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Sunday, December 16, 2018

New Year Daytime Creative Writing with Susan Millar DuMars at Galway Arts Centre

Starting in January, Galway Arts Centre presents a daytime class for all those beginner and continuing creative writing students out there, facilitated by Susan Millar DuMars. Susan Millar DuMars writes both poetry and fiction. A collection of her stories, Lights In The Distance, was published in December 2010 by Doire Press; she has published four collections of poetry, Big Pink Umbrella (2008), Dreams For Breakfast (2010), The God Thing (2013), & Bone Fire (2016) all with Salmon Poetry. Susan was the Featured Fiction writer in a the American online magazine The Atticus Review. She is also co-organiser of the Over The Edge reading series which specifically promotes new writers. Susan edited the anthology Over the Edge – the first ten years, published by Salmon, which includes work by forty seven writers who have published a first book since they did a reading at an Over The Edge: Open Reading in Galway City Library.

The class is suitable for both beginning and continuing creative writing students, working in either poetry or fiction. Students will spend their weeks responding to writing exercises designed to inspire, rather than inhibit. In class, they will receive gentle feedback on their work from their classmates and from the teacher. The class takes place on Monday afternoons, 2.30-4.30pm, commencing on Monday, January 21st. It runs for 8 weeks.

The cost to participants is 110 Euro with an 100 Euro concession price. Booking is essential as places are limited. There are no refunds once the class has started. For booking please contact Galway Arts Centre, 47 Dominick Street, phone 091 565886, email, or go to


Starting in January, Galway Arts Centre is offering aspiring poets a choice of three poetry workshops, all facilitated by poet Kevin Higgins, whose best-selling first collection, The Boy With No Face, published by Salmon Poetry, was short-listed for the 2006 Strong Award for Best First Collection by an Irish poet. Kevin’s second collection of poems, Time Gentlemen, Please, was published in 2008 by Salmon Poetry and his poetry is discussed in The Cambridge Introduction to Modern Irish Poetry. His third collection Frightening New Furniture was published in 2010 by Salmon. His work also appears in the generation defining anthology Identity Parade –New British and Irish Poets (Ed. Roddy Lumsden, Bloodaxe, 2010) and The Hundred Years’ War: modern war poems (Ed Neil Astley, Bloodaxe April 2014).  A collection of Kevin’s essays and book reviews, Mentioning The War, was published by Salmon Poetry in 2012. Kevin’s poetry has been translated into Greek, Russian, Spanish, Italian, Japanese & Portuguese. His fourth collection of poetry, The Ghost in the Lobby, was published in 2014 by Salmon. Kevin's poetry was the subject of a paper 'The Case of Kevin Higgins, or, The Present State of Irish Poetic Satire' presented by David Wheatley at a Symposium on Satire at the University of Aberdeen. Kevin was satirist-in-residence with the alternative literature website The Bogman’s Cannon 2015-16 and is Writer-in-Residence at University Hospitals Galway. 2016 – The Selected Satires of Kevin Higgins was published by NuaScéalta in early 2016; a pamphlet of Kevin’s recent political poems The Minister For Poetry Has Decreed was published in 2016 by  the new Culture Matters imprint of U.K. based Manifesto Press. Song of Songs 2:0 – New & Selected Poems is published by Salmon (Spring 2017) and launched at the 2017 Cúirt Festival. The Stinging Fly magazine described Kevin as “likely the most widely read living poet in Ireland”. His poems have been quoted in The Daily Telegraph, The Times (UK), The Independent, The Daily Mirror, in Hot Press magazine, on Tonight With Vincent Browne; and read aloud by film director Ken Loach at a political meeting in London.

Each week Kevin will give participants a poetry writing exercise for the following week and will offer each participant constructive suggestions as to how her or his poem can become the best possible poem it can be.

Kevin is an experienced workshop facilitator and several of his students have gone on to achieve publication success. One of his workshop participants at Galway Arts Centre won the prestigious Hennessy Award for New Irish Poetry, two have won the Cúirt New Writing Prize, and yet another the Cúirt Poetry Grand Slam, while several have published collections of their poems; two being shortlisted for the Shine-Strong Award for Best First Collection of poems. In 2013 a group of his students set up the poetry newspaper Skylight 47, which publishes new poems, reviews of poetry books and opinion pieces about poetry related matters. Kevin teaches poetry on the NUIG BA Creative Writing Connect programme and is Creative Writing Director for the NUI Galway Summer School. Kevin is also co-organiser of the successful Over The Edge reading series which specialises in promoting new writers.

Each workshop will run for ten weeks, commencing the week of Monday January 21st.  They will take place on Tuesday evenings, 7-8.30pm (first class Tuesday, January 22nd); on Thursday afternoons, 2-4pm (first class Thursday, January 24th) and on Friday afternoons, 2-3.30pm (first class Friday, January 25th).

The Tuesday evening and Friday afternoon workshops are open to both complete beginners as well as those who’ve been writing for some time. The Thursday afternoon workshop is an Advanced Poetry Workshop, suitable for those who’ve participated in poetry workshops before or had poems published in magazines. The cost to participants is €110, with a €100 concession rate.

Places must be paid for in advance. To reserve a place contact reception at Galway Arts Centre, 47 Dominick Street, phone 091 565886, email, or go to

Monday, December 03, 2018

New Year Beginners & Intermediate Creative Writing Classes at Galway Technical Institute BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW

Susan Millar DuMars & Kevin Higgins

Creative Writing for Beginners with Kevin Higgins takes place one evening per week (Monday) from 7-9.30pm (8 weeks). It commences on Monday, January 14th, 2019. Advance booking is essential. Places cost €120. Kevin Higgins will provide writing exercises for, and give gentle critical feedback to, those interested in trying their hand at writing stories, poems, or memoir.

Intermediate Creative Writing with Susan Millar DuMars takes place one evening per week (Tuesday) from 7-9pm (8 weeks) with a mid-term break. It commences on Tuesday, January 15th, 2019. Advance booking is essential. Places cost €120. This class is suitable for those who’ve participated in creative writing classes before or begun to have work published in magazines. Flexible exercises and work-shopping of assignments, together with the study of the works of published writers, will help each class member to find their own writing voice.

YOU CAN ALSO BOOK in person at Galway Technical Institute, Monday-Friday, (10am-4.30pm).

For further information contact Galway Technical Institute, Father Griffin Road, Galway, phone 091-581342 or email or see  

Sunday, December 02, 2018

Over The Edge: Open Reading of 2018 with Daniel McBrearty, Evan Costigan, Declan Varley PLUS open-mic

The December ‘Over The Edge: Open Reading’ takes place in Galway City Library on Thursday, December 13th, 6.30-8.00pm. The Featured Readers are Declan Varley, Evan Costigan, & Daniel McBrearty. There will as usual be an open-mic after the Featured Readers have finished which this month will feature, among others, poets studying on the MA in Writing at NUI Galway. New readers are especially welcome. The Over The Edge Christmas celebration will take place afterwards. 

Daniel McBrearty, or Danny to his friends, is a writer of both poetry and prose. The Donegal native's poetry has been published in A New Ulster, and his fiction was chosen as the winner in the Ulster Male category in Hot Press' Write Here Write Now Competition last May. A student of creative writing at NUI Galway, Danny’s writing deals with being young in an irrational world. He has no idea what his writing style is. That’s for other people to decide.
Evan Costigan’s poems have been published in Poetry Ireland Review, The Stinging FlyThe Irish Times, The Moth, The Stony Thursday Book, Abridged, Cyphers and elsewhere. Selected for the 216 Poetry Ireland Introductions Series, he is a past winner of the Boyle Arts Festival Poetry Competition and the Francis Ledwidge International Poetry Award. In 2017 he won the Red Line Book Festival Poetry Competition and the Oliver Goldsmith Literary Festival Poetry Competition. His work has been shortlisted for a Hennessy Literary Award and selected for the Best New British and Irish Poets Anthology 2018 from Eyewear Publishing. The recipient of several bursaries and residencies, Evan has been a featured reader at festivals and events, including: Electric Picnic; International Literature Festival Dublin; the Art Bar Series, Toronto. Born in Dublin and raised in county Kildare, he has lived abroad most of his adult life. He now divides his time between the west coast of Ireland and Dublin where he works as a creative writing facilitator. His website is

Declan Varley is a striking new voice in the great tradition of Irish literary fiction. Born in 1965, he grew up in the small town of Ballinrobe in County Mayo, Ireland. In his teens, Declan began his career in writing when he established a weekly magazine with a group of friends. That publication gave Declan the motivation he needed to use words as his trade, writing the college subculture novel Kittyland in 1992, followed by Sure It Could Happen (1993) The Elephant’s Graveyard, (1994) and Nightmusic (2001). A successful career in journalism followed, writing award winning stories for regional, national, and international newspapers. He is currently Group Editor of Galway Advertiser Newspapers. Declan lives in Galway with his wife, Galway Bay fm Head of News Bernadette Prendergast and their daughter, Giselle. His latest novel, The Confession of Peadar Gibbons, was published earlier this year.

As usual there will be an open-mic after the Featured Readers have finished. New readers are always most welcome. The MC for the evening will be Susan Millar DuMars. For further details phone 087-6431748.

Over The Edge acknowledges the ongoing generous financial support of Galway City Council, Poetry Ireland, & The Arts Council.