Saturday, February 26, 2011

Hidden Depths.

Hidden Depths.

As it says on the cover this is a collection of poetry and prose from the members of The Small Impact Writers' Group in Navan and is the latest in a series of books published by the different writers' groups in County Meath. Those who were at the last open mic session in The Knightsbridge Village would have heard them read from this, and while some of the readers would have been familiar, (Michael Sheils/Sean Reilly) dropping in to The Meath Writers' Circle, and indeed members of, others, or all, demonstrated that we will have to look to our laurels, that is for those who can afford laurels. Anyway information  about this book can be had by logging on to or if I can use the word again by dropping in to The Meath County Library in Navan on a Wednesday morning (11pm) where the group meet and are sure to give you a welcome. One for your collection!

Photo: Book Cover.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Poetry and Science (2)

Poetry and Science

Still working my way through "The Blind Watchmaker" by Richard Dawkins, a sort of pilgrim's progress if you'll pardon the pun, and a little over technical at that, at least for the ordinary reader. A picture would paint a thousand words Still it's one of those books that every one should read whether you agree with him or not, and if you don't you'd better get your facts together, for all that and regardless of what direction you come from it is still an argument one step removed. What then? Working off some of the same bleak perspective and a once upon a time I penned the following ....


The stall laid out
Trinket and tawdry fare
Marionettes dancing.

And one blind to
The gods of circumstance
Spinning their web,
A mask,
The unredeemed
Small mercies.
And one concept
As mad as the next.

All hanging by a thread
A thin film of insanity.
Purpose to
Its own

Frank Murphy. 

Photo: Cover: The Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Boyne Readings/The Small Impact Wtiters' Group.

The Small Impact Writers' Group.

It was a night of prose and storytelling with some memorable contributions from both the Small Impact Group and the Boyne Writers, with the poets managing to get a few in as well. Willie G. Hodgins flying the flag for the Meath Writers. Paddy Smith handed over proceedings to Edel Gillick who introduced the members of her group and also finished off by reading some extracts from her recently published book " The Boy That Fell Down the Well". It was one of the best attended of the events and Pat McConnon's "Niall's Story" was a very touching account and one to take away with you. A special mention though to what I thought was an outstanding one and that was David Glynn's "Who Will You Choose" a sort of "Sophie's Choice" or out there in Cormac McCarthy land and somewhere you never want to be. Great night!

Photos: Top to Bottom: Michael Farry and Edel Gillick, David Glynn, Crowd, and Michael Shiels.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Kate Wolf - Redtail Hawk

Talking to Sean Reilly at Navan Writers' Group Poetry and Short Story competition and he mentioned Kate Wolf and what a fine singer she was and I have to confess I hadn't heard of her or if I had nothing came to mind, so off to youtube and here she is. She died aged 44 after a long illness and if you head over to wikipedia you can find out something of her career. Her songs have been recorded by others such as Nanci Griffith and Emmylou Harris and there are tributes by Greg Brown "Katie's Guitar" and also by Eric Bogle who wrote "Katie And The Dreamtime Land" the lyrics of which can be found over at . Nina Gerber plays the mandolin on this and it's a treat! So with thanks to youtube and the person who posted it.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Boyne Readings/The Small Impact Wtiters' Group.

The Small Impact Writers' Group.

Pat McConnon

Fresh from the success of their poetry and short story competition and the launch of their recent publication "Hidden Depths" the Small Impact Creative Writers' Group will be the guest readers at the Knightsbridge Village Hall on Thursday the 17th of February in Trim, in what is sure to be an interesting and entertaining evening! The admission charge is €5 euro and tea and biscuits will be served. Open mic to those who wish to read a poem or story and all are welcome. This could be a full house!  

Photo: Pat McConnon reading at the Navan Writers Group Short Story and Poetry Competition. Feb 10th 2011.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Navan Writers' Group: Poetry and Short Story Competition/Results!!

Navan Writers/Small Impact Creative Writers' Group.

To a theme of "Love Lost, Love Found" and just in time for Valentine's, the finals of The Navan Writers' Poetry and Short Story Competition were held tonight at The Meath County Library in Navan. A clear winner in both categories with Ann Marie Duigan picking up the prize for the poetry section and Kay Kearns doing the same for the short story prize, indeed this story would have held its own in any competition and this was remarked upon such was the standard and depth of content. Other contributions that were notable included Jimmy Byrne's poem "Elemental" and Edel Gillick's reading of "Ms M",  though Michael Sheils stirring rendition of the "The Red Flag" was one for the campaign trail. Sean Reilly was at his brilliant best and Kyrie Murray managed to get a mention in by way of rhyme of most of those who contributed to the recent launch of "Hidden Depths". More on this to come!! The Small Impact Writers' Group are to be congratulated on the above and its contribution to the local writing scene and hopefully it goes on to bigger and better things next year.

Prize: Poetry Section.
Winner:  Ann Marie Duignan "Love Bites"

Runners Up:  Sinead McDevitt.
                     Peggy Murphy.
                     Frank Murphy. 

Prize: Newcomer free style.
                     Frances Manning

Prize: Short Story Section.
Winner:  Kay Kearns.

Runners Up:  Caroline Finn
                     Frank Murphy.

Photos:  Edel Gillick and Ann Marie Duignan, Jimmy Byrne, Michael Sheils, Kay Kearns and Sean Reilly.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Meath Writers' Circle (9) January 2011.

Jimmy Peppard

"The First Day Of July"

Their have been many fine ballads written of war and especially of the First World War. Eric Bogle's "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda"  about the landings of the Australians troops at Gallipoli or "The Green Fields of France"  are perhaps the most recent and have become classics. Cormac MacConnell's "Christmas 1914" is another one that springs to mind and gets dusted off every Christmas with recordings by Jerry lynch or Tommy Fleming, The events in Ireland around the same period have contributed more than a few, and there are any number of fine poems. Alan Seeger's "Rendezvous" or "In Flanders Fields" by John McCrae and you could go on.... but it's not often that you come across one so close to home. Try this!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Meath Writers' Circle (8) January 2011.

Sean Reilly.

The Old House

Frederick O' Connor wrote this song about his childhood home at Baltrasna House Oldcastle County Meath,  and it was part of the repertoire of no less than John McCormack whose recording can be heard over on youtube. Here Sean Reilly singing unaccompanied does his own inimitable take,  and demonstrates what a fine singer he is. I came across an article on this song a number of years back in The Ireland's Own magazine but had forgotten most of the detail and it was Sean who mentioned Baltrasna House. Their is quite a bit of history on this one and   its worth a visit over to the  which I used as the source for this item. Anyway if you should find yourself in places as far afield as Havana or Madrid, not to mention a few other places it might be worth while getting out the street map. Sean can also be heard singing "My Lagan Love" if you scroll a bit further back. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Meath Writers' Circle (7) January 2011

Tommy Murray

Another poem of the river Boyne this time by Tommy Murray of The Meath Writers' Circle, a man who needs no introduction. A winner of numerous awards for his poetry he founded the above way back in  about 1991 with Deridre McGivern of Meath VEC and Minister Noel Dempsey. Since then he has published many books on various topics mostly of local history and his book of poems "Counting Stained Glass Windows" was published by Lapwing of Belfast in 2009. I believe he is working on another book at the moment, but details as yet not to hand! For more information just click over on The Meath Books website. Tommy brought out a book on the river Boyne a number of years back and it's worth getting your hands on. It includes poems such as "The Boyne, Stella's Cottage, Shanloth, The Echo Gate", and many others. One for your collection! Also if you scroll a bit further back you can hear him reading two other poems "Ode to a bottle of wine" and "Lottery".