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Sunday, April 06, 2014

Spring Daytime Creative Writing with Susan Millar DuMars at Galway Arts Centre

Susan Millar DuMars with Over The Edge co-organiser Kevin Higgins

Starting in the May, 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, May 12th. It runs for eight weeks. 

The cost to participants is 90 Euro with an 80 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



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. His work also appears in the generation defining anthology Identity Parade –New British and Irish Poets (Ed. Roddy Lumsden, Bloodaxe, 2010) and one of his poems is included in the forthcoming anthology The Hundred Years’ War: modern war poems (Ed Neil Astley, Bloodaxe April 2014).  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, Turkish, Italian, Japanese & Portuguese. His fourth collection of poetry, The Ghost in the Lobby, is just published by Salmon.

Each week Kevin will give participants a poetry writing exercise for the following week and will offer each participant constructive suggestions as to how her or his poem can become the best possible poem it can be.

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. In 2013 a group of his students set up the poetry newspaper Skylight 47, which publishes new poems, reviews of poetry books and opinion pieces about poetry related matters. 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 12th. They will take place on Tuesday evenings, 7-8.30pm (first class May 13th); on Thursday afternoons, 2-4pm (first class May 15th) and on Friday afternoons, 2-3.30pm (first class May 16th).

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 €90, with an €80 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  

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

2014 Cúirt Over The Edge Showcase Reading with Ruth Quinlan, Jennifer Matthews & Pat McDonnell PLUS this year’s Cúirt New Writing Prize winners

2014 Cúirt Over The Edge Showcase Reading with Ruth Quinlan, Jennifer Matthews & Pat McDonnell PLUS this year’s Cúirt New Writing Prize winners Colm Scully &  Philip Connor

Thursday, April 10th, 4pm

Town Hall Theatre
All welcome
There is no cover charge

The 2014 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 Thursday, April 10th, 4pm. The writers showcased this year are Ruth Quinlan, Jennifer Matthews & Pat McDonnell. 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. Colm Scully, the winner in the poetry section of this year’s Cúirt New Writing Prize, will read with the Over The Edge writers. Philip Connor, the winner in the fiction section, is unable to attend Cúirt to participate in the reading. We offer Philip our congratulations on the major achievement that winning the The Cúirt New Writing Prize is kindly sponsored by Tigh Neactain in memory of Lena Maguire.

Jennifer Matthews is originally from Missouri but lives in Cork where she works at the Munster Literature Festival. She writes poetry and book reviews, and is editor of the Long Story Short literary journal. Her poetry has been published in The Stinging Fly, Mslexia, Revival, Necessary Fiction, Poetry Salzburg, Foma & Fontanelles and Cork Literary Review, and anthologised in Dedalus's collection of immigrant poetry in Ireland, Landing Places (2010). Jennifer was a Featured Reader at the January 2013 Over The Edge: Open Reading.

Pat McDonnell writes fiction as an antidote to his work in mechanical engineering. He lives in Galway where he plays flute in pub sessions and aspires to write his one great novel. He has participated in Creative Writing classes with Susan Millar DuMars at Galway Technical Institute. He was shortlisted for the 2012 Over the Edge New Writer of the Year competition. Pat was a Featured Reader at the March 2013 Over The Edge: Open Reading. 

Ruth Quinlan is from Tralee, County Kerry. She graduated from the MA in Writing at NUI Galway in 2012. She was shortlisted for the 2012 Cúirt New Writing fiction prize and longlisted for last year's Over the Edge New Writer of the Year competition. Her work has been published by Emerge Literary Journal, Thresholds, SIN, Scissors and Spackle and she won the 2013 Irish Independent Hennessy New Irish Writing award for First Fiction. Ruth was a Featured Reader at the February 2013 Over The Edge: Open Reading.

Colm Scully is from Cork and an active member of O’Bheal Open Mic group at the Long Valley Bar. He has been published recently in Cyphers, The Stony Thursday book, Boyne Berries and The Poetry Bus. He was shortlisted for the 2012 Fish Poetry prize. He is the winner in the poetry section of this year’s Cúirt New Writing Prize.

Philip Connor is a current MA in Publishing student at University College London.  He previously worked in Galway’s Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop. He has a BA from the NUI Galway in English, History and Creative Writing. In 2013 he was awarded the inaugural Faber & Faber Scholarship which will include 5 weeks placement at Faber's London office. Philip is the fiction winner in this year’s Cúirt New Writing Prize.

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