Rock and Roll Club at Limerick Library

Its hard to describe how excited I was to be asked by Mike Maguire, executive librarian of Limerick City library to talk about my favourite rock and roll music, something I am incredibly passionate about. I keep thinking of what tunes to pick and what tunes to exclude, how I will talk about it and what might be wise to exclude. I love most types of music, so if I were to really give a cross section of my sometimes eclectic tastes, I would be too long at it and I hate the thought of boring others. So I am going to stop at about 40 minutes or so. This means theres plenty of tunes to make the time pass quickly, but not too many tunes. I attach the poster here and theres an open invitation on it if you feel like doing it yourself. Go for it!

Oran Ryan Presenting the Rock Record CLub, Limerick City library 15/11/2019 at 1 pm

Launch of ‘Portrait of an Atheist Monk at Prayer’ by Oran Ryan

The Poetry Circle present in association with Revival Press a poetry reading and book launch by Oran Ryan

The book will be launched by poet Kevin Higgins.

Portrait of an Atheist Monk at Prayer, Oran Ryan’s first collection, reflects on the nature of existence in a world of conflicting ideologies and belief systems, an age seeking certainty in a post truth state, an era of rising new empires and changing values and faiths, an era of absolutist thinking that hides a deep uncertainty about once seemingly timeless values. It’s also about sex, drugs, rock ‘n roll, and robots.

“With poems that draw their inspiration from space travel, music, art, pop culture, science and philosophy, this book is the perfect read for anyone with an interest in questions of belief and unbelief…This is writing that will play on your mind and your emotions long after you have turned the last page” Eileen Sheehan

“Like a Fly Agaric gospel from outer space, these poems are a hallucinogenic Book of Revelations.” John W. Sexton

“In poems of sometimes cosmic irony, comedy and tragedy dance together in a way that is often sublime.” Kevin Higgins

“The questing gnostic voice, rising from the tumult of discordant collision at the interface of popular culture and organised religion, speaks to both seeker and saved.” Eamon Carr see also Horslips

Oran Ryan is a writer living in Ireland. He has written novels: The Death of Finn (Seven Towers, 2006) Ten Short Novels by Arthur Kruger (Seven Towers 2007), and One Inch Punch (Seven Towers, 2012). He has written plays: Don Quixote has Been Promoted (2009, Ranelagh Arts Festival) for the stage and radio: Preliminary Design for a Universe Circling Spacecraft (KRPN, San Francisco, California 2010). He has written and published short stories, poetry and literary critical articles.

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 and his work also appears in the generation defining anthology Identity Parade – New British and Irish Poets (Ed. Roddy Lumsden, Bloodaxe, 2010). A collection of Kevin’s essays and book reviews, Mentioning The War, was published in 2012 by Salmon Poetry. His next collection of poetry, The Ghost in The Lobby, was published in 2014, by Salmon. Press.

Location: Nelly’s Cafe, 46 Nicholas Street, Limeric

Contact: Telephone+353 87 2996409 

Email limerickwriterscentre@gmail.com 

More Info www.limerickwriterscentre.com Price(s)

Black Dog and Radio 4: Part 1

Around 2009 I was unwell. I didn’t know it, but I was not ok. I had began to feel tired. Looking back now this comes as no surprise. For the previous six years I had been working on a novel called One Inch Punch.

I had stopped taking care of myself: mentally, emotionally, physically. I was insomniac, drinking too much, sleeping odd hours, not exercising. I was obsessed with the novel. I lived the book, day and night. I dreamed the text. I woke up in the morning with dialogue in my head. I had images of the various characters fluttering like butterflies around my conscious and subconscious. One Inch Punch had become a monster, and how I loved my monster. It slept beneath my bed and gazed at me as I ate and worked at my desk. How I loved my characters. In a sense they had become more real to me than my friends, my family, indeed the world itself. Life had become something of a distraction. All I wanted to do was go on writing. I wanted to trace the life of a failed genius, this guy, this fictional Gordon Brock. I named him after my obsession with the band Hawkwind, whose lead singer’s surname was Brock. before I started writing pers se, I was noting things down, for a long time. I started from the beginning, from Gordy’s experience of being bullied as a kid to his life as a philandering psychotherapist who wrote garbage self help books that kept him rich and idle, to the end of his marriage, to his meeting in middle age with his nemesis, Ed Frasier one freezing winter day when both of them were Christmas shopping. Now lets be clear on this, my Gordon was not a nice guy, not what you might call an attractive character, not filled with the milk of human kindness. Gordon Brock was an asshole. As Senator David Norris said so hilariously at the launch of the novel “He was a bit of a bollox.” (scan forward in the video to 2.38 min) Absolutely true, but it didn’t matter. I loved him. I loved Gordon Brock, iq 174, his wife Martha Reynolds Brock, his Mom and dad who loved him so, his worst enemy Dr. Ed Fraser (we always need a nemesis to struggle against, I guess), his school teachers, his son Joshua. I was world building, and it was fun. This book was my life for six whole years. I had wanted to write about the impact of childhood bullying and torment for a very long time before, and here, when I found my Gordon in my dreams, there came my chance. I didn’t give a shit about publishing this book. I wanted to keep going forever. Writing was my life my religion, my prayer, my meaning, as Depeche Mode would have it My own Personal Jesus. It was the most fulfilling thing I could ever do. Naturally I didn’t tell people this. Ones life partner might somehow take umbrage on hearing such madness. Anyway I went on. Sarah went to work. I cooked, cleaned, walked the dogs, and took a shower now and then, went to literary events with great reluctance, and joyfully returned to my desk to return to my own personal virtual reality. And then it all ended and the lights went out and they stayed out. I got sick. I crashed and burned. Everything fell apart, and then things got worse…

SOME UPCOMING LITERARY EVENTS IN LIMERICK

The Aug 2019 ‘On the Nail’ Literary Gathering THU 1st AUG 2019

VENUE: at Sexton’s Bar, 91 Henry St.,  Limerick. Start 8pm (note new venue)

DIRECTIONS: https://goo.gl/maps/4nqFdm5wrFbijoTL7

GUESTS: Breda Spaight and Daragh Bradish

plus OPEN-MIC

Breda Spaight’s work has appeared in Poetry Ireland Review; Southword; The Stinging Fly (featured poet); The Interpreter’s House (featured poet); Ambit; Aesthetica; The North (Irish Issue); Banshee; The Honest Ulsterman; Abridged; Crannóg, & many others. She was among the poets accepted to the Poetry Ireland Introductions Series, and the Cork Introductions Readings at the Cork International Poetry Festival 2018.

Her work has been shortlisted in numerous competitions: Cuirt New Writing Prize (2019); Doolin Poetry Prize (2018); iYeates International Poetry Prize; Dromineer Literary Festival Poetry Prize; Over the Edge New Writer of the Year (2013/2015); 3rd place winner in the Allingham Poetry Prize, & others. She was winner of the Boyle Arts Festival Poetry Prize 2016, and among the poets in the Best New British and Irish Poets (Eyewear) 2018.

Daragh Bradish was born and raised in Terenure, Dublin, spending formative years in Bray, Co. Wicklow. He was educated in TCD where he studied Fine Arts and History. In recent years he has lived part-time in Liscannor, County Clare. He has coordinated and run the ‘Soundings for Simon’ December readings in Dublin for the past five years. Published widely in Irish, UK, and European journals, Easter in March is his first collection.  He won the Trócaire Poetry Ireland Prize in 2018.

Everyone is invited to take part in the open-mic after the main event, poets, storytellers, musicians and writers. Even if you don’t write you are welcome to bring something along to read. The night begins at 8.00pm and admission is free. So join us on the night and make this event something special.

NOTE: Our special authors book table will again be in operation, so if you want your book, CD’s etc publicised make sure you are represented on the table.

Contact Dominic Taylor at 087 2996409 to make arrangements.

Writing Poetry for Children Workshop Sat 17th Aug 10.30 to 1.00pm

Think you might like to write poetry for children? Let your imagination blaze in a workshop with Alan Murphy. Alan is the Dublin-born writer and illustrator of four collections of poetry for young readers, two of which have been shortlisted for the CAP awards for independent authors. He has been featured in children’s poetry anthologies in the UK and America, and has also published poetry for adults and visual art with a number of journals. His latest book is All Gums Blazing. www.avantcardpublications.com

Workshop fee: €15.00 booking essential. Email: limerickwriterscentre@gmail.com Tel 087 2996409
Workshop takes place at the Limerick Writers’ Centre, 12 Barrington St., Limerick 10.am to 1pm  

Annual Bus Tour of West Limerick and Maigue Poets Country.

The Limerick Writers’ Centre annual bus tour of West Limerick and the Maigue Poets Country takes place Friday 16th August, departing from Dolans on the Dock Road at 11.30 pm.
Booking essential as numbers limited to 25. €15.00 per person. To book email limerickwriterscentrte@gmail.com or Tel 087 2996409.
Tour guide Micheal Liston.

This year we travel to Adare and on to Knockfierna where we visit the poets trail, then on to Kilmallock and Croom one of the must stops of our trip. The home of The Maigue Poets and their Courts of Poetry, it was here that Sean O Tuama sent out his famous Warrants calling all the poets of Munster and beyond to gather, keep alive and celebrate the ancient Gaelic culture of the fili and the bards. Here also is where he composed his famous ditty about collecting debts owed to him from his inn-keeping business and which solicited such a rancorous response from his fellow poet Aindreas Mac Craith.  

18th Century Maigue Poet Sean O Tuama to be Honoured in Limerick City.

 Sean O Tuama one of the two chief poets of the Maigue Poets in Croom is to be honoured in Limerick, in the part of town he lived for the final six years of his life, Mungret Street – once the hub of commercial life in the city. The Limerick Writers’ Centre will unveil a heritage plague honouring the poet at Milk Market House, Mungret Street on Fri 16th Aug at 6pm. The mayor Cllr Michael Sheahan will officially unveil the plaque.

In tandem with the unveiling of the plaque Dr Matthew Potter of Limerick Museum will launch the 3rd edition of his definitive book on the limerick verse The Curious Story of the Limerick.

Bring Your Limericks to Limerick Competition Final 2019 Saturday 7.30pm 17th Aug in Dolans Music Venue, Dock Road, Limerick.

Up for grabs is the chance to become this year’s champion limerick writer and walk away with a cheque for €500, not bad for a five line poem. The event now in its seventh year has attracted entries from all over the world from fans of the funny (though often ribald, irreverent, and sometimes vulgar) five line poem. Again this year the organisers stress the connection between the verse and the place. For further information contact, Lisa Gibbons at limericksfest@gmail.com or Dominic Taylor at limerickwriterscentre@gmail.com

Creative Writing Course for Older People 2019

A SIX WEEK COURSE IN CREATIVE WRITING

A Limerick Writers’ Centre Community Project.

Dates:

Sat 7th – 14th – 21st September

Sat 5th -12th -19th October

Times -10.30am to 12:30pm and 1.00pm to 3.00pm

Award winning poet Ron Carey is back with a new writing course for experienced and beginners in fiction, non-fiction and poetry.  After the success of last year’s course, Ron will again guide participants from initial ideas to completed work, and will give friendly and personal support to each participant. Participants will be encouraged to work between workshops and present their work to the group. Support from the facilitator to achieve individual writing goals will be ongoing. The course is geared toward older people but not exclusively so, everyone is welcome to participate. At the end of the course Limerick Writers’ Centre will give consideration to publishing a book featuring the work produced.

The workshops will be held at the Limerick Writers’ Centre, 12 Barrington Street, Limerick.

Fees for the 6-week course are €90. Booking essential as places will be limited.

Details: limerickwriterscentre@gmail.com or Tel 087 2996409

A People’s Poem for Limerick

From left Poet John W. Sexton, Mayor Michael Sheahan (Limerick) and Oran Ryan

A poem written by Limerick people and made up of words, phrases and lines submitted during the Limerick Writers’ Centre’s  recent poetry festival ‘April is Poetry Month in Limerick 2019’, was this week unveiled and presented to the mayor of Limerick Cllr. Michael Sheahan. 

The poem called ‘Limerick Is’ was unveiled at a ceremony in City Hall by John W. Sexton, an tOllamh (Poet Laureate) for Limerick during the festival, along with members of the Limerick Writers’ Centre. After the presentation of the framed poem Sexton recited it to those present. 

John W Sexton compiled the full length poem from over 10 A4 pages of submissions received during April this year. Sexton admitted that it was much harder to compile than he first imagined but was at pains to point out that every word in the poem was written by the people of Limerick.

As well as gracing the wall of the mayor’s office the poem has also been turned into a postcard, with the help of Limerick City and County Council’s tourism unit, and 5000 postcards will now be distributed to hotels and tourist spots in the region, where visitors can pick them up free of charge and use to send greetings from Limerick all over the world.  

The project is the brainchild of the Limerick Writers’ Centre, a voluntary not for profit organization, dedicated to promoting the literary and artistic heritage of Limerick.  Speaking at the unveiling Mr. Oran Ryan from the Centre, said that  there were over 1000 words, lines and phrases sent in covering every  aspect of Limerick from the  Treaty of Limerick to Ronan O’Gara and everything in between.  Some were funny, some vulgar others were just images or childhood memories. He congratulated poet John W. Sexton on his fantastic achievement of compiling the poem into a coordinated whole that is both poetic and makes sense. He went on to say that “there was something very moving about a poem written by so many people, as Limerick City is made up of so many voices with so many stories to tell, the poem reflects that diversity all within one memorable poem.”

In response Mayor Sheahan said it was “a brilliant and original idea and something he had not seen anywhere before.”  He praised the Limerick Writers’ Centre for their continuing contribution to the cultural life of the city, especially their literary activities and wished them success in securing funding for their nonstop good work in the future. 

Before reading the poem John W Sexton explained his rational and method he used to write the final poem: “Success in creating a crowd-sourced poem will always depend on the quality of the source material, but the problem for me was that there was so much material to choose from and only room for a fraction of it. Once I made my final choices, which still amounted to several pages more than I could use, I then went about finding connections between phrases so that I could order the lines into coherent verses. What resulted is, I think, a very good poem. Through the voices of Limerick’s people, the city found its own voice. The final poem, in my view, really is the city telling us who and what it is.”

Further Details: Dominic Taylor Mobile 087 2996409 limerickwriterscentre@gmail.com

Literary Style

  1. What is literary style?

Literary style is what you see before you when you open the first page of a book, particularly a literary work. Literary style (or ‘writing style’ or ‘literary voice’ or the ‘writer’s voice’) is the way a writer uses words in sentences.

2. Why do writers employ a literary style?

Style is the fundamental way any writer expresses themselves. In order to express oneself, one has to choose ones words. in choosing certain words over other words one is employing a style. One’s style makes one unique. Style is a literary fingerprint, a verbal DNA. Stlye describes a writer’s individual use of sentences, what words they choose and how they choose to use them. A writer’s style is how their particular choice of words flows in their sentences. It’s pretty easy to see the differing styles in different writers. Choose your favourite writer and look and see whether or not their sentences are on average short or long, whether they use a lot of allusions or metaphors or external historical or scientific data or not, whether they use a lot of local colour, whether their work is filled with precise emotional or external factual data or not, whether their language is complex or not, whether they use a lot of irony or wit or not. Writers make these many word choices in order to tell their individual stories to best effect, to most powerfully depict their characters, to drive their plots on, to inform, challenge, educate, entertain, mystify and impress their readers. Writers strive towards developing their own unique style for several reasons. The most obvious reason might be their desire not to sound like other writers, but the main one is to properly express their own unique voice, what exactly is happening and how exactly it is happening in the lives and minds and hearts of the people in the worlds they are describing and in the stories they are telling. All the other aspects of writing: character, plot, sense of place, time, pacing – all these form the threads that make up the unique fabric of a writer’s style.

3. How important is literary style?

From what we have been talking about it’s clear that style is not some superficial aspect to writing. Style is substance when it comes to writing. It is the most immediate, most accessible part of any book, article, poem, play, or script. It’s what greets you when you start to read. It is that aspect of the writer’s art that takes you through a book of 100 thousand words or an article of 500 words. Thus it’s critically important to develop your style. You cannot write without style. You develop your plot through using literary devices delivered through your style. You describe your characters through style. You hold the reader’s attention by showing that here is a writer like no other, and your individual voice is a voice  that the reader wants to listen to as they tell a story in a way that holds their attention through good or bad, through triumph or disaster, through suffering or joy. All of the above is achieved by the use of style.

4. How do I develop my style?

You develop your literary voice by practising and listening to your own inner voice. You also develop your voice, and by this I am speaking of your writing style, by being clear on what you have to say, by developing the story you want to tell, by carefully researching your subject, by making careful notes, by working out plot, characterization, pacing, by making a plan that works and sticking to it. It takes time and it takes patience.

5. Okay, but is there a method for developing style?

Other than a willingness to work at it, and seek to continually to improve your work, working towards perfecting the various aspects of story, plot, finding the right word in the right place and building from there, reading and learning, there is no known methodology for creating one’s own unique style. It can be said that one’s style finds you, rather than the reverse. The only way this can happen is by writing, and, as has been said before, writing is largely rewriting.

12 Rules For Writers

Writing is difficult, but its also something so basic to who we are as intelligent beings, that despite its difficulty, its something literally anyone and everyone can grasp. Art happens when the writer expresses something unique that emerges from the self and says something more than the contents and the tropes and methods learned from the craft. A craft on the other hand is a series of techniques to efficiently and easily perform a task, in this case the ancient art of writing. This being said, it is imperative that any aspiring writer learn the craft of writing. Just as potential martial artist must learn their craft in a dojo, or a potential musician study their instrument of choice and learn from mistresses and masters of the art, so too a potential writer needs to learn about how to write in order to write well. This tiny primer will help one take the first steps.

  1. What is Creative Writing?

Creative Writing has its origins in our ancient practise of storytelling and poetry recitation. Creative Writing communicates what it means to live in the world in all varieties and forms. Creative writing helps us understand the world and it helps us describe our own and others experiences of living in the world. Its useful and life enhancing and good for us all.

2. Writing is for everyone.

Writing and storytelling is an art and a craft that has been practised for millennia. It can be practised by anyone who wants to be a writer. Writing is both an art and a craft. In other words, if you are interested in getting to know the world of writing a little better and try it out, there are certain skills one can learn and develop that will help one to express oneself more clearly and easily. Developing these skills takes time and practise, like any craft.  From the craft of writing we can then work at developing our artistic gifts.

3. Find your space. 

Have some place where you can write in peace and quiet. It’s difficult to work in a place with lots of distractions. Once you find your space, work out a schedule you can live with, and stick to it.

4. Schedule time.

Writing takes time and effort. Writing is often re-writing. Because it takes time and patience to grow your art, it’s important to schedule quality time outside our busy lives to make time for ourselves to be creative.

5. Get a Notebook.

Bring your notebook everywhere. What we write is a record of our lives, our thoughts, our hopes and our dreams, and starting with a notebook we can build these stories. A notebook is the indispensable tool for every writer.  Write down thoughts, impressions, dreams, useful facts, memories, ideas for stories, poems, screenplays, theatre pieces. Remember that your notebook is your own and keep it private.

6. Go to open-mics, gigs, and writing groups.

Meet and associate with other writers and artists. Don’t isolate. You learn quickly from the example of others, also there are many courses and regular readings out there to test your work and see how it is received by an audience. Take your time and go to a few, and when you feel ready go up and read a poem or a short piece of fiction in front of a group.

7. Read.

Every great writer is a great reader. Use your local library. Read often and for long periods. Familiarize yourself with as many writers, thinkers, muses, as you can. This experience will deepen your knowledge not only of the world (which is important for your writing) but will show you how other writers approached various subjects, and help you avoid pitfalls.

8. Keep a healthy work life-balance.

If you take to writing, it can be a fascinating, fulfilling, and a demanding occupation. Remember to keep a good balance between your social and private life.  Stay healthy, sleep lots, eat well, and avoid unhealthy lifestyles.

9.  Write a certain amount you have already decided upon each day, and then stop.

It’s best to stop each day at a high point. Make a note of where you stopped, date it and continue from that point the next day, or when you decide to.

10. Take regular breaks from your writing.

It’s healthy and good for your work to take a break. Then, after the break, go back to the manuscript with fresh eyes, and, most importantly, a refreshed brain and body.

11. Take Writing Courses.

It’s a good idea to do writing courses; many are excellent and helpful.  The important thing to always remember is to develop your own style. The only way to develop your own style is to write, and keep writing, and not give up.

12. Have fun.

Writing is probably one of the most fulfilling, delightful, mysterious, fascinating, and educational of occupations.  Never stop enjoying it.