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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Boyne Berries 1916 Submission Call

The submission period for Boyne Berries 19, which will be a special issue commemorating the centenary of the 1916 Rising, will open on Sunday, 15th November 2015 and close on Sunday, 03rd January, 2016. The magazine will  be published in late March of 2016.
What does 1916 mean to you now? Can you picture life one hundred years ago? Is romantic Ireland dead and gone? What would those figures, those celebrated heroes of our past make of Ireland today if they could step out from the shadows? Is this a time to truly reflect? I don't want to put words in your mouth but I'd love to know what you think, what you feel, what you imagine...
I am keen to read work from writers in the Meath area but national and international submissions are also welcome.
Send up to 3 poems per poetry submission. Poems should be no more than 40 lines long. Fiction and prose submissions should be no more than 1500 words. Please use Times New Roman 12 and single spacing. Please include a short biographical note about yourself. Submissions should be placed in the body of the email and attached as a word document attachment. Submit to only.
Submissions which fail to adhere to the above criteria will be ignored.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Love of Distance

Love of Distance

I remember that, when I was in the house
of my mother, in the farmland,
I had a window that looked out
onto meadows; a distant wooded border
hid the Ticino and, farther away,
there was a dark strip of hills.
Then, I had seen the sea
just once, but I harbored
the bitter nostalgia of a lover.
Toward evening, I gazed at the horizon;
squinted my eyes; and with my eyelashes,
caressed edges and colors:
the strip of hills turned flat,
trembled, became blue: to me it seemed the sea
and I liked it better than the real one.

Antonia Pozzi

(24 April 1929)

Translated by Nicholas Benson

Saturday, September 26, 2015

18th Boyne Berries Launch

Paddy Halligan & Paddy Smith

Steve Wade, Michael Farry & Sinead MacDevitt
Thursday night last saw the successful launch of Boyne Berries 18. A huge thanks to all the contributors who attended and made the night a success. Congratulations to all involved. Boyne Berries 18 can be purchased from Antonia's Bookstore, Trim, from Spar, Trim and online via


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Boyne Berries 18 Launch

Boyne Berries 18 will be launched tomorrow night at 8 p.m. in the Castle Arch Hotel, Trim, Co. Meath. The cover design is by Rory O'Sullivan, a long time member of the Boyne Writers. I'm not going to just say I enjoyed editing the magazine but I will say the following: editing the magazine seems like a blurry dream now but in fact a lot of work went into making the finished product a reality.
This autumn issue brings together contributors from Meath, Louth, Dublin, Cavan, Carlow, Cork, Derry, Antrim, Galway, Kerry, Liverpool, New York and California. The Boyne Writers group would like to thank Meath County Council Arts Office for their generous assistance in funding this issue.
Boyne Berries 18 will be launched by Antonia Daly. Antonia is originally from Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford. After achieving a degree in Civil & Structural Engineering at DIT Bolton Street she went on to work in the Engineering sector until 2005 when she followed her dream of opening a bookshop in Trim, Co. Meath. Antonia's Bookstore is now celebrating it's tenth year in Trim.

Come along to the launch if you fancy stepping into the imaginative world of poetry and prose for an hour or two. All welcome.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Abridged 0 - 47 A Many Splintered Thing

A Many Splintered Thing will be launched on Saturday, 18th July, at Void Gallery, Derry. I'm delighted to have a poem accepted for publication in this issue. This issue accompanies the ‘A Many Splintered Thing’ exhibition at Void Gallery, Derry opening in July curated by Susanne Stich and Gregory McCartney. You can read more about Abridged here .

“while everywhere love is breathing draftily” – Frank O’Hara

Our sense of love is conjured vaguely in our sleep, without sound or alphabet, by the mixing of smells – of our particular detergent, of breakfast crumbs, of tired bodies in tired bedsheets. Its potent moments are dissolved into our days and disseminated among the many, becoming the domestic dust that falls and fills the little crevices of our existence. The constant expansion of time drags against the climactic instants of love and their fullness. We are not accustomed to complete fullness, and do not have the capacity to sustain it. Love therefore must splinter into our long quotidian days. We must fluctuate lest we are to die from love and its devastating totality. We must choose to erupt with its moments, or to survive by allowing it to splinter and fray like a twisting rope. You will find it in your pocket like lint – it is the gunk in the cracks between the things we are sure of seeing, the gunk between the senses. You could call it love when you find yourself picking parts of another person from your skin, particles that have been wedged into your pores like soil or grime under your fingernails. It is the still morning light that bleaches our senses so we can really see the pimpled mossy stuff of love in its stark mundanity. Love is the nesting of a self within another, when duality glints into oneness. It is a closing in. We move closer and closer to the truth, and the inevitable falsities which become the essential truths. We move closer and closer until we cannot see wholes but only splintering fragments.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

North West Issue 4 Summer 2015

North West Words Issue 4 is now available online and I have a poem published in the issue called Fields which is about the fields I knew on my father's farm when I was a child. North West Words (NWW) is edited by Maureen Curran, Eamonn Bonner and Denise Blake.

Included in this issue of NWW are the poets Maurice Devitt, John Saunders and Stephanie Conn, among many others. The artwork for the magazine was created by the North American Allen Forrest. NWW are hosting a writing weekend at the end of July and Niamh Boyce and Moya Cannon will be facilitating workshops there. To view the magazine and learn more about the writing weekend and submitting to further issues of this wee gem visit:

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Boyne Berries 18 Open to Submissions

Boyne Berries 18 opens for submissions of poetry and prose today. The submission period will end on Saturday, 11th July. Boyne Berries 18 will be published in late September. I took over as editor of the magazine last year from Michael Farry and I have two issues under my belt. Boyne Writer Rory O'Sullivan has produced the cover design on both occasions.

I went blindly into the editing process and it was difficult at first to deal with the volume of submissions and with the technicality of producing a print magazine. Luckily I was taking the reins of a well oiled machine and the Boyne Writers were all supportive. I've made mistakes, in the type, in omitting submissions I'd forgotten...but I've learned a lot too. There is no doubt about it that editing a magazine like Boyne Berries is a big responsibility and it is time consuming. Any blinkers worn must be taken off.

I'm excited now to start reading submissions again from all over the world. I'd ask submitters to follow the guidelines regarding submitting in the body of the email and as a word document attachment, and to use times new roman 12 and single spacing. Include a short bio. It will make my work easier and more pleasurable. Please see guidelines

I will endeavour to answer every submission as soon as I can. I particularly encourage first time submitters and anyone who is having second thoughts, don't, never be afraid to begin a journey. Be brave. Open my mind, strike me dead, silence me, lead me onto a new path. Thanks for submitting.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Girls of the Globe by Rosemarie Rowley

Rosemarie Rowleys's seventh poetry collection Girls of the Globe has been published by Arlen House. Rosemarie had her poem There Are Few Times More Precious published in Boyne Berries 17. She has written extensively in form and she has degrees in Irish and English literature, and Philosophy from Trinity College Dublin. Her work has been included in Poetry Ireland Review, Southword, Riposte, Crannog, The Cork Literary Review and The Irish Times, among others.
Rosemarie will be reading on the 17th June at 7 p.m. in Pearse Street Library. You can read more about her here:

Monday, June 1, 2015

Crannog 39

Crannog 39 will be launched on Friday, 26th June in the Crane Bar, Sea Road Galway at 6.30 pm. I have a poem accepted for this issue which I'm delighted about. The poem is called 'Look Back in Wonder...' and it was written about a photo taken from Mars of Earth last year.
Crannog is edited by Sandra Bunting, Jarlath Fahy, Ger Burke and Tony O'Dwyer. It is published in February, June and October and always has a lovely cover design and is a great read. You can find out how to submit here: 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Into 2015

Here we are quite quickly in 2015. I've been too busy with my degree last year to do much creative writing but hopefully, fingers crossed and touch wood, I will pass all my modules and have my degree finished this summer. Boyne Berries 17 is due in March so I will be doing further work on that soon. 

I'm looking through my documents for an old poem because the butterflies keep appearing in the house. It must be the warmth. The document is from December, 2010. I've immediately deleted three verses, the sentiment they contained was embarrassing. 

Butterfly in December

It is strange to find
amid Christmas preparation
some relic of summer,

but on newly varnished wood
meeting Waterloo I rescue
lepidoptera from death.

Why come you here with frosted wings
out of winter melting to memories

What spirit are you?
A lover’s heart
I hold you tenderly,

for I do not know the annals
and feeling like a child remember
life is the weight of wings.