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Friday, December 27, 2013

Over The Edge Celebrates Eleventh Birthday with Readings by Breege Bogusia Wardein, Breda Wall Ryan, & Mary O’Donnell @ LAUNCH of issue three of Skylight 47 (possibly Ireland’s most interesting poetry publication)

Over The Edge Celebrates Eleventh Birthday with Readings by Breege Bogusia Wardein, Breda Wall Ryan, & Mary O’Donnell who will Launch issue three of Skylight 47 (possibly Ireland’s most interesting poetry publication)

Over The Edge  presents the first ‘Over The Edge: Open Reading’ of 2014 at Galway City Library on Thursday, January 23th, 6.30-8.00pm. The Featured Readers are Mary O’Donnell, 2013 Over The Edge New Writer of The Year Breda Wall Ryan & Breege Bogusia Wardein. The centre piece of the evening will be the launch of issue number three of Skylight 47, the exciting bi-annual poetry paper from the Skylight Poets, which will be on sale on the evening. The publication will be launched on the evening by Mary O’Donnell. Skylight 47 is based in Galway and publishes poems by poets from all around the globe; all poets are welcome to submit poems for consideration for future issues. This new issue includes new poems by established and emerging poets, an interview with Kay Ryan U.S. Poet Laureate 2008-10 & winner of the Pulitzer Prize; reviews of Richard Halperin by Pat McMahon, Susan Miller DuMars by Maurice Devitt & Kimberly Campanello by Breda Spaight; an article about the Garden Room Writers, Donegal; a poetry masterclass with Drucilla Wall; & comment by Kevin Higgins on the sometimes vexed question of corporate sponsorship of literary events.

For details on how to take out a subscription to Skylight 47 see here

Breege Bogusia Wardein better known in Ireland as Breege was born in Poland, but her heart belongs to Galway where she has spent her formative months. Her poetry has been published in a variety of magazines in Ireland, UK and US including Revival, Crannóg, THE SHOp, Orbis, The Journal, Poetry Wales, Emerging Literary Journal. It was also anthologised in Embers of Words - An Irish Anthology of Migrant Poetry and Wayword Tuesdays by the Galway based Tuesday Knights poetry group. Five of her poems have most recently appeared in the Indian magazine Kavya Bharati. In 2013 she was nominated for the Forward Prize. She is currently longlisted in a poetry competition with a long list poem what makes her feel like a World Cup winner. For more information about her and her poetry visit When she lived in Galway, Breege Bogusia was a participant in a variety of poetry workshops facilitated by Kevin Higgins.

Breda Wall Ryan grew up in rural Co. Waterford. She began writing in 2003 under the mentorship of the late Dorothy Molloy. Her fiction has been published in New Irish Writing, The Stinging Fly and in several anthologies, including The Faber Book of Best New Irish Short Stories and The New Hennessy Book of New Irish Short Fiction. She turned to writing poetry in 2008 and has since been published in anthologies, and in print and on-line journals in Ireland, Britain, the USA and Mexico, and has been shortlisted or placed in many contests. 2013 was a very auspicious year for her: her unpublished collection was awarded Joint 3rd place in the Patrick Kavanagh Awards and individual poems were shortlisted in the Desmond O’Grady Competition, were nominated for a Pushcart Prize and won the iYeats, Poets Meet Painters and Dromineer Literary Festival. She has an M Phil in Creative Writing from Trinity College Dublin, has completed a Faber Becoming a Poet Course and is a founder member of Hibernian Poetry. She lives with her family near the sea in Bray, Co Wicklow. Breda Wall Ryan is 2013 Over The Edge New Writer of The Year

 Mary O'Donnell

Mary O’Donnell’s first three poetry collections were published by Salmon Poetry. Other collections include September Elegies (Lapwing Press, Belfast 2003) and her selected poems, The Place of Miracles (New Island, 2006). The Ark Builders, appeared from Arc Publications UK in 2009, followed by an anthology of Galician poetry in translation – To the Winds Our Sails: Irish Poets Translate Galician Poetrywhich she co-edited with Dr. Manuela Palacios, from Salmon Poetry. Her Selected Poems were published in Hungarian in 2011 and she was recently the co-winner of the Irodälmi Jelen translation prize. She has also written three novels and two collections of short fiction, and her new novel Where They Lie, an engrossing tale of a family’s attempt to recover the bodies of their murdered sons, will be published next April by New Island.  She has judged the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Hennessy Literary Award, the Strokestown International Poetry Competition and most recently the Irish Times/Mountains to Sea Poetry Prize. A member of Aosdána, she teaches creative writing at NUI Maynooth. As well as reading her own work, Mary O’Donnell will launch the new issue of Skylight 47.

As usual there will be an open-mic after the Featured Readers have finished. Contributors to the new issue of Skylight 47 are particularly welcome to read their Skylight 47 poems at the open-mic; those wishing to take part should get to Galway City Library by 6.20pm, at the latest, and give their names to Kevin Higgins, who 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. We are delighted that Over The Edge will continue to receive the same level of funding in 2014, from both Galway City Council & the Arts Council, as we did in 2013. In the circumstances, this is a spectacular result and a tribute to our work.  

IMPORTANT Salmon Poetry recently published Over The Edge – The First Ten Years – An Anthology of Fiction & Poetry (Edited by Susan Millar DuMars). The book will be on sale at all Over The Edge during 2014 and can also be purchased here

Monday, December 23, 2013

STARTING IN NEW YEAR GMIT presents Creative Writing for Beginners with Susan Millar DuMars

In the New Year GMIT is offering a course in Creative Writing for Beginners with Susan Millar DuMars. The course takes place at GMIT Dublin Road Campus one evening per week (Wednesday) for 7 weeks from 7–9p.m. It commences on Wednesday, February 5th, 2014. Advance booking is essential. The course fee is €95.

During the seven weeks Susan Millar DuMars will give support, instruction and feedback to students who are interested in writing either fiction (short stories, novels) or poetry. The class will work on techniques for forming ideas and getting started; engaging the reader’s senses; using figures of speech effectively; being alert to the importance of the sound of words, the rhythm of writing; how to manage the truth in a fictitious piece; the different forms of poetry; awareness of character and point of view in fiction; editing and polishing work. Whether the student seeks publication, self-expression, a rewarding hobby (or possibly all three), this course is a wonderful place to start.

For further details or to book a place contact GMIT, Dublin Road, Galway. Telephone 091 742145, email or see the website 

Course Tutor:

Susan Millar DuMars’ debut poetry collection, Big Pink Umbrella, was published by Salmon Poetry in 2008.  Her next collection, Dreams for Breakfast, appeared in April 2010.  Her work features in Landing Places, Dedalus’ 2010 anthology of immigrant poetry written in Ireland; and also in The Best Of Irish Poetry 2010.  A fiction writer as well, she published a collection of short stories, American Girls, with Lapwing in 2007.  She published a book of short stories in 2010: Lights in the Distance, published by Doire Press. She has been the recipient of an Arts Council Literature Bursary. Susan's third collection of poetry, The God Thing, was published by Salmon Poetry last March. She lives in Galway, where she and her husband have run the Over the Edge readings series since 2003. Susan recently edited the anthology Over the Edge – The First Ten years, published by Salmon, which includes work by forty seven writers who have published a first book since they did a reading at an Over The Edge: Open Reading in Galway City Library.


Starting in January, 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, was published by Salmon Poetry in 2012. Kevin’s poetry has been translated into Greek, Spanish, Italian, Japanese & Portuguese. His next collection of poetry, The Ghost in The Lobby, will be published in February 2014, 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, and yet another 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 ten weeks, commencing the week of January 20th. They will take place on Tuesday evenings, 7-8.30pm (first class January 21st); on Thursday afternoons, 2-4pm (first class January 23rd) and on Friday afternoons, 2-3.30pm (first class January 24th).

The Tuesday evening and Friday 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 €110, with an €100 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  

New Year Daytime Creative Writing with Susan Millar DuMars at Galway Arts Centre BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW

Starting 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, Lights In The Distance, was published in December 2010 by Doire Press; she has published three collections of poetry, Big Pink Umbrella (2008), Dreams For Breakfast (2010) & The God Thing (2013) all with Salmon Poetry. She is also co-organiser of the Over The Edge reading series which specifically promotes new writers. Susan recently edited the anthology Over the Edge – the first ten years, published by Salmon, which includes work by forty seven writers who have published a first book since they did a reading at an Over The Edge: Open Reading in Galway City Library.

The class is suitable for both beginning and continuing creative writing students, working in either poetry or fiction. Students will spend their weeks 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, 2.30-4pm, commencing on Monday, January 20th. It runs for ten weeks. 

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 

Launch of the anthology 'Over the Edge: the first ten years' and Nicki Griffin’s debut collection of poetry 'Unbelonging'

You are invited to the launch of Over the Edge: the first ten years - An anthology of fiction and poetry edited by Susan Millar DuMars & Unbelonging, the debut collection of poetry by Nicki Griffin, winner of the 2010 Over The Edge New Writer of The Year award for poetry. Both books are published by Salmon. The launch takes place at Charlie Byrne’s bookshop on Saturday, November 30th, 6pm.

You can buy the book here

Over the Edge: the first ten years is edited by Susan Millar DuMars and includes poetry & fiction by forty seven writers who have published a first book since being Featured Readers at an Over The Edge: Open Reading in Galway City Library. Over The Edge has, during the past decade, been an important platform for emerging writers in Ireland and beyond. This book celebrates the writers who have emerged via Over The Edge thus far. The book will be launched by Pat McMahon, retired Galway County Librarian, who has always been an enthusiastic supporter of Over The Edge.

Nicki Griffin was the 2010 Over the Edge New Poet of the Year. Her debut collection, Unbelonging, which will be launched by Professor Adrian Frazier of the MA in Writing at NUI Galway, has two main themes, both of which examine a sense of displacement. The first is personal, a consideration of dislocation of self in place, both her own and of those who struggle in new countries or within their own communities. The other theme is public and looks at the relationship between those with power and those without, how this affects our lives in modern western society, our civil liberties, the tensions between human needs and environmental degradation. In the collection she explores the connection between these two aspects of the human condition, how we interact with the world and how, by considering ourselves as separate from and in control of this world we threaten our future existence. Nicki grew up in Cheshire in the north west of England but has lived in East Clare since 1997. She completed an MA in Writing at NUI Galway in 2009. In 2012 she was awarded a Literature Bursary by the Arts Council. She writes for Inland Waterways News and co-edits poetry magazine Skylight 47. Her first work of non-fiction, The Skipper and Her Mate, was published by New Island in 2013.

All are welcome to attend the launch.