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Friday, October 04, 2019

October Over The Edge: Open Reading presents Brexit Special PLUS the announcement of the winners of the 2019 Over The Edge New Writer of the Year

The October ‘Over The Edge: Open Reading’ takes place in Galway City Library on the politically significant, and potentially calamitous, date of Thursday, October 31st, 6.30-8.00pm. To mark the occasion Over The Edge presents a non-fiction and poetry Brexit special; however, crucially, poems and stories on any subject under the sun are still totally welcome at the open-mic. And Over The Edge is always specially welcoming to new readers who have never done our open-mic before. The Featured Readers are Martin Hayes, Jerry Fitzpatrick, & Eoin Ó Murchú. There will as usual be an open-mic after the Featured Readers have finished.  The evening will also see the announcement of the winners in this year’s Over The Edge New Writer of The Year competition, which received a large number of entries again this year. This year’s competition judge is Liz McSkeane. The shortlist can be read here.

Martin Hayes was born in London and has lived along the Edgware Road area, near Grenfell Tower, all his life. He has worked in the courier industry for over 30 years and is the author of four books of poetry: Letting Loose The Hounds, (Redbeck Press, 2001), When We Were Almost Like Men, (Smokestack, 2015). The Things Our Hands Once Stood For, (Culture Matters, 2018) and Roar! (Smokestack, 2018).  He is currently a little more depressed than usual as his place of work has just moved from a 15 minute stroll up the road from his home to Whitechapel - an hour away – each fucking way! – on the stinking packed £2.90 each way tube!

Jerry Fitzpatrick explaining the reality of the situation
Jerry Fitzpatrick was born in the UK to Irish parents and now lives in County Cavan where he is married to poet, fiction writer, and literary events organiser Kate Ennals. In the 1970s Jerry was National Secretary of the Anti-Nazi League and an initiator of the hugely successful, and iconic, Rock Against Racism, for which he was Carnivals Organiser. He was organiser of the Anti-Nazi League’s Lewisham demo that stopped the nazi National Front marching through the area in August 1977. Beating Time magazine said “Jerry could organise everything from a riot to refreshments for 100,000”. Later, he took Rock Against Racism bands to Belfast during the hunger strikes to Rock the H Blocks. A former trade union official and one time Parliamentary Officer for now Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP, Jerry is close to the thinking of the UK Labour leadership.

Eoin Ó Murchú
Eoin Ó Murchú was the political editor of Raidió na Gaeltachta for nearly 20 years and, more recently, was a regular – and always entertaining – panellist on Tonight With Vincent Browne. Currently a columnist with Tuairisc, Ó Murchú challenges the group think of the Irish Establishment and argues for a nationally independent Left politics. For many years an activist in first the Republican Movement and then the Communist Party, Eoin has been a strong advocate of socialism and of opposition to the neoliberal European Union.

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

Thursday, September 26, 2019

2019 Over The Edge New Writer of The Year SHORTLIST


Eamonn McGuinness,  ‘Names’
PJ Moore,  ‘Noddy’
Kathryn Burke, ‘Interim’
Kate Ennals, ‘Cobbler’
Colin Kerr, ‘When’
Kirsty Warren, ‘Lionheart’
Aongus Murtagh, ‘Puppet’
Eileen Keane, ‘Summer’
Helena Farrell, ‘Journey’ & ‘Where’
Rory Duffy, ‘Soul’
Molly Harris,  ‘Last’


Kathryn Burke, ‘Sherbrooke’
Gavan Duffy, ‘Subjective’
Molly Twomey, ‘Atalanta’
Evan Costigan, ‘Trouble’
Rob Childers, ‘Fish’
Kevin Chesser, ‘Off-Roading’
Denise Nagle, ‘Racer’
Helena Kilty ‘Battlecry’
Stephen de Búrca, ‘Scoping’
Andrea Ward, ‘Abbey’
Grace Wilentz, ‘Coral’
Jon McLeod, ‘Versus’
Sacha Hutchinson, ‘Last’
Caroline Bracken, ‘Coral’
Lorraine Wood, ‘Snuff’

We would like to thank our competition sponsors: Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop, Ward’s Hotel, Clare Daly MEP, & Kenny’s Bookshop.

This year's competition judge is Liz McSkeane. 

The longlist can be viewed here

THE WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUNCED @  the  Over The Edge: Open Reading on Thursday, October 31st,  6.30pm   @ Galway City Library

September Over The Edge: Open Reading with Leah Keane, Barbara Dunne, Ingrid Casey plus open-mic

The September ‘Over The Edge: Open Reading’ takes place in Galway City Library on Thursday, September 26th, 6.30-8.00pm. The Featured Readers are Ingrid Casey, Barbara Dunne, & Leah Keane. The evening will also see the announcement of the shortlist for this year’s Over The Edge New Writer of the Year competition, judged by poet, fiction writer, and publisher Liz McSkeane. And there will be an open-mic after the Featured Readers have finished; new readers are always especially welcome.

Leah Keane is a native of Castlerea, County Roscommon. She recently graduated from NUI Galway with a BA in English, German and Creative Writing. Unsurprisingly, she is now a barista. Leah has studied poetry under Alvy Carragher, and was longlisted for the Over the Edge New Writer of the Year competition in 2017. Her work has been published in Poetry Ireland Review and Skylight 47.

Barbara Dunne is a parent, writer, visual artist, and blogger living in Moycullen Co. Galway. She is originally from Killeshin, on the Carlow/Laois border. She teaches art to children and is also a Special Needs Asssistant. She writes poetry, short stories, and reviews and regularly updates her blog. Her reviews appear in Circa, Circa Arts Magazine, and on on-line magazines and websites. She is a member of the Oughterard Writers Group and the creative writing course at Galway Technical Insitute, run by Susan Millar DuMars. Her poetry has recently appeared in print for the first time in the Writers  group poetry collection Shadows(2018). One of her poems was selected to be performed  at the 2018 Cuirt Spoken Word.  Her blog address is Barbara is currently working on exploring fiction and children’s fiction in particular.  She is also working towards her first collection of poetry.
Ingrid Casey
Ingrid Casey is a poet, parent, artist and activist. She has been writing poetry since 2015, and some prose, with publications in literary journals from Brooklyn to Kentucky, Dublin to Cardiff. She is a John Hewitt bursary recipient, amongst other accolades. Her debut collection, Mandible (the Onslaught Press, 2018) has been described by poet Jessica Traynor as a ‘vital addition to Irish poetry.’ This year she also produced a groundbreaking short documentary on families living in homeless accommodation: Ingrid is currently editing a bilingual anthology of poetry by Irish poets translated into Greek for Athens based Vakxikon Press.

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.

Over The Edge Offers Poets Worldwide Online Poetry Workshop with Kevin Higgins STARTING February 2020

Starting in February, Over The Edge is offering aspiring poets worldwide a ten week online poetry workshop with 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 and his work also appears in the generation defining anthology Identity Parade –New British and Irish Poets (Ed. Roddy Lumsden, Bloodaxe, 2010) and in 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, Turkish, Italian, Japanese, Russian, & Portuguese. The Ghost in The Lobby, was published in February 2014, also by Salmon. 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.  '2016 - The Selected Satires of Kevin Higgins' was published by NuaScéalta in early 2016. A pamphlet of Kevin’s political poems The Minister For Poetry Has Decreed was published in December 2016 by the Culture Matters imprint of the UK based Manifesto Press; Song of Songs 2:0 - New and Selected Poems was published by Salmon in April 2017. 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; been quoted in The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The Daily Mirror, Hot Press magazine, and on Tonight with Vincent Browne; and read aloud by film director Ken Loach at a political meeting in London. The Stinging Fly magazine recently described Kevin as "likely the most read living poet in Ireland." His most recent collection of poems, Sex and Death at Merlin Park Hospital, was published last June by Salmon Poetry; one of the poems from which will feature in A Galway Epiphany, the final installment of Ken Bruen's Jack Taylor series of novels.

 workshop facilitator Kevin Higgins

Each of the ten weeks Kevin will email participants a poetry writing exercise for the following week and participants will submit one of their poems to Kevin for constructive criticism. Kevin will work with participants on making each of their poems the best possible poem it can be.

Kevin is a highly experienced workshop facilitator and several of his students have gone on to achieve publication success. He has facilitated poetry workshops at Galway Arts Centre for the past twelve years. One of his workshop participants won the prestigious Hennessy Award for New Irish Poetry; two have been shortlisted for the Shine/Strong Award for Best First Collection by an Irish poet; two have won the Cúirt New Writing Prize; and another the Cúirt Poetry Grand Slam; several have published collections of their poems with reputable publishers.

Kevin is the Creative Writing Director of the NUI Galway International Summer School and teaches poetry on the NUIG BA Creative Writing Connect programme. Kevin is co-organiser of the successful Over The Edge: Open Reading series which specialises in promoting new writers.

The workshop will run for ten weeks, commencing Wednesday, February 2020. The cost to participants is €110. There are no refunds. The workshop will be conducted in English only. THIS WORKSHOP WILL BE LIMITED TO 30 REGISTERED PARTICIPANTS, SO IF YOU WANT TO ENSURE A PLACE YOU SHOULD BOOK NOW.

For queries, email