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Thursday, December 31, 2009


by Tom Lavelle

There was the right way and the wrong.
Schooling meant nuns, brothers, priests,
right-handed salutes if our paths crossed.
We had to bless ourselves
passing churches, hearses, holy water fonts
with the strong hand that held the knife,
not the one that grasped the fork.

My brother, his first day at school,
short-trousered, scrubbed behind the ears,
copybook open for his baby scrawl,
clasped the yellow pencil in his left hand.
Sister Camillus stuck it firmly in his right,
threatened to strap the citeog behind his back
or if that didn’t work, hack off the devil’s paw.


A Little Bag of Tasty Clouds

by Marcella Morgan

Suzie was the kind of girl who, when she was at a gig, would spend the whole time taking pictures of the band with her mobile phone. That is why God gave her cancer.

God called this micro-management. It was a form of divine intervention that required him to live among his people, to watch them closely, judge them on the little actions of their lives, and punish or reward them accordingly. He spent his days giving fungal infections to old women who spent too long counting out their money in the shops, giving winning Loto numbers to flatmates who did the hoovering and cooked brownies for their other flatmates. He felt it was a much fairer way of doling out divine retribution.

The downside was he had to forgo omnipresence. He had settled in Galway for the time being, and spent his days watching boys banging their bongos on shop street, spent his nights in the Roisin Dubh, wearing his favourite high-waisted jeans and neon pink converse, drinking Bud from an Erdinger glass while he checked out the young ones in their body-con dresses. It was a pity really that, being God, he was out of everyone’s league. God always went home alone.

And he always finished the night with a bottle of Cape Reality from the Chinese, and two bags of prawn crackers. He loved those tasty little clouds he had flavoured with all the creatures of the sea. They really were the most magnificent of his creations. Little puffs of promise, they stayed buoyant on the greasy plate of his Chinese takeaway, greeted him unperturbed in the cold blue dawn of his hangover, still looking to be eaten, collapsing to a joyous nothing in his mouth. The prawn cracker existed only to be enjoyed.

Humans on the other hand were always looking to be saved. The Roisin depressed him, really. The young people, they had no respect for him anymore. Those prancing nihilists with their head shop highs and ambivalent sexuality, they treated him like a spiritual ATM machine – they called him when they were down all right, but you wouldn’t catch them on their knees praying when the times were good that’s for fuckin sure.

This was the generation that had relegated him to a lower case h, and could he blame them really? He hadn’t been performing very well of late. Gone were his halcyon days of great floods, of plagues and impregnating virgins, without them losing their virginity. To think he created the world in seven days. What had he done lately? Made a face appear in a tree in Limerick? Pathetic. Every now and then he’d intervene to set things right – save a dog who’d been trapped on an ice-float heading out to sea, and everyone appreciated those little miracles, but the big stuff, he just wasn’t up to it anymore. He was crippled by a feeling of plunging desperation, a bad thought that dropped like a rock into the deep well of his omniscient mind – it was all hopeless, his futile tinkering.

His creation had grown into a sprawling monstrosity, and things just happened now by themselves – he didn’t have the control that people thought he did. His initial divine action had set off a series of human reactions that had rolled away out of his grasp. He wanted to stand before humanity and say: Folks, it’s outta my hands. But how could he do that? He was God, he was all powerful, and if praying to him gave some people hope why not let them at it.

He did listen to the prayers – he had them on shuffle on his i-pod. He flicked through them as he walked the prom. Flicking forward before each prayer ended, and flicking faster until it was only the first sentence of the prayer he listened to, faster until it was the first word, faster and it was only the first syllable he heard, then only the intake of breath, the silent mouth open – God walked the prom flicking faster and faster and faster through the screaming silence of his children’s prayers.

And then he stepped into Freeney’s, in out of the rain. He sat at the bar beside a man who was staring at the wall, and ordered a pint of Guinness in an Erdinger glass. The man beside him nodded hello. God nodded back, watched his pint settle.

My dog died last night, the man said, She was old. Passed away in her sleep. Unusual for a dog to go peacefully like that – they usually have to be killed before they’ll die.

God folded his arms across his chest. Dogs like being alive, he said, that’s true.

The man stared at the wall a bit more, and then he stared a bit at the insides of his eyeballs, and then he stared at God.

Wasn’t that terrible though, he said, the earthquake there.

What earthquake was that? asked God.

The one there about a month ago, was it? In Africa.

God shook his head, Never heard about it, he said.

Well a lot of people died. It was terrible, the suffering – God them blacks they know how to suffer. I saw them on the news screaming and wailing – they know how to let it out.

God sucked the Guinness froth from his top lip and said, Better in than out.

And isn’t it true, the man said, my oldest she lost her first child there a year ago, still born. She cried and cried, we thought she’d never stop crying. The boyfriend, not a tear shed. He was strong for her, and he’s been the worst affected. Not working now. He’s started to get awful religious, my young one’s worried about him. He told me one night that he thinks that if he’d prayed more to God, he’d have saved the baby. I told him that if God does exist – he doesn’t give a fuck about us. And do you know what he said? He said – you may not have faith in God, but He has faith in you. I almost gave him a wallop.

So you don’t believe in God? asked God.

The man shifted on his stool, the piles were at him. I’m not saying I do, and I’m not saying I don’t. Because I don’t have to. The question of God, that’s one question I don’t have to answer. Did I tell you my dog died?

You did, said God.

I’m going to get a pup, for the youngest. She loves aminals. Has a rabbit. Calls him Roger – I’ve no idea why she calls him Roger, but she calls him Roger anyway.

God finished his pint and headed for home. When he got back to his palace in the sky he wandered through the empty rooms. They were cold, and they were dark. All his trumpets were rusty, all his angels fled. And God realised, though it wasn’t really a realisation – seeing as he has known everything for eternity – but God realised that the life had gone from his kingdom in the sky. And it was the life that had held the walls of the rooms together, that had held the bricks of the walls together, that had held the grains of the bricks together, the atoms of the grains…

But life is always moving on, said God as a slab of plaster fell from the ceiling, and all we can do is follow it. And then he sighed, settled down into his celestial armchair and turned on the telly. Repeats of South Park were playing back to back on the Comedy Channel. God laughed when Kenny died and then, feeling peckish, he dipped his hand into the sky over Galway and grabbed himself a fistful of tasty little clouds.


The Suitcase of Bees

by Geraldine Mitchell

She brought it everywhere, its silver, dimpled surface
effervescent with the whirr of wings within.
In public she would spread her skirt’s thick folds
to mute the angry drone, paint a smile across her face,

hope no-one would notice. Once inside her own four walls
the vibrations grew so shrill she held her head and hummed,
a wild crescendo.
The ambulance crew was gentle as they led her owl-eyed

through the gates, bees still rustling taffeta in her head.
The case was silent, a ruse in sly collusion with the doctor
who swore she was an expert, knew all there was to know
of stings and swarms, their stridency, how to outface the queen.

They built a wooden beehive, surrounded it with lemon balm,
sweet basil, mint. And now, except for mild tinnitus, she is calm.

(published in The Interpreter’s House, Issue 43)


Chutzpah (extract)

by Cristina Galvin

I killed my mother first. With a hatchet to the head and put her in a Kileen bin bag. One of those big, wide black ones. Not that she was a large woman. Far from it. She was just another one of those frail, wizened old things with a back hunched by too much time and osteoporosis. I got a pliers then and pulled out all her teeth, one by one, cracked them with a hammer and sprinkled the powder like confetti dust on her like she was a bride. This act carried ritual significance. She had commented on my teeth. I had come over to fix the faulty connection in the fridge and through lips pursed and scarlet she said my teeth looked stained, said I really should give up the fags. Those were her very words: “You know, Frank,” she said. “You really should give up the fags.” I had come over to do a good deed and that’s the thanks I got. I really didn’t need the grief. You’d feel peeved too if your mother said the same to you. And as I sucked hard on my cigarette, stuffed her in and pulled tight the yellow drawstrings on the big, wide bin bag I thought, you’re a one to talk; those teeth, you know, I got from you and they were bloody well stained from the start.



by Áine Tierney

Ger is a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day – he only shines intermittently.  And as I looked out the window of our shared house in Salthill, I could see the rain clouds gathering.

Ger always struck me as an aged Little Lord Fauntleroy, but on a day when he was feeling peevish.  He is precise and neat; one of those people that always look like they are just after showering.  Though twenty-three, one gets a sense that he was born into middle age.

We get on well, really we do; but then, there isn’t enough to like about me to arouse dislike.  I’m no threat to anyone’s sense of himself or herself.  Doing everything right is the wrong way to go about getting people to like you – this normally safeguards me a certain level of popularity.  But I can annoy. Especially Ger.

‘I can’t find my mushrooms.’

‘Where are they?'  I ask, with the type of intelligence a person uses when asking someone where they are when they are lost.

‘I think I’ve left um up in my room?’

‘Have you taken to hiding stuff in your room now, Ger?’

He tries to ignore my dig, but can’t help furrowing his brow and down turning the side of his mouth. He is fastidious about his stuff and keeps his kitchen utensils apart from those in common usage. Afraid, I think, of what I’d get up to with his kitchen devil knife behind his back.

‘I’ll be back forth with.’

And he was.

‘There’s no mushrooms in your room either?’

‘No,’ is the grumpy response.

‘There are plenty of mushrooms in my press, growing on the bread I bought last week and haven’t yet got round to throwing out.’  He didn’t laugh. Food is a serious matter.

Ger was cooking steak for his dinner, and I drank vegetable soup out of a carton as I watched, from our kitchen table.

‘Must tenderise this meat now. Yes, oh yes.’ He was beginning to get excited.  The lost mushrooms were forgotten. The clouds were clearing - for him anyway.
‘Oh no,’ I put my hands over my eyes, waiting for the bang.

Bang. Bang. He slapped the meat against the counter with the base of the frying pan.

‘Like it hasn’t been through enough,’ I call through my fingers.

Bang. Bang.

‘Don’t leave the other side out.’

He turned the steak and started to beat it once more.

He is heavy like his frying pan, lacking lightness; but it endears him to me. There is weight even in his voice.  He takes everything seriously, his work, himself, other people, and in this moment, steak.

‘Life can be cruel can’t it?’

‘It can indeed.’  I look into my soup bowl, hungry as Oliver.

‘The pan is very hot, so there’ll be a mad sizzle off it.  Be warned.  I’ll cook it eight minutes each side.’

His face is a dagger of concentration as he puts the steak in the pan.

There is silence, bar the steak sizzling, for the next few minutes. Ger stands over the frying pan watching his dinner cook, occasionally flattening it against the pan with a fish slice.  I know better than to interrupt his concentration.

 ‘You wouldn’t like that steak now.’ It’s not a question, but a statement he wants affirmed; I’m feeling generous.

‘No,’ I lie.

‘Women don’t like steak generally.’ He stands back from the pan, admiring the piece of meat.

‘I suppose, I don’t know, do you think?’ I say, whilst sipping my Super Valu soup.

‘Mmm. My ma would eat steak, a little one.  I haven’t ever heard of a woman eating steak apart from that.’

The steak is on a plate, sitting on a throne of mashed potatoes. Slivers of onions prostrate before their king like faithful servants.

‘We’d cook steak at home and eat it.  But not like that.’

‘Not like that,’ he mimicked, laughing at the disgust in my voice, aroused by the red rawness on his plate.

‘I’d prefer it if it weren’t so rare.’

‘You’d never see a young woman eating it anyway, that’s for sure.’

Not around here anyway, I thought. ‘A lot of my friends don’t eat much of any meat either; it takes too much time to prepare. And if I do cook meat it’s normally chicken.’

‘Chicken’s alright,’ he mumbles magnanimously through a mouthful of steak.
I look at his plate. ‘I’d find that very big.  That’s an awful lot of meat.’ There is no hope in my voice; even I’m not that foolish.

‘That’s what I like about it,’ he smiled.

 ‘I don’t think I eat very healthily. If you are relying on the odd cup of Complan for iron and vitamins you aren’t doing too good.  If I do eat meat, it’s a ham sandwich, or sausage, or chicken.’

There was no response to my health concerns.  He obviously didn’t care if I died of anaemia.

I changed tack. ‘I don’t even like the smell of meat cooking.’  If I could persuade him, maybe I could persuade myself.

‘You don’t like meat when it’s cooking.’  There was disbelief in his voice.

‘No,’ I replied firmly, ‘ I don’t like the smell of meat cooking.’

‘Do you not? Jesus. I got a great buzz out of cooking that steak.’

‘Did you?’ My voice is drier than my empty bowl.

‘Not knowing exactly how it would turn out, how pink it would be in the middle, going with your own intuition. Having the potatoes cooked at the same time, having everything right,’ He continues to eat in silence for a few moments.  ‘Did you not like the smell of that steak, did you not?’

‘I didn’t notice too much.’

‘That’s a powerful steak.’ He shook his head from side to side as he spoke, as if over awed by the import of his words, and what they signified.

‘I’d say you like meat, do you Ger?’

‘I love it.’ Romeo couldn’t have been so ardent and Ger isn’t the most expressive of men; the word ‘love’ isn’t one he’d bandy about.

‘That steak, garlic butter over it, ahh, how could you not want that?’
How indeed? But I didn’t answer.

‘I think it’s a red meat thing. What is it about red meat that is so off-putting?’ He waved a piece of steak, attached to the end of his fork, about in the air as he posed the question.

‘The colour of blood.’

‘Is that it?’ Certainly it isn’t off-putting to him. He shovelled another piece into his mouth and nodded his head,  ‘Wow.’  He paused for a few moments, gave his salivary and gastric juices time to work. ‘Well, I assumed that, but I couldn’t think of the reason behind it, it doesn’t make sense, its still flesh whatever colour it is.’

‘But it’s more obviously flesh.’

 ‘Yea, but surely people can see past that.’

‘But sure, people are always codding themselves.’  I knew I was. I looked at his half empty plate.

‘There is something powerful, primal almost about red meat.  Harking back to sacrifices and stuff.’

‘Are you tempted to go after someone with a knife to sacrifice them?’  I laughed hysterically, maybe that’s why he is so careful of his set of knives, I thought. He wasn’t impressed with my detour from the subject; I could tell because he stopped eating.  The man had been on a roll.  I steered back onto course, or as near to the course as I could find, ‘The fatted calf,’ I threw out.

‘No. Yea. Whatever,’ he muses a moment.  ‘Fish generally don’t get sacrificed.’

‘Not really. No.’ We must have come to a cross roads without me noticing.

‘They might have a sacred monkfish, or halibut.’ He laughed. But then, his jokes are funny.

‘Yea, but when Jesus was going in for the old feeding the masses it was fish he used, not a cow. The multiplying of the cow did not happen.’

‘Galilean colony was a fish based one. It was natural; there wouldn’t have been cows for miles around.’

‘Hmm. Mmm.’ what’s a girl to say to that?

‘The divine creatures are red-meated ones.’

‘The golden bull.’ A bad example, but he didn’t notice.

‘Yea, and male too.  Is that a female thing as well? Is there…….Is there a psychic almost thread here, that can be traced back between these patriarchal systems. Like many religions of the west being male and the sacred dimension to red meat.’


‘If you go back deep into the subconscious can there be some relationship between very archaic values and symbols and…’

‘Women not liking red meat…’

‘Hmm.  And contemporary men having no problem with it.’

‘You relish it anyway, Ger, especially with garlic butter on top, and if only there had been mushrooms it would have been perfect.’


His plate was empty.  One man-size steak taken care of, and as I watched him licking each of his fingers, leaving each white and shiny like a polished T-bone, I was left in no doubt about his masculinity.


Come to Light

I woke on a morning of sapphire, junked up
in my dusk-smelling bedclothes, a fire in my head
like a truck stop rodeo. It was another one-night motel.
I was still wearing jeans. Empty bottles of bourbon
collected glitter near the curtain’s chink.
I could hear motorway traffic, but not too much,
more switched down low, close to mute.
The television flickered - a big wave coming,
drowning the green coast of Africa.
I lay in a shape as though I’d been searching
for a crawl space beneath the covers,
or had tangled my legs round the torso
of an imaginary lover. My left hand was
still curled, sensitive to a glass that
no longer existed. I tasted whiskey
on my breath, in the pores of my skin.
I was what was left after fire and smoke,
hunger and passion. I was able to move my tongue,
inquisitive, so that it touched my palate
like the beginning of a curse. I was able
to look at dark things, the heavy,
seventies furniture alive with glints,
and I was content, like someone shipwrecked,
to remain on my island, undiscovered,
for as long as the morning took.

David Mohan


Nursing a Star

I wanted it to be mine.
They said it was just a piece
of broken rock.
I said a meteorite.
My dad threw it up
and let it fall, a dead weight,
but I knew it merely slept.
At night I felt the echo of its radiance
from the shelf. Inside, I knew,
an ember lived and glowed
like a prehistoric egg.
To me it had been born of the sky,
was bred out of star dust.
To me it had held court to the moon,
had worn a dress of luxuriant light,
had danced each night in the ballroom above.
Held up, examined
in naked daylight it looked as dry as granite,
but I knew it was biding time on our planet -
that it could last millennia
until the time of bursting suns.
I tried to feed it stories – reports from earth.
I set it on a shelf to breath our climate.
But it sat silent, a prophet to nothing,
and when I nursed it back to a polish
it sat dumb in my hand,
bursting to shine like a lamp,
or looked ready to explode,
just like the spark
that hatched the dawn of time.

David Mohan

The Samurai Lovers

We are blooded on the mountain,
made brothers in the monastery.
Met in a tea-room I used to haunt,
kabuki-lashed, my fan put aside,
a player known more for dancing,
the geisha whiteness of my skin,
you chose me, at just fifteen,
shogun of Ashikaga.

I am apprentice, monk-Buddhist,
sworn to the beautiful way.
Rising at four I drink cold water.
Given by blood, I put off perfume.
In a forest house, the hidden room,
Undressing your armour, slat
by black slat, your silk beard
broken by satin lips.

A reed burns near,
a cricket chirrs in its basket.
The moon lights a pool
in the dark green shade.
A war, you whisper, very soon.
For me, a life of practising
with novice sticks in a yard -
for you, the latest campaign.

But I would rather ghost
your thoughts without that sacrifice.
To wear instead a child’s sword
wrapped in rich brocade.
To be like a pair of cats
that live in the forest,
who have never heard of
the Emperor’s rage.

David Mohan

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Over The Edge to receive Arts Council funding for 2010

We are delighted to announce that Over The Edge was informed in a letter from the Arts Council this morning that we will continue to receive Arts Council funding for our events during 2010.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Creative Writing at Galway Technical Institute in the New Year- BEGINNERS & INTERMEDIATE

Creative Writing for Beginners with Kevin Higgins takes place one evening per week (Monday) from 7-9.30pm. (8 weeks) It commences on Monday, 18th January, 2010. Advance booking is essential. Places cost €120. 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 7-9.30pm. (8 weeks) It commences on Tuesday, 19th January, 2010. Advance booking is essential. Places cost €120. 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, e-mail or see

New Year Poetry Workshops with Kevin Higgins at Galway Arts Centre-BEGINNERS & ADVANCED

In the New Year Galway Arts Centre is offering aspiring poets a choice of two poetry workshops, both 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 will be published next Spring by Salmon when his work will also appear in the generation defining anthology Identity Parade –New British and Irish Poets (Ed Roddy Lumsden, Bloodaxe, 2010).

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, while several have published collections of their poems.

Each workshop will run for ten weeks, commencing the week of January 18th. They will take place on Tuesday evenings, 7-8.30pm (first class January 19th); and on Thursday afternoons, 2-4pm (first class January 21st).

The Tuesday evening workshop is 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, with an €100 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

Daytime Creative Writing with Susan Millar DuMars at Galway Arts Centre in the New Year

In the New Year Galway Arts Centre presents a daytime class for all those beginner and continuing creative writing students out there, facilitated by Susan Millar DuMars. Susan Millar DuMars writes both poetry and fiction. A collection of her stories, American Girls, was published by Lapwing Press in 2007; her first collection of poetry, Big Pink Umbrella, was published last year by Salmon Poetry. One of her poems has been chosen by editor, Matthew Sweeney, for inclusion in Best of Irish Poetry 2010 (Southword Editions). Several of her poems will feature in Landing Places: Immigrant Poets in Ireland, edited by Eva Bourke (Dedalus Press, March 2010). Her second collection of poems, Dreams For Breakfast, will be published by Salmon Poetry next year.

The class is suitable for both beginning and continuing creative writing students, working in either poetry or fiction. Students will spend their week responding to writing exercises designed to inspire, rather than inhibit. In class, they will receive gentle feedback on their work from their classmates and from the teacher. The class runs for ten weeks and takes place on Monday afternoons, 2-3.30pm, commencing on Monday January 18th.

The cost to participants is 110 Euro with a 100 Euro concession price. Booking is essential as places are limited. For booking please contact Galway Arts Centre, 47 Dominick Street. Phone 091 565886 or email

Friday, December 18, 2009

Irish Times review of 'Favela' by Alex Hijmans

Alex Hijman
This Saturday's Irish Times gave an excellent review to Alex Hijman's book Favela which is published by Cois Life.
Alex now lives in Brazil but for many years lived in Galway where, among other things, he was proprietor of the Bananaphoblacht café on Dominick Street. Alex was a Featured Reader for us at one of our early Open Readings in Galway City Library in Spring 2004.

You can read the review in full here.

John Corless facilitates Creative Writing Night Class at GMIT-Castlebar

John Corless

A new course of night classes in Creative Writing will commence in GMIT Castlebar in the new year. The course runs on Tuesday nights for twelve weeks commencing Tuesday January 26th, and each class lasts two hours. The classes will suit beginners and improvers.

This is a practical and fun course with the emphasis on writing. Topics covered include what to write about, point of view, setting, style, voice, flash fiction, short stories, poetry, dialogue, drama, critique and markets. The structure of the classes is very supportive to the often very personal nature of writing. At the end of the course students should have an impressive body of work completed.

Many satisfied students have taken this course over the past couple of years. Some have gone on to win prizes and had their work published.

The facilitator, John Corless, is a vastly experienced tutor. He has an MA in Creative Writing and is currently researching a PhD. He has performed his work all over the country including at the Electric Picnic, Force 12 and The Munster Literary Festival. He writes poetry, drama and fiction. He work has been published in Ireland, the UK, Norway, Japan, Canada and the USA. He has won many prizes for his writing.

John’s debut collection, Are you ready? (Salmon Poetry) was published this summer and the first print run sold out rapidly. Already one of the biggest selling poetry titles of the year, the collection looks to be one of the biggest selling poetry books for many years.

His poetry is a mix of political and satirical; one critic described it as Paul Durcan meets The Sawdoctors. Another said: "... he shines the tell tale torchlight of his killer wit into all the most embarrassing areas of contemporary Irish life. No-one is safe..." The Western People said: “…side-splitting humour and tongue-in-cheek commentary are synonymous with John’s poetry…"

Anyone interested in taking the Creative Writing night classes should book immediately to avoid disappointment as places are limited. Bookings are made directly with the college only, at their Lifelong Learning Dept., Westport Road, Castlebar. You can telephone GMIT on 094 9025700. The college will host an open evening at the Castlebar campus on Wednesday 13th. January from 7-9pm to finalize bookings. This is an opportunity to meet the tutor who will answer any questions you may have and to enrol for the course.

If you want any further details on the course, or if you can't wait to for the enrolment night, you can telephone John on: 087 98 43 900.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust 2010 Calendar

Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust is selling a calendar for 2010 by the patients of Unit 5 and 6 in Merlin Park University Hospital. The purchase of this calendar directly supports the arts programme in the geriatric units of Galway University Hospitals. The images selected for the calendar are representative of hundreds of artworks produced by the patients each year. The artists who work with the patients have brought tremendous creativity, skill, flexibility and commitment to their work with patients. They run an extensive arts programme with long stay patients including creative writing, music and theatre as well as visual art.

The calendar is on sale in University Hospital, Galway and Merlin Park University Hospital shops for 10 euro from Thursday December 17th or alternatively it is available from the Arts Office.

For further details contact
Margaret Flannery
Arts Officer
Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust
Galway University Hospitals
University Hospital
Newcastle Road
Tel: +353 (0)91 544979

Sunday, December 06, 2009

She who has the youth has the future- Wordlegs seeks submissions

Elizabeth Reapy who will be a Featured Reader at the February 2010 Over The Edge: Open Reading has started an online magazine - wordlegs - for young Irish and Norhern Irish writers and young international writers living here and is looking for submissions. The first issue will be out in the new year.

1.2 million millenials on the island. No literature by us for us. Until now. wordlegs is seeking submissions.

Submission guidelines:
1. Writers should be from or living in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland. Work must be from writers 30 years or under on January 1st 2010
2.All manuscripts must be previously unpublished and sent via email to
3. Work should be submitted as an attached document and also within the body of the email.
4. There is a strict submission limit of 300 words in flash fiction or 2500 words in short stories.
5. Attach an up-to-date picture and biographical note with a cover letter in the email and as an attachment.
6. This magazine emphasizes its relevance and youth whilst maintaining the literary tradition of Irish writers, please keep your submissions in line with this.

Geraldine Mills, Liam Duffy & Gerry Galvin for final Over The Edge: Open Reading of 2009

Geraldine Mills
The December Over The Edge: Open Reading takes place in Galway City Library, St. Augustine Street, Galway on Thursday, December 17th, 6.30-8pm. The Featured Readers are Gerry Galvin, Liam Duffy & Geraldine Mills.

Gerry Galvin is a native of Drumcollogher, Co. Limerick, now living in Oughterard. He is a chef and former restaurateur and the author of bestselling cookbooks The Drimcong Food Affair and Everyday Gourmet. His fiction and poetry have been published at home and abroad in publications such as The Scotsman, The Cape Argus, Hibernia, Crannóg, The Cork Examiner and Ouroboros. He was a 2009 Short Fiction prizewinner in the Fish Publishing competition. His first collection of poetry is forthcoming from Doire Press, Spring 2010.

Liam Duffy is from Galway but is currently attending university in Finland. His poems have appeared in The Shop, Revival and many more. He was also editor of NUI Galway's writers’ society magazine The Sharp Review. Earlier this year, Liam was chosen to take part in a series of summer readings organised in Dublin by The Stinging Fly literary magazine. He recently completed the Advanced Poetry Workshop at Galway Arts Centre and his work features in the group’s highly successful publication Lady Gregory’s Townhouse.

Geraldine Mills was the Millenium winner of the Hennessy / Sunday Tribune New Irish Writer of the year. A native of Galway, Geraldine began her writing career in Dublin where she lived for twenty years before returning with her family to settle in Rosscahill Co. Galway in 1995. Bradshaw Books published two collections of her poetry, Unearthing your Own (2001) and Toil the Dark Harvest (2004). Her first short story collection, The Lick of the Lizard, was published by Arlen House in 2005 and her second, The Weight of Feathers, in 2007. Her third collection of poetry, An Urgency of Stars, is just published by Arlen House.

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 087-6431748.

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

North Beach Poetry Nights 2009 Grand Slam

North Beach Poetry Nights 2009 Grand Slam, in The Crane Bar, Sea Road, Galway on Monday 14th December at 9pm. with Guest Poet: Raven (Dublin/San Francisco) and Guest Troubadour: The Reverend Reynold with his irreverent songs.

Raven hails from San Francisco. A mesmeric live poet at the very top of his game who has shared the stage with the very best, including American poet Saul Williams, the world's premier live literature and spoken word artist. Raven is a native Californian and perfected his skill at the seminal Sacred Grounds Poetry, San Francisco immediately prior to relocating to Dublin in May 2005. In Ireland he has been published in the Census and Ranelagh Arts Festival anthologies. He has been a repeat performer on Leviathan's spoken word stage at the Electric Picnic, and he currently hosts and performs at Rá, a monthly spoken word showcase in Dublin.

15 Poets take part in the 2009 Grand Slam for the Grand Slam Prize of publication of a Chapbook collection of the winner's poems.

Door: 5 / 3 Euro

info: John Walsh @091-593290

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

'Jo Bangles' - Mary McEvoy stars in new play by Dave Lordan

Mary McEvoy stars as Jo Bangles an abandoned woman in middle-age who decorates herself from head to toe with cheap jewels - the only kind she can afford. Taunted by the local kids every time she passes, shunned and mocked by her neighbours and the authorities from whom she seeks assistance, she now has to deal with a teenage daughter who, due to some undiscovered trauma has lost the ability to speak. But Jo Bangles is irrepressible. One morning before sunrise she decides to set forth on a journey that will change her life, and that of her daughter, forever. Join her on her quest for fulfillment and love. This new play by David Lordan is directed by Caroline FitzGerald. For more see

Eamonn Bonner a winner in DART 25 poetry competition

Eamonn Bonner is from the fishing village of Burtonport in West Donegal. He works in retail in Galway City centre. He started writing stories and poems for his own children but as they grew older Eamonn drifted away from writing until he attended the poetry workshops facilitated by Kevin Higgins at Galway Arts Centre. He now writes poetry and fiction for both adults and children. Eamonn also recently won a prize for his poetry at the McGill literary Festival and was a Featured Reader at the May 2009 Over The Edge: Open Reading.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Four New Poetry Collections

warmly invites you to the launch
of four new poetry collections
Shedding Skin
imram ¦ odyssey
Red Riding Hood’s Dilemma
The Truth in Mustard
Wednesday 9 December @ 6 pm
Galway City Library
Augustine Street
Launch by Geraldine Mills

‘The Tribes of Galway’ by Pádraic Reaney
RSVP: Phone 086 8207617; Email:

Friday, November 20, 2009

ROPES 2010 Call For Submissions

ROPES is the annual literary journal produced by the MA in Literature and Publishing at N.U.I. Galway. It features all forms of modern fiction, poetry, drama, screenplays, photography, and illustrations.

We are now accepting submissions for ROPES 2010.

While all themes and subjects are welcome, we are particularly interested in any ideas and responses relating to the first decade of the 21st century.

So be inspired and submit your work!

Submissions should not exceed 2,500 words, with a maximum of three works per author.

Send your material to:

Deadline for submissions: 4 January 2010.

THE POET'S VOICE - The Mythic Journey Readings, Music & Reception

Poets: Yiorgos CHOULIARAS, Christine HEATH, Susan LINDSAY, Rosemarie ROWLEY

Music and Song by Niamh O'BRIEN RHIANNON and Tommy VAUGHAN

THE POET'S VOICE - The Mythic Journey Readings, Music & Reception

Themes include Odysseus & Theseus, Brendan Voyage, Battle of Moytura, Midir & Etain

A Social Evening celebrating the 2nd Anniversary of Mythic Links
VENUE: United Arts Club, 3 Upper Fitzwilliam St. Dublin 2
Register at 7.15 pm; Starts 7.30pm. Admission €10 ( Free Street Parking after 7pm)
Thurs 3rd December

Yiorgos CHOULIARAS Greek poet and essayist who works at the Embassy of Greece. Author of six poetry volumes and essays on literature, cultural history, international relations MORE INTERVIEW : ; POEMS: and

Christine HEATH was short-listed for the Hennessy Literary Award, and completed a Masters in Creative Writing in Trinity College Dublin. in 2009. She has has been writing poetry for some time. She sails extensively and enjoys hill walking, and it is from these activities that she has drawn inspiration for the particular poems she will read on December 3rd.

Susan LINDSAY is a co-editor of Lady Gregory's Townhouse (2009), showcase Chapbook of the Galway Arts Centre 's Advanced Poetry Class. She will speak on 'Shifting Narratives:- do we live within a story of Shifting narrative that in-forms our perspectives and lives? She will invite you to explore the relevance of poetry and myth for today.

Rosemarie ROWLEY has published five books of poetry, and has won the Epic Award in the Scottish International Poetry Competition on four occasions. She will read from 'The Wooing of Etain', (published in 'Transverse ' p.91 at ) Rosemarie's website is

Niamh O'BRIEN RHIANNON and Tommy VAUGHAN are acclaimed performers and teachers of singing, tango and musical instruments. Rhiannon will sing ballads and Tommy will play slow airs for low flute, from their repertoire of traditional Irish music. Rhiannon's CD album 'Heartsong of the Phoenix' will be available on the night - her website is

LINKS : for Info on Poets (Each Poet will read for 10 minutes)



iad-T in the Park

Starting on Saturday November 28th, IADT and dlr Arts Office are pleased to announce iad-T in the Park, a series of literary happenings taking place once a month at the Tea Rooms in the People’s Park, Dun Laoire.

Writers, readers and booklovers of all ages (and genres!) are invited to drop in and join Mia Gallagher, writer-in-residence at the IADT, for an exciting mix of literature, cakes and super-strength espresso. Tea-drinkers are also catered for!

Whether it’s poetry that takes your fancy or crime fiction that keeps you turning those pages, iad-T in the Park offers you the chance to share your work in public, chat with other writers, meet some of Ireland’s brightest literary talents – or just talk about the books you love reading.

The events are free of charge, open to all and will run from midday to 4pm.

Saturday 28th November Opening Lines

12noon: Open Mic. Poetry, fiction, spoken word, music, comedy all welcome, with a 3-minute time limit per act! Time is tight so turn up early if you want your slot guaranteed.

2pm: Readings & discussion by writers-in-residence Mia Gallagher and Paul Perry

Saturday 30th January: Murder on the Bookshelves (crime fiction)

12noon: Writing the Dark Side (workshop). A fun workshop exploring how to get the most out of your dark side, structure suspense and play with horror and thriller motifs.

2pm: Readings & discussion by crime writers Declan Hughes and Arlene Hunt.

Saturday 27th February Exquisite Fictions (literary fiction)

12noon: Fiction Slam. Calling all fiction writers! You are challenged to go head-to head in an epic battle of literary performance. Numbers for this will be restricted. Contact for details.

2pm: Readings/discussion by two of Ireland’s most exciting young writers, Claire Kilroy and Kevin Barry

Saturday 20th March Stranger than Fiction (non-fiction & poetry)

12noon: Poetry Coffee Morning. What better way to get ready for the Poetry Now festival than to share your favourite poems with other lovers of the artform? Poems can be by yourself or another. Max two poems per person.

2pm: Readings & discussion by memoirist Lia Mills and historical writer Neil Hegarty.

Saturday 24th April Play 4 Today (drama)

12noon: Improvisation and Storytelling (workshop). A playful workshop exploring ways to create, build and improve your stories.

2pm: Presentation by Annie Ryan and Michael West of The Corn Exchange, the ground-breaking theatre company behind Dublin Theatre Festival hit ‘Freefall’.

Emerging writers can also set up a one-to-one session with Mia to talk about their work. Space for these is limited to two per month and will need to be booked in advance.

iad-T in the Park is funded by IADT and dlr Arts Office, with the generous support of the Arts Council.

For further information about any of the events contact dlr Arts Office by emailing

'Reaftairí i gCeartlár a Dhaoine san Aonú Aois is Fiche' le Colette Nic Aodha

Ba mhór ag an gcomhlacht foilsitheorachta

Tú a bheith i láthair i gClub Arus na nGael
45 Sráid Dominic, Gaillimh, Co. na Gaillimhe,
ag 8.00in. Dé Sathairn 5ú Nollaig 2009 nuair a sheolfaidh
Máirtín Tom Sheáinín
An leabhar nua-fhoilsithe
Reaftairí i gCeartlár a Dhaoine san Aonú Aois is Fiche
Colette Nic Aodha
Beidh Deochanna agus Sóláistí ar fáil don ócáid
Fáilte Uí Cheallaigh roimh chách !
Beidh an t-údar ar láthair leis na leabhair a shínhiú

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Acclaimed novelist Claire Kilroy for November Over The Edge: Open Reading

Claire Kilroy

The November Over The Edge: Open Reading takes place in Galway City Library, St. Augustine Street, Galway on Thursday, November 19th, 6.30-8pm. The Featured Readers are Jimi McDonnell, James Marshall & Claire Kilroy.

Jimi McDonnell is a native of Tuam, Co.Galway. He cites his family, playwright Tom Murphy and footballer Ja Fallon as pivotal influences. Since 2007, Jimi has been the music correspondent for the Connacht Tribune. Last year he took Susan Millar DuMars’ Creative Writing course at GTI and is now enrolled in the MA in Writing programme at NUI, Galway. Jimi is currently working on poetry and fiction projects.

James Marshall was born on the west coast of Scotland sometime in the nineteen sixties to a Swedish mother and Scottish father. He grew up in and around London. James landed in Galway in 1999 and never took off again. A mid life crisis resulted in his musical tastes broadening towards the extreme end of the spectrum; the more bizarre and challenging the better. He has attended creative writing classes with both Susan Millar DuMars and Kevin Higgins at Galway Technical Institute and is currently working on his first novel, but not as much as he should be.

Claire Kilroy is the author of three novels which loosely form a trilogy about the obsessions and exhilarations of art. Her debut, All Summer, a literary thriller about a stolen painting, was awarded the 2004 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. Her second novel, Tenderwire, a love story between a violinist and a masterpiece violin, was published to great acclaim in 2006, and was shortlisted for the 2007 Irish Novel of the Year as well as the Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award. Her latest novel, All Names Have Been Changed, set in 1980s Dublin and centring around a great Irish writer and his Trinity writing class, was published this May. Educated at Trinity College, she lives in Dublin.

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 087-6431748.

Praise for Claire Kilroy’s All Names Have Been Changed:

"This impressive novel shows Kilroy perfectly at home in the literary firmament that she describes." The Independent

‘Consistently compelling … Kilroy’s descriptions are in places strikingly original and very funny … [in] a novel that effectively explores the exhilarations and a dangers of a powerful imagination, and the lasting influence literature can exert.’ Catherine Morris, Time Literary Supplement

"Written with swagger, this is a gripping study of group dynamics and an exploration of what it means to follow in a literary tradition." Financial Times

All Names Have Been Changed marks out Claire Kilroy as a novelist growing in confidence and hitting her artistic stride – gifted, original and more than capable of stepping up to the plate of literary tradition she so brilliantly portrays.” The Irish Times

'Writing from the top class...All Names Have Been Changed is truly remarkable”. Irish Independent

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

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Launch of 'An Urgency of Stars' by Geraldine Mills

warmly invites you to the launch of the new poetry collection
by Geraldine Mills


Thursday 26 November @ 6pm

Galway City Library

Augustine Street

Launch by Josephine Vahey

RSVP: Alan Hayes, Publisher, Arlen House, PO Box 222, Galway. Phone 086 8207617; Email:

Aon Chathair, Aon Leabhar - One Book, One City: Lig Sinn i gCathú - A Galway Classic?

Aon Chathair, Aon Leabhar One Book, One City
Lig Sinn i gCathú - A Galway Classic?
A discussion of Breandán Ó hEithir's famous novel of Galway
Alan Titley
Professor of Modern Irish, UCC
Introduced by Michael O'Loughlin
Galway City & County Writer in Residence
4.00pm, Saturday December 5th
Galway City Museum
Flood St., Galway
All welcome
Admission free
Organised by Michael O'Loughlin, Galway Writer in Residence
Funded by Galway City Council and The Arts Council

Friday, October 30, 2009

Evening of Poetry To Celebrate New Charlie Byrne's Bookshop in Oranmore

On THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 5th, from 6pm Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop in association with Over The Edge presents an evening of poetry to celebrate their new shop in Oranmore
at Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop, Oranmore Village (near the filling station!)

Local poets, including John Walsh, Mary Mullen, Jarlath Fahy, Miceal Kearney, Edward Lee, Connie Masterson, and Bernie Crawford will read their work in our new Oranmore bookshop.

Come along and enjoy refreshments and a browse through our selection of new and remaindered books. If you haven't gotten the chance to visit our Oranmore shop yet, this is the perfect opportunity!

Launch of 'Pluto's Noon Sky' by Gary King

Pluto's Noon Sky - Gary King launches his debut collection at 12 Noon on Saturday, 31st October in Galway City Museum.
North Beach Publications and Doire Press are pleased to announce the launch of 2008 North Beach Poetry Nights Grand Slam winner, Gary King's debut collection, which includes his winning poem, 'After Disco Lights'.

Susan DuMars, poet, fiction writer and co-organizer of Over the Edge will launch Gary's collection.
All are welcome.

Gary King won the 2008 North Beach Poetry Nights Grand Slam. He was also the runner-up in the 2007 Cuirt Festival Poetry Grand Slam. He has read his poems at the White House reading series in Limerick, the Over The Edge series in Galway and O’Bhéal in Cork. He was short-listed for the 2006 Cuirt Festival/Over The Edge showcase reading. Gary’s poems have been published widely in magazines such as Poetry Nottingham, Criterion, West 47 & The Burning Bush. A chapbook of his poems, Ambiguous Lights, was published by Over The Edge in 2004.

North Beach Poetry Nights announces November Slam with Tobias Manderson-Galvin

North Beach Poetry Nights announces the November Slam, the last qualifying 2-round slam before the December Grand Slam in The Crane Bar, Sea Road, Galway on Monday 9th November at 9pm with Guest Poet from Limerick via Canberra, Australia

Tobias Manderson-Galvin
"Munster Slam Champion 2009"

Playwright, poet, plastic artist, librettist, composer, Tobias Manderson-Galvin was born in Canberra, Australia.

unstoppablethe Age - Melbourne;

sweatythe Adelaide Advertiser;

"ought to be locked up" bNews - Melbourne,

"relentlessly funny at times and soiled-underpants-scary at others"
Rip It Up Magazine - Adelaide

Tobias is a student of Politics and Philosophy at Limerick University. He converses in English, Dance and the language of the meadow. for more on his theatre company...

Poets wishing to take part in this last qualifying slam should bring 2 x 3 minute max memorized poems.

The prize for the Grand Slam winner is publication.

Door: 5 / 3 Euro

info: John Walsh @091-593290

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

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Romanian Poet Denisa Mirena Pişcu for October Over The Edge: Open Reading

Denisa Mirena Pişcu

The October Over The Edge: Open Reading takes place in Galway City Library, St. Augustine Street, Galway on Thursday, October 29th, 6.30-8pm. The Featured Readers are Connie Masterson, Trevor Conway & Denisa Mirena Pişcu.

Connie Masterson is originally from Co. Fermanagh. She moved to Galway twenty five years ago. She has been attending workshops with Kevin Higgins at Galway Arts Centre for the last four years. Connie’s poetry has been published in Crannóg and she is currently a member of the Advanced Poetry Workshop at Galway Arts Centre whose recent publication Lady Gregory's Townhouse has been a rare poetry sell out. She has read her work at Clifden Arts Week. Connie was long-listed in this year’s Over The Edge New Writer of The Year competition.

Trevor Conway is from Sligo and is studying the MA in Writing at NUI Galway. He writes fiction, poetry and music, dabbling in drama and script-writing. Currently, he is working on his first collection of poetry. His work has been published in magazines such as Poetry Salzburg Review, Flash Magazine, Decanto and Inclement. He has also been included in the anthology 'Poetic Expressions', published by Forward Press. He has attended classes with Kevin Higgins, Dermot Healy and DBC Pierre. Trevor promises never to write a poem about the recession, unless it refers to his hairline.

Denisa Mirena Pişcu hails from Bucharest, Romania. Her debut collection, Fluffy and Mechanical, was published in 2003 by Vinea Publishing House and was awarded the prize for best debut by the Association of Writers in Bucharest. Her poems are included in many anthologies, including Generation 2000 in Romanian Poetry, edited by Ştefania Mincu, (Pontica,2007). During 2007-2008, she was involved in the international project Overcoming Dictatorships – the Encounter of Artists, Poets and Writers, sponsored by the EU, gathering artists and writers from the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Romania and Poland. This tour of Ireland sees Denisa launch her second full collection, Disposable People, published by Galway Print, which will be available at the reading.

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 087-6431748.

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


Margaretta D’Arcy

cordially invites you to the launch of



by John Arden her life long partner

A celebration of his entry into his 80th year


The book will be launched by The Irish Times columnist and writer


There will be an exhibition of the author's paintings based on his stories, and

a video documentary. He will give a reading at the museum each Saturday at 3pm until
the exhibition ends, Saturday November 25th.

Book includes DVD by Finn Arden - John Arden in his Own Words

Reading at Charlie Byrne's Bookshop for Irish Great Book Week

The Great Irish Book Week takes place from Saturday the 24th to Saturday the 31st October 2009. Poetry: Reading it, Writing it, Publishing it, edited and compiled by Salmon Poetry managing editor Jessie Lendennie and published by Salmon earlier this year, has been selected as one of the 30 Great Irish Books featured during Great Irish Book Week.

A Reading from  Poetry: Reading it, Writing it, Publishing it Edited by Jessie Lendennie

One of 30 books selected for promotion during Publishing Ireland’s Great Irish Book Week, 24th - 31st October
Readers: Susan Millar DuMars, Kevin Higgins, Caroline Lynch, Joan McBreen, James C. Harrold, Gerry Hanberry, Celeste Augé
Introduction by Jessie Lendennie
Venue: Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop, Middle St., Galway
Date/Time: Saturday, 24th October, 6.30pm

North Beach Poetry Nights host All-Ireland Poetry Slam Championship

North Beach Poetry Nights announces its hosting of The All-Ireland Poetry Slam Championship 2009 in The Crane Bar, Sea Road, Galway on next Monday 26th October at 9pm.

8 poets, two chosen at regional heats in each province, compete for the title:
All-Ireland Poetry Slam Champion 2009
with Guest Poet from Cornwall Linda Cleary
Guest MC: Brendan Murphy (2007 All-Ireland Poetry Slam Champion)
and The Reverend Reynolds with his not so reverent songs.

Linda Cleary is a poet-writer-performer-artist, seen as being in the vanguard of young female performance poets and emerging as a radical nouvelle vague Romantic Poet. She works across disciplines; creating non-traditional, diverse work of spoken & written word. Her work often carries an urban and contemporary thrust. Her performance poetry and style has been seen as unique, strong, raw and challenging.

'Powerful, uncompromising, rhythmic verse. Tough, lyrical beauty. Packs poetic punches with aching sensitivity. A unique new voice. If you need a comparison, think; a young Joolz Denby, laced with Patti Smith overtones.' (Apples&Snakes)

The winner will be chosen by a panel of three judges.

See YOU there!

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

Info: John Walsh @ 091-593290


Are you interested in writing for the screen?

Have you ever considered turning some of your written work into a screenplay?

Two UCLA Screenwriting Graduates guide you through the first steps of developing a feature length screenplay in an easy going supportive environment.

This workshop will concentrate on basic format and structure but will also include discussion on potential commercial avenues and industry secrets. You will be taken through the fundamentals to ensure your work is in a form which will give it its best chance of consideration.

Contact: or 086 3643925
Early booking essential as places are limited.
Saturday. November 7th. 11am-4pm
Special Introductory Price €75.
Venue: The Forster Court Hotel, Forster St, Galway

Poetry at the Literary & Debating Society at NUI Galway

NUI Galway
The Literary and Debating Society is delighted to host a panel of distinguished poets to discuss the topic of "Peripheral Vision: Poetry and writing in the West of Ireland” at 7pm on Thursday, 22nd October 2009 in the Kirwan Theatre on the main concourse of the Arts Concourse in NUI Galway.

The Land of Saints and Scholars, or the tomb of the now-defunct Celtic Tiger? It would be easy to romanticise the life of a west of Ireland poet as being all wind-swept cottages and tortured silences, but what is the reality of day-to-day life when you are pursuing your passion for verse? This panel discussion will explore how life in modern Ireland constrains and influences the writing that is defining a generation both at home and abroad, through a series of questions put forward by an interviewer alternated with readings of the authors' own work.

Confirmed panellists include Terry McDonagh, Susan Millar DuMars, and Kevin Higgins.

Terry McDonagh is a teacher, poet and dramatist of international acclaim. He has published several collections of poetry, a book of letters, a novel for young people and, in 2006, a collection of poetry for young people, BOXES. He has been writer in residence in Australia, Asia, several European countries and Ireland where he was resident writer in Coole Park, County Galway 2006. His work has been translated into German and Indonesian, grant aided by Ireland Literature Exchange. He was runner-up in the Fish Poetry Prize 2006.

Susan Millar DuMars and Kevin Higgins organise the highly successful ‘Over The Edge: Open Reading’ series in Galway City Library as well as the popular literary Friday evenings at Sheridan's Wine Bar. They also facilitate a wide range of creative writing workshops, both poetry and fiction. ‘Over The Edge’ works closely with the Galway Arts Centre and the Galway-based North Beach Poetry Nights. Susan Millar DuMars has published collections of both poetry and fiction, including Big Pink Umbrella (Salmon Poetry, 2008). Poet Kevin Higgins’ 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 third collection of poetry is due to be published next year.

163rd Session

Literary and Debating Society
National University of Ireland, Galway

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Over The Edge welcomes Galway City Council funding announcement

In a joint statement Susan Millar DuMars and Kevin Higgins said:
“We are delighted that Over The Edge is to receive the same level of funding from Galway City Council for the year to come as we did for the year just past. In the current atmosphere of general economic unpleasantness, this is a very good result indeed. Over The Edge organises a large number of well attended, quality literary events on a very tight budget.
                 This grant will go a long way to ensuring that we will be in a position to continue developing Over The Edge in 2010. We acknowledge the support of the City Council’s Arts Officer, James Harrold, and the members of Galway City Council, the overwhelming majority of whom have been warmly supportive of the work Over The Edge does.
                We are also delighted to see that North Beach Poetry Nights, with whom we work very closely, has received a similarly good result in the latest funding round. All things considered, Galway has without doubt the most vibrant literary scene in the country at the moment. We will do everything we can to ensure that this continues to be the case in the challenging times ahead.”

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Ireland's First Ever Fiction Slam with Mia Gallagher

Mia Gallagher

Over The Edge presents Ireland’s first ever fiction slam with Featured Reader, Mia Gallagher, at Sheridan’s Wine Bar, 14-16 Church Yard Street, Galway on Friday, October 16th, 8pm.

Mia Gallagher is a writer and performer based in Dublin. Her debut novel HellFire (described as ‘a novel of many pleasures’ by Joe O’Connor and ‘a grand achievement’ by the Guardian) received international critical acclaim and the Literature Award in Irish Tatler’s Women of the Year 2007. Her short stories have been published in Ireland and abroad and have won the START short fiction award as well as being nominated for a Hennessy Award. She has also received Arts Council of Ireland funding for both literature and drama. Mia regularly gives workshops in creative writing, storytelling and performance as well as mentoring other writers on a one-to-one basis. She is currently Writer-in-Residence with the Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council.

Poetry slams have grown in popularity during the past few years, but now it’s the fiction writers’ turn. If you want take be part you need to register by e-mailing or texting your name to 087-6431748. The first nine fiction writers to do so will be guaranteed a place in the slam. Three additional places will be available on the night of the reading to the first three fiction writers to make it to Sheridan’s Wine Bar and give their names to MC Kevin Higgins. All participating writers should bring 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 jury of audience members. Three writers will go through to the second round and the prize for the winner is a bottle of wine.

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 and Galway City Council.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

David Mohan & Orla Higgins winners in 2009 Over The Edge New Writer of The Year

David Mohan, winner in the poetry category for his poems Nursing a Star, Come to Light & The Samurai Lovers and 2009 Over The Edge New Writer of The Year. David will receive a cash prize of €700 and will be a Featured Reader at an Over The Edge: Open Reading in Galway City Library.

David Mohan lives and works in Dublin and writes poetry. He is a member of Lucan Writers. He has had poems featured in the 2008 and 2009 Oxfam calendars, and his poems have appeared in various publications including The Sunday Tribune, Revival and the 2008 poetry anthology Night and Day. He won the 2008 Hennessy/Sunday Tribune Poetry Award, as well as the overall New Irish Writing Award.

Orla Higgins winner in the fiction category for her story Thin Blue Line. Orla will receive a cash prize of €300.

Orla Higgins lives in Galway city. After taking a number of creative writing classes with Susan Millar DuMars at Galway Technical Institute, she recently completed the MA in Writing programme at NUIG and is working on her first novel. She also lectures part-time at the University with the Department of Marketing and the Huston School of Film. Orla was a Featured Reader at the September 2008 Over The Edge: Open Reading in Galway City Library and was also selected by the Cúirt Festival panel to read at the 2009 Cúirt Festival Over The Edge showcase.

The competition judge was Patrick Chapman. He had this to say about the winning entries:

while there were many fine pieces on the shortlist, the winners stood out. They sustained their individual visions to the end with clarity, style and imagination; and their work was a pleasure to discover. I am glad to congratulate David Mohan and Orla Higgins, and I look forward to seeing much more of their work in the future.”

The shortlisted writers were
Graham Allen, Cork
Lisa Allen, Galway
Elizabeth Brennan, Dublin
Brendan Carey Kinane, Dublin
Mike Casey, Dublin
Paul Conway, Galway
Evan Costigan, Kildare
Madeleine Darcy, Cork
Ursula Deane, Dublin
Vincent Flannery, Galway
Andrew Fox, Dublin
Cristina Galvin, Galway
Richard Gibney, Dublin
Paul Jeffcutt, Down
Brian Kirk, Dublin
Tom Lavelle, Galway
Seán Leonard, Galway
Gemma Marren, Mayo
Patricia McAdoo, Galway
Marcella Morgan, Galway
David O'Dwyer, Dublin
Lani O'Hanlon, Waterford
Shane Ó Maoildhia, Galway
Kevin O'Shea, Galway
Brendan Murphy, Galway
Elizabeth Reapy, Mayo
Maureen Ryan, Galway – two entries on the long-list
Suzanne Walsh, Tipperary

This year's competition attracted 324 entries.

The 2009 Over The Edge New Writer of The Year competition was sponsored by Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop, Kelly Office Supplies, Mary Higgins & a generous individual donor who wishes to remain anonymous.