After a short break from the live scene due to a hectic schedule last year, I am delighted to be returning to public readings as part of a special themed event at The Workmans Club, Wellington Quay, in Dublin City Centre.
Hosted by Seven Towers, this is a short evening event kicking off at 6.30pm, with writers and poets including Orla Martin, Phil Lynch, Eamonn Lynsky and myself exploring the theme of “Television“.
Full details at www.seventowers.ie
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.
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.
Although for the most part fully occupied on my new book project at the moment, I will still be heard on Phantom 105.2 from time to time.
This weekend I am filling two slots – 8am to 11am on Saturday 1st August, and 1-5pm on the (Irish) Bank Holiday Monday 3rd August. You can listen locally in the Dublin region on 105.2fm, nationally via UPC cable ch.935, and worldwide at www.phantom.ie
On Sunday 2nd August I will be taking time out to MC a themed open-mic event for Seven Towers – “Both Sides Of The Pond” – featuring American, Canadian and Irish poets. It’s at 2pm, Cassidys of Westmoreland Street, free admission, all welcome.
Readers include Californian poet Lynne Knight, Dublin writer Oran Ryan, New Zealand born Dublin writer, Ross Hattaway, Canadian writer and model Roslyn Fuller, Dublin poet Eamonn Lynskey, Dublin poet Catherine Ann Cullen. Other names will be added to the list as they are confirmed
Seven Towers, the Dublin-based publisher and literary agency have a host of events taking place throughout February 2009, in addition to their regular “Last Wednesday” open mic night.
Seven Towers represent me for my forthcoming book “Shiprocked – Life On The Waves With Radio Caroline” which will be published by Liberties Press on March 31st, and I’ll be reading passages from the book at a number of these events.
Highlights for the month:
Wednesday 11th February 9-10 am – Hear Eamon Carr – acclaimed poet, musician and broadcaster and author of The Origami Crow, Journey into Japan, Word Cup Summer 2002 chatting with Dave Fanning on The Tubridy show – about Beat poets, and other interesting happenings – including the publication of Eamon’s first book, the aforementioned The Origami Crow.
First themed reading of 09 Chapters of Parnell Street, Dublin 12 Feb 6.30pm – Valentine’s reading – ‘My love is like . . . ‘ with Barbara Smith, Steve Conway, Oran Ryan, Noel Ó Briain, Ross Hattaway, Anne Moran, Catherine Ann Cullen.
And for anyone spending a Valentine’s weekend in Kerry, there will be a Census launch and Valentine’s reading on the theme of Love and Chocolate in Rueben’s Cafe on Ashe St in Tralee at 2.30 on Sat 14th Feb, with Oran Ryan, Steve Conway, Noel King, John W Sexton, Tommy Frank O’Connor, Eileen Sheehan.
On 18th February (1.15 Chapters of Parnell Street) the lunchtime reading will feature bi-lingual poet Greagoir Ó Duill and Donal Moloney.
Keep an eye out for other events – including 24th Feb 9pm – RÁ performance poetry event at with Raven and Sweeney and special guest this month is London performance poet and rapper Martin Dawes.
And on 23rd February at O Bheal in the Upstairs at The Long Valley, Winthrop Street, Cork, Eamonn Lynskey will be reading and performing.
And on 25th February the Last Wednesday Series Reading and Open Mic at Cassidy’s of Westmorland Street, Dublin, featuring a full lineup of Seven Towers writers and guests. Regular readers include Oran Ryan, Ross Hathaway, Steve Conway, Noel O’Brien, Eamon Lynsky, Donal Moloney and more. Doors open 7pm, admission free, all welcome.
Further details of Seven Towers events at www.seventowers.ie
Along with my agent at Seven Towers, I’m continuing to work towards getting a publication deal for my book, which covers my involvment with Radio Caroline’s final years at sea in the late 1980s. I can’t comment on these discussions right now, but would hope to be able to announce some positive news in the near future.
Meanwhile tonight (Thursday 13th November 2008) I will be reading from the book at a Seven Towers event in Dublin city centre – details below. The theme is “Winter Chill” so I will be reading a short storm sequence.
Thursday 13th November, 6.30 Chapters of Parnell St, Dublin 1
Themed reading – ‘Winter Chill’
Friday 14th November 1.15 Chapters of Parnell St, Dublin 1
Barbara Smith holds a BA Hons. Literature just completed, 2007; and will continue with Queen’s University Belfast, with a MA in Creative Writing. Her debut collection of poetry, Kairos, is just published by Doghouse Books. She has poetry and essays published widely and lives in Dundalk, with her partner and six children. Other publications include Poetic Stage (1998).Barbara blogs at http://intendednot2b.blogspot.com/
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 . . .