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

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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.

The Poetry Circle Limerick – a reading with 3 poets – plus music

The Poetry Circle in association with Salmon Poetry present
A reading with three poets plus music from Three Women Sing.
Mon 27th May 7.30pm Nelly’s Corner, Nicholas St., Limerick (see below for google maps link)

Hosted by Oran Ryan

https://goo.gl/maps/vXfbsMWJAEf1tTZJ9

The Poetry Circle, a new series brought to you by the Limerick Writers’ Centre. This series is called The Poetry Circle in honour of the Great Limerick Poet, Desmond O Grady, who first formed and read his work at a reading, also called The Poetry Circle, in 1954 at the White House Bar on O Connell St, in Limerick.

Jo Slade‘s 5th poetry collection ‘Cycles & Lost Monkeys’ was published by Salmon Poetry in March, 2019. She has published 4 previous collections with Salmon, including ‘The Painter’s House’ (Salmon Poetry, 2013) which was joint recipient of the Michael Hartnett Poetry Prize in 2014. Her poems have been translated into French, Spanish, Romanian, Norwegian, Russian, Italian & Slovenian; published in literary journals and broadsheets in, Northern Ireland, UK, USA, Canada, Russia, France, Slovenia, Spain, the Channel Islands & Italy. She was Writer-in-Residence for Limerick County Council in 2006 and Writer-in-Residence at the Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris in 2007. She has received Literature Bursary & Travel Grants from The Arts Council of Ireland, Culture Ireland & Limerick City Council.

Richard Peabody ‘s most recent poetry collection ‘Guinness on the Quay’ was published by Salmon Poetry in March, 2019.Earlier poetry collections include ‘I’m in Love with the Morton Salt Girl’, ‘Sad Fashions’, ‘Mood Vertigo’, and ‘Speed Enforced by Aircraft’. He is the remaining founding editor of Gargoyle Magazine (established in 1976) and editor (or co-editor) of 20+ anthologies including ‘Mondo Barbie’, ‘Mondo Elvi’s, ‘Conversations with Gore Vidal’, and ‘A Different Beat: Writings by Women of the Beat Generation’. The author of a novella and three short story collections, he taught graduate fiction writing at Johns Hopkins University for 15 years. His most recent book is ‘The Richard Peabody Reader’ (Alan Squire Publishers, 2015). Anthology credits include: ‘Dogs Singing: A Tribute Anthology’ (Salmon Poetry), ‘Short Fuse: The Global Anthology of New Fusion Poetry’ (Ratapallax Press), ‘100 Poets Against the War ‘(Salt Publishing), ‘Poetic Voices Without Borders’ (Gival Press), ‘Working Words: A Working Class and Labor Literature Reader’ (Coffeehouse), ‘In the Criminal’s Cabinet’ (nthposition), ‘Stories of Our Landmined World’ (EJP), and ‘The Incredible Sestina Anthology’ (Write Bloody Publishing).

Su Love‘s ‘The Memoir of Mona Lisa and Other Poems’ was published by Salmon Poetry in March, 2019. She is the author of seven earlier collections of poetry. Her work has been recognized with, notably, the Jane Kenyon Poetry Prize and residencies with the St. Croix Watershed Research Station and Tofte Lake Center in Minnesota and the Unamuno Author Series in Madrid. She is a 2019 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board.

Three Women Sing are three women who between them have eight children, four grandchildren and three fine men! Their collective ages make them 155 years old! So go figure!

Shona Blake is an Irish singer songwriter living in Miltown Malbay, Co Clare. Her thoughtful prose has a haunting honesty and meaning drawing from her life experiences. She plays as part of a duo along side her husband Paul McCabe an accomplished musician.

Claire Watts is an all round musician who plays traditional Irish music on flute, is a singer-songwriter and guitar player. She teaches music and recently released her second album. The Irish singer – songwriter John Spillane commented on Claire’s EP as follows; “Claire Watts is a lovely singer with a clear, honest and beautiful voice. You’d have to have a heart of stone not to be moved by these songs.”

Richard, Jo and Sue

Anne Rynne has only lately come into the whole music scene after rearing herfamily and most importantly finding her voice. From a family of singers, Anne was always a reluctant singer. About four years ago her brother loaned her a guitar – “for 50 years on condition you play it every day”, and she does and says it has utterly changed her life. She released her ‘debut’ album last year.

Details: limerickwriterscentre@gmail.com

Martin A. Egan 1952 – 2015

Martin A. Egan Promo 53 2011Martin Egan, my friend, died in hospital at 2.30 this morning. He had been suffering from cancer. Martin was a songwriter, a poet, a visual artist, and a prodigious journaller of life’s many joys and tragedies.

I met him at a book launch downstairs at the Twisted Pepper in Dublin in 20**. I found myself standing beside him in a crowd. As we listened to some very bad poetry he turned to me and muttered something about the work being performed being a ‘load of total shite’. I looked at him for a second, really surprised and a tad aghast. He smiled knowingly at me and knowingly raised his eyebrows a little. Then we both burst out laughing. In the midst of all the gushing naval gazing self-congratulation, his candour was such a relief. And I had no idea who this person was at the time. We shook hands and sat down together. He told me that day he was working on a biography of his life and, typical of Martin, he told me all about it. From this we began a conversation that was continued over the years with meetings and phone calls and the very occasional reading that we did together.

He lived the life of a bohemian artist, wrote songs on multi platinum albums, painted haunting self portraits – some of whom appeared on the covers of his own albums, struggled and overcame many demons both internal and external, and wrote some of the most searingly honest poetry that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. For Martin a life that was not honestly depicted and examined through the lens of art was an inauthentic one, and he had no time for anything other than truth, in the fullest lived, completely subjective, warts-and-all sense of the term. His vast reading and highly intelligent grasp of the nuts and bolts of writing enabled him to clearly depict the raw edge of life, of the life of an artist, of the search for what it meant to be a human being in the world, of the peculiarly Irish aspect of the legacy of addiction and sexual abuse, of the terrible heartbreaking loss of loved ones, and the scars one carries from failed relationships. He wrote and sung of the immeasurable joy of pure artistic inspiration, of the loneliness of being and innovator and finding an authentic artistic voice. More than anything he sought to accurately depict his own story, as for Martin personal experience rather than all the reading and listening to music and viewing of art he did, was the testing ground for acquiring authentic knowledge.

 Martin was also one of the funniest men I have ever met, and the hilarity of some of the conversations we shared over the years will stay with me for as long as I live. A few weeks ago he called me while I was out in the middle of a wood and told me he knew he was near the end of his life and that he was okay with that. He then went on to say that he had given the matter a lot of thought and he had now compiled a list of people he was definitely going to haunt. Martin was simply irrepressible.

I admired his talent, his intelligence and his commitment to his craft. He would ring me up regularly and ask me what I was writing and how it was going, and after listening to me he would in turn tell me at length and in great detail just what he was working on, the books and various authors he was devouring in order to complete the various projects he was working on, and what was the true meaning of art and what was its place in a society that was so addicted to the most superficial and pretentious meaning of artistic achievement. Our conversations would go on for hours and I would often find myself late for other appointments and having to ring up and apologise and reschedule, so enthralled and tired I would be after these Olympian discussions.

More than anything Martin was my friend, and he was an immeasurably loyal friend. We never once argued and we never once fell out with each other. We were never short of a topic for discussion and I have never met anyone more supportive of the life of the artist both in principle or in reality. I cannot accurately depict how much I miss him, as I know his many other friends and admirers will miss him. He was such a unique and lovable man. And such a marvellous artist.

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   A snapshot of a Last Wednesday poetry and prose reading taken by Sarah Lundberg in June 2010 with, from Left, Steve Conway, Bob Shakeshaft, Eamonn Lynskey, Oran Ryan, Martin A Egan, Raven and Ross Hattaway.

“For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known; cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments, [2]
Myself not least, but honour’d of them all;
And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’
Gleams that untravell’d world, whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.”

from ‘Ulysses’ by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Eight things about reading at O Bheal in Cork that everyone should know

Ireland is replete with literary events and poetry readings. All literary events are literary, but not all of them are equal. O Bheal ( www.obheal.ie ) is a particularly good one, and it was a marvelously enjoyable evening for me.

1. Resistance is futile. You are made just so welcome. I am not a particularly nervous reader of my work (or indeed of anyone elses). That is, except about two minutes before I stand up. Then and only then do I generally get the most dreadful attack of nerves, which dissipates pretty quickly. Even if I were a sufferer from chronic stage fright, it wouldn’t matter. Paul Casey and his team of MC’s make one so welcome and comfortable. No need to be afraid.

2. Practice before. O Bheal, to my mind is an important reading. It had been over a year since I  had given a reading, so, feeling rusty, I prepared, maybe too much on reflection. I should have had more of an edge on me. Less smooth. Though when I turned up for the reading (way too early as it happened and wandered around Cork City for an hour) I was glad I had. One is reading to a discerning and humorous audience. If they don’t like the poem, they don’t clap. They aren’t rude or unreceptive or snobbish. Its clear, all too clear one is dealing with an audience who are there because they love poetry. I was relieved. I chose my words had my stuff ready, and read acceptably. So, even if you read twice a week every week, prepare yourself.

3. Its Not Trying to be Cool or Clever, It Just Is. O Bheal is run by writers and artists for writers, artists, and lovers of good writing. Terrible readings generally are either (a) over formalized or (b) over controlled by tradition or (c) given to a reactionary rebelliousness, or (d) so replete with establishment self congratulation true self expression is impossible. Real innovation exists somewhere between the twin horns of the dilemma of established tradition and innovation. O Bheal segues around this difficulty as it embraces both sides of the aisle. You can, within reason, read whatever you like, and nobody gets offended. I have had, in the past to temper my material to avoid giving offense to people. In actual fact, in order to avoid any such eventuality, I actually asked if there was any subject I might avoid so as to no offend anyone. I was told not to worry.

4. Winthrop Street in Cork is a Super Venue. Its not too big, not too small. Its a kind of Goldilocks venue, just the right size. Homely and welcoming, I loved it. Here’s a map:

5. Its Got a Good Mix. O Bheal combines an open mic, a featured reader, and what is known as the ‘five word challenge’. People suggest five words. and you have to make up a poem from the five words. The winner gets a pint free from the bar. Some of the poems are remarkable. My own offering was absolutely dire, by the way.

6. Its Social. Like Seven Towers events O Bheal has a strong social element. I got involved, despite being really tired from five hours traveling, and giving a reading, in all kinds of discussions about writing mostly. These included such arcane topics  as second century atheistic poetry in Muslim countries and Doris Lessings post colonial guilt. I got into my rooms about 2 AM, completely wrecked. Then I had the joy of listening to the loudest snoring I ever heard ever from downstairs. It sounded like the bed and breakfast had a dragon staying.

7. You get Paid and B&B. They put you up in a really nice B&B and they pay you. Enough said. This is important. Writers need to be paid. Thanks to Paul Casey and the team. Kudos.

8. The Reading. And heres my reading 8th June 2015 at O Bheal Winthrop Street. Cork

Enjoy, and check out the event. A great evening.