I had an hour to spare on Saturday, unexpectedly, and I used it to wander out the North Bull Wall past Dollymount Strand and into the bay. The view from there is urban, across the port to the longer South Wall, and then beyond it to the south city and the Dublin Mountains, but it’s lovely all the same. I’ve biked and walked and climbed over every inch of that city and those hills in my childhood, and they are as much a part of me as my DNA.
It was a typical “Dublin Day” on Saturday – overcast but not wet, a fresh breeze from the southwest scudding the multitude of low-hanging clouds across the landscape, just scraping the hilltops. It was cool without being cold, and the day held enough promise of rain to deter the noisy crowds who normally throng the beach without actually releasing any rain.
The sea, that sky, those hills . . I can remember a thousand Dublin days just like it while growing up.
I found a little rock to sit on and just drank all this in for a long time, relishing a moment of passive enjoyment of place which I indulge in far to rarely these days. It was good for recharging the soul.
I drive myself too fast to do too many things these days, and forget sometimes to stop and enjoy the smell or the roses, the kiss of the rain on my cheek. A fulltime and senior job in the IT world with much pressure, a book to be written, another half done, short stories and poems bubbling up as well, two radio shows to be planned and recorded each week, and several other projects on the boil. I’m never bored, and I love it, but all the same . . I musn’t forget to feed my soul as well as my career(s).
All those years ago, as a schoolboy, I remember enjoying the poetry of Robert Frost. Two poems in particular stuck in my mind through adulthood.
“The Road Not Taken” was my favourite, and was both a guide to my choices and a description of my life for many years, and I hope, still now.
“But I, I took the road less travelled by
And that has made all the difference”
But it is another poem of Frosts that comes into my mind much more frequently these days: “Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening“
As a boy I loved it for its description of dark snowy woods, ripe for exploration, and wondered why the adult, who so obviously found them allureing, yet chose not to tarry.
But now, in a busy life, I find myself thinking of that last verse much more often, in the full understanding of the adult’s responsibilities that force him to cut short his simple pleasure and drive on.
As I sit there looking across the bay at those could-capped hills and the domains of my childhood, I resolve to try to take more “time out” for myself and try to make just a bit of space in a busy world for watching snowy woods.
But not now. There is a man I have to meet at 1pm in East Wall, and then its off to Loughlinstown where I have several hours work awaiting me.
I get up to walk back to the car, happy that I have just gifted myself a lovely September moment of pleasure.
I’d like to stay longer, but I have promises to keep.
And miles to go before I sleep
And miles to go before I sleep.
Just a reminder that I’ll be reading tonight at the monthly Last Wednesday writers open mic in Dublin, brought to you by Seven Towers at the Twisted Pepper in Abbey Street.
As well as new material from my second-book-in-progress, I will also read something I wrote 28 years ago, long before my radio days.
The Last Wednesday readings feature a wide variety of poetry, prose and sometimes comedy from new and established Irish writers, it’s free in, and a great evenings entertainment.
Door open 7pm.
Hello all, and a very Happy Christmas to my friends around the world.
This Christmas weekend you can hear me on both Radio Seagull and Radio Caroline, and I will also be a guest on a special show on Liffey Sound in west Dublin.
Christmas Day on Radio Seagull 0700-0900 CET / 0600-0800 GMT, repeated 1900-2100 CET / 1800-2000 GMT
Available on 1602Khz AM in northern Netherlands and east coast of UK, worldwide at www.radioseagull.com
Boxing Day / Stephens Day / Dec 26th on Liffey Sound in West Dublin, you can hear me read my short story “Schrodinger’s Bus” as part of Niamh Bagnell’s Scrapbook Christmas Special, between 4 and 6pm. Niamh’s show will feature a wide range of writers and poets who have dropped in on her during 2010, and is guarenteed to be a good listen! 96.4FM in West Dublin, or listen worldwide via http://liffeysoundfm.ie/
Mon 27th on Radio Caroline 1400-1600, via Sky Digital Ch. 0199 and around the world at www.radiocaroline.co.uk and via the iPhone app.
Thanks for listening / reading this year, and I hope your Christmas is a lovely one.
6pm, Sunday 24th August 2010, Seven Towers reading and open-mic. All welcome.
Tomorrow I will be reading at this London even alongside fellow Irish writer and poet Eamon Lynsky, poet Graham Buchan and performance poet Yetibetti.
I will be reading a new lighthearted short story (fiction) and possibly some extracts from Shiprocked – Life On The waves with Radio Caroline.
The Hammersmith Ram is really easy to access by public transport – it is 4 minutes walk from Hammersmith Tube station (on the Piccadilly, District and Hammersmith & City lines) and Hammersmith Bus Station (main routes include the 9 and 10 from central London, and west London routes including the H91 and 266)
The other readers:
Graham Buchan graduated as a Chemical Engineer. He then had a career as an editor, writer, producer and director in the UK and US film industries. Now he writes poetry, short stories and reviews, and he facilitates a Creative Writing group for people with mental health issues. The ‘the tall-lighthouse’ has published his collections ‘Airport Reading’, ‘There is Violence in these Vapours’ and ‘In Bed with Shostakovich’
Yetibetti is a 29 year old aspiring performance poet, originally from the East Midlands but has been living in the London area for about 8 years, originally coming down for university. It was only recently she tapped into the London scene through nights such as Poetry Unplugged at the Poetry Cafe and found both writing adn performing addictive. She has a full time demanding office job and so writes in the margins. She believes in ‘person first – poetry second’ and although she appreciates many contemporary and classical poets she really admires anyone who can make her think, smile and hold her attention, such as Jarvis Cocker and the Artic Monkeys.
Éamonn 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 on his second And Suddenly the Sun Again to be published in May 2010. Eamonn’s work is also featured in Census, The First Seven Towers Anthology and Census, The second Seven Towers Anthology. . Eamonn has also translated works of Italian poets Montale and Valeri and written in Italian – he holds a Diploma in Italian Lauguage and Culture from the Italian Institute, Dublin. His second collection, And Suddenly the Sun Again has just been published by Seven Towers.
Tonight (Wednesday 28th Jan 2009) I’ll be at the regular Last Wednesday writers open mic hosted by Seven Towers, along with a huge selection of poets and prose writers. I’ll be reading a newly written short story “Of Little Consequence”.
Last Wednesday takes place every last Wednesday at 7.30pm, in Cassidy’s of Westmorland Street – more details at www.seventowers.ie
Last Wednesday Series Reading and Open Mic
January 28, 2009 (7:30 pm – 9:30 pm)
(Open Mic Night) First Seven Towers event of 2009. 7.30 in Cassidy’s of Westmoreland St. Our regular reading and open mic with Steve Conway, Ross Hattaway, Eamon Lynskey, Donal Moloney, Noel O Briain, Oran Ryan among others!
On Saturday 31st Jan I’ll be taking part in a special day of fundraising for the RNLI, with a reading at the Pavillion in Dun Laoghaire at 3pm, featuring the grounding/rescue story from my forthcoming book Shiprocked.
Also reading will be the poet Ross Hathaway.
It’s a strange world – I wait for years to get published, and then end up being published twice within a few months.
While waiting for my book Shiprocked! – which is due around Easter – I’ve in the meantime found myself with a short story published in an anthology of new Irish writing.
“Old Haunt” is a piece I wrote specially for a Halloween open-mic night, and tells the real-life story of my (maybe) encounter with the fabled Ross Revenge ghost on Radio Caroline. This is a story which will not be included in Shiprocked when it comes out.
The new Seven Towers anthology – Census – is well worth a read anyway, because apart from my three pages, it has dozens of great stories, poems and pieces by some really talanted Irish and international writers – see press release below for details. And the publication supports AWARE, so it is for a good cause too.
Phantom FM DJ among contributors to Census, The First Seven Towers Anthology
Published 14th December 2008.
Phantom FM DJ Steve Conway is among the contributors in a just
published anthology Census, The First Seven Towers Anthology (Seven
Towers 2008). Steve has contributed a story about his time on the
Ross Revenge radio ship, working for Radio Caroline. Steve’s memoir
about life with Radio Caroline – Shiprocked! will be published by
Liberties Press in March 2009.
(The story in Census is specially for Census “Old Haunt” and is not in
Census is available in good bookshops, from www.seventowers.ie, on
www.readireland.ie and at Seven Towers reading events, and for the
trade from Columba Mercer Distributors (www.Columba.ie) It retails at
€15 and €1 from every copy sold will be donated to the charity AWARE.
Other contributors to Census are
Kildare poet Liam Aungier, Meath musician Horslips member),
broadcaster, journalist and poet Eamon Carr, Cork based poet and
screenwriter Paul Casey, Cavan poet and educator Tom Conaty, Dublin
poet, broadcaster and teacher Catherine Ann Cullen, Dublin writer,
journalist, broadcaster and musician Conor Farrell, Wicklow writer
Shane Harrison, New Zealand born, Dublin based poet
Ross Hattaway, Galway poet and journalist Kevin Higgins, New York poet
and novelist R Nemo Hill, Kildare writer Eileen Keane, Kerry actor and
poet Noel King, Oklahoma born, New York based poet Quincy R Lehr,
Dublin born, Kerry based writer Colm Lundberg, Dublin poet Éamonn
Lynskey, Waterford born, Dublin based writer Donal Moloney, Dublin
artist, sculptor and poet Joe Moran, Dublin poet Anne Morgan, Tralee
born, Wexford based actor, director, producer, playwright and poet
Noel Ó Briain, Kerry writer Tommy Frank O’Connor, Cork based artist
and poet Mel O’Dea, Limerick poet Eddie O’Dwyer, Dublin based poet and
playwright Fintan O’Higgins, Dublin based poet Maeve O’Sullivan,
Dublin based poet Jessica Peart, New York poet Ray Pospisil, Dublin
based, San Francisco poet Raven, Dublin writer Oran Ryan, Kerry based
writer John W Sexton, Kerry poet Eileen Sheehan, Armagh born, Dundalk
based poet and essayist Barbara Smith, Cork poet Patricia Walsh and
North Carolina poet Doog Wood.
AWARE is a national voluntary organisation providing support through
depression. The organisation undertakes to create a society where
people with depression are understood and supported, are free from
stigma, and have access to a broad range of appropriate therapies to
enable them to reach their full potential.
Prejudice and identity – A Literary dialogue
at 1.15 on Wednesday 15th October
Chapters of Parnell St, Dublin 1
Oran Ryan and Doog Wood
Oran Ryan is a novelist, poet and playwright from Dublin. His first two novels, The Death of Finn and Ten Short Novels by Arthur Kruger were published by Seven Towers in 2006. In 2008 Oran was awarded an Arts Council Bursary for his current work, Bradbury. Oran was called “a new and powerful voice in Irish Literature” by Seamus Cashman.
Doog Wood is a Dublin based poet from North Carolina, with a unique and original voice. His work has been published in journals and anthologies all over the world. His first full collection will be published by The Seven Towers Agency in 2009.
Friday 24th October ,
Chapters and Verse Lunchtime Reading
Chapters Bookstore, Parnell St, Dublin 1
Ross Hattaway, Ann Marie Glasheen, Greagoir O’Duill
Anne Marie Glasheen is a London based poet, photographic artist and translator. She was Poet/Photographer in residence at Peckham Library, May-June 2005, as part of Southwark’s WriteStuff! Literature Festival and in 2005-2006 was Project Programmer of Words Unbound, International Writers Exchange, Canterbury City Council . She won the 2007 Bradshaw manuscript prize and her first collection will be launched in October 2008.
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. Ross toured Lithuania earlier this year, as part of the Poetry Spring Festival 2008 and his work was translated into Lithuanian.
Greagoir Ó Duill was born in Dublin but grew up outside Belfast. He was educated in Queen’s University, Belfast and UCD and took a PhD in English in Maynooth. He recently moved to Waterford to set up postgraduate creative writing in Waterfor Institute of Technology.
His own work has included eight collections of poetry, two anthologies, a critical biography and a collection of short stories, and he has taken prizes in poetry, short fiction and criticism. His work is widely anthologised and has been translated into the major European languages – most recently with a full-length collection of versions in English by Bernie Kenny called Gone to Earth. He has read from Cork to Stornoway to Palermo to New York.
Greagoir is an Irish language adviser and Irish language reviewer of Poetry Ireland Review. He has recently started to write in English and has been widely published in journals in Ireland, Britain and the United States. New Room Windows is Gréagóir’s first all english poetry publication
LAST WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC – Wed 29th October 2008
Cassidy’s Westmorland street, 7pm
Journalist, broadcaster, critic, commentator, musician and poet Eamon Carr will be reading from his latest work The Origami Crow,Journey into Japan, World Cup Summer 2002 at the Seven Towers Event – The Last Wednesday Series Reading and open mic on the 29th October 2008 at Cassidys of Westmoreland St, Dublin 2. The event commences at 7.30pm.
As a sports columnist for a Dublin daily, journalist Eamon Carr watched the unfolding drama of the 2002 World Cup finals firsthand in Japan. Yet against the intense public spectacle of media attention following the controversial departure of Ireland captain Roy Keane, Carr followed his own private journey – a lifelong quest to visit the shrines and places of the famed poet Matsuo Basho, recognized master of haiku.
In a volume of spare, elegant prose and his own haiku chronicling impressions and revelations of that journey, Carr explores the deep interrelationships found within the seeming contrasts of ancient and modern, nation and individual, crowd and solitude, loss and victory. Histories, memories and legends, as well as the wry personal observations of the weary working traveller, merge to create this profoundly moving narrative on the universal nature of grace and redemption.
The Origami Crow: Journey into Japan, World Cup Summer 2002 is Eamon Carr’s first collection of poetry and the profundity and depth of the work is a just reward for the long wait. The book is a collection of prose poems and Haiku following Eamon’s life experience, his journey into Japan that fateful Summer to follow the footsteps of Basho and is set against the backdrop of the Irish World Cup experience in Japan in Summer 2002. This is an exciting book because of the beauty of the work itself, and its significance as another important milestone in the work of a great artist and a man who truly has the soul of a poet.
Eamon Carr has been a significant figure in the Irish artistic and cultural scene for many years. In the late 1960s he co-founded Tara Telephone, the music and poetry group of the Dublin beat scene. Tara Telephone published everyone from Marc Bolan to Allan Ginsberg, Brian Patten, Seamus Heaney, Pearse Hutchinson, Eilean Ni Chuilleanain, Brendan Kennelly, Adrian Mitchell, Pete Brown in their magazines and broadsheets. The group also ran recitals. Among those who read with Tara Telephone, in addition to Eamon and Peter Fallon were Phil Lynott and Roger McGough. With Jim Fitzpatrick, the group also produced specially designed posters with artwork and poems combined. One of these posters with Eamon’s poem ‘A Tale of Love’ was exhibited in the Tate Gallery, Liverpool, Summer of Love: Art of the Psychedelic Era Exhibition in 2005 which also toured in Germany and Austria.
Following on from Tara Telephone, in the 1970’s Eamon co-founded Horslips, the hugely influential band which is credited with creating the musical genre known as Celtic Rock, and in which he is also a drummer, conceptualist and lyricist. Eamon has also promoted musicians and artists, and works as a journalist, writer and commentator on culture, politics, arts, music and sport as well as an award winning broadcaster. He was born in Co. Meath and lives in Dublin.
Other readers at the event are
Featured Readers: Phantom FM DJ Steve Conway, Waterford writer Donal Moloney, New Zealand born poet Ross Hattaway, Kerry born Wexford based producer, director, actor, playwritght and poet Noel Ó Briain, Dublin novelist, poet, playwright and screenwriter Oran Ryan, North Carolina poet Doog Wood, Dublin poet Eamonn Lynskey and poet Patrick Chapman
Patrick Chapman was born in 1968. His poetry collections are Jazztown (Raven Arts Press, Dublin, 1991), The New Pornography (Salmon Poetry, Co. Clare, 1996), Breaking Hearts and Traffic Lights (Salmon Poetry, Co. Clare, 2007) and A Shopping Mall on Mars (BlazeVOX Books, New York, 2008). He has also written a collection of stories, The Wow Signal (Bluechrome, 2007); an audio drama, Doctor Who: Fear of the Daleks; and an award-winning film, Burning the Bed (2003), which starred Gina McKee and Aidan Gillen. He won first prize for a story in the 2003 Cinescape Genre Literary Awards. With Philip Casey, he co-founded the Irish Literary Revival website. He lives in Dublin.
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.
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
Eamonn 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 completed:
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.
And of course, myself . . .