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Saturday, January 23, 2010

North Beach Poetry Nights returns on Monday 15th February in The Crane Bar, Sea Road, Galway at 9pm

Guest Poet: Brendan Murphy

Brendan is Cuirt Slam Champion 2005, All Ireland Slam Champion 2007, Over the Edge Flash Fiction Champion and North Beach Slam Champion 2009.

His first full collection will be published by Doire Press in association with Over the Edge in spring this year.

And announcing the first North Beach Slam of 2010. Poets wishing to take part should bring 2 max. 3 minute memorized poems. Each monthly winner goes through to the Grand Slam in December.

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 welcome support of Galway City Council.

Friday, January 22, 2010

'Loose Lips' at Róisín Dubh Wednesday, February 24th

First 'Poetry Smackdown' of the Year

First Poetry Smackdown of the Year, on a TUESDAY for a change
with 3 guest Speakers;

Lisa Allen - 2010 Cuirt Poetry Slam Finalist

Marcella Morgan - Shortlisted for 2009 'Over the Edge' Writer of the Year

Jimmy Monaghan - From 'Music for Dead Birds'

And of course the open mic.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010 8.30pm
Róisín Dubh,
Dominick Street,

Launch of 'Landing Places: Immigrant Poets in Ireland'

Saturday, March 06, 2010 sees the launch of Landing Places: Immigrant Poets in Ireland. The launch takes place in City Hall, Dublin, as part of the annual Dublin Book Festival.

Landing Places is a timely and ground-breaking poetry anthology, edited by Eva Bourke and Borbála Faragó, and features 66 poets (recent arrivals and first generation immigrants) who between them contribute to, enlarge and challenge the definition of what constitutes 'writing from Ireland'.

Featuring both poets who are already well-known and others publishing their first poems in English, the full list of contributors is as follows:

Chris Agee, Peter Oliver Arnds, Celeste Augé, Denise Blake, Megan Buckley, Sandra Bunting, Kristina Camilleri, Anamaria Crowe Serrano, Kinga Elwira Cybulska, Kathryn Daily, Carla De Tona, Annie Deppe, Theodore Deppe, Gabriel Ezutah, Lisa Frank, Matthew Geden, John Givens, Paul Gratten, Shane Guthrie, Mirela Nicoleta Hincianu, Joseph Horgan, Oritsegbemi Emmanuel Jakpa, Paul Jeffcutt, Enrique Juncosa, Matt Kirkham, Chuck Kruger, Anatoly Kurdyavitsky, Slavek Kwi, Paul Maddern, Nyaradzo Masunda , Jennifer Matthews, Clare McDonnell, Irma Mento, Susan Millar Dumars, Judith Mok, Panchali Mukherji, Mary Mullen, Pete Mullineaux, Tom Myp, Chris Nikkel, Daniel O’Donoghue, Kinga Olszewska, Julia Piera, Hajo Quade, Ursula Rani Sarma, Mark Roper, Judy Russell, Eckhardt Schmidt, Jo Slade, Tiziana Soverino, Raphael Josef Stachniss, Lisa Steppe, Richard Tillinghast, Eriko Tsugawa-Madden, Rose Tuelo Brock, Andreas Vogel, Maria Wallace, Cliff Wedgebury, Grace Wells, Sally Wheeler, Sabine Wichert, Landa Wo, Rachel Audrey Wyatt, Adam Wyeth, Alex Wylie and Ann Zell.

Following the Dublin Book Fair launch (City Hall, Sat 06 March 2010, at 4.30 pm -- all are invited to attend) Hugo Hamilton will chair a panel discussion with the editors and invite questions and discussion from the floor.

Galway launch of new poetry collections by Ted & Annie Deppe

Poet EVA BOURKE and NUIG’s ADRIAN FRAZIER to launch two new collections by ANNIE DEPPE and TED DEPPE.

On Saturday 6 February at 1 p.m. Annie Deppe and Ted Deppe will read from their new poetry collections at the Galway City Museum. Eva Bourke will launch Annie’s second book, Wren Cantata, published by Summer Palace Press in Donegal. Adrian Frazier will launch Ted’s fourth collection of poetry, Orpheus on the Red Line published by Tupelo Press, Massachusetts.

Annie Deppe’s first book, Sitting in the Sky (2003) also appeared from Summer Palace Press. Her work has been included in The Forward Book of Poetry 2004, Poetry Ireland Review, The Stinging Fly, The Shop, and many other journals. She has received grants from the Irish Arts Council and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. She co-runs The Stonecoast Programme in Ireland.

Ted Deppe’s previous books are Cape Clear: New and Selected Poems (Salmon, 2002), The Wanderer King (Alice James, 1996), and Children of the Air (Alice James, 1990). He has received a Pushcart Prize and two fellowships in the U.S. from the National Endowment for the Arts. He has served as writer in residence for the James Merrill House in Stonington, Connecticut, the Poets’ House in Donegal and Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. U.S. He directs Stonecoast in Ireland and teaches in the Stonecoast MFA programme.

All are welcome.

Residential Poetry Courses in Cnoc Suain

Escape from the hustle-bustle and demands of everyday life to the tranquillity of Cnoc Suain in the West of Ireland, and immerse yourself in the written word for a weekend. Our courses offer you the chance to leave behind the demands of the outside world and dedicate precious time to your writing. Cnoc Suain is a lovingly restored pre-famine hill village close to Spiddal, County Galway, surrounded by the inspiring landscape of Connemara. This unique environment will give you the time and space to write, supported by the expertise of published poets. No qualifications are required, and we aim to provide a creative environment where all poets can find inspiration, hone their craft and benefit from structured and constructive feedback.

The work undertaken will be varied and stimulating: morning workshops will involve reading poems together and short writing-exercises; time will also be set aside for longer writing or editing exercises; tutors will offer one-to-one feedback on work submitted, and guidance on how to improve reading your poems in public. In the evenings there will be poetry readings by established poets and participants will be encouraged to read their work also. As a result of this total immersion and the absence of the usual distractions, this short period of time will seem much longer than a weekend. To maximise the potential benefits of the course, we recommend (but do not insist) that you share your writing with the rest of the group in workshops. We also recommend that you familiarize yourself with some of your tutors' work prior to your arrival.

Your Tutors

Kevin Higgins's first collection of poems, 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 (Cambridge University Press, 2008). His third collection Frightening New Furniture will be published next year 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 others have gone on to publish collections of their poems.

Lorna Shaughnessy's first collection of poems, Torching the Brown River, was published by Salmon Poetry in 2008. Her work was selected for inclusion in the Forward Book of Poetry 2009. Her second collection, The Witness Trees, is due to appear with Salmon in 2011. She has published two translations of contemporary Mexican poetry, Mother Tongue. Selected Poems by Pura López Colomé and If We Have Lost our Oldest Tales by María Baranda, both with Arlen House (2006). She lectures in the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultural Studies in the National University of Ireland, Galway.

Price: 295 euro pp single or twin room or 315 euro pp single room en suite. All meals included.

Weekend Workshops: May, Fri. 28 - Sun. 30 and Aug, Fri. 13 - Sun. 15, 2010.

For more see

GMIT presents Creative Writing for Beginners with Susan Millar DuMars in the New Year

Susan Millar DuMars will give support, instruction and feedback to students who are interested in writing either fiction (short stories, novels) or poetry. The course takes place one evening per week (Wednesday) for 8 weeks from 7.30–9.30 p.m. The course commences on Wednesday, February 10th, 2010. Advance booking is essential. Places cost €120.00. For further details or to book a place contact GMIT, Dublin Road, Galway. Telephone 091-742145 or see

Susan Millar DuMars was born in Philadelphia in 1966 to a Belfast-born mother. She holds an MA in Writing from the University of San Francisco. Her poems and short stories have been published widely in the US, UK and Ireland. Susan's stories have been short-listed for many awards, and in 2005 she received an Irish Arts Council Bursary for her fiction. American Girls, a volume of her short stories, was published by Lapwing in 2007. Since 2003, Susan and her husband Kevin Higgins have organised the successful Over the Edge reading series, showcasing new writers. Susan teaches creative writing at Galway Technical Institute, Galway Arts Centre, Galway Mayo Institute of Technology and on the Brothers of Charity Away With Words programme. Big Pink Umbrella (Salmon Poetry, 2008) is the first full collection of her poetry. One of her poems has been chosen by editor, Mathew 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 next year by Salmon Poetry.

Galway Arts Centre launch for 'Understanding Book Publishing for Writers' by William McClymont

Mike McCormack will introduce visiting writer and publisher, William McClymont, at Galway Arts Centre, at 8pm on Wednesday 27th. January. McClymont’s book, Understanding Book Publishing for  Writers, is a virtual roadmap for those wishing to see their name on the spine of a book displayed on a bookshop shelf. The Irish Times says: “the greatest Irish novel of the decade just ended was Galway-based Mike McCormack’s Notes From a Coma (Jonathan Cape, 2005).” The line up of award winning novelist, Mike McCormack, and publisher William McClymont should make for an informative and entertaining event.

Understanding Book Publishing for Writers was due to be launched in Britain at the end of February, but a speaking engagement at National University of Ireland, Galway , where Mike McCormack is a lecturer, has prompted William McClymont to launch his book at Galway Arts Centre first. McCormack was asked to host the event by his MA in Writing students.

Galway is a city that attracts talented writers well versed in the use of cliff-hangers, quotes, white space, character development and the three-act structure, making sure their work begins quickly and hooks us in. The train only hits the buffers when they try to get published, but guidance is at hand.

A publisher himself, William MClymont recognises that “to publishers, unpublished writers are an irrelevance. People who are vaguely known to the public are easier to sell if they can commoditise them, and he says “establishment writers are fawned over; their every word gobbled up in the syndrome of the emperor's new clothes.” He will give updated trend information.

William McClymont’s book covers:

• different types of publishers and what they are;

• what books get published and why

• the publishing process and what’s involved

• how to make book proposals and what can be done to enhance their chances of success

• the writers perspective of publishing, the publishers perspective of publishing and writers

• the book trade environment and how it is developing

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

2010 Over The Edge Poetry Book Showcase Reading at Sheridan's Wine Bar

The 2010 Over The Edge Poetry Book Showcase featuring Órfhlaith Foyle, Celeste Augé, Gary King, Gerard Hanberry, Ed Madden, Dave Rock, Edward Lee, John Corless, Patricia Byrne, Colette NicAodha, Geraldine Mills, Mary Hanlon, Eamonn Bonner, James Martyn, Alan Garvey, Deirdre Kearney, Terry McDonagh & Jessie Lendennie with a special guest reading by Japanese poet Hisa Kagawa will take place at Sheridan's Wine Bar, 14-16 Church Yard Street, Galway on Friday, February, 12th at 8pm.

Hisa Kagawa
In this annual retrospective of the year just past, every Galway-based poet who published a new collection of poems during 2009 will read three poems from the collection in question.

All welcome. For further details phone 087-6431748

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

Friday, January 15, 2010

Over the Edge New Writer of the Year 2009: Fiction Winner

THIN BLUE LINE by Orla Higgins

You are staring at the box as you sit at the edge of your single bed, trying to avoid the part where the mattress dips into a big circle in the middle. You have slept in this room since you were ten. Over the six years since, the walls have changed from pink to purple to the colour you put up on a wet Saturday afternoon earlier in the summer. You don’t like painting but your best friends Tamara and Niamh had gone to visit their cousins and you didn’t want to hang around with any of the others. Standing outside in the rain, beside the bus shelter, drinking cans and shouting at the pensioners waiting for their free bus ride into town. Then just running away and laughing at the shades when they drive by in the patrol car. It gets boring after a while. But there isn’t much else to do. They put on lame activities in the community centre for the ‘young people’ but it’s full of do-gooders and holy people like the priest pretending they care.

You wanted the walls to be brilliant white like the best houses on Cribs on MTV. But your step-father got some kind of deal. Now your walls are a dirty looking cream and your mother tells you not to complain.

It was good of him to buy you the paint, money being so tight and everything.

And he smiles, Tony does, behind your mother’s back. The leering private smile he keeps for you and your friends. You hate the thick silver stud that’s always covered with saliva and makes his bottom lip jut out. You hate the way he combs his hair over his bald spot. You hate the way he slicks the ends out with hair gel. You hate when he struts around the house in his boxers. You hate him.

The colours of the terraced houses around the trash rimmed semi-circle of your estate aren’t much better. They are not the ones in fancy magazines called honey cream or Moroccan sunset or pearl green. They are grimy grey, shit brown and puke yellow. The council probably got the paint at a knock-down rate for its knock-down citizens.

You should be more grateful, Crystal. Tony has been very good to us.

Yes, Mum.

He has been good enough to give you another son, lines under your eyes, a taste for bingo and take-out Chinese. Recently he has been good enough to make you pregnant again. Tamara says there is a rumour he sometimes stays with a woman called Mary who has just moved in two streets over. You tried to tell your mother once but she just slapped you across the face and told you to mind your own business. Good old Tony.

Right now though you are concentrating on the box in your hand with the picture of the white stick on the front. Working up the courage to use it. From next door you hear the TV blaring and the sound of Eminem thumps through your bedroom wall. He may as well be rapping here in your own room. The sounds of your street drift in through the open window. You would hear them anyway even if the window was closed. You don’t have to look out to know Mr. Flaherty is shouting at Jack Ward for blocking the entrance to his house. From the back of his white Hiace Jack sells mobile phones and trainers and DVD’s of movies before they come out in the cinema. Bypassing the middle man, he calls it. From further down the street you hear the sound of something like a heavy bag landing on the tarmac and a door slamming. Terry Glynn has thrown his wife out for having slept with his brother. Again. You and your friends joke that you don’t need to watch Eastenders. The soap could be filmed here in your own little street in your own city. Galway. There doesn’t seem to be much difference to you between here and there. Maybe you’ll make a documentary about it when you leave school.

You tried to explain all this to Lucy once but she didn’t understand. Lucy was your brother Ryan’s last girlfriend. She used to wonder about the dirty nappies piled up against the wall of Number 12. You explained about how the Glynns and the Doyles threw their kids’ nappies over the wall at each others’ houses as payback for something that happened so long ago no one remembers. She thought it was disgusting. She said your mother should call the Guards to sort it out. But the shades wouldn’t be bothered with a call from here. It took them two hours to come the last time there was a stabbing and they didn’t come at all when Jack Ward ended up beating his brother half to death on the green. She never lived in a place like this. She just didn’t understand.

You’d love to move, to the other side of the city, to be near your Granny. Your Granny lives in a council house too but not like yours. Everyone has flowers hanging in baskets outside and no-one has been stabbed there in years. There’s always a fire in the front room and the smell of dinner. Your sitting room smells of stale cigarettes. One wall is taken over by the 40” plasma TV Tony got someplace. He even found a way to rig it up so the cable company wouldn’t know. You like to watch stuff on it but not with your mother or Tony or your brothers. They talk over all the programmes and they never want to watch The Hills or Super Sweet Sixteen. So you watch them on the computer in your room.

Sometimes it all gets you down and your mother tells you to stop being moody. Tells you to stop fighting with Ryan and help look after Thomas, even though you mind him almost every night when she is at bingo or in the pub. Ryan never has to mind him. It’s not fair. You think perhaps there must be a way to escape. Two years ago Seán from your class went and hanged himself from the tree house in his back garden. You and your friends used to slag him off because he didn’t have an X-Box. You’re a bit sorry now. Everyone was crying and hugging at the funeral and the school had a counsellor even though none of you went to see her. You’d have gotten slagged off if you did. Someone even set up a Bebo page and everyone wrote nice messages on it.

You wonder what people would say about you if you did the same. You’d get your mother’s sleeping pills and some of Tony’s whiskey. You’ve gotten to like the taste of it. He’s going to catch you some day diluting it with water but you don’t care. Definitely you would take pills. As you swallowed each one you would imagine them floating down to the most important parts of your body to shut them down. The heart. The lungs. Maybe the liver too. You’re not sure what else. You gave up Biology after you failed it in the Junior Cert. All you know is that the pills would help you sleep forever and that feels like it would be a very nice thing to be able to do.

Then again, if you did that you would never get to meet your father. You found his address once, when you were fourteen, in an old box hidden in the back of your mother’s wardrobe. The box was marked ‘Crystal and Ryan’s Baby Stuff’. Your mother named you after her favourite character from a TV show she used to watch in the 1980s, like a million years ago. There were lots of pictures in there of Harry and her. Your favourite was a picture of the three of you. Your father wore a t-shirt that said Oakland and his hair was a kind of grey blonde. He was tanned but it didn’t look like a Galway tan. It looked American. Your mother’s eyes were layered with mascara and fake eyelashes. You were a chubby baby, fat arms, no wrists and just two wisps of blonde hair across your bald head. They looked as if they were afraid they would drop you. On the back, the words Harry, me and Crystal, 1993. But he went back to California when your mother was nineteen, you were six months and Ryan only two years old. He decided he liked his wife there better.

You tried to show the box to Ryan once but he said he didn’t give a fuck who his father was. That he was just fine without one. And you should cop on and forget about him yourself. You had Tony now. You didn’t tell your mother but you wrote to him, to Harry, and you couldn’t believe it when he replied. The letter was written on that crisp blue airmail paper that folds into an envelope where you can write the address on the outside. The stamp had a picture of the American flag and the paper was so thin the blue biro he used had made holes in it. He said it would be a good idea for you to go and visit sometime, maybe when you finished school. He’d like to come to Ireland but he was very busy with his job. Perhaps it would be better not to write again as he might be moving and your letter might get lost. He said he’d write to you when he got settled in his new place. He signed it Harry. He didn’t ask about your mother and he didn’t send you the photograph you asked for. And he didn’t write again. For a long time you checked the mail every day when you got home from school. Then you only checked sometimes. Now you don’t bother checking at all.

You’re getting bored with the summer holidays. You miss Lucy. When Ryan was going out with her, she used to bring you places, like the movies. She called it girl time. She was doing a degree in something called Biotechnology. You liked when she came to your house in her pink and cream Nissan Figaro. It belonged to her mother but you didn’t tell anyone because it made all your friends jealous. She had even been to California. You asked her had she ever been to Oakland but she said she had lived in the city – that’s what she called San Francisco. It was a bit run down, Oakland, she said, not glamorous like Malibu or LA. You were sure she was mixed up and that there must be more than one Oakland.

One night, about six months ago, just before she found out she was pregnant again, your mother started talking about California for the first time in ages. Talked about it like she had actually been there. The memory made her take out the bottle of whiskey from the cupboard by the fridge. You remember her hand shaking as she splashed some into a chipped glass, her voice trailing off to a mumble. You remember how she put a cigarette into her mouth and took the whiskey, the pack of Marlboros and the lighter with her out into the back garden. Back yard really you suppose since the only grass out there is weeds. You went with her but she shouted at you to go away.

You watched her from the window in the kitchen. Her profile was visible in the dark as she sat on the abandoned sofa, the one left out there when Tony arrived home with a new plastic leather suite too big for the sitting room. As you watched, the only movement you could see was the orange light in her hand moving up and down from the arm of the sofa to her lips. Then darkness. Then the flicker of a lighter flame and the dull glow again, moving up and down, up and down. Then your little brother began to cry and you went upstairs to give him his bottle.

You think your mother is pathetic when she drinks whiskey and you’re sure that’s what made your father go back to California. She is pathetic with men. Before Tony there were others that now make even Tony look good. Random men that lurched in the door with her, the stairs creaking in the middle of the night waking you up. Always the second and seventh step. You know which steps because they are the ones you skip over when you get home late. It’s Friday. You’re supposed to go to the disco tonight. The last big one of the summer. Everyone has plans to get cans from Jack Ward so you can all go drinking in the park in Salthill before going in. You look at the box again. You’re not even sure if you got the best brand. You just grabbed the first one you saw as well as some deodorant so it didn’t look like that’s all you went in for. So it would look like an afterthought. Much like you ended up being an afterthought that night.

You didn’t want to go with him but everyone else was paired off. You didn’t want to be the one left behind on the bench on your own. You could already hear Tamara and Niamh giggling. Tamara told you before that it wasn’t like the movies. It wasn’t awful but it wasn’t like that, she said. You agreed, even though you didn’t know at all. While you and Glen are doing it you remember the day a woman called Anne came to your school from some rape centre and explained that if you didn’t want to have sex then you could just say no. But Glen is strong. He’s a boxer. You can’t imagine saying no to him now. The tighter you grab his t-shirt, the more he thinks you like it and the more he paws your left breast and bangs into you even harder. Then it’s over. Glen is already on his way back to the rest of them before you have even wiped yourself with a tissue. He is pulling up his fly with one hand, slurping out of a can of Dutch Gold with the other and grinning. You pull your knickers back up, button up your top and put on a grin too. You retrieve your naggin of vodka from the grass and go sit on the bench with Niamh. Tamara is the last to return.

You open the box and spread the contents out on the bed. You read the instructions a few times. They seem pretty easy to follow. Last year Kylie Walsh thought it was cool to be pregnant. She used to walk around holding hands with Tommy Ryan wearing only a cropped top that showed everyone her massive bump with the horrid purple veins that stood out like a Freddy Kruger mask. Kylie Walsh didn’t think it was so cool in the hospital though. She told you and Tamara and Niamh about it one night. It was too late by the time she got to there to get any drugs and it took hours for the baby to arrive and she got all ripped open. You couldn’t listen to the whole story so you went downstairs to get a can from the fridge even though you hadn’t finished the first one yet. You delayed going back in to the bedroom because the thought of it all grossed you out.

You think of all this as you squat awkwardly over the stained white bowl trying to balance the stick between your legs. Some of your urine gets on your fingers. It feels warm. You wash your hands and you go back into the bedroom. You leave the stick on top of your dressing table. What if you are? What if you are pregnant? Maybe you could go to California and live with your father. Then your baby would be American and never have to live in a place like this. Maybe you could have an abortion. Tamara’s sister goes to the college down the road and says there are numbers on the back of the girls’ toilet doors for abortion clinics. She also says that the cleaners and pro-life right-wing bitches are always scratching them off. Maybe you could keep it. It could be a girl.

School starts in three weeks. Leaving Cert. But what’s the point? You crapped out on your Junior Cert exams and now you are only doing ordinary level subjects. Subjects for thick people. Lucy once said you could do really well when she was helping you study. But Lucy left and the subjects weren’t so interesting any more. Tamara has already left school and works in O’Leary’s supermarket. Maybe she could get you a part-time job there. The council would give you a house of your own, maybe near your Granny’s. You’d buy the baby a copy of The Princess and the Pea because that was your favourite book when you were small. And you wouldn’t tell Glen she was his. No-one else knew you were a virgin that night so he would have to believe you.

You know it’s time to check the stick but all you feel like doing is throwing up. You feel light-headed. You wish Lucy was here. She’d know what to do. She would look at the stick for you and tell you everything is OK. You go over to the dressing table. You pick up the white plastic stick and shut your eyes tight. Then you squint them open and see it. Your future. Your future all marked out in the shape of a thin blue line.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Over The Edge celebrates seventh birthday with reading by David Wheatley

David Wheatley

The first Over The Edge: Open Reading of 2010 takes place in Galway City Library on Thursday, January 21st, 6.30-8.00pm. The Featured Readers are Lisa Allen, Paul Conway & David Wheatley. This is a very special occasion as it is now exactly seven years since Over The Edge was born in Galway City Library in January 2003. The reading is sponsored by Poetry Ireland.

Lisa Allen is from Navan, but writes poetry anyway. Lisa studied English and Philosophy at University College, Dublin, and has also dabbled in drama. She has participated in poetry workshops with Kevin Higgins at Galway Arts Centre. Lisa was shortlisted for the “Over the Edge New Writer of the Year”in 2009 and is a finalist in the 2010 Cúirt Poetry Slam.

Paul Conway is a native of Dublin City. He moved to Galway in 2005, and, like a lot of people, was very fortunate to get stuck there. He works as a freelance video game artist, and in 2008 decided to try his hand at creative writing. He has attended classes with both Kevin Higgins and Susan Millar DuMars at the Galway Technical Institute. He was shortlisted in the 2009 Over The Edge New Writer of the Year Competition.

David Wheatley was born in Dublin in 1970 and now lives in Hull. He is the author of three collections with Gallery Press: Thirst (1997), Misery Hill (2000), and Mocker (2006), and has edited the poems of James Clarence Mangan for Gallery and of Samuel Beckett for Faber and Faber. He edited Metre magazine for many years with Justin Quinn.

As usual there will be an open-mic after the Featured Readers have finished. New readers are always most welcome. The MC for the evening will be Susan Millar DuMars. For further details phone 087-6431748.

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

Sunday, January 03, 2010

'Playing at Plays' at the Town Hall Theatre, 18th-22nd January

Playing at Plays written by Jack Kirwan@ directed by Anthony Daly runs from the Monday 18th of January to the 22nd at each night in the Town Hall Studio. Tickets are eight/six euro concession.

You can also buy tickets online at the Town Hall website.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

The Lonely Voice: Short Story Introductions

Exciting Opportunity for new writers at the Irish Writers’ Centre

STARTS/ The Irish Writers' Centre (IWC) is pleased to announce an exciting new event which should come as a welcome addition to Dublin's literary calendar. The Lonely Voice: Short Story Introductions will take place once a month at the IWC, 19 Parnell Square. Up to four new or emerging writers will be selected and invited to read one of their short stories at each event. This is the perfect opportunity for short story writers who are working towards a first collection or who previously may not have had an opportunity to read their work in public.

Although poetry is well served in Dublin with many events and readings organised by the stellar Poetry Ireland, among others, there is currently no dedicated ongoing short story event in the capital. The Lonely Voice: Short Story Introductions hopes to fill this void by providing both a platform for short story writers and a space for short story enthusiasts to come together for a monthly feast of short fiction. IWC Chairman, Jack Harte, himself an enthusiastic short story writer and theorist, welcomes the initiative. “The Writers’ Centre will be dedicating itself to providing more and varied opportunities for the promotion of prose literature in future,” says Harte. “This Introductions series as a very important platform for new short story writers and for the form itself that has been for so long the Cinderella of the literary forms.”

The event will take place on the last Wednesday of every month and featured readers will be chosen on the basis of work submitted in advance. The submission deadline for the first reading in the series has just passed and the IWC are delighted by the positive response and the large volume of submissions received. Further details about submitting work to The Lonely Voice: Short Story Introductions can be found on the IWC website:

The inaugural event and wine reception will take place on Wednesday 27th of January from 7pm-9pm. Featured readers for the evening are Aideen Henry, Niamh Bagnell, Mary O' Shea, and Annemarie Neary. It is open to all and promises to be a convivial night celebrating exciting new voices in short fiction.

For further information please contact:

Máire T. Robinson 01-8721302,

Galway Arts Centre January Poetry Slam

TUESDAY 26th January 2010
7-8 pm, Galway Arts Centre

Kick-start your New Year! 2010 Poetry Slams start Tuesday 26th January at 7pm at Galway Arts Centre 47 Dominick St.

What’s a Poetry Slam? Its live poetry with attitude: performers have three minutes each to wow the audience with their own original poetic creation. All subjects, styles and struts welcome. If the muse doesn’t strike, come along and listen to the performers strut their poetic stuff & you may even be picked as one of our audience judges!
There are two more dates for your slam diary Feb 23rd and March 30th before the Grand slam in April as Part of the Cúirt International Festival of Literature.

Resident MC Pete Mullineaux sets the pace and the guest performer is Sandra Martin, winner of the November Slam. Admission is free and all are welcome ¾ thanks to everyone who has read/listened/adjudicated/MCd at the Slams last year and we look forward to seeing you all, and all newcomers, in 2010.

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

Mephisto Theatre Company presents 'The World's Wife' by Carol Ann Duffy

Town Hall Theatre Studio Tues 23rd - Sat 27th February 2010
Tickets: €12/€10

Female figures from the worlds of myths, fairy-tales and history finally get a word in with The World’s Wife; a playful stage show based on the poetry collection of the same name from Carol Ann Duffy (UK Poet Laureate).

fine acerbic feminist work and at times the clever use of verse was hypnotic.” – Munster Express

a humorous and uplifting celebration of femininity” – Irish Theatre Magazine

the production has it all: humour, horror and pathos thanks to an exuberant ensemble cast who don’t miss any of Duffy’s deft beats” – 5 STARS, Metro

Mephisto Theatre Company