Cork Spring Poetry Festival 2015: Poetry Bus Showcase

Cork Spring Poetry Festival 2015 - Poetry Bus Showcase

Cork Spring Poetry Festival 2015 kicks off tomorrow (12 Feb), with a fantastic line-up of local, national and international poets over 4 days. Guests include Don Share, Jo Shapcott, Lavinia Greenlaw and Peter Fallon but, as well as the big names, the festival includes debut launches from the winners of the Fool For Poetry chapbook competition, a focus on independent literary journals in Ireland – The Penny Dreadful, Poetry Bus & Southword – and the Prizegiving for the Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Competition, won last year by Breda Wall Ryan.

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The Irish Writers’ Centre in Dublin – I’m on the Team!

I’m delighted to announce I’ll be joining the Admin. team at the Irish Writers’ Centre, in Dublin, from the beginning of February until the end of October, to assist in running the Centre and to learn about Arts Administration & Management. The Centre runs an extensive programme of writing classes across all styles and genres, literary and publishing events, along with an increased focus on professional development for writers.

The Irish Writers’ Centre is particularly dear to my heart, as it is where I took my first creative writing class in 2007, it is where I returned to focus on writing poetry, under the tutelage of Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill in 2009, where I’ve attended workshops with Dermot Bolger, Ciaran Berry, Theo Dorgan and more, where I’ve read on Culture Night, the Centre’s 20th Anniversary and Poetry Ireland’s Introductions Series as part of the Dublin Writers’ Festival, and where I’ve met and worked with my fellow Words on the Wind poets, every fortnight for the past 5 years.

I can’t wait to get started!

Poetry Ireland Introductions 2014 Redux: Angela T. Carr

The Poetry Ireland Introductions Series – a showcase for emerging poets working towards a first collection and with a track record of publication in journals and magazines – is open for submissions until 31 Jan.

Introductions mentors new writing talent in Ireland, providing the opportunity to workshop poetry with an established, published poet and perform work to a live audience at a showcase, hosted by Poetry Ireland; the showcase is recorded and published on the Poetry Ireland web-site.

As an alumni of last year’s series, 2014 was pretty busy for me on the writing front, and I’ve been asking my fellow emerging poets to share their experience of taking part in the Introductions series. I thought I’d round up today with my own feedback: what it was like to take part in Poetry Ireland Introductions, how I benefited and where I am now with my writing.

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Poetry Ireland Introductions 2014 Redux: Stephen Heffernan / Stiofán Ó hIfearnáin

The Poetry Ireland Introductions Series – a showcase for emerging poets working towards a first collection and with a track record of publication in journals and magazines – is open for submissions until 31 Jan.

Introductions mentors new writing talent in Ireland, providing the opportunity to workshop poetry with an established, published poet and perform work to a live audience at a showcase, hosted by Poetry Ireland; the showcase is recorded and published on the Poetry Ireland web-site.

As an alumni of last year’s series, 2014 was pretty busy for me on the writing front, and I thought it would be fun to catch up with my fellow emerging writers to see what they’ve been up to.

To encourage those of you who might be thinking of applying this year, I asked them to share what it was like to take part in Poetry Ireland Introductions, how they benefited and where they are now with their writing.

Stephen Heffernan / Stiofán Ó hIfearnáin

[Note: Stephen is an Irish language poet]

“There can be little doubt that taking part in the Poetry Ireland Introductions series was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life so far. To be perfectly honest, I submitted my portfolio of work as a means of testing the waters rather than having any great ambition fulfilled and the positive response was a surprise to say the least! As someone who never did much in the line of creative writing classes or the like, and who had only ever shown my work to a small circle of friends, before submitting poems, it was an exciting experience to exchange criticism and praise with the other selected poets on the work they brought to the workshop.

Since taking part in the programme, myself and Breda Wall Ryan have dabbled a bit in the translation of one of my poem sequences, with a view to publishing both versions in the Poetry Ireland Review but, apart from that, I’ve been going through something of a dry patch. [Stephen is currently a visiting student at the University of Potsdam, Germany, as part of his degree studies in History & German Literature – A.] I admit to being somewhat envious to see many of my fellow poets announce the publication of their first collection, as I’m still considerably distant from the particular milestone, but suppose I have youth on my side, if nothing else.”

To his own great surprise some people have decided that Stiofán Ó hIfearnáin should be called a poet: his words have graced the pages of Comhar, The Stinging Fly and Cabhsair/Causeway and in 2014, he was selected for the Poetry Ireland Introductions series. Although he is presently in exile in the former East Germany, he is usually to be found somewhere in the shadows of the Knockmealdowns.

Poetry Ireland Introductions 2014 Redux: Erin Fornoff

Erin Fornoff - Spoken Word Poet. Photo by Arek Wnuk

The Poetry Ireland Introductions Series – a showcase for emerging poets working towards a first collection and with a track record of publication in journals and magazines – is open for submissions until 31 Jan.

Introductions mentors new writing talent in Ireland, providing the opportunity to workshop poetry with an established, published poet and perform work to a live audience at a showcase, hosted by Poetry Ireland; the showcase is recorded and published on the Poetry Ireland web-site.

As an alumni of last year’s series, 2014 was pretty busy for me on the writing front, and I thought it would be fun to catch up with my fellow emerging writers to see what they’ve been up to.

To encourage those of you who might be thinking of applying this year, I asked them to share what it was like to take part in Poetry Ireland Introductions, how they benefited and where they are now with their writing.

Erin Fornoff

Poetry Ireland Introductions was a big confidence booster for me. Focusing so much on spoken word, I sometimes get a bit insecure about “traditional” poetry and it really helped me feel as though I fit in there a bit more. It’s entry into a community. It’s amazing what a community feel it creates, even with such a short time together. The workshop and support, and promotion thereafter, was a great thing. There is a camraderie among the writers which is quite lovely–like a football team of poets there to root for one another. And Poetry Ireland has been immensely supportive.

This year writing was sacrificed on the altar of organising and performing. I helped found (together with a great poetic committee) Lingo, Ireland’s first ever spoken word festival, which sold out, featured over 100 performers including Paula Meehan, Mary Coughlan, and Polarbear, and received 45 media hits including features in the Irish Times, Irish Independent, Metro Herald, Journal.ie, RTE Arena, Newstalk, and RTE The Works. I finished an M.Phil in Creative Writing from Trinity College, focusing on a novel, and received Distinction. Other than that, I had a poem published in The Stinging Fly and a couple other places and performed at Edinburgh Fringe, Electric Picnic, Indiependence, Mountains to Sea, Culture Night, Bram Stoker Festival, NYF Dublin, and other events. In 2015, I’ll be reading at O’Bheal in Cork, Over the Edge in Galway, and opening for Hollie McNish‘s Irish tour in three cities in May. Then I’m taking a few months off to write my book!”

Our Nation’s Sons from Joe Caslin on Vimeo.

Erin recently collaborated with artist, Joe Caslin on the poetry film ‘Our Nation’s Son’.
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A native of the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina, Erin Fornoff has performed poetry at Glastonbury, Electric Picnic and many other festivals and events. Called ‘deliciously exotic’ (Irish Independent), and ‘one of the top performance poets in Ireland’ (Electric Picnic), in 2013, she was featured poet at Farmleigh House’s ‘New Voices’, alongside Hollie McNish and Hozier. Her work is published in the Stinging Fly, Cyphers, New Planet Cabaret and Burning Bush II, among others. She won First Prize for Poetry in The Cellar Door, Third Prize in the Strokestown International Poetry Award, and won the 2013 StAnza Digital Slam. She is Artistic Director for Lingo, Ireland’s first spoken word festival. Follow Erin on Twitter @jarsofshine.
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Photo by Arek Wnuk.