Follow Over The Edge on Twitter

Thursday, September 26, 2019

2019 Over The Edge New Writer of The Year SHORTLIST


Eamonn McGuinness,  ‘Names’
PJ Moore,  ‘Noddy’
Kathryn Burke, ‘Interim’
Kate Ennals, ‘Cobbler’
Colin Kerr, ‘When’
Kirsty Warren, ‘Lionheart’
Aongus Murtagh, ‘Puppet’
Eileen Keane, ‘Summer’
Helena Farrell, ‘Journey’ & ‘Where’
Rory Duffy, ‘Soul’
Molly Harris,  ‘Last’


Kathryn Burke, ‘Sherbrooke’
Gavan Duffy, ‘Subjective’
Molly Twomey, ‘Atalanta’
Evan Costigan, ‘Trouble’
Rob Childers, ‘Fish’
Kevin Chesser, ‘Off-Roading’
Denise Nagle, ‘Racer’
Helena Kilty ‘Battlecry’
Stephen de Búrca, ‘Scoping’
Andrea Ward, ‘Abbey’
Grace Wilentz, ‘Coral’
Jon McLeod, ‘Versus’
Sacha Hutchinson, ‘Last’
Caroline Bracken, ‘Coral’
Lorraine Wood, ‘Snuff’

We would like to thank our competition sponsors: Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop, Ward’s Hotel, Clare Daly MEP, & Kenny’s Bookshop.

This year's competition judge is Liz McSkeane. 

The longlist can be viewed here

THE WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUNCED @  the  Over The Edge: Open Reading on Thursday, October 31st,  6.30pm   @ Galway City Library

September Over The Edge: Open Reading with Leah Keane, Barbara Dunne, Ingrid Casey plus open-mic

The September ‘Over The Edge: Open Reading’ takes place in Galway City Library on Thursday, September 26th, 6.30-8.00pm. The Featured Readers are Ingrid Casey, Barbara Dunne, & Leah Keane. The evening will also see the announcement of the shortlist for this year’s Over The Edge New Writer of the Year competition, judged by poet, fiction writer, and publisher Liz McSkeane. And there will be an open-mic after the Featured Readers have finished; new readers are always especially welcome.

Leah Keane is a native of Castlerea, County Roscommon. She recently graduated from NUI Galway with a BA in English, German and Creative Writing. Unsurprisingly, she is now a barista. Leah has studied poetry under Alvy Carragher, and was longlisted for the Over the Edge New Writer of the Year competition in 2017. Her work has been published in Poetry Ireland Review and Skylight 47.

Barbara Dunne is a parent, writer, visual artist, and blogger living in Moycullen Co. Galway. She is originally from Killeshin, on the Carlow/Laois border. She teaches art to children and is also a Special Needs Asssistant. She writes poetry, short stories, and reviews and regularly updates her blog. Her reviews appear in Circa, Circa Arts Magazine, and on on-line magazines and websites. She is a member of the Oughterard Writers Group and the creative writing course at Galway Technical Insitute, run by Susan Millar DuMars. Her poetry has recently appeared in print for the first time in the Writers  group poetry collection Shadows(2018). One of her poems was selected to be performed  at the 2018 Cuirt Spoken Word.  Her blog address is Barbara is currently working on exploring fiction and children’s fiction in particular.  She is also working towards her first collection of poetry.
Ingrid Casey
Ingrid Casey is a poet, parent, artist and activist. She has been writing poetry since 2015, and some prose, with publications in literary journals from Brooklyn to Kentucky, Dublin to Cardiff. She is a John Hewitt bursary recipient, amongst other accolades. Her debut collection, Mandible (the Onslaught Press, 2018) has been described by poet Jessica Traynor as a ‘vital addition to Irish poetry.’ This year she also produced a groundbreaking short documentary on families living in homeless accommodation: Ingrid is currently editing a bilingual anthology of poetry by Irish poets translated into Greek for Athens based Vakxikon Press.

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.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Autumn Poetry Workshops at Galway Arts Centre

Starting in September, 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 most recent poetry collection, Sex and Death at Merlin Park Hospital, is just published by Salmon Poetry (June 2019).
Kevin Higgins
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 ten weeks, commencing the week of Monday September 23rd.  They will take place on Tuesday evenings, 7-8.30pm (first class Tuesday, September 24th); on Thursday afternoons, 2-4pm (first class Thursday, September 26th) and on Friday afternoons, 2-3.30pm (first class Friday, September 27th).

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 a €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, email, or go to

Autumn Beginners & Intermediate Creative Writing Classes at Galway Technical Institute BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW

Susan & Kevin

Creative Writing for Beginners with Kevin Higgins takes place one evening per week (Monday) from 7-9.30pm (8 weeks). It commences on Monday, September 23rd, 2019. Advance booking is essential. Places cost €120. Kevin Higgins will provide writing exercises for, and give gentle critical feedback to, those interested in trying their hand at writing stories, poems, or memoir.

Intermediate Creative Writing with Susan Millar DuMars takes place one evening per week (Tuesday) from 7-9.30pm (8 weeks) with a mid-term break. It commences on Tuesday, September 24th, 2019. Advance booking is essential. Places cost €120. This class is suitable for those who’ve participated in creative writing classes before or begun to have work published in magazines. Flexible exercises and work-shopping of assignments, together with the study of the works of published writers, will help each class member to find their own writing voice.

YOU CAN ALSO BOOK in person at Galway Technical Institute, Monday-Friday, (10am-4.30pm) when GTI re-opens after the summer break.

For further information contact Galway Technical Institute, Father Griffin Road, Galway, phone 091-581342 or email or see  

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Over The Edge presents Culture Night at Kenny's

Over The Edge is holding two special Culture Night open-mics - one for fiction writers, the other for poets - with prizes for the best readers, at Kennys Bookshop and Gallery in Liosbán Retail Park on Friday, September 20th.  
The open-mic for fiction writers starts at 3.30pm. Participants should bring along two pages of a story to read. The reading will include guest appearances by renowned crime writer and novelist Ken Bruen and Anne Walsh Donnelly reading from her debut short story collection.

Ken Bruen
The open-mic for poets starts at 5.45pm. Participants should bring along two poems to read. The reading will include guest appearances from Jean Kavanagh, Louise C. Cole, and Chiamaka Enyi-Amadi. 
Chiamaka Enyi-Amadi
The evening will be MC’d by Kevin Higgins and both open-mics will feature readings from their long-listed stories and poems by some of the writers on the long list for the 2019 Over The Edge New Writer of The Year competition, for which Kenny’s is one of the sponsors.
Kevin Higgins

This reading is open to all. If you have a poem or story you want to share, come along. 

About our special guests:
Ken Bruen, born in Galway in 1951, is the author of the internationally acclaimed Jack Taylor series of crime novels which have been adapted for television by TV3. He spent twenty-five years as an English teacher in Africa, Japan, S.E. Asia and South America. Galway Girl, the fifteenth book in the series will be published in November.

Anne Walsh Donnelly lives in the west of Ireland. She was shortlisted for the Hennessy Literary Award for emerging poetry and selected for Poetry Ireland Introductions in 2019. She won the Over The Edge fiction slam in 2018 and was joint winner in 2019. Her poetry chapbook, “The Woman With An Owl Tattoo” was  published in May 2019 by Fly On The Wall Poetry Press. Her debut short story collection, “Demise of the Undertaker’s Wife” is published by The Blue Nib.

Chiamaka Enyi-Amadi is a Lagos-born, Galway-raised and Dublin-based writer, spoken-word artist, editor and arts facilitator. She is a graduate of UCD BA Hon. English and Philosophy, and is currently completing a Masters in Cultural Policy and Arts Management in UCD. Her work is published in journals both online and print - notably RTÉ Poetry Programme, Smithereens Press, The Irish Times, The Bohemyth, Poetry International, Poetry Ireland Review 129, and the forthcoming anthology The Art of the Glimpse: 100 Irish Short Stories (Head of Zeus 2020, edited by Sinéad Gleeson) and Writing Home: The New Irish Poets (Dedalus Press 2019, co-edited by Chiamaka Enyi-Amadi) Visit her blog :  The Unimaginable Things to keep up with her work, and on Instagram at Unimaginable_Me & Facebook @theunimaginablethings

Jean Kavanagh is an Irish poet living in Oslo, Norway. She studied Irish Folklore and English Literature in UCD, Dublin. She has been shortlisted twice, in 2010 and 2011, for Galway's Over The Edge New Writer of the Year, and in 2012 was shortlisted for the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award. Jean’s second full collection of poetry How The Weather Was was published by Salmon in March.

Louise C. Cole is originally from Worcestershire in England but has lived in Roscommon for the past seventeen years. Her debut poetry collection Soft Touch was chosen for publication by UK Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy.

Over The Edge acknowledges the generous financial support of Galway City Council, Poetry Ireland, & The Arts Council.