#WeMadeHistory

The people of Ireland have voted YES for marriage equality — regardless of sexuality — in a public referendum, with one of the largest turnouts in voting history; we are the first country in the world to make this choice by popular vote.

I’ve never been prouder to be Irish.

The escalating momentum of #hometovote, over the past couple of days, with Irish men and women abroad pouring back into the country by train, boat and plane, to ensure their voices were heard, has been extraordinarily moving.

The public outpourings, the crowds at Dublin Castle this afternoon — both in the courtyard and bringing the streets to a standstill outside — as the results were announced, and the inevitable celebrations carrying on well into the night, signal something else: national pride and a return to joy. Continue reading

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Double Shot @ Books Upstairs: New Poetry Event in Dublin

This week sees the launch of Double Shot – a series of poetry readings at the new Books Upstairs premises on D’Olier Street, which pairs an emerging poet with a more established peer, to provide reading opportunities for poets who don’t often get to read in Dublin. The first of the series takes place this Wednesday, 25 February from 7pm and features Kate Quigley, Graham Allen and Jessica Traynor, who is also the event organiser.
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Poet, writer and dramaturg, Jessica is on a bit of a roll at the moment with a new position as Literary Manager at The Abbey Theatre and her debut collection, Liffey Swim, nominated for the Shine / Strong Award 2015.
I had a quick chat with Jessica to find out more about Double Shot and her latest role at the Abbey.

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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!