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Monday, March 25, 2019

Over The Edge in association with the Cúirt Festival of International Literature presents the fourteenth 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 / Over The Edge New Writing Showcase features three participants from the Over the Edge literary series in Galway – Daniel McBrearty, Jessamine O’Connor, & John D. Kelly – and Shannon Savvas and Jeremy Haworth,  the winners of the Cúirt New Writing Prize 2019. The MC for the event will be regular Over The Edge host Susan Millar DuMars. It takes place on Wednesday, April 10th, 11 am, at The Town Hall Theatre. Entry is free of charge. All welcome.
John D. Kelly lives in Co. Fermanagh. Since he began writing creatively in 2011, his work has been commended in many competitions and published in various literary publications. He was Highly Commended in the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award 2016, awarded joint ‘Silver’ in the International Dermot Healy Poetry Competition in both 2015 and 2014, and won first prize in Hungry Hill ‘Poets Meet Painters’ 2014, amongst other awards. John was a Featured Reader at the February 2018 Over The Edge: Open Reading.
Jessamine O'Connor
Jessamine O Connor facilitates The Hermit Collective arts troupe, The Wrong Side Of The Tracks Writers, and the Ballaghaderreen branch of Failte Isteach conversational English classes. She won the iYeats, the Francis Ledwidge, and the Poetry Ireland Butlers Café poetry competitions, and was short-listed for the Hennessy, Over The Edge, Cuirt New Writing, Galway Hospital Poems For Patience, Bradshaw Books, Leaf Books and Red Line Book Festival competitions. She is currently promoting her fifth chapbook Pact, and her first full collection of poems is coming out with Salmon in early 2020. Jessamine was a Featured Reader at the May 2018 Over The Edge: Open Reading.
Daniel McBrearty
Daniel McBrearty, or Danny to his friends, is a writer of both poetry and prose. The Donegal native's poetry has been published in A New Ulster, and his fiction was chosen as the winner in the Ulster Male category in Hot Press' Write Here Write Now Competition last May. A student of creative writing at NUI Galway, Danny’s writing deals with being young in an irrational world. He has no idea what his writing style is. That’s for other people to decide. Danny was a Featured Reader at the December 2018 Over The Edge: Open Reading and he was a runner-up in this year’s Poems for Patience competition.

Shannon Savvas is a New Zealand writer who divides her life and heart between New Zealand, England and Cyprus. Her flash fiction and short stories have been published online in journals in New Zealand and the United States and in a number of anthologies. Shannon describes herself as a “chronic long and short lister in [writing] competitions.” She won the 2017 Reflex Fiction Winter competition and is the winner of the fiction category in the Cuirt New Writing Prize 2019.

Jeremy Haworth is a novelist and poet. Originally from Bray, Co. Wicklow, he now resides in rural Co. Laois with his wife, Claire, and two children. He divides his time between writing and developing an organic market garden. He is currently working towards the publication of his first book of poetry. Jeremy is the winner of the poetry category in this year’s Cúirt New Writing 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.

Spring Poetry Workshops at Galway Arts Centre

Kevin Higgins
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, Italian, Japanese, German, Serbian, Russian, & Portuguese. In 2014 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.  He was Satirist-in-Residence at the Bogman’s Cannon (2015-16). '2016 - The Selected Satires of Kevin Higgins' was published by NuaScéalta in 2016; a pamphlet of Kevin’s political poems The Minister For Poetry Has Decreed was published, also in 2016, by the Culture Matters imprint of the UK based Manifesto Press. His poems have been praised by, among others, Tony Blair’s biographer John Rentoul, Observer columnist Nick Cohen, historian Ruth Dudley Edwards, and Sunday Independent columnist Gene Kerrigan; have been quoted in The Daily Telegraph, The Times (UK), The Independent, The Daily Mirror, Hot Press magazine and on Tonight With Vincent Browne; and read aloud by the film director Ken Loach at a political meeting in London. In 2016 The Stinging Fly magazine described Kevin as "likely the most read living poet in Ireland." He has published five collections of poetry with Salmon, most recently Song of  Songs 2.0: New & Selected Poems (2017).  Kevin has read his work at Arts Council and Culture Ireland supported poetry events in Kansas City, USA (2006), Los Angeles, USA (2007), London, UK (2007), New York, USA (2008), Athens, Greece (2008); St. Louis, USA (2008), Chicago, USA (2009), Denver, USA (2010), Washington D.C (2011), Huntington, West Virginia, USA (2011), Geelong, Australia (2011), Canberra, Australia (2011), St. Louis, USA (2013), Boston, Massachusetts, USA (2013) & Amherst, Massachusetts, USA (2013), & New Mexico, USA (2018). Kevin’s next poetry collection, Sex and Death at Merlin Park Hospital, is published by Salmon Poetry (June 2019).

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 NUIG BA Creative Writing Connect programme and is Creative Writing Director for the NUI Galway Summer School. 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 Monday May 13th.  They will take place on Tuesday evenings, 7-8.30pm (first class Tuesday, May 14th); on Thursday afternoons, 2-4pm (first class Thursday, May 16th) and on Friday afternoons, 2-3.30pm (first class Friday, May 17th).

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 a €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, email, or go to

Monday, March 18, 2019

Spring Monday Afternoon Creative Writing Classes with Susan Millar DuMars at Galway Arts Centre

Susan Millar DuMars
Starting in 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 five collections of poetry, Big Pink Umbrella (2008), Dreams For Breakfast (2010), The God Thing (2013), Bone Fire (2016), and Naked: New and Selected Poems (2019), all with Salmon Poetry. Susan was the Featured Fiction writer in a 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 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, 2.30-4.00pm, commencing on Monday, May 13th. 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, email, or go to 

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

March Over The Edge: Open Reading with Anne Donnellan, Aelmuire Mullaney, & Mark Roper

Mark Roper

The March ‘Over The Edge: Open Reading’ takes place in Galway City Library on Thursday, March 28th, 6.30-8.00pm. The Featured Readers are Mark Roper, Aelmuire Mullaney, & Anne Donnellan. There will as usual be an open-mic after the Featured Readers have finished. New readers are always especially welcome at the open-mic.

Anne Donnellan was brought up in Co. Clare and has been  living and working in Galway since 1980. Anne is engaged with human rights advocacy works in Age Action. She attends the Kevin  Higgins poetry workshops. Anne’s poems have been published in ROPES,  A New Ulster, The Linnet’s Wings, the Clare Champion and the Galway City Tribune. She was shortlisted in the Poems for Patience Competition 2018.

Aelmuire Mullaney was born in Dublin, went to school in Galway, and now lives in Moycullen. She was brought up bilingual – in Irish and English. She studied languages at NUI Galway, is fluent in German and French, and has a diploma in Translation from the Institute of Linguists in London. She loves reading, writing, theater and travel and walking the prom in Galway. She writes fiction and is currently a participant in Susan Millar DuMars’s Intermediate Creative Writing class at Galway Technical Institute. 

Mark Roper’s latest collection Bindweed, Dedalus Press (2017), was shortlisted for The Irish Times Poetry Now Award. A Gather of Shadow (2012) was also shortlisted for that Award and won the Michael Hartnett Award in 2014. With photographer Paddy Dwan, he has published 3 books, most recently Comeragh: Mountain, Coum, River, Rumour. He has written the librettos for two operas composed by Eric Sweeney. He is a former editor of Poetry Ireland Review.

As usual there will be an open-mic after the Featured Readers have finished. New readers are always particularly 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, Poetry Ireland & The Arts Council.