Saturday, February 22, 2020

Maynooth University Library Launches Ken Saro-Wiwa Poetry Competition 2020

Sister Majella McCarron (OLA) speaking at the 2019 MU Ken Saro-Wiwa Seminar Ken Saro-Wiwa was a social and environmental activist from the Niger Delta. His death-row correspondence to Sister Majella McCarron (OLA) was donated to Maynooth University Library in 2011. The letters, poems by Saro-Wiwa and contextual essays are available in the open access book Silence Would be Treason:Last Writings of Ken Saro-Wiwa edited by Íde Corley, Helen Fallon & Laurence Cox, and published by Daraja Press.

To mark the 25th anniversary of the execution of Saro-Wiwa and his eight colleagues (the Ogoni 9) Maynooth University Library is running a poetry competition, which will be judged by renowned poet Jessica Traynor, who edited, with Stephen Rea "Correspondences: An Anthology to Call for an end to Direct Provision."

Poems can be on any of the themes embodied by Ken Saro-Wiwa and the issues he and his colleagues campaigned for. These include: environmental destruction, social justice, land rights, poverty and gender, power and control.

The competition has two categories: Adult: Over 18 years of age. Schools: Transition year and above.
Prizes are National Book Tokens worth €100 (first prize) and €50 (second prize) in each category.

Winners and shortlisted poems will be published in a winner’s anthology to be launched in Maynooth University Library on 12th November 2020. Closing date for entries is 29th May 2020

You can learn more about Ken Saro-Wiwa and view images and other material, from the Ken Saro-Wiwa Archive at MaynoothUniversity, from the Ken Saro-Wiwa Libguide.

Helen Fallon

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Poetry for Pleasure Group ~ An Tobar

Poetry for Pleasure Group ~ An Tobar

The theme for last Tuesday night's meeting at An Tobar was renewal or new beginnings given that we're well into into February now and the days grow long or at least a little bit. The first poem to be read was Reginald Arkell's Journey's End followed by Bulb by Alison Chisholm. A poem from To Bless the Space Between Us by John O' Donohue was read by Leona Rennicks and worth a look go see any day. Tom O' Malley's Spring Cleaning for Friends was next but can't find a reference on followed by New Beginnings by Gertrude B. McClain. De Scripto Meridians by myself was next followed by The Cheerful Season of Spring by Willie G. Hodgins. The Lesson of The Moth by Don Marquis was read by Sean Reilly and don't try this at home! Begin Again the great poem by Brendan Kennelly was next followed by The Chorus of Cells by Peggy Freydberg, a poem written between the ages of 90 to 106. She died when she was 107. January to February read by Willie finished off the night and one of his own compositions. The theme for the next night on Tuesday the 24th of March is emigration - Irish Poet. So that should be interesting. All are welcome and readings are followed by light refreshments of tea or coffee and a few snacks. 

Friday, February 14, 2020

Cathalbui Poetry Competition 2020!

Cathalbui Hedge School – Belcoo, Co Fermanagh
PRIZES: 1st £100: 2nd £60: 3rd £40. Plus a trophy
Winners announced at Cathalbui Hedge School*, Healthy Living Centre (beside the petrol station) Belcoo at 8pm on 12 July 2020
Entry is free – Closing date: 17 March 2020 Send to:
1Include a name and a land address or country.
2 Place the poem in the body of the email – not an attachment.
3 The judges’ decision is final
4 Winners must be present on 12 July or nominate a delegate to receive the prize
5 State if you don’t want your entry published in the annual anthology.
*Timetable for 12 July Hedge school
3pm: Joyce symposium: Featuring - The Dead, Ulysses and Finnegans Wake.
8pm: Competition prizes, judges’ comments and readings.

Poetry readings with Noel Monahan, Michael Farry and other poets.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

The Meath Writers' Circle/February 2020!

The Meath Writers' Circle/February 2020!

The Meath Writers' Circle held their first meeting of the new year or should that be the new decade on Thursday night last in the Trim Castle Hotel. Only a small number in attendance but poems were read and stories told and a discussion was had on our present finances; given the outlay for the magazine and such. We ordered three hundred for the launch and allowing for the free copies on the night and subsequent sales we had to order another fifty. Most were sold in Meath but a few made it to other counties and a number of other places much further afield. Could probably sell another hundred but time to move on. Will probably be making a few calls in a week or so for this year's issue. Interesting to see what goes! 

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Trócaire Poetry Ireland Poetry Competition 2020!

Poetry Competition: Trócaire and Poetry Ireland launched their annual poetry competition in Poetry Ireland’s headquarters on Parnell Square on Monday 20 January 2020. The above competition has a closing date of Friday the 20th of March and if you click on the link above you'll get full details of the competition. Free to enter and with an award ceremony in The National Library of ireland in late May the event is to raise awareness about the leading global issues of our time. All info from the Poetry Ireland website so give a look-see and maybe you have something suitable for entry. If not get the old pen out...

Thursday, January 30, 2020

"The Listeners" by Walter de la Mare (read by Tom O'Bedlam)

Here's a great piece of poetry read by Tom O' Bedlam. Although I'd heard it many years ago a recent read at one of our poetry nights in Ardbraccan brought it to mind. Many versions of it on Youtube but the reading above is one of the best. Give it a listen and check out Walter. Beautiful piece of writing.  

Friday, January 24, 2020

Poetry for Pleasure Group ~ An Tobar!

Poetry for Pleasure Group ~ An Tobar!

Leona Rennicks was the generous host for last Tuesday night's meeting of the group, An Tobar being closed for January. Hospitality or greetings was the theme which brought in a few unusual contributions but all grist to the mill. The lead off was a poem about Laytown Races which was written in 1937 I believe, but couldn't get a reference on. The author given as R Kielan? Should keep better notes. Schooldays by Willie G. Hodgins was next followed by my own The Lost Roads of South Meath, the only poem I have where there's any kind of hospitality at all even if it's only a collie dog. I followed this up by reciting Comrades by Eva Gore Booth. To Mattie McGoona by Francis Ledwidge was next and To One Who Comes Now and Then by the same author also got a reading. Summer Poem by Alexander Pope was next (Hope I got that right?) followed by The Guest House by Rumi. Cathleen Reilly read her own piece On Hospitality which was followed by Tom French's The Middle Reaches. Carol Owens read Home, her own piece and Walt Whitman got a look in with A Parting Guest and not familiar with the title I'm getting James Whitcomb Riley for the same title? Fluttering Handkerchief by Maurice Harmon was next followed by Welcome, The Ireland Speaks to The Refugees by Jessamine O' Connor who is from or credited to Roscommon but another poem I'm not familiar with. Antoine O' Raifteirí who was one of the last of the travelling bards (1779 - 1835) was read by Danny Cusack, Anois Teach An Earrach - Spring is Now Coming and the night finished off with Gravities by Seamus Heaney. Now that was a night of poetry!