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Sunday, April 11, 2021


Kevin Higgins

Starting in May, Galway Arts Centre is offering aspiring poets a choice of three online 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, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, German, Serbian, Russian, & Portuguese. In 2014 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.  He was Satirist-in-Residence at the Bogman’s Cannon (2015-16). '2016 - The Selected Satires of Kevin Higgins' was published by NuaScéalta in 2016; a pamphlet of Kevin’s political poems The Minister For Poetry Has Decreed was published, also in 2016, by the Culture Matters imprint of the UK based Manifesto Press. His poems have been praised by, among others, Tony Blair’s biographer John Rentoul, Observer columnist Nick Cohen, historian Ruth Dudley Edwards, and Sunday Independent columnist Gene Kerrigan; have been quoted in The Daily Telegraph, The Times (UK), The Independent, The Daily Mirror, Hot Press magazine and on Tonight With Vincent Browne; and read aloud by the film director Ken Loach at a political meeting in London. In 2016 The Stinging Fly magazine described Kevin as "likely the most read living poet in Ireland." He has published six collections of poetry with Salmon, including Song of  Songs 2.0: New & Selected Poems (2017).  Kevin has read his work at Arts Council and Culture Ireland supported poetry events in Kansas City, USA (2006), Los Angeles, USA (2007), London, UK (2007), New York, USA (2008), Athens, Greece (2008); St. Louis, USA (2008), Chicago, USA (2009), Denver, USA (2010), Washington D.C (2011), Huntington, West Virginia, USA (2011), Geelong, Australia (2011), Canberra, Australia (2011), St. Louis, USA (2013), Boston, Massachusetts, USA (2013),  Amherst, Massachusetts, USA (2013), & New Mexico, USA (2018). Kevin’s most recent poetry collection, Sex and Death at Merlin Park Hospital, was published by Salmon Poetry (June 2019); one of the poems from which feature in A Galway Epiphany, the final instalment of Ken Bruen’s Jack Taylor series of novels. His poems have been broadcast on RTE Radio, Lyric FM, and BBC Radio 4. His book The Colour Yellow & The Number 19: Negative Thoughts That Helped One Man Mostly Retain His Sanity During 2020 was published in November by Nuascealta. Kevin’s sixth full poetry collection, Ecstatic, will be published soon by Salmon.

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.

The workshops will all commence the week of Monday May 10th. They will be conducted via Zoom in the usual friendly supportive manner that have made Kevin's regular in-person poetry workshops at Galway Arts Centre so popular. Participants shouldn't worry about the technology! Full details of precisely how the workshop will function online will be explained to participants during the first session.

They will take place on Tuesday evenings, 7-8.30pm (first class Tuesday, May 11th); on Thursday afternoons, 2-4pm (first class Thursday, May 13th) and on Friday afternoons, 2-3.30pm (first class Friday, May 14th).

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.

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



Fifteenth Annual Cúirt / Over The Edge New Writers' Showcase Reading


The annual Cúirt / Over The Edge showcase for emerging writers returns for 2021 via Zoom on Thursday, April 22nd at 1pm. Now in its fifteenth year, this is one of Ireland’s premier platforms for emerging writers in Ireland. Tune in and discover the best of new writing talent. Presenting emerging voices in poetry and fiction, the Cúirt New Writing Showcase brings together writers involved in the Over the Edge Literary Series in Galway, the winners of the annual Cúirt New Writing Prize and Cúirt’s PENxCommon Currency Writer in Residence for a dynamic reading event. The event will be introduced by Over The Edge’s regular MC, fiction writer, poet and teacher Susan Millar DuMars.

Bern Butler was born and raised in Shantalla in Galway city. She is a writer of prose and poetry, has been short and long-listed in the Fish, Over the Edge and Listowel writing competitions and published in Force 10, The Grey Castle, ROPES and Skylight 47.She has an extensive background in adult education, specifically Prison Education where she co-edited the first ever Irish Anthology of Prison Writing, Another Place. She was the Co-ordinator of the Writers in Prisons Scheme for ten years, wrote, directed and produced prison dramatic productions, liaised with the Cuirt Festival of Literature, and the Arts Council of Ireland to bring writers into prisons. In 2019 she was awarded an MA in Writing from NUIG and is now working toward a first poetry collection. Bern was a Featured Reader at the December 2019 Over The Edge: Open Reading in Galway City Library.

Riona Mac Eoin is the co-owner and works at Briarhill Vet Clinic in Galway City. Her hobbies include travelling, reading ,writing and sport, especially cycling. She recently achieved third place in her debut cycling race. Riona is very interested in psychology, specifically the influence our childhood years have on the development of our adult selves. Riona also volunteers with Foróige helping young people navigate their adolescent years. Ríona took a break from work last year and spent 6 months in New York which is where she discovered her love of writing. She writes fiction. Riona was a Featured Reader at the November 2019 Over The Edge: Open Reading in Galway City Library.

Paul McCarrick’s poetry has been published in The Blue NibCrannóg, Skylight 47The Stinging FlyPoetry Ireland Review, and elsewhere. He was selected by Martina Evans to take part in the 2019 Poetry Ireland Introductions Series. He has also received an Arts Bursary Grant from the Westmeath County Council Arts Office in 2019. He lives in Athlone, Co. Westmeath, where he is completing his first collection of poems. Paul was a Featured Reader at the December 2019 Over The Edge: Open Reading in Galway City Library.

Suad Aldarra is a Syrian storyteller, data scientist, and software engineer based in Dublin, Ireland. Suad is the Common Currency Writer in Residence for the festival and is currently writing a book about home and identity after being long-listed for the Penguin Random House WriteNow 2020 programme. She began her writing career as a participant in the Creative Writing for Beginners class at Galway Technical Institute in 2011.

Bernadette Lynch is the winner of the 2021 Cúirt New Writing Prize for poetry. She writes poetry and prose and is currently experimenting with hybrid forms. She lives between England and Ireland, having connections with both, and her work reflects this duality. She enjoys sharing the written word and facilitates the Poetry and Prose in your Pocket group in Clun, Shropshire. She also reviews literary events in local newspapers and magazines. Her poetry won the International Section of the Hanna Greally Awards at the SiarScéal Poetry Festival in County Roscommon in 2012, 2016 and 2020, and was commended in the UK Poetry Society’s Stanza Competition in 2016. Recent work has appeared in the SiarScéal anthology, Centenary in Reflection (2016), in The Emma Press anthology, This is not Your Final Form (2017), in Onslaught Press anthologies Poems for Grenfell Tower (2018) and Poems for the NHS (2018), and the Birmingham City University anthology Other Worlds (2020). She is currently a postgraduate student there and is working on her first collection.    

David Morgan O’Connor is the winner of the 2021 Cúirt New Writing Prize for fiction. David is from a small Canadian village on Lake Huron. After many nomadic years, he's based in Dublin, where stories and poems progress daily. His writing has appeared in more than 50 print or online publications. He reviews, interviews and blogs monthly.

Bookings will be taken via Eventbrite, with a link to the Zoom event being emailed to participants near to the day of the event. Please email us at if you have not received a link within 48 hours of the event date.

Book your ticket HERE

For further information contact 087-6431748.


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


Sunday, March 28, 2021

Twelfth Annual Over The Edge Fiction Slam with Una Mannion & Alvy Carragher

 Over The Edge presents its twelfth annual fiction slam with Featured Readers, Alvy Carragher and Una Mannion, on Zoom on Friday, April 9th, starting 8pm sharp.

Alvy Carragher

Alvy Carragher grew up in rural Ireland and considered herself a writer long before it was appropriate. She has an MA in Writing from NUI Galway, and her first collection of poems, Falling In Love With Broken Things was published by Salmon Poetry in 2016; her follow up The Men I Keep Under My Bed will be published by Salmon this year. Her debut novel The Cantankerous Molly Darling was published by Chicken House Books in 2019. A former resident of both Louisiana and South Korea, she is currently holed up in Vancouver where she is tinkering away at a second novel and learning to speak Canadian. Alvy was a Featured Reader at the February 2014 Over The Edge: Open Reading and at the 2015 Cúirt / Over The Edge New Writers’ Showcase.


                                                                Una Mannion

Una Mannion was born in Philadelphia and now lives in County Sligo, Ireland with her husband and three children A CROOKED TREE is her first novel and was published by Faber & Faber in 2020. Una has an MA in Writing from NUI Galway and was a Featured Reader at the May 2016 Over The Edge: Open Reading and at the 2017 Cúirt / Over The Edge New Writers’ Showcase.

The first twelve fiction writers to text Kevin Higgins on 087-6431748 or email on the evening of Friday, April 9th and register will be guaranteed a place in the slam. All participating writers should prepare two pieces of their own fiction, as there are two rounds. The time limit in both rounds is five minutes. Extracts from longer stories are admissible. Stories do not have to be memorised. The Fiction Slam will be judged by a three person jury made up of Alvy Carragher, Una Mannion and an audience member. Three writers will go through to the second round and the prize for the winner is two bottles of excellent wine, one read, one white, and a most delicious box of chocolates, which will be delivered to you.

Over The Edge is inviting you to the April 2021 Fiction Slam on Zoom. Friday, April 9th, 8pm sharp.

Join The Over The Edge Zoom Meeting at

Meeting ID: 738 901 3549

There is no entrance fee. All welcome. For further information contact 087-6431748.

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

Sunday, March 07, 2021

March Over The Edge: Open Reading on Zoom with Helen Ivory, Bill Richardson, Sadhbh Goodwin PLUS open-mic

Helen Ivory

The March ‘Over The Edge: Open Reading’ takes place on Zoom on Thursday, March 25th  at the usual Over The Edge time 6.30-8.00pm (local Galway time). The Featured Readers are Sadhbh Goodwin, Bill Richardson, & Helen Ivory. There will, as always at Over The Edge: Open Readings, be an open-mic after the Featured Readers have finished. New readers are always especially welcome at the open-mic. Anyone interested in taking part in the open-mic should text Kevin Higgins on 087-6431748 or email between 6pm and 6.30pm on the evening of the reading. The MC for the evening will be Susan Millar DuMars.

Sadhbh Goodwin is a nineteen year old poet from Galway. Their poetry has been published in the Wild Words anthology (four years in a row), in VoxGalvia, and Cinders magazine, and was also featured on as poem of the week. They write in both Irish and English, and their poem “Oidhreacht” was featured on the #WEARETHEPOETS poetry jukebox in Dublin. They have performed before in the “Over the Edge" open mic, as well as the “In my Orbit" open mic at the Galway Arts centre. They are currently studying English in UCC.

Bill Richardson is from Dublin and lives in Galway. Currently Emeritus Professor in Spanish at the National University of Ireland Galway, he previously taught Spanish at both second and third levels and has published books and articles on Spanish and Latin American culture. He has attended Creative Writing courses run by Susan DuMars and has participated in a poetry workshop at the Irish Writers’ Centre. His poems have appeared in Vox Galvia and The Galway Review, as well as in the Stony Thursday Book No. 17. His poem ‘The Taking of Caravaggio’ was a runner-up in the Fish Poetry Prize Competition 2020.   

Helen Ivory is a British poet and visual artist living in Norwich. Her fifth Bloodaxe collection is The Anatomical Venus (2019).  She edits the poetry webzine Ink Sweat and Tears and teaches creative writing online for the University of East Anglia/WCN. A book of her mixed media poems Hear What the Moon Told Me is published by KFS, and chapbook Maps of the Abandoned City by SurVision.  She has work translated into Polish and Ukrainian as part of the Versopolis project.

Over The Edge is inviting you to the March Over The Edge: Open Reading on Zoom. Thursday, March 25th, 6.30-8pm

Join The Over The Edge Zoom Meeting at

Meeting ID: 738 901 3549

As usual there will be an open-mic after the Featured Readers have finished. New readers are always particularly 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.