Great to see some interest being expressed in my recently finished book Somewhere Down The Crazy River - Life On The Waves With Radio Caroline even as my agent Seven Towers work towards finding a suitable publisher.
A couple of radio interviews are lined up over the next few weeks – details here once timings confirm – and the project also gets a mention in the latest edition of Hotpress magazine as a footnote to an item on the launch of Eamon Carr‘s new book The Origami Crow, Journey Into Japan, World Cup Summer 2002. Eamon is another Seven Towers author, broadcaster and former member of Horslips.
The mention of my book in Hotpress is probably thanks to it’s Deputy Editor Stuart Clarke, who has more than a passing interest in things Caroline related – when I arrived on the ship for the first time in February 1987 to take up the position of newsreader, it was to take over the role recently vacated by Stuart himself.
Lots more activity around the book, and extra readings around the country over the next few months, and hopefully, there will be more to tell on the publication front soon.
It’s that time again – the monthly “Last Wednesday” open-mic evening for Irish writers, is on tomorrow, Wednesday 24th September 2008, at Cassidy’s of Westmorland Street in Dublin City Centre.
The event is hosted by the Seven Towers Agency and includes poetry, fiction and nonfiction writing.
Apart from myself, readers will include Doog Wood, Oran Ryan, Eamonn Lynskey, Noel Ó Briain, Donal Moloney and Ross Hattaway.
Ross Hattaway was born in Wellington New Zealand, but has lived in Ireland since 1990. He has had many varied jobs and currently works as a civil servant. His first collection of poetry, The Gentle Art of Rotting was published by Seven Towers in 2006. This will be Ross’ first reading in Dublin, after touring Lithuania as part of the Poetry Spring Festival 2008 and seeing his work translated into Lithuanian.
Eamon Lynskey has had poems published in many magazines. He was nominated for the Sunday Tribune/Hennessy Literary Award for New Irish Poetry in 2006 and one of his poems will feature on the 2009 OXFAM calendar. His first collection Dispatches and Recollections was published in 1998 and he is currently working onhis second. As well as writing in English, Eamonn has also translated works of Italian poets Montale and Valeri and written in Italian – he holds, (among other qualifications!) a Diploma in Italian Lauguage and Culture from the Italian Institute, Dublin.
Dónal Moloney was born in 1976 and comes from Waterford. He has been writing seriously for ten years, during which time he has written a novel, several novellas and many short stories and poems. He is currently completing a collection of three novellas. He works as a freelance translator and lives in Dublin. He is a regular featured reader at both Chapters and Verse Reading Series and The Last Wednesday Reading and Open Mic Series. Donal is represented by The Seven Towers Agency.
Noel Ó Briain was born in Kerry, grew up in Dublin and now lives in Camolin, Wexford. He is a playwright and poet and a former head of drama at RTE. He has worked for many years in theatre, radio and television as an actor, producer/director, designer and script editor.
He played the part of Cranly in the premier of Hugh Leonard’s Stephen D (an adaptation of Joyce’s Portrait of The Artist as a Young Man) at the Gate Theatre. He also played the part of the IRA officer in the premier of Brendan Behan’s An Giall in the Damer Hall in Dublin and designed the set for this production. The play was later translated into English as The Hostage and staged at The Royal Theatre Stratford by Joan Littlewood.
He has produced and directed many plays in the Damer Hall under the auspices of Gael Linn. Among others these included Gunna Cam agus Slabhra Óir by Seán Ó Tuama and Aggiornamento by Chriostóir Ó Floinn. He also designed the sets for these and many other production. He has directed Ulick O’Connor’s Noh Plays at The Project. As a Radio Producer his drama productions have been selected as RTE’s entries for the
Prix Italia. He has won a National Jacob’s Award for his production and adaptation of Seán Ó Tuama’s Judas Iscariot agus a Bhean.
He has worked as Producer, Director, Series Producer and Script Editor in numerous television one-offs, series and serial drama, often combining several of these skills in one production. These have included The Riordans, Bracken (which launched the career of Gabriel Byrne) Glenroe and Ros na Rún among many others. He also produced and directed the controversial series The Spike until it was withdrawn by RTE itself after complaints from the League of Decency and State interference. He has participated in a documentary in the Scannal series on RTE which deals with well known Irish scandals – including The Spike! (to be transmitted in Autumn 2008). He has won the Celtic Film Festival Drama Award for his production of Tom Murphy’s screenplay, Brigit. He has devised and conducted numerous screenwriting courses. Among these was the initial course for the development of new writers for the series Ros na Rún on TG4. He has conducted several screen acting courses both independently and for the Gaiety School of Acting.
His poetry and short stories have been published in a number of literary magazines including The Kilkenny Magazine and Poetry Ireland. They have also been broadcast on radio in the short story slot and on Sunday Miscellany. His poetry collection Scattering Day 21 Sonnets and Other Poems was published by Seven Towers in 2007.
Noel has two plays currently available:
The Land of She: An adapted for theatre translation of Brian Merriman’s Cuirt on Mhean Oiche, this hillarious play is written for five parts.
He has also completed a short verse play inspired by Synge’s Deirdre of The Sorrows, entitled Áinle and Árdán Are Already Dead.
Oran Ryan is a novelist, poet and playwright from Dublin. He has had poems, short stories and literary critical articles published in various magazines. His first two novels, The Death of Finn and Ten Short Novels by Arthur Kruger were published by Seven Towers in 2006. He is currently working on his fifth novel and had three plays and two screenplays in pre-production. Oran won a 2008 Arts Council Bursary Award.
Doog Wood is a Dublin based poet from North Carolina. His poetry has been widely published in journals and anthologies. His first full collection will be published by The Seven Towers Agency in 2009.
My own reading will consist of part of the final chapter of Somewhere Down The Crazy River, which concludes the book by relating the shipwreck of the Radio Caroline ship Ross Revenge on the Goodwin Sands in November 1991.
All are welcome to attend, it’s always a great evening.
Writing yesterday about the differences between how election ads and songs are regulated (or not) in the USA compared to Ireland, I mentioned the musician Gerry Stanek, who has brought out a great and very funny track “I’m In Love With A Girl Named Sarah Palin” done in country balled style.
At the time of writing, I only really listened to the track itself, but have since gone back to Gerry’s myspace page to sample his other material, which is well worth a listen.
It’s hard to classify him exactly, as he lies somewhere between country and indie rock, and each song is quite different in style from the last.
“Gravity” is nice, “It Ain’t For Me” is quite catchy, but my personal favourite is “They Know My Name” which mixes resigned and downbeat lyrics with 70s sounding backing to produce a song which is suitably plaintive without being over emotive.
A lucky musical discovery for me when I was surfing for a news fix!
Sarah Palin‘s arrival in the US (Vice) Presidential campaign has stirred up fierce feelings on both sides of the political divide, and she has almost eclipsed her running-mate in terms of the amount of press coverage, blog posts etc.
Now one Gerry Stanek, a folk rock musician from Pennsylvania, has come out with a humorous country balled “I’m In Love With A Girl Called Sarah Palin“, which treads the line between comedy and admiration so well that I can’t work out if it is serious, satire, or just a very clever move by the singer.
The latter is certainly true in any case – it will doubtless get airplay and lots of hits to his myspace page where the song can be heard – http://www.myspace.com/gerrystanek
Interesting to wonder what would happen in this country (Ireland) if a similar song were released during an election campaign – radio stations would almost certainly be prohibited from playing it, or perhaps could only do so if they gave equal airplay to songs from other candidates!
Election-time is a bonanza for broadcasters in the US with massive advertising spending by the different campaigns. Political advertising is not allowed in our system, much to the regret of the ad sales agencies I’m sure.
In light of the recent comments from the radio industry about the Lisbon Referendum, maybe it is time for the whole area to be looked at again. Fairly administered, is there any reason why radio should not benefit from the big advertising spend currently going to newspapers (and poster printers!) up and down the land?
As for Gerry Stanek – way to pimp your career.
You go guy!
This Sunday evening (21st September 2008) on Random Access the Phantom 105.2 all-request show I’ll be giving away tickets to see the Canadian electro duo Crystal Castles at a special Green Spheres gig in Galway with flights from Dublin and hotel accomodation too!
Flights are Aer Arann from Dublin with one nights stay at Jurys Hotel Galway and tickets for two to the gig.
Just tune in to Random Access on Phantom 105.2 for your chance to win – we can be heard in the Greater Dublin area on 105.2FM, and around the country on UPC cable channel 935, as well as worldwide via phantom.ie
You must be over-18 to enter – see phantom.ie for more details.
I never knew him as anything other than “Fran from Balbriggan”, and I only ever met him once, but he was a constant presence over the last 8 years that I’ve been on Phantom.
Fran was a regular texter to the breakfast show in 2000-2002, and was one of the first to welcome me back when we launched as a licenced station in 2006. It was always good to see his familiar name popping up on the text list every few shows – one of those texters who has been around for so long that they seem more like a friend.
Fran passed away over the weekend at the very young age of 24.
I know from mutual friends how much he is missed in Balbriggan, and he’s missed at Phantom towers too.
Rest in Peace Fran.
Well done to the folks at the Nova consortium who have won the licence to provide a new classic rock service for Dublin.
Although my own employer Phantom 105.2 lost out in this particular contest, the fact is that Dublin will finally get a classic rock station, which is great news for the listener. And, given the experience of the the people behind Nova at running successful temporary licences, I’m sure that they will do a great job of filling this much needed slot on the dial.
Launching a radio station at any time is a nerve-wracking business, even more so in the middle of an economic downturn, and I wish all the lads and lasses at Nova the very best of luck as they embark on this exciting adventure.
And guys – don’t forget the REO Styx Forigner!
I have spent the last 10 days in intensive editing mode, working with Sarah at Seven Towers Agency to get the book completely ready for submission to potential publishers. (to recap – this is non-fiction, my account of my experiences working for the offshore pirate Radio Caroline at the end of the 1980s).
I’ve gone over every inch of the 170,000 or so words, several times, until it’s got to the stage where I hardly know if I am living in 2008 or 1987. So much have I been reliving the Caroline days while editing and re-editing every chapter, page and incident, that I very nearly ID’ed Phantom as Phantom 558 last Sunday!!
But it’s done now, the manuscript is as ready as it will ever be for scrutiny by would-be publishers, and I’m in the lap of the gods (or the hands of my agent) for the next few months as she tests the waters to see what interest there is in it.
Back to the real world so.