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!


National Poetry Day – 2 Oct 2014

National Poetry Day takes place on the first Thursday of October and is part of an initiative in the UK and Ireland to encourage participation in and enjoyment of the poetic arts. This year there are events happening all around Ireland on 2 Oct, to appeal to all poetry tastes.

I’ll be reading, along with my fellow ‘Words on the Wind’ scribes at the Irish Writers’ Centre’s Open Mic night for members, friends and writing groups who frequent the Centre. It’s a great opportunity to get a taste for the contemporary poetry scene in Dublin and also features guest readings by established poets Deirdre Cartmill, Alan Jude Moore, Maria McManus, Gerard Smyth, Jessica Traynor and Michael McLoughlin. From 7 – 9.30pm, with 5 minute slots for each poet, it’s free admission and open to all.

National Poetry Day Events throughout Ireland:


Colin Dardis & Leslie Nichol: Exhibition: The Wide Justice at Line Hall Library, Belfast from 9.30 – 5.30pm.


Cork University Hospital, Wilton – poetry readings by 12 local poets from 12 – 2pm.


Jane Clarke & Shirley McClure are reading at The Courthouse Arts Centre in Tinahely from 1 – 2 pm, with an Open Mic from 2 – 3pm.


Moyra Donaldson, Pamela Greene & Myra Vennard are reading at Shorebird Beach Coffee Hut, Ballycastle from 7.30pm.


Matthew Sweeney, Mary Noonan, Eileen Sheehan & Doireann Ní Ghríofa are reading at Lough Derg Yacht Club from 8pm, as part of the Dromineer Literary Festival.

In the UK:

National Poetry Day

Other places to get your poetic groove on over the next few days:

Dromineer Literary Festival – Thurs 2 – Sun 5 Oct.

Purely Poetry: All Ireland Poetry Slam (Belfast Heat) – Fri 3 Oct

And one for the diary:

Lingo | A Spoken Word Festival – Fri 17 – Sun 19 Oct.

If you get a chance, do pop along to at least one of these events – there is a lot of amazing talent in this country, just waiting to be discovered and enjoyed.

If you are the organiser of a poetry event happening in Ireland over the next few days, feel free to leave a comment below and a link to your event.

And if you’re on Twitter, use the #thinkofapoem hashtag to post a line from a poem you remember and check out other poetry fans’ favourite poems.

Poetry Ireland Introductions Series Highlights

Hard to believe but it’s now a month since I read at the Dublin Writers’ Festival, as part of the Poetry Ireland Introductions series.

I’ve always understood, in the act of writing, the poet must leave space for the reader; it is in the meeting of words and mind that a work stands or falls. The same is true of performing poetry. Though fleeting and ephemeral, the success of a poetry reading lies somewhere in the balance of poem, poet and audience; each play their part.

Continue reading

Poetry Ireland Introductions Series: 19 & 21 May 2014


I’d like to say a huge thank you to Ayoma Bowe and everyone at Poetry Ireland, The Irish Writers’ Centre and Dublin Writers’ Festival for all their hard work in making this year’s Introductions Series readings such a success. Both Monday and Wednesday’s readings had a great atmosphere and an even better audience – the energy in the room on both nights was very special and a joy to partake in.

Thanks also go out to poets Alan Jude Moore and Theo Dorgan, who put us through our paces at the Introductions Masterclass – helping us to workshop our poems and advising on the reading and presentation of our work.

But most of all, a hearty salute to my fellow Introductions poets – Erin Fornoff, Larry Stapleton, Paul McMahon, Stephen Heffernan, Breda Wall Ryan, Kevin Conroy, Colm Scully & Rachel Coventry, for your support, your encouragement and your wonderful poems.

PS. Kevin – I was so nervous before my turn to read, I didn’t get a photo of you strutting your stuff. D’oh! If you have one from the night, please send it to me and I’ll add it to the rogue’s gallery! a.