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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Jonathan Swift Creative Writing Awards Night 2013

I had a very interesting night at the Jonathan Swift Creative Writing Awards.  I'd only just about found Saggart Heritage and Arts Centre, which is well disguised, (it's located below the church in a yellow building) when who pulled up but Frank Murphy of The Meath Writers' Circle and The Tara Poetry Blog.
So on to business.  Maria Wallace was the jugde and she was aided by Mervyn Ennis in MC duties.  The commended short stories were Boats by Des McInerney, Hayseeds by Patrick A. Gavin, A Sense of Duty by Stewart Devitt, Block Party by Joe McKiernan and Alice by John Martin. 3rd prize went to Tightly Knit by Doreen Duffy, 2nd place went to Vivienne Kearns for her story Escape and the overall winner was Andrew McLaughlin for his story A Found Object.  The stories I heard read were very classy and I was struck by some beautiful descriptive passages.
Commended in the poetry section were Noel King's 20 Park Lane Mews, Orla Donoghue's Twenty Minutes on a Luas, Kenneth Nolan's A Brown Pigeon, Susan Flynn's The Amoeba, Aine Lyons' Nora Barnacle's Wedding, AM Cousins' First Exit After Finglas, Clare O'Reilly's First Friday, Denise Ryan's Inside the Charity Shop and my own After M.C. Escher's Hands Drawing Hands.  In joint 3rd place were Elizabeth O'Carroll's  After Child in the Yard - Luis le Broquey and Frank Murphy's The Deep.  Second place went to Journey by John Power.  The over all winner was Clare O'Reilly, who also had a poem commneded, for her poem Salvation. 

I spoke to one member of the Virginia House Creative Writers' Group who told me that the group is named after Virginia Woolf.  They meet every Friday.  You can find out more about the literary scene in Saggart and Tallaght here

It's Sylvia Plath's birthday today.

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Stony Thursday Book Launch 2013

It was well worth the drive to Limerick and back again for the launch of the wonderful Stony Thursday Book, edited this year by Paddy Bushe.
I received two contributor's copies of the book and I read my poem Into the Night in the Belltable Arts Centre.  Thanks to Limerick City and County Council Arts Office and to Lizanne Jackman, co-ordinator and to everyone involved in the book's production. The cover art is by Catriona O'Connor.
Brian Kirk was there and he read his sestina The Poet's Work.  Honor Duff read her poem The Lure. I also met Susan Kelly who read her poem Skinny Jeans. She has been short listed for this year's Over the Edge New Writer of the Year Competition.  Carmel Cummins read her poem Deargadaol.  It was a thrill to see Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin there and she read her poem I Used to Think... Louis Mulcahy entertained all with The Night She Made Me Eat Her Words. 
The Editor spoke of his difficulty in choosing poems for the journal, over five hundred poets submitted work this year.  It was fantastic to hear the poets, who travelled from all over the country, reading their work.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Jonathan Swift Creative Writing Awards 2013

I was delighted to come home yesterday and find some good news in the post.  My poem After M.C. Escher's Hands Drawing Hands has been short listed in the Jonathan Swift Creative Writing Awards 2013. 

The winners will be announced this Saturday, 26th October.  It feels wonderful to get some validation in a competition and being short listed has given me a boost. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Sleeping Spring

"Sleeping Beauty", by Henry Meynell Rheam

I've been moderately busy editing some short stories and a couple of poems.  I wrote a new sonnet last week which was deeply satisfying.  I took out my old laptop which is in poor condition but it still works and I was able to access documents on it and read some older poems.  A lot of these older poems made me cringe.  So I guess I have grown in my writing but then everything looks different when you have perspective. 
I've lots of images in my mind and I feel like I want to create but I will have to wait until tomorrow maybe to put them on paper. 
Isn't life so beautiful?  It's so amazing sometimes that it's hard to comprehend it.  Sometimes I wish I could paint pictures instead of writing.  The fact remains that nothing gets done without work and application and nothing willl grow unless it is nourished and brought forward.  I think I'm finally getting back on track. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Cuisle International Poetry Festival, Limerick, 24th - 26th October

Pictured above is The Stony Thursday Book from 2011 which included my poem Glove.  It was edited by Mary Coll.  This year my poem Into the Night is included in the anthology.  Brian Kirk's poem The Poet's Work is also included this year and I'm looking forward to seeing all the work included. 

This year the Cuisle Limerick City International Poetry Festival will feature evening performances by Anthony Cronin, Biddy Jenkinson, Macdara Woods, Hugh Maxton, David Wheatley, Adam Wyeth, and Jo Slade.
We especially welcome poets from our partner festivals, which this year is extended to Italy. Veronika Dintinjana (Slovenia), John Davies (UK), and Marco Viscomi (Italy) will be bringing their talents to Limerick.
The lunchtime readings at the Hunt Museum feature Ron Carey (Thursday) and Kerrie O'Brien (Friday). Other events include screenings of poetry films, an open mic session, a varied programme for schools, and the Young Poet of the Year Award. In addition, the yearly poetry anthology The Stony Thursday Book, edited this year by Paddy Bushe, will be launched at the festival.


23 October
24 October
25 October
26 October
11 amYoung Poet Awards
1 pmDon Carey
@ The Hunt Museum
Kerrie O'Brien
@ The Hunt Museum
Tribute to Departed Poets
7 pmThe Stony Thursday Book
launch and reading
8 pmFestival Launch
@ Jerry Flannery's Bar
Jo Slade
Marco Viscomi
Adam Wyeth
Biddy Jenkinson
David Wheatley
Macdara Woods
Anthony Cronin
Hugh Maxton
9:30 pmOpen Mic
@ The White House Bar
a selection of poetry film


The Belltable: Main venue for evening events -- and more! 69 O'Connell St.
The Hunt Museum: Venue for the lunchtime readings. Rutland Street.
The White House Bar: Venue for the open mic. 52 O'Connell St.
Jerry Flannery's Bar: Venue for the festival launch. 19/20 Catherine St.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Don't look, don't look, don't look!!!  Okay you've looked and it's too late to hide behind the couch. 
Remember this guy?  He's Calibos from The Clash of the Titans.  He's actually heavily involved in my latest poem which is an older one that I am editing.  I am also editing two newer ones which are proving tricky to resolve.  

I really want to write tonight but after a long day in work it's hard to summon energy.  I'm also back to college so my energies are being pulled in different directions. 

I'm going to need a winged horse, a magic shield, a powerful sword, a helmet that renders me invisible and a wise owl upon my shoulder.

A dictionary and a good night's sleep will also help.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


The Boyne Berries 14 launch was a great night.  The magazine looks good and reads well.  Well done once again to all involved. 

My latest poem revolves around a hazel nut.  I found a hazel tree nearby at the weekend.  Did you know that Fionn MacCool was called after the hazel?  Cuill means hazel as Gaeilge so he was the son of the hazel.
The first of October today.  It was a wet grey day and the leaves are really beginning to carpet the ground.  I've had a poem accepted for this year's Stony Thursday Book which I'm delighted about.  Thanks to Limerick Arts office and to Paddy Bushe, Editor.  The launch will take place on Thursday, 24th October as part of the Cuisle Poetry Festival. 
Thursday is national poetry day and The Boyne Writers' Group are doing a series of readings in various places around Meath titled 'Our Most Lovely Meath.'  Details of which can be found here: