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Friday, August 27, 2021

Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop launch of Kevin Higgins’s Extended Essay on Being a Marxist Poet

You are invited to the launch of Kevin Higgins’s extended essay, Thrills & Difficulties: Being A Marxist Poet In 21st Century Ireland, which is published in pamphlet form by Beir Bua Press, on Wednesday, September 8th at 6.30pm. The book will be launched by poet Ciaran O'Rourke.  The launch will adhere to all Covid 19 social distancing protocols. You can buy an advance copy of Thrills & Difficulties here.  

As part of the launch Patrick Chapman, Ruth Quinlan, Rachel Coventry, Dave Lordan, & Ciaran O’Rourke will read poems of theirs which Kevin has quoted in Thrills & Difficulties...

Praise for Thrills & Difficulties:  

“I would never accuse Kevin Higgins of writing anything so diminishing as a rallying cry or manifesto. And yet, nobody is safe from his sharpened wit (least of all his Granny's fading crockery) as he eviscerates any notions we might have about what poetry should be. It would be wise to read this with a strong dose of self-awareness and, at the very least, a muted understanding of the genuine need for change in a world cracking under the weight of capitalism.” Alvy Carragher, poet & author of The Men I Keep Under My Bed (Salmon Poetry, 2021)   

"those who habitually occupy 'the best room' will hear its walls rattling in this detailed, rollicking, humorous, full-on piece of polemic. It's personal. What makes it even more forceful is that Higgins comes to praise as well as to bury, generously listing and quoting from a phalanx of poets. Poets who, while sometimes outside 'the best room', are making the best noises. In an age where poets are being routinely enlisted to make banks and building societies look 'street' [and themselves vacuous] ----this type of corrective slap is ever more necessary. Long may he [purposefully] rave." Matthew Caley, poet & author of Trawlerman’s Turquoise (Bloodaxe Books, 2019)  


For further details contact Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop on (091) 561 766 or Kevin on 087-6431748. 


Saturday, August 21, 2021

August Over The Edge: Open Reading on Zoom with Barbara Rockman, Siobhan Potter, & Hannah Ward

The first ‘Over The Edge: Open Reading’ after the summer break takes place on Zoom on Thursday, August 26th  at the usual Over The Edge time 6.30-8.00pm (local Galway time). The Featured Readers are Hannah Ward, Siobhan Potter, & Barbara Rockman. There will, as always at Over The Edge: Open Readings, be an open-mic after the Featured Readers have finished. New readers are always especially welcome at the open-mic. Anyone interested in taking part in the open-mic should text Kevin Higgins on 087-6431748 or email between 6pm and 6.30pm on the evening of the reading. The MC for the evening will be Susan Millar  DuMars.                                   

Hannah Ward is from Roscommon and grew up in a family ran petrol station which closed in 2018. Hannah is currently a student in NUIG studying creative writing and working towards a bachelor’s degree in English and philosophy. Hannah would like to follow in the grand Irish tradition of speaking in great descriptive volumes, with a lot of heart and conviction, and never really making a point. Her poetry has been published in the Vox Galvia creative writing page in The Galway Advertiser.

Siobhan Potter works as a verbal artist. Her practice, centred in relationship, explores the capacity of oral epic poetic form to midwife experience. Siobhan is the curator of ‘not the time to be silent’, an Arts response to social distancing and is a current recipient of an Arts Council of Ireland Literature project award. Siobhan’s poetry has been published in oral and print form.

Barbara Rockman is author of Sting and Nest, Poems, winner of the 2012 New Mexico-Arizona Book Award. Her 2019 poetry collection, to cleave | University of New Mexico Press received the National Press Women Prize and was a finalist for the International Book Award and the New Mexico Book Award. Barbara has been a recipient of the Baskerville Poetry Prize, New Mexico Discovery Award, and The MacGuffin Prize; her Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominated poems appear in,Thrush, Nimrod and Verse Daily. Barbara teaches poetry at Santa Fe Community College, Esperanza Shelter for Battered Families, and in community workshops.She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Find her at

Over The Edge is inviting you to the August Over The Edge: Open Reading on Zoom. Thursday, August 26th, 6.30-8pm

Join The Over The Edge Zoom Meeting at

Meeting ID: 738 901 3549

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.


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


Creative Writing for Beginners with Kevin Higgins takes place one evening per week (Monday) from 7-9.30pm (8 weeks) with a mid-term break. It commences on Monday, September 13th, 2021. 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.

To book a place, go to


Intermediate Creative Writing with Susan Millar DuMars takes place one evening per week (Wednesday) from 7-9.30pm (8 weeks) with a mid-term break. It commences on Wednesday, September 15th, 2021. 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.

To book a place, go to

Both classes will be conducted via Zoom in the usual friendly supportive manner that have made Kevin and Susan’s regular in-person creative writing classes at Galway Technical Institute so popular. Participants shouldn't worry about the technology! Full details of precisely how the workshop will function online will be explained to participants during the first session.

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


Starting in September, Galway Arts Centre is offering aspiring poets a choice of three online 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 six collections of poetry with Salmon, including 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, was published by Salmon Poetry (June 2019); one of the poems from which feature in A Galway Epiphany, the final instalment of Ken Bruen’s Jack Taylor series of novels. His poems have been broadcast on RTE Radio, Lyric FM, and BBC Radio 4. His book The Colour Yellow & The Number 19: Negative Thoughts That Helped One Man Mostly Retain His Sanity During 2020 was published in November by Nuascealta. Kevin’s sixth full poetry collection, Ecstatic, will be published next March 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; 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.

The workshops will all commence the week of Monday September 20th. They will be conducted via Zoom in the usual friendly supportive manner that have made Kevin's regular in-person poetry workshops at Galway Arts Centre so popular. Participants shouldn't worry about the technology! Full details of precisely how the workshop will function online will be explained to participants during the first session.

They will take place on Tuesday evenings, 7-8.30pm (first class Tuesday, September 21st); on Thursday afternoons, 2-4pm (first class Thursday, September 23rd) and on Friday afternoons, 2-3.30pm (first class Friday, September 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.

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