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Monday, January 28, 2008

New issue of West 47 online

The latest issue of West 47, Galway Arts Centre's online literary quarterly, which includes new work by Mike McCormack, Kerry Hardie Alan McMonagle, Clare Ryan, Tom Sheehan, Jackie Morrissey, Andrew Caldicott, James Martyn & Sheila Phelan is now available at

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Gordon Hewitt at first Galway Arts Centre Poetry Slam of 2008

TUESDAY 29th January 2008 7-8 pm,
the Ruby Room,
The King’s Head

Galway Arts Centre’s first poetry Slam for the New Year takes place Tuesday 29th January at 7pm in The Ruby Room. What’s a Poetry Slam? It’s poetry with attitude: eight performers have three minutes each to wow the audience with their own original poetic creation. All subjects, styles and struts welcome. The overall winner goes forward to Cúirt Festival Grand Slam (April 2008).

Shake of those January Blues and come along and listen to the eight performers strut their poetic stuff; you may even be picked as one of our audience judges! Resident MC Pete Mullineaux sets the pace and the guest performer is Gordon Hewitt, winner of the December Slam. Admission is free and all are welcome.

For further information, please contact Galway Arts Centre, 47 Dominick Street, Galway 091-565886 or

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

INK National Writers Group Festival

The second National Writers Group Festival will take place in Longford from 15th to 17th February 2008.

This year sees an expanded programme with a greater choice of workshops which will begin on Friday afternoon, and continue right through Saturday. These will include historical and commercial fiction, memoir, the short story, and poetry at both intermediate and advanced levels. Facilitators include Sarah Webb, Martina Devlin, Leo Cullen, Brian Leyden, Pat Boran, Noel Monahan and Jean O’Brien. There will also be a seminar on the running of the writers group with Kevin Higgins and Sally Sweeney.

We have also significantly increased the social dimension of the festival with a number of receptions, launches, readings, a literary table quiz, an open-mic session, and a designated literature lounge. One of the celebratory highlights will be the presentation of the Writers Group of the Year Award to be made on Saturday evening, with the launch of “Petals on a Bough”, the anthology of winning entries in the competition.During the festival, we will be operating a “marriage bureau” at which writers groups from around the country can establish contact which can then be maintained through Longford’s literary website,

For further details, contact Anne Collins, Longford Creative Writing Development Officer on 043 34906 or email

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Over The Edge Celebrates Fifth Birthday With Reading By Pat Boran

Pat Boran
The first ‘Over The Edge: Open Reading’ of 2008 takes place in Galway City Library on Thursday, January 24th, 6.30-8.00pm. The Featured Readers are Peter Guy, Jenny McCudden & Pat Boran. The reading is sponsored by Poetry Ireland. This is a very special occasion as it is now exactly five years since Over The Edge was born in Galway City Library in January 2003.

Peter Guy is a senior researcher and fellow of the National Centre for Franco-Irish Studies based in ITT Dublin. He has been published in a number of Irish and international periodicals, including The Cúirt Annual, Iota, Poetry Nottingham, Comstock Review, Quarterly West, Indiana Review and others. He happily divides his time between west Dublin, east Limerick and his native Connemara.

Jenny McCudden is originally from Naas in county Kildare. She now lives in Galway and works as Western Correspondent for TV3 News. Jenny began her career as a journalist working for the Sunday World and the Westmeath Offaly Independent. She spent five years in the UK, working for the BBC, before returning to take up her current position with TV3. She has always enjoyed writing fiction and poetry.

Pat Boran was born in Portlaoise in 1963 and currently lives in Dublin, where he is Director of Dedalus Press. Prior to taking over the press in 2005, he published four collections of poetry with Dedalus: The Unwound Clock (1990), which won the Patrick Kavanagh Award, Familiar Things (1993), The Shape of Water (1996) and As the Hand, the Glove (2001). His New and Selected Poems (first published by Salt Publishing in 2005) was reissued recently, with minor revisions, by Dedalus. A regular reviewer of new poetry and fiction titles in a number of Irish national newspapers and journals, he also presents The Poetry Programme on RTÉ Radio 1.

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 generous financial support of Galway City Council, Poetry Ireland & The Arts Council

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Creative Writing Classes with John Corless resume at GMIT-Castlebar

John Corless

A new course of night classes in Creative Writing will commence in GMIT-Castlebar for the winter/spring.

The course runs one night a week for twelve weeks and each class lasts two hours. The tutor is John Corless, organiser of the Claremorris-based Mayo Writers Block

The classes will suit beginners and improvers and will cover poetry, short fiction, memoir, drama, etc. At the end of the course, students should have an impressive body of work compiled. Further information on the course may be had by dialing 087 9843900. Enrolement for the classes will take place on Monday January 21 between 6 pm and 9pm, and the classes will commence the following week. Anyone wishing to enroll who can't attend on that night should contact the college directly, on 094 9025700.

Creative Writing Fiction (Intermediate) with Geraldine Mills

Creative Writing Fiction (Intermediate) with Geraldine Mills

Mondays 7-8.30pm(10 weeks) €100/90 (8 places)

This course will build on the basic elements of short fiction explored in the beginner’s course. It is suitable for those who have some experience in writing fiction. Classes will concentrate on developing ideas, exploring voice, style, breathing life into characters. Using various prompts to liberate ideas, each session will include a writing exercise so participants need to bring paper and pen. In-class review of work will also be part of each session.

The workshops starts on Monday, January 21st.

The cost to participants is €100, with an €90 concession rate. Places must be paid for in advance. To reserve a place contact Victoria at reception at Galway Arts Centre, 47 Dominick Street, phone 091 565886 or email

Memoir Writing Class with Mary Mullen at Galway Arts Centre

Memoir Writing with Mary Mullen

Wednesdays 12-1.30pm (10 weeks) €100/90 (8 places)

Memoir Writing Class: There is only one you! Come learn how to get started on your own memoir. This course will explore the concept of memoir and your own memories from many angles. You will learn how to focus in on a few parts of your life that have been particulary meaningful to you and how to get a few gems of your own personal history down on paper. All ages cordially welcomed, all writing levels catered for in this workshop-based course.

The workshops starts on Wednesday, January 23rd.

The cost to participants is €100, with an €90 concession rate. Places must be paid for in advance. To reserve a place contact Victoria at reception at Galway Arts Centre, 47 Dominick Street, phone 091 565886 or email

Readings by Galway Arts Centre poetry workshop participants at Westside Library

On Wednesday, January 9th & Wednesday January 16th at Westside Library, Seamus Quirke Road, there will be reading by participants in the pre-Christmas poetry workshops facilitated by Kevin Higgins at Galway Arts Centre.

Both readings start at 6.45pm.

The next round of poetry workshops facilitated by Kevin Higgins at Galway Arts Centre commence the week of January 21st. To book a place contact phone 091-565886 or call in to Galway Arts Centre, 47 Dominick Street, Galway.

Below is a poem by Deirdre Kearney, a participant in the Thursday afternoon Advanced Poetry Workshop.

Omagh 1971

Competing steeples vie for Godliness
on the hilltop of the sacred plain.
French Gothic spires overshadow
the Church of Ireland’s single steeple.
Not one, but two, straining skywards
for the greater honour and glory of almighty God.

Nearby, Camowen and Drumragh merge,
Forcing the Strule swiftly towards the Fairy Water.
Freshwater trout thrust their way up the Salmon Leap
evading eager anglers at the Lovers’ Retreat
where pearls, once prised from mussels’ jaws
equalled those of the Orient.

On Corradinna Hill the Mass Rock still guards the faith
where Penal Laws were flouted on moor and bog
till Drumragh stone and thatch were blessed
by the ridge of the ring-fort nestled in the drumlins.
Buinne Buí’s stone altar now Italian marble
and the Gortmore pewter chalice restored.

Tricolours fly over O’Kane Park with matching kerbstones
and the Union Jack responds from McCain Close.
The Ancient Order of Hibernians hosts Saturday night dances
under the watchful eye of the Sacred Heart Church,
while the poppy-strewn War Memorial glares down
as rival revellers emerge from the Orange Hall.

At closing time The Highland chipper reverberates
with the Geordie accents of sappers in civvies
ordering “Two fish suppers, mate”.
Castle Street and Campsie disgorge their foot soldiers
and the Battle of the Boyne is re-enacted
to the baffled bemusement of the boy soldiers
who only ever wanted to play Action Man.

Gallows Hill sighs in its sleep
as ghosts of Cromwellian soldiers
set up their artillery once more on Cannon Hill
sun rises over muralled ramparts
as the hum of the helicopters hovering
lulls lovers back to sleep

Deirdre Kearney

Sunday, January 06, 2008

First North Beach Poetry Nights of 2008. Guest Poet: Jarlath Fahy

North Beach Poetry Nights' first 2008 Slam Upstairs at Richardsons. Nr1 on Eyre Square.

Thursday January 17th at 9. 15 pm

MC: Kevin Higgins

Guest Poet: Jarlath Fahy whose first collection The Man Who Was Haunted By Beautiful Smells was published in November 2007 by WordsontheStreet.

Jarlath Fahy joined the Focus Theatre Group in 1984 where he studied the Stanislavski Method of Acting under Deirdre O'Connor. From acting and directing with Focus he relocated to Berlin where he joined the Berlin English Language Theatre. On his return to Ireland he got involved with the Gung Ho Theatre Company at The King's Head, Galway staging Lone Star and with the Taboo Theatre Company, touring with Willy Russell's Stags and Hens. When a student in NUIG his poetry appeared in Criterion, the Arts Society Magazine and in Outlet, the journal of the Philosophical Society. He completed a poetry masterclass with Ian Duhig and his poetry has since been published in Crannóg Magazine, WOW! and in the collection during which nothing happens – the Writers Writing Live event of Galway's Project '06 Festival.

He is a dramatic reader of his work and has read at the Voices from The Tower lunchtime readings in Galway's Fisheries Tower and at an Over The Edge Reading in Galway City Library and other venues. He has been compared to both Paul Durcan and Pat McCabe for his darkly comic content and to ee cummings for his typographical style. He is a native of Tuam Co Galway. The Man Who Was Haunted By Beautiful Smells is his first published collection.

The winner of the 2-round Slam will go forward to the 2008 North Beach Grand Slam in December 2008. Prize for the Grand Slam Winner is publication of a collection of her/his work. Admission 5 Euro.

North Beach Poetry Nights gratefully acknowledges the support of the Arts Council and Galway City Council Arts Office. info: john walsh @ 091-593290