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Thursday, March 29, 2012


 Starting in May, Galway Arts Centre is offering aspiring poets a choice of three poetry workshops, all 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 was published in 2010 by Salmon and his work also appears in the generation defining anthology Identity Parade –New British and Irish Poets (Ed. Roddy Lumsden, Bloodaxe, 2010). A collection of Kevin’s essays and book reviews, Mentioning The War, has just been published by Salmon Poetry. His next collection of poetry, The Ghost in The Lobby, will be published in early 2013, also by Salmon.

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, two have won the Cúirt New Writing Prize, one has been awarded an Arts Council Bursary and yet another won the Cúirt Poetry Grand Slam, while several have published collections of their poems. Kevin is also co-organiser of the successful Over The Edge reading series which specialises in promoting new writers. 

Each workshop will run for eight weeks, commencing the week of May 8th. They will take place on Thursday afternoons, 2-4pm (first class May 10th); on Friday afternoons, 2-3.30pm (first class May 11th) and on Saturday afternoons, 2-3.30pm (first class May 12th).

The Friday and Saturday afternoon workshops are open to both complete beginners as well as those who’ve been writing for some time. The Thursday afternoon workshop is an Advanced Poetry Workshop, suitable for those who’ve participated in poetry workshops before or had poems published in magazines. The cost to participants is €90, with a concession rate.

Places must be paid for in advance. To reserve a place contact reception at Galway Arts Centre, 47 Dominick Street, phone 091 565886 or email

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


 In May, Galway Arts Centre presents a daytime class for all those beginner and continuing creative writing students out there, both facilitated by Susan Millar DuMars. Susan Millar DuMars writes both poetry and fiction. A collection of her stories, Lights In The Distance, was published in December 2010 by Doire Press; she has published two collection of poetry, Big Pink Umbrella (2008) and Dreams For Breakfast both with Salmon Poetry. Her next collection of poetry, The God Thing, will be published by Salmon Poetry in early 2013. She is also co-organiser of the Over The Edge reading series which specifically promotes new writers.

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 takes place on Monday afternoons, 2-3.30pm,commencing on Monday, May 14th.The cost to participants is 90 Euro with a concession price. Booking is essential as places are limited. For booking please contact Galway Arts Centre, 47 Dominick Street, phone 091 565886 or email

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Cúirt Festival of International Literature BRUNCH

The Cúirt Festival presents Jim Mullarkey, Susan Lindsay, John Walsh,
Susan Millar DuMars & Gerry Galvin
SUNDAY 29TH APRIL, 12PM at Vina Mara

Inishbofin Jaunt - Writing Holidays With Yvonne Cullen

Inishbofin Jaunt

Writing Holidays With Yvonne Cullen

Dubliner Magazine’s “Best Creative Writing Teacher in Dublin”

May Bank Holiday Writing Weekend

Inishbofin Island, Connemara

Coinciding with Inishbofin Arts Festival & offering a bonus two-day writing retreat. Tuition Fee: €270*

*€250 to readers of the Over The Edge blog!

Tuition, writing time, good time with kindred spirits and the chance to make the most of a beautiful place!

“Wonderful Weekend!” “Exciting how much progress I have made in one weekend!” Participant feedback, 2011.

Course Tuition fee of €270 covers four classes and/or workshops plus one informal ‘discussion class,’ a one-to-one meeting, a group reading, support during Writing Retreat days, optional organised social time, reading materials and a document of the ‘best of’ Yvonne’s tips and techniques developed over twenty years of teaching creative writing! Comfortable and good value single room self-catering accommodation is organised for you (paid for separately: from €25 per night based on a 5-night stay; from €30 for 4 nights). Detailed handout on island, advice on walks etc. is available pre-trip. Max 9 students per course. Bookings plus tuition and full accommodation fees required by 25 April to avoid disappointment.

With the BEGINNERS' course here outlined I've aimed to give the kind of trip that worked best for me when I was getting started. Equally, I've tried with the DEVELOPING writer course to offer something that would have felt just right to me when I was pushing a first big writing project up the hill!

Two days of classes and an optional two-day writing retreat is the plan, whether you go for the BEGINNERS' or DEVELOPING option. And with max. Student numbers of 9 in each course, there will be good time for everyone’s work and favourite writing bugbears to be spot-lit!

Please do note particularly that I'm really encouraging you to come to Inishbofin on THURSDAY night, 3rd May, in order to have a two day writing, walking, thinking, brainstorming, meditating (or even arts-festival-attending) stint before or after your course. It is a long way to Bofin, and it is a really cathartic and head-clearing experience being there. Please give this option serious thought.

I will be able to facilitate a couple of participants who need a shorter trip, but if you are self-catering, the standard accommodation charge of €125.00 will have to apply (applies to shared house we are currently booking, and is subject to slight change in further new houses booked). For those opting for B and B (one room left as I write!), I can work with stays of 3 nights and upwards on this weekend, which is such a prime, and prized one for the island's accommodation hosts. Hope you can understand this! Looking forward to hearing from some of you!

Book on 086 1701418 /  

I couldn’t have had a more inspiring, generous or devoted teacher” - Helena Nolan, Kavanagh Poetry Prize-winner, 2011.

2012 Cúirt Over The Edge Showcase reading with Erin Buttner, Kevin O'Shea, Maeve Mulrennan, Eamonn Kelly & Sarah Maria Griffin

2012 Cúirt Over The Edge Showcase Reading
Friday, April 27th, 3:00pm
Town Hall Theatre
All welcome
There is no cover charge

The 2012 Cúirt Over The Edge showcase reading takes place as part of this year's Cúirt International Festival of Literature at the Town Hall Theatre, Galway on Friday, April 27th, 3:00pm. The writers showcased this year are Erin Buttner, Maeve Mulrennan & Sarah Griffin. The reading will be introduced by regular Over The Edge host, Susan Millar DuMars.

This event has grown since its inception in 2006 to become one of Ireland's premier platforms for showcasing new poets and fiction writers. Participating writers have previously been Featured Readers at Ireland's most successful reading series, the Over The Edge: Open Readings in Galway City Library. This year the winners of the Cúirt New Writing Prize 2012, Kevin O'Shea and Eamonn Kelly, will read with the Over The Edge writers. The Cúirt New Writing Prize is kindly sponsored by Tigh Neactain in memory of Lena Maguire.

Erin Buttner is a writer, baker, broadcaster, and veteran living in Kinvara, Co Galway. A native New Yorker, Erin immigrated to Ireland in 2008 to take a Master’s in Writing at NUI Galway. Her poetry has been published in Chronogram Arts Magazine in New York, Three Times Daily and Ropes. She is presently drafting her memoir based on the four years she spent serving in the US Military. Erin was a Featured Reader at the November 2011 Over The Edge Open Reading.

Erin Buttner

Maeve Mulrennan grew up in County Kildare. She studied Arts Administration and Policy at NUI Galway is currently Visual Arts Officer at Galway Arts Centre. An experienced visual artist, Maeve recently began writing fiction. Last year, she attended Celeste Augé’s short fiction class at Galway Arts Centre earlier this year and October 2011 took part in the annual Over The Edge Fiction Slam. Maeve was a Featured Reader at the December 2011 Over The Edge Open Reading which was her first major public reading.
Maeve Mulrennan

Sarah Maria Griffin is 24 years old and is currently living in Dublin after completing the MA in Writing NUIG. Her first collection of poetry, Follies, was published by Lapwing in April last year. During 2011 she was sent to New York was part of Culture Ireland’s ‘Imagine Ireland’ initiative, to represent contemporary Irish performance poetry as part of the Glór Sessions. Her work has appeared in many literary journals both in Ireland and abroad. She has also contributed interviews and poetry to RTE Radio 1’s Arena. She has performed at major spoken word events all over the country. She is currently Writer-in- Residence at Collinstown Community College, Clondalkin. Sarah was a Featured Reader at the January 2011 Over The Edge: Open Reading.

Sarah Maria Griffin

Eamonn Kelly is a native of Dublin, and based in Galway since the 1980s. He has written for television and radio, scripting in RTE on the sitcom, Upwardly Mobile, and providing contributions to Lyric FM’s ‘Quiet Quarter’. Eamonn is an arts graduate of NUI Galway and has contributed articles on arts and culture to the Irish Times, and written about theatre and film for Books Ireland. Eamonn is the winner of the fiction section in this year's Cúirt New Writing Prize.
Eamonn Kelly

Kevin O’Shea lives on the edge of Connemara, in Moycullen, still within earshot of the old Galway-Clifden railway. Having retreated from the world of technology to timidly confront the world of imagination he was short listed for Over The Edge New Writer of the Year  in both 2009 and 2010. He has been published in Irish Left Review, Ropes, Pen Tales and poetry anthologies Behind the Masks and Mosaic. For 2012 he has been accepted for publication in THE SHOp and Northern Liberties Review while his debut collection The Art of Non-Fishing is scheduled for publication by Doire Press. Kevin was a Featured Reader at the August 2009 Over The Edge: Open Reading. He is the winner of the poetry section in this year's Cúirt New Writing Prize.
Kevin O'Shea

Over The Edge acknowledges the ongoing support of Galway City Library, Galway City Council, The Arts Council and The Cúírt Festival of International Literature.

Friday, March 23, 2012

North Beach Poetry Nights with Kevin O'Shea & Adam White NOTE NEW TIME

North Beach Poetry Nights with Kevin O'Shea and Adam White.
Monday 23rd April in The Crane Bar, Sea Road, Galway
at the very NEW TIME 6.30 pm

Kevin O’Shea lives on the edge of Connemara, in Moycullen, still within earshot of the old Galway-Clifden Railway. Having retreated from the world of technology to timidly confront the world of imagination, he was short listed for Over The Edge New Writer of the Year in both 2009 and 2010. He has been published in Irish Left Review, Ropes, Pen Tales and poetry anthologies Behind the Masks and Mosaic. For 2012 he has been accepted for publication in THE SHOp and Northern Liberties Review. He is the winner of the Cuirt New Writing Prize 2012 for poetry. His debut collection The Art of Non-Fishing will be published by Doire press in October this year.

Adam White is from Youghal in East Cork. After putting all his carpentry tools away in a safe place some years ago, he began reading and writing poetry in earnest. He has often performed his poems at the North Beach Nights in Galway's Crane Bar, but also at the Electric Picnic and in France, where he is teaching English at present and working on a first collection of poems. His poems are inspired by his travels in and out of Ireland, by the value of work and the love of doing a beautiful task well, such as restoring furniture or indeed writing a poem about restoring furniture. He is interested in the oral tradition of poetry itself, in the idea that its oral quality and accessibility can add to, rather than take from, the depth of a poem.

Poets wishing to enter the Slam on the night need 2 max. three minutes poems.

The prize for the winner is a bottle of wine and entry to the North Beach Grand Slam in December.

Door: 5/3 Euro

Info: john @091/593290

Friday, March 09, 2012

Paul Maddern, Rejini Samuel & Stephanie Klapp for March Over The Edge: Open Reading

Paul Maddern

The March ‘Over The Edge: Open Reading’ takes place in Galway City Library on Thursday, March 29th, 6.30-8.00pm. The Featured Readers are Stephanie Klapp, Rejini Samuel & Paul Maddern.

Paul Maddern was born in Bermuda and lives in Co. Down. A winner in the 2009 Templar Poetry Pamphlet Competition, with Kelpdings, his ensuing collection, The Beachcomber’s Report (Templar, 2010) was shortlisted for the 2011 Eithne Strong Award. For his PhD at Queen’s University Belfast, he created the Seamus Heaney Centre Digital Archive, an online resource housing recordings of writers reading their work in public. Paul is currently Teaching Fellow in Creative Writing at the University of Leeds.

Rejini Samuel was born and brought up in Nigeria where her Indian parents were secondary school teachers. She came to study in Galway in 1984. She is an Irish citizen and now considers herself almost Irish as well as almost Indian. Rejini was short-listed for the 2011 Over the Edge ‘New Writer of the Year Competition’ and she was the only entrant to have both her fiction and her poetry long-listed for the Doire Press ‘1st Annual International Fiction and Poetry Chapbook Competition’ in January 2012;‘Vision Painter’ went on to be short-listed in the fiction category. Under her pen name R J Samuel, she has published her first novel Heart Stopper in digital format and in hard copy on CreateSpace. She is currently working on her second novel Falling Colours. Her story 'Flowers in the Fountain' has been long listed for the Multi Story (UK) Flash Fiction competition and another, 'The Meal', got an Honourable Mention. Her poem 'Robes' was recently long listed for the Fish Poetry Prize.

Stephanie Klapp was born and reared in Kassel, Germany. She studied German and English at Kassel and Heidelberg Universities 1997-1998 and moved to Galway in summer of 1998. In 2009, she completed an MA in Culture and Colonialism at NUIG, with a thesis on colonial representations and gender roles in the Victorian adventure novel. She is currently working as a German and History teacher in a girls’ secondary school in Killiney, Dublin. Stephanie has been writing since childhood, and in 1995 she sold her first short-story to German teenage magazine BRAVO. She started workshops with Susan Millar DuMars in February 2010 at Galway Arts Centre, where she has also participated in poetry workshops facilitated by Kevin Higgins. Stephanie was long-listed for the Over the Edge New Writer of The Year award in both 2010 and 2011.

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 ongoing generous financial support of Galway City Council & The Arts Council.