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Monday, October 22, 2018

Hennessy New Irish Writing in The Irish Times

It's been 6 months since I last blogged but as usual life caught up. I've good news all round really. I had 2 poems published in The Irish Times and equally thrilling is the fact that I have a poem forthcoming in Poetry Ireland Review, edited by Eavan Boland, no less.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Crossways Magazine, The Bangor Literary Journal and Boyne Berries 23 Launch

Boyne Berries 23 Cover Design by Rory O'Sullivan
A Representation of the Millennium Bridge, Trim 

I was please to have some work published lately in Crossways Magazine and The Bangor Literary Journal. Both these journals are new ventures and I believe Crossways has just opened its submission period for a summer issue!!

The Bangor Literary Journal has published a special Spring/Easter issue called Spring's Bride, the title is taken from the title of my included poem, Spring's Bride which is an homage to the cherry blossom tree. The poems is 4 or 5 years old and I have reworked it a few times. I'm delighted it now has a home. Enjoy the poem and much more here.

In other news, Boyne Berries 23 is being launched this Thursday, 5th April, at 8 p.m. in The Castle Arch Hotel, Trim, by poet Rachel Coventry. Rachel’s poetry has featured in many journals including Poetry Ireland Review, The SHOp, Cyphers, Stony Thursday Book, and Honest Ulsterman. She was selected for the Poetry Ireland Introductions Series in 2014. In 2016 she won the Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust Annual Poetry Competition and was short-listed for the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award. She is writing a PhD on Heidegger’s poetics at the National University of Ireland, Galway. Salmon Poetry will publish her debut collection this year.

If you can make it entry is free and copies of the magazine (which I edit) will be available to purchase on the night for €10. Contributors to the issue will read their work. All welcome! Tea, coffee and biscuits served courtesy of Boyne Writers Group.

Monday, March 26, 2018

A Heron on the Boyne

I came across a heron on the Boyne today and had to stop and admire its poise. I got a few snaps before I'd come too close for comfort. I wrote this poem a couple of years ago.

Heron on the Boyne

Icy chill between the bridges
funnelled on the river’s face
surprises snap-blast
impacting on thought. 

Before he stood wizened
with wispy beard
on the banks
above the reeds and rushes

and I contemplative of his stance
found solace in shared solitude.
Here there is no weight
that is not borne

in conversation water-reflected
and I-to-I expel fear,
time’s herald and child
wallowing before the flight.

Órla Fay

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: