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Friday, April 24, 2015


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 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, was published last year by Salmon. Last year, Kevin's poetry was the subject of a paper 'The Case of Kevin Higgins, or, The Present State of Irish Poetic Satire' presented by David Wheatley at a Symposium on Satire at the University of Aberdeen. 

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; two being shortlisted for the Shine-Strong Award for Best First Collection of 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 teaches poetry on the NUI Galway Summer School programme and mentors poetry students on the NUIG BA Creative Writing Connect programme. 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 12th); on Thursday afternoons, 2-4pm (first class May 14th) and on Friday afternoons, 2-3.30pm (first class May 15th).

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  

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

Starting in early 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. Susan is the Featured Fiction writer in the current issue of the American online magazine The Atticus Review. 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 11th. It runs for 8 weeks.

The cost to participants is 90 Euro with an 80 Euro concession price. Booking is essential as places are limited. There are no refunds once the class has started. For booking please contact Galway Arts Centre, 47 Dominick Street, phone 091 565886 or email

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Over The Edge in association with the Cúirt Festival of International Literature presents the tenth annual New Writing Showcase.

Since its inception in 2006 the New Writing Showcase has grown to become one of the most important platforms for emerging writers in Ireland. This year’s Cúirt New Writing Showcase features three participants from the Over the Edge literary series in Galway – Alvy Carragher, Mary McGill, & Teresa Sweeney - Daniel Roy Connelly, the winner of the Cúirt New Writing Poetry Prize 2015, and Sonya Gildea, the winner of the 2015 Cúirt New Writing Fiction Prize. The MC for the event will be regular Over The Edge host Susan Millar DuMars. It takes place on Thursday, April 23rd, 4pm, at The Town Hall Theatre. Entry is free of charge. All welcome.

Alvy Carragher recently completed the MA in Writing at NUI Galway. Her poetry has been commended in the Gregory O’Donoghue Award, the 2013 Over the Edge New Writer of the year competition and she came third in the 2013 Doire Press Poetry Competition. Alvy was 2014 Connaught Slam Poetry Champion and her blog “with all the finesse of a badger” won best humour blog in the Irish Blog Awards and was a finalist for blog of the year in the Samsung Digital Media Awards 2014. Alvy was a Featured Reader at the February 2014 Over The Edge: Open Reading. 

Mary McGill lives in Galway. Her fiction has appeared in The South Circular, The Bohemyth, Crannóg and Wordlegs. In 2013, she was shortlisted for the Penguin / RTÉ Guide short story competition and the Irish Times ‘Legends of the Fall’ competition. Mary was also long listed for the 2013 Over the Edge award and short listed for the 2014 RTÉ Radio One Francis MacManus Award. Mary was a Featured Reader at the August 2014 Over The Edge: Open Reading.

Teresa Sweeney is from county Galway. She was short listed in the 2014 Over the Edge New Writer of the Year competition. Her fiction has been published in Roadside Fiction, Number Eleven Magazine, Wordlegs, Boyne Berries and she was a runner up in the WOW! Awards 2011. She was a Featured Reader at the November 2014 Over The Edge: Open Reading.

Daniel Roy Connelly is a theatre director, writer and professor of English literature and creative writing at John Cabot University and The American University of Rome. He holds a PhD in Shakespeare's 'Othello' from The University of Saint Andrews and was the winner of the 2014 Fermoy International Poetry Festival Prize and a finalist in the 2015 Aesthetica Magazine Creative Writing Prize. He recently directed a sold-out 'Hedda Gabler' and returns to the stage next week at Rome's 'Teatro Arciliuto', where he will play 'Ralph Wantage' in Bryony Lavery's 'Frozen'. Daniel is the winner of the 2015 Cúirt New Writing Poetry Prize

Sonya Gildea was born in County Cork, Ireland. She lives and works in Dublin, and the east coast of Scotland. She is writing the poetry collection Apothecary; the short story collection, Heartscapes; and the debut novel, The Hours That God Sends. She has also received a number of awards for screenwriting. She is the winner of the 2015 Cúirt New Writing Fiction Prize.

Over The Edge acknowledges the ongoing financial support of The Arts Council, Galway City Council, and Poetry Ireland, and our ongoing partnership with the Cúirt Festival of International Literature.