Saturday, July 31, 2010

News Update

News Update.

Tommy Murray of The Meath Writers' Circle will be the guest reader at The White House Venue in Limerick this weekend, where he will read from his collection "Counting Stained Glass Windows". Published by Lapwing of Belfast it is now in it's second edition and is, as they say, available in all good bookshops or from the author himself. On the home front James Linnane had his second outing at The Steps Public House in Trim. Not just a writer, James is a dab hand at the old stand up routine and can sing a bit as well. I tried out a few poems, but as John Lennon used to say " You know it aint easy!" Speaking of John Lennon, if you go over to the "Emerging Writer" website ,there's information about a poetry contest in Liverpool, and it's Free! Just click on the link opposite. Michael Farry of The Boyne Writers' Group picked up a Highly Commended cert for himself in The iYeats Poetry competition in Sligo a few days back, which is actually his own neck of the woods, and if I'm not mistaken, no less a personage than the great Leonard Cohen will be playing at Lissadell House this weekend. Did I read somewhere that he's to visit a certain graveyard?

The light of evening, Lissadell

Great windows open to the south.

Two girls in silk kimonos

Both beautiful, one a gazelle.

W. B. Yeats.

Photo: Balloon landing outside Kilmessan Village Co. Meath late evening.

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Night at The Steps!

A Night at The Steps.
Kieran Furey, one of Ireland's best known poets was the guest reader at an event organised by James Linnane at The Steps Public House in Trim on Friday last. A mix of Karioke (I hope I spelt that right) music, stand up row, comedy, poetry reading and whatever you're having yourself, it will be interesting to see how this will develop over the coming months. Others that featured included James Leech who sang "The Summer Wind" and Niall Doyle and Damien Reilly of Paddy Smith's Stand-Up Row fame, who know how to entertain! Charlie Bloomer used all his stage craft to wow the crowd while James Linnane himself proved he is a man of many talents who can not only write, but can sing and tell jokes with the best of them. A few teething problems out of the way and this might fly. Good luck with future events guys!
Photos: James Linnane, James Leech, Damien Reilly, Charlie Bloomer, Niall Doyle and Kieran Furey.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Meath Writers' Circle July 2010

Meath Writers' Circle.

The Meath Writers' Circle held their monthly get together in the comfortable surroundings of The Castle Hotel in Trim tonight with readings on everything from favourite poems to the odd bit of history, with battles fought in the distant and not to distant past, much to the fore. Tommy Murray read of whiskey, a subject dear to many hearts, while Jimmy Peppard read of a man who left Bohermeen many years ago and died in London. Michael Shiels read from favourite poems about that bridge in Athlone while Paul Martin was on to satellite shopping channels and Willie G Hodgins entertained with some delightful stuff penned since our last meeting. Sean Reilly read a prose piece about meeting Brian Cowen on Kennedy Road in Navan or thereabouts, and finally James Linnane dropped in with news of a night at the Steps Public House which happens to be tomorrow night and read a couple of poems to boot. More about this anon, if the creek don't rise!
Photos: Some of those present at the meeting.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Poetry Contests!

Poetry Contests!

For those who like to put pen to paper, there are a number of poetry competition where the closing time is looming fast. The Swords Heritage Week 2010 has both a short story and Poet of Fingal contest, but you'll have to get cracking as the closing date for entries is not later than July 30th which is only about two weeks away. Details of the above can be had by dialing 01 8400080 or e-mail , and they do award ceremonies very well! Also closing in fast is The Dromineer Literary Festival, which has a closing date of the 13th of August and details of this can be found by simply googling for the above, or e-mail . Couldn't be easier! If you click on the link for "Virtual Writer" and go to the competition page you'll see details for the "Over the Edge" competition, but I don't want to navigate away from this page at the moment to get more exact information so you'll have to look for yourself. The Theme for this year's Saggart Heritage and Arts Centre Jonathan Swift Creative Writing Awards for 2010 is "The Letter" and more information on this can be had by contacting Margaret Ennis "Teach Giuise" Boherboy, Saggart Dublin. I had an e-mail address for this,
but gone! And finally details of The 12th Francis Ledwidge International Poetry Award are now posted on The Poetry Ireland Website, and I notice Michael Farry also has information about this on his site as well. Michael O' Flanagan of the above is also the man responsible for bringing out the poetry broadsheet ~Riposte~ every month, and a good number of Meath Writers have been published in this over the years. Good luck with the competitions!

Photo: Donaghmore Church and Round Tower, where I believe Francis Ledwidge was known to spend a few Sundays with friends.

Friday, July 9, 2010

More about Swift.

More about Swift.
Reading through The Meath Chronicle I see The Swift Festival got rave reviews, though I'm not sure Alastair would appreciate the comparison. On being asked by a Dublin radio station if he'd seen any stags while he was in Meath he replied that he hadn't been to that county yet and on being further pressed declared that he saw 17, including one in his bedroom. Not a man to be underestimated by any means. Considering the satirical leanings and the nature of the hinterland something more appropriate might have been "In the Loop". Terrible joke, I know! The above was a spin off from the BBC Television series "The Thick of It", and satire at it's best, and why it didn't get an Oscar I don't know. Malcolm Tucker was not a man to cross. But back to the stags, where was the passion on the Hospitals or the Banks? We are a strange people. On the Battle of the Books it was nice to get a review of Michael Farry's piece on his Blog, and satirising a certain type of poem and one that needed satirising was a good way to go and probably didn't get rewarded enough. Tommy Murray's piece was awarded third place in The Swift Satire Contest and if I remember right satirised everything, while Mark Doyle and James Linnane went to the heart of the matter and probably didn't get the votes they deserved. Jimmy Peppard did a marvelous piece, and from memory! while the ladies? I only heard them on the day and maybe they'd read them again at the Knightsbridge or somewhere further down the line. Which wasn't a bad song.
Photo: Launch at the OPW July 1st 2010.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Battle of the Books 2010

Battle of the Books
The eagerly awaited rematch has ended with The Meath Writers' Circle making off with the laurels in this year's round of The Battle of the Books! where, after feasting on salmon and the combined presence of friends and relations, and other members of the group, it was let the games begin! FĂ­onn after some altercation with the aforementioned was very swift about the place, though we're putting it down to natural genius, and his was caught in the Boyne, but better not go there! Preparations are already underway for next year's encounter, though by then knowledge will be much harder to come by and you'll need a licence. Now regards to all and well done!
Photos: Tommy Murray receiving the trophy, other members of the team are Mark Doyle and Jimmy Peppard and of course myself, and not forgetting the friends and relations and Meath Writers' Circle members.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Trim Swift Festival 2010.

Swift Festival 2010
Minister Noel Dempsey and Professor Andrew Carpenter officiated at the launch of this year's Swift Festival at the OPW headquarters in Trim Co. Meath. A building situated close to and overlooking the Boyne where the guests were treated to a champagne reception with some splendid speech making and none better than Professor Carpenter who managed to hold the crowd spellbound with insights into how the world must have looked to those unlucky enough to have lived in such interesting times. The night also saw the announcement of the prize winners in The Swift Satire Competition with our own Tommy Murray managing to snaffle third place from a short list that included entries from as far away as Canada and the USA, and I managed to creep onto it myself. Full details of the winners can be had by clicking on the link for Michael Farry opposite or the Boyne Writers' Site where they are sure to be posted. And now for The Battle of the Books on Sunday. Should I change horses or not? What would Lester have done?
Photos: Professor Andrew Carpenter, Tommy Murray, Dr Michael Farry, Dr James Ward, Noel French historian, and finally poet Tommy Murray and his wife Josephine with Minister Noel Dempsey.