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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Outburst 9

Outburst 9 is now available to view online. It is edited by the somewhat eccentric Arthur Broomfield. I am very happy that he included my poem "All is One" in this issue.

You can view Outburst 9 here:

"All is One" owes its origin to the two very cold winters we recently experienced. I also had in mind T.S. Eliot's lines "let us go then you and I when the evening is spread out against the sky like a patient etherized upon a table". Further to this I had in mind the image of the Ouroborous as mentioned in the poem. The Ouroborous is sometimes a snake and sometimes a dragon. This is the year of the dragon. The idea of yin and yang can be explored here, the duality of nature. The symbol of the Phoenix is closely related.

Also included in this issue are Peadar O'Donoghue who edits the Poetry Bus, which I know very little about but must look up, Kerrie O'Brien, Nora Ward, Maire Morrissey Cummins, Tara Kelly, Tara White, Phillip Larrea, Declan Furlong, Steven Byrne and PC Vandall.

I hope my poem captures the philosophy that everything is a cycle. This cherry blossom tree below surely shows the cyclic renewal of nature. In the winters it was so bare I marvelled that it could ever flower again, but lo and behold...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Capering Moons Anatoly Kudryavitsky

I'm dipping in and out of Capering Moons, a book of Haiku and Senryu poetry by Anatoly Kudryavitsky who is the editor of Shamrock Haiku Journal.  The book was published last year by Doghouse.  Michael Farry gave me this collection at last week's Boyne Readings and open mic.

Capering means to leap or frisk about; frolic. 

through the forest -
in waterlogged footprints,
capering moons

writes Kudryavitsky.

The haiku are initially divided into seasons.  There is then a section of more haiku and senryu, followed by two sequences about Italy and Ghent and the book closes with a haibun called Ufa City

Two haiku about summer immediately caught my eye, literally.  Visually great imagery is evoked:

now you see it, now you don't
white butterfly
at Dover Cliffs


starry night
a black and yellow ladybird
sits still.

There is a lot to read and take in here in this book.  It is available to purchase from Doghouse for 12 euro if you follow the link below :

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Michael Slavin at the Boyne Readings

Michael Slavin reads, photo courtesy of Paddy Smith

I enjoyed Thursday night's reading and open mic.  Michael Slavin told us about his love of Tara.  He differentiated between the historical Tara and mythical Tara.  In Ireland's ancient books the legends are told by a magical storyteller called Tuan. Tuan was a shape changer and often appeared in the form of an eagle or a stag.


You can read about the myths and legends associated with Tara in Slavin's books Ancient Tara Legends and The Book of Tara.  He also wrote The Ancient Books of Ireland.

The open mic was rich.  Jenny Anderson read about what grows in your garden and Tom Dredge two poems, Progress and Bi-Polar.   Tommy Murray attended and read two fine poems.  He will read from Swimming with Dolphins at the next Boyne Readings in May.  I read three poems.  Barbara Flood, Anne Crinion, Caroline Finn and Michael Farry also read. 

Paddy Smith was MC on the night.  He was photographer and read a short story too.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Boyne Readings and Open Mic April

The first Boyne Readings and Open Mic of 2012 will commence this Thursday, 19th April at 8 p.m.   The featured reader will be Michael Slavin who performed the launch of Boyne Berries 11. When it came to choosing readers for this session of the Boyne Readings Michael Slavin seemed to be a name on everyone's lips.  Previous readers have included the wealth of Tom French, James lawless, Kate Dempsey, Susan Connolly, Michael Farry, Frank Murphy, Tommy Murray, Brendan Carey Kinnane, Kieran Furey, Noel King, Oran Ryan and Ross Hattaway among many.  The Boyne Readings have been running since April 2009.  Read Michael Farry's blog piece about the inaugural event here

Born in 1931, Michael Slavin has been a keen observer of horses since the time they were worked on his family’s farm in Cavan in the thirties and forties. When he moved to Dublin after the War the Horse shows at the RDS became an annual pilgrimage.  Soon after returning home, from studying abroad in the late sixties, he began a career as equestrian journalist and commentator. He has written for the Irish Field, Irish Farmers Journal, Horse and Hound plus other equine publications in six countries. He acted as RTE Radio’s Show Jumping and Eventing commentator for 20 years. His previous books include Irish Show Jumping Legends 1868-1998; The Ancient Books of Ireland and The Book of Tara. He now runs an antiquarian book shop at the Hill of Tara.

Admission is 5 euro.  Tea and coffee will be served.  All are welcome to attend and participate in the Open Mic.  The event takes place in The Coffee Shop, Knightsbridge Retirement Village, Longwood Road, Trim, Co. Meath.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Artistic Atlas of Galway

This atlas is an ambitious project of Liam Duffy's. He is in the process of compiling a cultural atlas of Galway using poetry, photography and maps created by people who all share a common love or appreciation of the county. Many of the contributors live in the city, have studied there or have travelled there.

I met Liam when he was editing The Sharp Review, the student literary magazine of Nuig's. Later he was keenly involved in the compiling of Nuig's writers' society writers' exchange chapbook. He received a small grant from to help him get started with this latest venture.

To show your support for this project please visit the atlas' Facebook page, like and share it. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter is Over

Morning blog! Easter is over, the Lord is risen and walks the land, rejoice! It's a bitterly cold start. May May be warm and pleasant.

I have a new notebook, a gift, which I hope to begin to fill today. I am thinking about haiku and a free verse poem.

The cherry blossoms and hawthorns are paving the way to June. The daffodil hour is spent and primroses are reaching their prime.

We walk in the dawn light.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Boyne Berries 11 Launch

It was a fantastic and successful night. The 11th issue was launched by Michael Slavin. Paddy Smith and Michael Farry were Masters of Ceremonies. I read my poem "May Beneath the Castle".  The highlights of the night were Michael Farry reading "Atonement" by Caroline Van Der Meer and Danielle McLaughlin reading her short story "In the Shore Field". Michael Farry honoured the memory of Adrienne Rich. Peter Goulding was in the audience and L.A. Speedwing recited her poem "Lunch Breaks" too! Well done to all the hard working and talented Boyne Writers.
Michael Slavin
Danielle McLaughlin