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’.
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.

Photo by Arek Wnuk.


Poetry Event: Wicked Women’s Week

A new music and spoken word event takes place this Wednesday, 26th February at The International Bar in Dublin. The Wicked Women’s Week, presented by Dublin Underground Beat, aims to celebrate women in music and poetry with both new and familiar voices, and is open to all.

There are 30 performance slots, 5 mins each, up for grabs – you can read, sing, play an instrument – sign up from 7pm, with kick-off at 8pm.

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