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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Evening of Polish Poetry at Sheridan's Wine Bar

Friday April 11 is the date for an evening of Polish poetry organized by Over the Edge at Sheridan’s Wine Bar, opposite St. Nicholas’s Church, with the help of Galway-based Polish journalist Magalena Szulc. The evening is being supported by the Polish Embassy in Ireland. The reading will start at 8pm.

There will be readings from the work of the great Polish poets Halina Poswiatowska, Wislawa Szymborska, Zbigniew Herbert and Czeslaw Milosz. Verses will be read by volunteers in both Polish, and English. On top of that, some of Galway’s Polish residents will present their own poems to the audience. Kevin Higgins will MC the evening.

For more details, suggestions or to volunteer taking part, contact Kevin Higgins on 087-6431748 or Magdalena Szulc on 087-6944162.

Over The Edge acknowledges the support of the Arts Council, Galway City Council and The Embassy of the Republic of Poland

POSTSCRIPT: THE EVENING WAS A HUGE SUCCESS. Thanks to all those who participated. It was, we think, the best attended Over The Edge event ever to take place at Sheridan's Wine Bar and we estimate that the audience was in or around 50% Polish. Among those who attended was the Polish Ambassador. You can see photos of the event on

Saturday, March 15, 2008

American Novelist Michael Strelow at March Over The Edge: Open Reading

The March Over The Edge: Open Reading takes place in Galway City Library, St. Augustine Street, Galway on Thursday, March 27th, 6.30-8pm. The Featured Readers are Michael Strelow, Hedy Gibbons Lynott & John Corless

Michael Strelow is a professor of literature and chair of the American Studies program at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon USA. His novel, The Greening of Ben Brown, was a finalist for the Ken Kesey Oregon Book Award in 2005. He has published poetry, short stories and prose in many literary magazines and anthologies. He has just finished a new novel, The Moby-Dick Blues.

Hedy Gibbons Lynott has contributed numerous pieces of non-fiction to Lyric FM’s Quiet Quarter & RTE’s Sunday Miscellany. Her poetry has won the Writelink and Lyric Breakfast awards, and been published by Arlen House in Divas! A Sense of Place. Her work has also appeared in the anthologies Sunday Miscellany 2003-2004, ed. Marie Heaney and in County Lines, (2006) ed. Dermot Bolger. In 2007 she completed an MA in writing at NUIG. She is a member of the Talking Stick Writers Group and Java’s Writers.

John Corless writes short stories, poetry and drama. He is a founder member of the Mayo Writers’ Block, a group of creative writers who meet regularly in Claremorris and recently won the 2008 National Writers Group Festival Writers Group of the Year award. He is currently facilitating a course in Creative Writing for beginners at GMIT – Castlebar. His poetry and short fiction has appeared in a number of publications in Ireland, the UK and USA. In 2007 John’s work featured in Window’s Author’s & Artists.

As usual there will be an open-mic when the Featured Readers have finished. This is open to anyone who has a poem or story to share. New readers are always especially welcome. The MC for the evening will be Susan Millar DuMars. For further details contact 087-6431748.

Over The Edge acknowledges the financial support of Galway City Council and The Arts Council

Monday, March 10, 2008

Paul Perry at North Beach Poetry Nights

North Beach Poetry Nights


Paul Perry

Upstairs at Richardsons. Nr 1 on the Square.
Thursday March 20th at 9. 15 pm

Paul Perry was born in Dublin in 1972. He has won the Hennessy New Irish Writer of the Year Award and The Listowel Prize for Poetry and has been a James Michener Fellow of Creative Writing at The University of Miami, and a Cambor Fellow of Poetry at The University of Houston. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including Poetry Ireland Review, Cyphers, TLS, Granta and The Best American Poetry 2000. He has been a Writer in Residence for Co. Longford, the University of Ulster, and Rathlin Island. His first book The Drowning of the Saints was published by Salmon Poetry in 2003 to critical acclaim.


The North Beach Poetry Nights' 2 Round Slam.

The winner of this month's Slam goes forward to
the 2008 North Beach Poetry Nights' Grand Slam in December.
The prize for the Grand Slam winner is publication of a collection of her/his work.

Next month's guest poet: Conor Aylward (Manchester)

We look forward to seeing you upstairs at Richardsons!
Admission 5 Euro.

North Beach Poetry Nights gratefully acknowledges the support
of the Arts Council and Galway City Council Arts Office.

info: John Walsh @ 593290

Friday, March 07, 2008

Spring Literary Extravaganza at Sheridan's Wine Bar

Over The Edge presents readings by Damian Smyth, Susan Lindsay, Frank Golden, Alan McMonagle & Tom Morgan at Sheridan’s Wine Bar, 14-16 Church Yard Street, Galway on Friday, March 14th, 8pm.

Damian Smyth was born in Downpatrick, County Down in 1962. His first collection of poems Downpatrick Races (Lagan Press) appeared in 2000. His stage play, Soldiers of the Queen, played the Belfast Festival at Queen’s in 2002, followed by his acclaimed second collection of poems The Down Recorder (Lagan Press) in 2004. His work appears in The Ulster Anthology (2006) and The Blackbird’s Nest (2007).

Susan Lindsay was born in Dublin but now lives in Galway. She has attended poetry classes at Galway Arts Centre, and read her poems at the Over the Edge: Open Readings, the Baffle Festival, the Cuirt Poetry Slam and North Beach Poetry Nights. In December 2005 Susan won the RTE Carol of Our Times competition, and her work was put to music by the RTE Concert Orchestra. She was recently shortlisted for the Valentines Day Sonnet Competition sponsored by Tig Neactains’.

Frank Golden was born in Dublin and has been living in the Burren, County Clare, for almost twenty years. He has published four collections of poetry. In recent years he has worked on TV andand his novel The Two Women Of Aganatz, film projects and has had a number of solo exhibitions of his paintings. Frank’s most recent collection of poems, In Daily Accord, is just out from Salmon.

Alan McMonagle is originally from Longford but now lives in Galway City. He writes both fiction and poetry. His work has appeared in Southword, The Cúirt Annual, west47online and Crannóg. He took second place in the 2006 Sean O'Faolain short story competition and was also short-listed for the Fish Short Story award. He recently completed an MA in Writing at NUI Galway. His fiction was selected for inclusion in last year’s Windows anthology for emerging writers.

Tom Morgan was born in Belfast in 1943. He has published four books of poetry to date: The Rat-Diviner by Beaver Row Press, Nan of the Falls Road Curfew by Beaver Row Press, In Queen Mary’s Gardens by Salmon Publishing and Ballintrillick in the Light of Ben Whiskin by Lagan Press. Nan was nominated for The Irish Times/Aer Lingus literary awards. He lives in Belfast and Ballintrillick, Co Sligo.

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

Over The Edge acknowledges the financial support of the Arts Council and Galway City Council.

'Boarding Cards, Homeland Security & the Gay Capital of England' by Miceal Kearney

Boarding Cards, Homeland Security and the Gay Capital of England

By Micéal Kearney (pictured far right)

Having won the 2007 Cúirt Poetry Grand Slam last April, with my poem Day Tripping in Amsterdam, I was all set, five months later, for Slovenia. I shared a seat on a bus, from the airport, with the American poet, Carolyn Forché. She told me she attended the second Cúirt Festival, when I was only seven and poetry not in my vocabulary.

Poets, writers, playwrights, translators and a partridge in a pear tree...every time we sat for breakfast, dinner or met for a cigarette outside, it was an observational poets’ wet dream: people from France, Italy & Switzerland talking German. Other nationalities waving the flag of broken English as they discussed dead Russian poets, living Swedish novelists, translation and comparative programmes run by Polish universities. Then, there was me: Michael Schmidt’s interloping grey squirrel with feck all coupla focal. It was an eye-opening experience to attend this festival for me. I met other Irish poets there such as Denis O’Driscoll, Cathal Ó Searcaigh, Celia de Fréine and Gabriel Rosenstock.

In December I flew to the other side of the globe: Chicago. Having filled out my Homeland Security form declaring I was not a terrorist, I landed in O’Hare. Snow everywhere; I’d never seen as much. A joy to me– but a pain in the arse I was told by everyone. One of my readings was in the Green Mill, birthplace of Slam Poetry, but once a famous speakeasy from back when Al Capone wrote the poetry. I also read at the Irish American Heritage Centre where I had a poem taken to appear in the Irish American News.

The previous year I had won the Cuisle Poetry Slam in Limerick and in October 2007, travelled with the Whitehouse Poets’ from Limerick to read at the Pulse Festival in sunny Brighton –an enriching experience and I made some good contact there.

Poetry has brought me around the world, but home is where it started: a Sunday in Autumn I wrote my first poem and haven’t stopped since. A sparkly diamond was once a dirty lump of coal. I kept chipping away for about four years until I had amassed a masterpiece manuscript and every one of them 24 carat. Every editor told me, each in his or her polite enough way, that it was toilet-paper.

A friend suggested I should take a creative writing class; where I learnt of the Over The Edge readings in the library and at Sheridan’s wine-bar – run by Kevin Higgins and Susan Millar DuMars. I attended my first poetry slam in November ’05, North Beach Poetry Nights organised by John Walsh. A month later I went to my first Galway Arts Centre poetry slam. It’s scary. At first you don’t know anybody; but that changes.

For all those poets just starting off: my only advice is, in no particular order– Read. Write. Workshop. Slam. And submit. Sure, rejections a bitch; but without the sour the sweet just isn’t sweet.

Micéal Kearney lives in Balindereen, County Galway. Since he took a creative writing class at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology in September 2005 his work has appeared in The Shop, Orbis and elsewhere. He won the 2006 Cuisle Poetry Slam in Limerick, the 2008 BAFFLE competition; the 2008 Cúirt International Festival of Literature Poetry Grand Slam & The 2008 North Beach Poetry Nights Grand Slam. He was also shortlisted for the 2007 Cinnamon Press Poetry Prize. His first collection of poems will be published soon.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Springtime Creative Writing Classes at GTI

Creative Writing for Beginners with Kevin Higgins takes place one evening per week (Monday) from 7.00-9.30pm. (8 weeks) It commences on Monday, 7th April, 2008. Advance booking is essential. Places cost €110. Kevin Higgins will provide writing exercises for, and give gentle critical feedback to, those interested in trying their hand at writing poems, stories or memoir.

Intermediate Creative Writing with Susan Millar DuMars takes place one evening per week (Tuesday) from 7.00-9.30pm. (8 weeks) It commences on Tuesday, 8th April, 2008. Advance booking is essential. Places cost €110. 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.

To book a place in either class contact GTI, Father Griffin Road, Galway. Telephone 091-581342 or go to

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Launch of 2008 Cúirt Festival Programme: Tuesday March 11th, 5pm in The King's Head

Dave Lordan shortlisted for 'The Irish Times' Poetry Now prize

Dave Lordan's debut collection of poems, The Boy in the Ring, published by Salmon Poetry, is one of five books shortlisted for the prestigious Irish Times-Poetry Now prize for best collection of poetry published by an Irish poet during the past year.
Dave was a Featured Reader at Over The Edge in February 2006 and he was shortlisted for the 2007 Cúirt Festival/Over The Edge showcase reading. We were also delighted to host a Galway launch of The Boy in the Ring in Charlie Byrne's Bookshop last October.
Also shortlisted this year are Out of Breath by Eamonn Grennan (Gallery Press); Secular Eden: Paris Notebooks 1994-2004 by Harry Clifton (Wake Forest University Press); Reality Check by Dennis O'Driscoll (Anvil Press) & Black Moon by Matthew Sweeney (Cape Poetry).
The winner of the €5,000 prize will be announced at the Poetry Now Festival, which takes place in Dún Laoighaire from April 3rd-6th/
Last year's winner was Seamus Heaney's District and Circle (Faber & Faber).