dedicated to Savita Halappanavar. The book finishes with the long, weaving Seven Views of Cork City.

Clasp is divided into three sections, Clasp, Cleave Clench. I recommend reading a copy of  Clasp, published by Dedalus Press, 2015.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Boyne Berries 21

Boyne Berries 21 will be launched on Thursday, 30th March, 2017 at 8 p.m in The Castle Arch Hotel by poet Jackie Gorman. All are welcome to attend. Many of the contributors will read on the night. Copies of the magazine will be available to purchase on the night.

Jackie Gorman is from Athlone. Her poetry has been published in a number of publications including Poetry Ireland Review, The Honest Ulsterman, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, The Lonely Crowd and Obsessed With Pipework. Her work has been commended in the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Awards. In 2016, she won the Phizzfest Poetry Award.She is currently studying for an MA in Poetry Studies at the Irish Centre for Poetry Studies at DCU.

Boyne Berries 21 features work by:

Frances Browne
Pete Mullineaux
Emily Cullen
Colin Dardis
Arthur Broomfield
Clare McCotter
Emily O’Sullivan
Trish Delaney
Rosemarie Rowley
Alice Kinsella
John Prior
Liz Quirke
Adrienne Leavy
Anamaria Julia Dragomir
Winifred McNulty
Órla Fay
Bernie Crawford
Lauren Moriarty
Jackie Gorman
Eamon Cooke
Maria Isakova Bennett
Evan Costigan
Alistair Graham
Diarmuid Fitzgerald
Andy Jones
Rory O’Sullivan
Pauline Flynn
Eamon McGuinness
Christine Valters Paintner
David Butler
Anne Crinion
Trisha McKinney
Sheena Power
Caroline Carey Finn
Fiona Joyce
Shona Woods
Tom Dredge
Helen Simcox
Kevin Griffin
Eoin Devereux

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Launch of The Ogham Stone Doolin Writers' Weekend

The Ogham Stone literary journal are pleased to invite you to the launch of our 2017 publication. The launch is scheduled to take place on Saturday 4 February at 8pm at the Doolin Writers’ Weekend. Full programme details of the Writers’ Weekend can be found at

The journal will be launched by the University of Limerick Writer in Residence Julian Gough, and attended by many other writers, contributors, representatives from the university and members of The Ogham Stone editorial team.

The magazine will have a second launch, later in February at the University of Limerick. I'm delighted to have a poem included in this issue.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Found Poem

Found Poem


Graffitied on the alleyway

that we may, or may not

have ran down as children:


Trust the universe; the sea,

the waltzing waves,

the night!


Across the depths a boat

poised between the sky and water

skimming some kind of eternity


not some dead end or cul de sac.


Órla Fay

Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year Poem

Knights Not Nights, Ross Bleckner

Happy New Year to everyone. I've just written this poem while peeling the spuds for tomorrow's dinner. I hope you all have a good day tomorrow.
Knights Not Nights
After Bleckner
New Year comes to darken the lighter sky
to sever the night from its stiff black tie
to dance with visions and the dream not dry
as time peers on with paternal dry eye.
And later dazzling bright fireworks fizzle
succumbing to the rain’s softer drizzle
to pools of water that are a mirror
to lost light, and the light still to capture.
In these shadows of shady reflection
candles quicken with great satisfaction
drinking the darkness that birthed their flame
that calls out strength giving courage her name.
So they pass on this journey men and days
on roads known to life, and death, their ways.
Órla Fay

Monday, December 19, 2016

Spontaneity Issue 11

It's satisfying to finish off the year with a poem included in the current issue of Spontaneity. The arts magazine deals with inspiration and it links pieces of writing, art and photography like threads in a labyrinth or a spider's web. Edited by Ruth McKee this issue features work by Clodagh Beresford Dunne, Denise Blake, Aoife Reilly, Fiona Perry, Susan Lindsay, Julia Webb, Niall McArdle, Sandra Arnold and I.

My included poem 'Devil-may-care' was written in the summer after a trip to the sea. It links to a painting in a previous issue of Spontaneity called 'Firewalk with me'. Have a read y'all and enjoy!