Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Nick of Time!

I may have posted this one before but here's a poem about the times we're in!

The Nick of Time!

From Google Images
The social element had corroded
All that nitty gritty
And the Dirt.

Got in at the deposits
The compliant types.
Kept chipping away.
It looked simple

And the storm brewing!
The Whistle Blowers
Were the worst.
You could get your fingers

A new model
And the steam coming
Out of her ears.

Got a handle on her
In the end though!
It was a long stretch inside
Hard labour.

 Frank Murphy.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Launch of Local Songs and Poems/Scurlogstown Olympiad Recordings 2013.

Local Songs and Poems/Scurlogstown Olympiad Recordings 2013.

Margaret and Ciara Geraghty

A very large crowd turned out last night for the launch of the above CD in Jack Quinn's of Scurlogstown. The disc was recorded live during the Haymaking Festival in the Porchfields in Trim last year and includes a number of  members of The Meath Writers' Circle, not forgetting my good self, Jimmy Peppard, Carmel Murray, Michael Sheils, Vera Tuite and James Linnane. One of the highlights of the event last night allowing for a multitude of performers was the beautiful singing of Ciara Geraghty who leads off on the disc with her rendition of "The Half Door". There are twenty six tracks in all, some familiar some not, and including John  Wiseman's tribute to the Dubliners. I've only listened to a few so far,  time and tide and that, but one for the collection. I would imagine you can purchase a disc off any member of the group and they retail at €5 each. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Molly Keane Creative Writing Award 2014

Molly Keane Creative Writing Award 2014.

From Google Images
The Arts Office of Waterford County Council is inviting entries for the above with a closing date of 12 Noon on Friday the 14th of March. Free to enter though you'd better read the details at There are a number of free contests out there at the moment but this sounds a good one with a prize of €500 and a commemorative scroll to the winner. It is a condition of entry though that the winner will attend a presentation ceremony during the IMMRAMA Literary Festival in Lismore, County Waterford (14/6/2014) and best to check out all the info before entering. .A max of 2000 words to be used with a word count at the end of the final page. I don't do short stories no more but maybe I'll delve into the archive and send one in. The standard is usually very high and lots of don't go places. I've never read anything by Molly Keane but I see she was nominated for the Booker for "Good Behaviour" and started writing to supplement her "dress allowance". Something somewhere about black humour! So sounds just the thing up here Only short stories accepted! Send your entries to  Creative Writing Award, Margaret Organ/Arts Officer, Waterford County Council, Civic Offices Dungarvan, County Waterford. Note: An open competition for those on the island of Ireland.  

Sunday, February 16, 2014

John Wiseman R.I.P.

John Wiseman R.I.P.

John Wiseman and Canadian poet Doris Daly
 The Scurlogstown Olympiad 2013

Very sad to hear the news of the death of John Wiseman last Friday. John was an invaluable member of The Meath Writers' Circle and for the past number of years contributed greatly to everything we were involved in. I don't think he missed a single meeting in that time and he could be relied upon to keep things moving smoothly along. A life long fan of the Dubliners and their music, his tribute to them was included in last year's anthology, or gathering of poems and stories. He was vice chairperson of the Scurlogstown Olympiad Group and its former chairperson. In the Kiltale area he was a founder member of the Macra na Feirme and its first chairman and was later chairman of the County Executive. Also chairman and secretary of the Kiltale I.F.A. he represented the branch at county level. He was a founder member of the Kiltale Community Council  and its chairman and secretary on different occasions  He was an active member of the Bective Football Club at one time and represented the Olympiad group at the World Scythe Cutting Festival in Bavaria. The above is just some of the fine detail about John and was taken from an article written by Pat Farrelly in last year's Testimonial Booklet, which honoured the contribution he made to Scurlogstown over the years. If I could add to that and on behalf of The Meath Writers' Circle, just to say, he was an absolute gentleman and will be missed.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Trócaire/Poetry Ireland Poetry Competition 2014

"It's Up To Us"
From Google Images
Poetry Ireland and Trócaire are inviting entries for their third All-Ireland poetry competition on a theme of "It's Up To Us" and has a closing date of Friday the 28th of March. The judges for the above are Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Mary Shine Thompson and Trish Groves, a published author and campaigns officer at Trócaire. The rules to be read carefully and can be downloaded at or Entry Form here as well.  There is no entry fee to this competition and you are limited to three poems per person. Entries may be in Irish or in English and spoken poetry may also be submitted as mp3 files. But check out those details! Electronic entries or postal to Up to Us Poetry Competition, c/o Poetry Ireland, 32 Kildare Street, Dublin 2. The categories are adult, post-primary and primary. A number of interesting prizes to be had including a two week stay at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annnaghmakerrig or Tablet and there are book tokens and tickets to a literary festival to the value of €250 and others as well! So not in can't win!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Meath Writers' Circle February 2014

The Meath Writers' Circle February 2014

About fourteen people turned out for the first meeting of the year at the Castle Hotel with an interesting  mix or round up of events and things. Book sales are trickling off now though hundreds have been sold and I think there is only about one box left in all. So not too bad! Yet to decide what we'll get up to in the year ahead, waiting for inspiration to strike, and have to get back to writing a few poems or at least trying to. Busy busy. Some of the ones the other night were good especially from Pat Bennett, Moira Lalor and Paul Martin. Congratulations to Orla Fay who is taking over as editor of the Boyne Berries literary magazine and also to Michael Farry who as editor published writers who were both local and indeed from much further afield.The magazine attracted entries or submissions from Ireland to the Antipodes. Nice word that must use it again! Anyway good luck to Orla and all at the magazine. Links to the right!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Dylan Days Writing Contest: 2014!

B.J. Rolfzen Memorial Writing Contest.

Matt Leavy
Special Olympics Event Balreask Navan
One of the finest singers there is.
Give a look on Youtube! 
Here's one that comes around at this time every year and is free to enter if I'm reading the details correctly! From Bob Dylan's hometown of Hibbing Minnesota and with a closing date of March 3rd, so not much time to compose that winning entry or dip into the archives. Anyway full info can be had at and submission by e-mail with certain entry requirements, so read carefully! Nice one to get on the C.V. should you be so lucky enough and there's a song writer contest as well. I believe B. J. Rolfzen was someone who influenced Bob in the early days and was one of his teachers, but story on the website! Check it out and why not send a poem in, you never know?

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Robbie Burns ( 1759 - 1796)

Robbie Burns

I watched a documentary on Robbie Burns about a week back and very interesting as well. Robbie was very much an anti-establishment figure and a bit wild as they'd say around here. He died very young and according to wikipedia after a tooth extraction though with the added info from the documentary of being advised by his doctor to bathe in a river or such, so as to bring his temperature down. I'm sure it would! Today they'd have him on "tablets". Robbie was a great poet though and I believe he married the words to the music rather than the other way around. Anyway that's what I took from the program! I picked a song from the Scottish folk group the Corries because I was given a collection of them many years ago by a Scottish gentleman whose sympathies were not of a mind to some of Robbie's views. The songs are fine though, please enjoy. As to a parcel of rogues, sure we could go pound for pound! I believe Willie G. Hodgins who is chairman of The Meath Writers' Circle is also involved in the Burns' Society and with a few other members of the group "celebrated" the "night" up in Dublin  With thanks to youtube and the person who posted!