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Sunday, April 18, 2021

The Wormwood Doll

Once again I was delighted to collaborate with Greg Hasting, this time on a piece of magical realism. Greg can be found on Instagram @greghastings1066.  

Sketch of Wood Greg Hastings

The Wormwood Doll


There is a glitch in time, a slicing of space,

from which she pulls the dancer – ballerina pirouettes

on the music box to Brahms, then retires

to the forest-floor-lullaby, sleeping beauty.


Only the full moon can rouse her from this realm,

opaline cuts through fern canopy, splices ground,

quickens a dawn, blush veins and the earth’s vines

relax, release, return the nymph to the glowing path.


She flickers between worlds. Dreamt. Real.

An act of manifestation. Deeper the journey

to come out the other side, where on waking

she will dress, brush her teeth, comb her hair.


Orla Fay

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Poetry Day Ireland Boyne Writers Instapoetry Competition


Boyne Writers over on Instagram (@boyne_writers) will celebrate #poetrydayirl with an Instapoetry competition. Poets can enter from Monday, 19th April until Poetry Day Ireland, Thursday 29th April. The theme this year is ‘New Directions: Maps & Journeys’.

Competition poems should be an original, unpublished work of 4 lines or less with an original background. Think haiku, couplet or free verse on variations of maps, journeys, the local and beyond. Let loose with your camera, and embolden your imagination! Embrace the technological, the creativity in social media. 

Prizes for the best 5 pieces will be announced on Poetry Day. 

Tag Boyne Writers, @boyne_writers, to enter and look out for the hashtag to include too at the weekend. 

More at

Monday, April 12, 2021

Submissions Invited for Drawn to the Light Press Issue 3


Aurora Deirdre McKernan

Deadline: 30 Apr 2021

The submission period for issue 3 will open on Thursday 1 April, and close on Friday 30 April at midnight. This issue will be published in June.

Please send up to 3 poems of 40 lines or less, each. Work should be previously unpublished. Please use Times New Roman font, size 12. Send poetry in the body of the email and as a word document attachment. Those submitting should be over 18. Poets or artists can expect a response in May (a 4-6 week turnaround).

Submissions of artwork and photography are also invited.

Send submissions to

If your work has been included in the previous issue (issue 2), then do not submit to #3. 

All submissions are seen, read and valued.

More here 

Friday, April 2, 2021

A Trio of Publications


Recently I had three poems published. Crannóg included Optimism Dressed as Joy in issue 54, spring 2021, and they will have an online launch next Friday, April 9th at 6.30 pm. 

Impossible Archetype gave a home to La Dolce Pantera Nera in issue #9 which can be read here. This poem arose in January while I was doing a writing challenge and dreamt of a black panther.

Lastly thanks to Abridged for including Serket Speaks in the Trivia issue. Trivia was the Roman goddess of sorcery and witchcraft, haunting crossroads and graveyards. Serket was an Egyptian goddess of nature, medicine, and magic associated with the scorpion. The poem is paired with an image by photographer Kevin Fletcher from a series called 'Avenue of Roses'. The goddess is speaking here.

Huge thanks to the editors of these wonderful magazines. 

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Days of Clear Light from Salmon Poetry

A celebration of Salmon Poetry at 40, and a Festschrift in honour of Jessie Lendennie Days of Clear Light contains a foreword by President Michael D. Higgins. 

Edited by Alan Hayes and Nessa O'Mahony, it is a beautiful anthology of poetry and it can found here. Congratulations to Jessie who is so warmly appreciated in the book, and to all the wonderful Salmon poets involved. 

There's also an article in The Irish Times about Jessie which can be read here.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Trim Poetry Festival 2021 and Open Mic

Trim Poetry Festival takes place tomorrow, Saturday, 13 March 2021. 

Viewers can watch the events on Trim Poetry Festival blog, and on Boyne Writers Instagram @boyne_writers.

10am: Live Online Poetry Workshop by Anne Tannam. Fully Booked.

3pm: Readings by members of Boyne Writers Group.

4pm: Results of Trim Poetry Competition 2021: 

Introduction and Comments by the judge, Jean O’Brien.

Readings by the winner, the runners up and some of the shortlisted poets.

6pm: Poetry Reading by Jean O’Brien.

7pm: Poetry Reading by Boyne Writers Member, Orla Fay, from her chapbook “Drawn to the Light”.

8pm: Poetry Open Mic on Zoom with Rachel Coventry as MC. 

Trim Poetry Festival : Poetry Open Mic on Zoom with Rachel Coventry as MC. at 8pm on Saturday 13 March.

Five minutes each. Use this link to join the Zoom Open Mic. The room opens at 7.45pm and people can register to read on a first come basis. : Meeting ID: 534 075 6676

Rachel Coventry’s poetry has appeared in many journals including Poetry Ireland Review, The SHop, Cyphers, The Honest Ulsterman and The Stony Thursday Book. She has just completed a PhD on Heidegger’s poetics at NUIG. Her debut collection, Afternoon Drinking at the Jolly Butchers, was published by Salmon Poetry in 2018.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Ode to a Nightingale, John Keats

Midsummer Eve Edward Robert Hughes 1908

Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
         Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
         Though the dull brain perplexes and retards:
Already with thee! tender is the night,
         And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
                Cluster'd around by all her starry Fays;
                        But here there is no light,
         Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
                Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.

I couldn't let the day pass without revisiting my favourite John Keats poem, Ode to a Nightingale. It always makes me think of a beautiful summer night. Today marks the bicentenary of his death in 1821. He was only 25. In my chapbook I include a poem called John Keats' Ghost but here I'm going to add another he inspired, which appeared in Skylight 47