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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Dennis O'Driscoll reads at final Over The Edge: Open Reading before Summer break

The May Over The Edge: Open Reading takes place in Galway City Library, St. Augustine Street on Thursday, May 29th, 6.30-8pm. The Featured Readers are Michael S. Begnal, Deirdre Kearney & Dennis O’Driscoll.

Michael S. Begnal is a dual Irish/American citizen, born in the United States in 1966. He spent many years living in Ireland, and was editor of the Galway-based literary magazine, The Burning Bush. He returned to live in the US in 2004. His first collection of poems, The Lakes of Coma (Six Gallery Press), was published in 2003. His work has appeared in numerous journals and in the anthology Breaking the Skin: New Irish Poetry (Black Mountain Press). His Irish-language writing has been published in Comhar, Lá, and the Go nuige seo anthologies (Coiscéim). His second collection of poems, Ancestor Worship, was published by Salmon Poetry last year.

Deirdre Kearney is originally from Omagh, County Tyrone, but has lived in Galway since 1983. She is a participant in the Advanced Poetry Workshop at Galway Arts Centre. Her poems have been published in West 47, Cúirt New Writing 2007, The Ulster Herald, Crannóg, Words on the Web, Tinteán, Australian-Irish Magazine- Treóir, Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann magazine, the Over the Edge website & Galway Exposed. She has previously read her work at the Over the Edge Open-Mic, Westside Library, The Galway Arts Centre Nuns’ Island Studio, the Poets for Oxfam launch in Galway in 2006 and North Beach Poetry Nights.

Dennis O’Driscoll was born in Thurles in 1954. His eight poetry collections include Weather Permitting (Anvil Press, 1999), which was a Poetry Books Society Recommendation and was shortlisted for the Irish Times Poetry Prize, Exemplary Damages (2002) and New and Selected Poems (2004). His most recent collection, Reality Check (2007) was also shortlisted for the Irish Times/Poetry Now Prize. A selection of his essays and reviews, Troubled Thoughts, Majestic Dreams was published by Gallery Press in 2001. He is editor of the Bloodaxe Book of Poetry Quotations (2006). His next book, Stepping Stones: Interviews with Seamus Heaney will be published by Faber and Faber in November. He is a member of Aosdána. He has worked as a civil servant since the age of sixteen.

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 phone 087-63431748.

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

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Micéal Kearney launches debut poetry collection at Galway City Museum

Micéal Kearney's debut collection Inheritance is launched by Dave Lordan in Galway City Museum on Saturday, May 31st, 1pm

Thursday, May 08, 2008

All Kinds of Poetry at Sheridan's Wine Bar

Leading experimental poet Catherine Walsh
Over The Edge presents an innovative reading by poets Catherine Walsh, Brendan Murphy, Billy Mills, Emily Cullen & Quincy Lehr at Sheridan’s Wine Bar, 14-16 Church Yard Street, Galway on Friday, May 16th, 8pm. Elaine Feeney, winner of the recent Cúirt Festival Poetry Grand Slam, will also be performing her winning poem.

Catherine Walsh was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1964. Having lived in Barcelona and in Eastbourne, England, she is now back in Ireland, living in Limerick. She has read her work widely in Ireland, The U.K. and the U.S. She co-edits hardPressed Poetry and the Journal with Billy Mills. Her books include Macula (Red Wheelbarrow Press, Dublin: 1986); Idir Eatortha & Making Tents (Invisible Books, London, 1996); City West (Shearsman, Exeter, 2005) & from Optic Verve (Longhouse, Vermont 2006). Catherine Walsh is one of Ireland’s leading experimental poets.

Brendan Murphy was born in Liverpool to English parents and Irish grandparents. He is a graduate of Sheffield University, where he studied the History of Art, Film and Design. His first performance was a Saturday night slot with a friend at his local pub, with whom he developed an improvised repartee on the week’s news. Brendan has lived in Galway for the last ten years. He won the 2006 Cúirt Festival Poetry Grand Slam, and has performed at the famous Green Mill in Chicago. In 2007 he won the All Ireland Poetry Slam Championship in Belfast.

Billy Mills was born in Dublin in 1954. He lives in Limerick, where he works for a leading scientific publisher. He is the founder and co-editor (with Catherine Walsh) of hardPressed Poetry and the Journal. He has read his work widely at festivals and universities internationally. His books include On First Looking into Lorine Niedecker (hardPressed Poetry 1986); Letters From Barcelona (Dedalus 1990); 5 Easy Pieces (Shearsman, Plymouth, 1997); A Small Book of Songs (Wild Honey, Dublin 1999); & from Paper Places (Longhouse, Vermont 2006). He is one of Irish poetry’s foremost linguistic radicals.

Emily Cullen grew up in County Tipperary. She now lives in Galway where she works in NUI Galway. As NUIG Arts Officer she founded Muscailt, the university’s annual spring arts festival and was also director of the Patrick Kavanagh Centenary Celebrations in 2004. She is an accomplished performer of the Irish harp. Emily was selected for the Poetry Ireland Introductions Series in 2004. Her first collection, No Vague Utopia, was published by Ainnir Publishing in 2003. Her poetry has been described by The Stinging Fly as “vivid and evocative”.

Quincy Lehr was born in Oklahoma City in 1975. He was educated in the Oklahoma public schools, as well as at the University of Texas at Austin and Columbia University. He is currently based in Ireland where he works in NUI Galway. A life-long reader of poetry, he began seriously writing it in 2003. His poetry is dramatic, and has been described by Michael O’Loughlin as “intellectually rigorous and displaying a serious engagement with poetic form.” Quincy’s first full collection, Across The Grid of Streets, is just published by Seven Towers.

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.

Poetry Workshops With Kevin Higgins at Galway Arts Centre

In May Galway Arts Centre is offering aspiring poets a choice of three poetry workshops, all facilitated by poet Kevin Higgins.

Kevin's 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 March by Salmon Poetry and his poetry is discussed in the recently published Cambridge Introduction to Modern Irish Poetry.

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 recently won the prestigious Hennessy Award for New Irish Poetry, while another had her first full collection of poems published by one of Ireland’s major poetry publishers.

Each workshop will run for six weeks, commencing the week of May 19th.They will take place on Tuesday evenings, 7-8.30pm (first class May 20th); Wednesday afternoons, 2-3.30pm (first class May 21st); and on Thursday afternoons, 2-3.30pm (first class May 22nd).

The Tuesday evening and Wednesday 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 €75, with an €65 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

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Elaine Feeney wins Cúirt Festival Poetry Grand Slam

Poet Elaine Feeney has won the 2008 Cúirt Festival Grand Slam.

Elaine was the clear winner in a high quality final at the King's Head pub on Saturday, April 26th. She will now go to read at the Green Mill in Chicago and the Vilenica Festival in Slovenia.

Elaine's poems have appeared in The Shop, and many more. She was a Featured Reader at the January 2007 Over The Edge: Open Reading and was shortlisted for the 2008 Cúirt Festival/Over The Edge showcase reading.

Four Over The Edge Alumni Chosen For Poetry Ireland Introductions

Tom Duddy
Michelle O'Sullivan

Mags Treanor

Mary Mullen

Poets Tom Duddy, Michelle O'Sullivan, Mags Treanor and Mary Mullen are among those chosen to take part in this year's Poetry Ireland Introductions readings.
Tom Duddy was a Featured Reader at the March 2006 Over The Edge: Open Reading and was also read at the 2007 Cúirt Festival/Over The Edge Showcase reading.
Michelle O'Sullivan was a Featured Reader at the February 2008 Over The Edge: Open Reading.
Mags Treanor was a Featured Reader at the May 2006 Over The Edge: Open Reading and was shortlisted for the 2007 Cúirt Festival/Over The Edge Showcase reading.
Mary Mullen was a Featured Reader at the January 2007 Over The Edge: Open Reading and recently read at the 2008 Cúirt Festival/Over The Edge Showcase reading.
The readings take place at the Unitarian Church, 112 St. Stephen's Green West, Dublin 2.
Mags and Mary will be reading there on Thursday, June 19th, 6.30pm; while Tom and Michelle will be reading at the same venue (same time) on Thursday, June 26th.

Dave Lordan wins 2008 Strong Award

Dave Lordan's debut poetry collection, The Boy in the Ring (Salmon Poetry) has won the 2008 Strong Award for Best First Collection by an Irish Poet.

Dave Lordan was born in Derby, England, in 1975. He grew up in Clonakilty in West Cork. He took an M.A. in English Literature at University College Cork in 1998 and an M.Phil. in Creative writing at Trinity College Dublin in 2001. In 2004 he was awarded an Arts Council bursary. In 2005 he won the Patrick Kavanagh Award for poetry. His work has been published widely and he is a regular and popular performer of his own work. He is an experienced creative writing teacher and workshop leader. He can be contacted at for workshops or readings.
Dave was a Featured Reader at the February 2006 Over The Edge: Open Reading and was shortlisted for the 2007 Cúirt Festival/Over The Edge showcase reading.

For more about The Boy in the Ring see