Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Burns night - Addressing of the haggis HD

Here's one from youtube and with thanks to the guy who loaded. This is from an event organised by a Steve Ackiling of the Rainbow Children's Hospice in Loughborough. Hope Willie is paying attention! Piped in to the great Stuart lament and looks like great fun!

Burns Night 2015!

Burns Night 2015!

Willie G. Hodgins

The Kells Arts Club is hosting its second Burns Night in the Headfort Arms Hotel this Friday with Willie G. Hodgins above doing the honours as M.C. Sean Reilly of the Writers' Circle will be along to contribute a song or two from Robbie's fine collection!  I believe Willie had the "honour" of addressing the "Haggis" last year, though what they put into that I don't know and I think I'll stick to the porridge. I was looking around for a suitable poem for the occasion and maybe I'll load one from youtube but the Grace is below. Tickets are priced at €35 and include meal and toast.

The Selkirk Grace

Some have meat an''canna eat
An'some wad eat that want it
But we hae meat an' we can eat
An' sae the Lord be thankit. 

Robert Burns.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

A Rebel Act!

A Rebel Act!

Church of Ireland Graveyard
From The Sunday Times pick of the week and something to set your dial for this Thursday on R.T.E. and indeed the following Friday. A documentary that is titled after a line from Michael Hartnett's poem "A Farewell to English", A Rebel Act-Poems That Shaped Ireland goes out at 10.15 pm this Thursday night and is followed on Friday night by The Works at 8.30 pm when the final shortlist for A Poem for Ireland is announced. So should make for something interesting to look forward to. I've no idea what will feature but if I had to chose one myself I'd probably choose "September 1913". But maybe he was just remarking on what was, or indeed on what was to come. So perhaps it does not qualify! Hard to measure what it is that will influence and to be wise after the event? Anyway Davis must be a contender and Pearse, not to mention all those balladeers who probably won't get a look in. Have to wait and see. Sure to learn something.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Alone Across Iceland's Interior....Trailer

In August 2014 Paul Sheils from Navan trekked alone and unsupported across Iceland. Outsider Magazine have a poll running on Facebook for the best outdoor adventure film and if you click on their homepage link you can vote for Paul. But need to get moving, I think it ends this week. There is also a very interesting interview with Gerry Kelly of LMFM Radio to listen to and Paul has a number of videos of the journey on youtube. Paul is a son of Michael (the Sheriff) Sheils and if you clink on the link to the right you can get more details on how to vote. Good luck to Paul on that and leading or close at the moment I believe.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Galway University Hospital Arts Trust/Poetry Competition!

Poems for Patience!

Old Railway Bridge Kilmessan.
I came across this competition on the Emerging Writer blogsite (link to the right) and nothing to do with the photo above. Poems for Patience is a long running series that over the past decade has featured some of Ireland's leading poets and indeed others as well. The Galway University Hospital Arts Trust is inviting entries for its annual poetry competition. Poems must be no more than 30 lines long and the original work of the entrant. Unusual this in that previously published works are eligible so sure to be something you can dig out. Multiple entries are accepted and you can enter as many poems as you wish. The winner will have his or her poem published and displayed on the Arts Corridor of University Hospital Galway as part of the 2015 Poems For Patience. The poems after exhibition are then displayed in the waiting areas throughout Galway University Hospitals. Emerging Writer does note on appropriate to setting! 
*The winner will be invited to read his or her winning poem at the launch of the 2015 Poems For Patience at the CĂșirt International Festival of Literature in April 2015.
* The winner will be provided with accommodation for one night during the festival and will be given a copy of their poem printed as a Poem for Patience poster.
* The winner will be asked to submit six poems for consideration for a featured reader at the Over the Edge Open Reading series in Galway City Library. 

Entry Fees: €10 per poem or €15 for two. To enter three poems €22.50. Payment by cheque or postal order, payable to The Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust.

Send to: Margaret Flannery, Arts Director, Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust, Galway University Hospitals, University Hospital. Newcastle Road, Galway.

Contact details on a separate sheet, no names on poems and good luck! Also details on Over the Edge blogsite! The closing date is Friday March 13th 2015!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Yeats 2015!

Yeats 2015!

This year will mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of William Butler Yeats who is perhaps Ireland's greatest poet, though I'm sure others would argue the toss and there's a Nobel prize winner or two out there for competition.. He is certainly the most popular or well known and I would imagine anywhere you'd go in the world someone could recite a verse or two of one of his poems. There is, as the website says, a unique cultural programme of events throughout 2015 to mark this occasion and celebrate his life, work and legacy. There are national and regional art exhibitions, performances, festivals, readings, talks and screenings and details to be had at Link and well worth a look. What's your favourite then? Talking to a guy from California once and he remembered being taught "September 1913" going to school. Heard Leonard Cohen recite a verse of "In Memory of Eva Gore-Booth and Con Markiewicz" and I remember Gemma McGowan singing "The Song of Wandering Aengus" at the launch of our book and there's a nursing home close by with a poem or two of his along the walls. Go back and click on that link! The book above was written and compiled by O.B. Duane and published by Brockhampton Press.     

Sunday, January 11, 2015

People's College/Roberts Short Story Competition!

Short Story Competition!

From Google Images

The People's College Parnell Square Dublin are running a short story competition for previously unpublished stories of up to 2500 words on any subject. The judge is the award-winning novelist and poet Niamh Boyce and it comes with a first prize of €1000. Second and third are €750 and €500 respectively, so nice little sums of money to get your pen around. The closing date is February the 28th and the competition is in memory of RuaidhrĂ­ Roberts, the founder of the college, and of his wife Nora. There is no limit to the number of stories you can submit and the entry fee per story is €10. Stories should be in English and not published or accepted for publication elsewhere. Also stories that have won other competitions are not eligible. 
By post to: The People's College, 31 Parnell Square, Dublin 1.
For E-mail entry and indeed full details and info on competition go to,

A shortlist will be published on their website in April 2015 and the winners will be announced at an event in the Teachers' Club, Parnell Square, in May/June 2015  Winning stories will be published on the website and the first prize winner will also be published in the 2015 newsletter. Entry form on website.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Strokestown International Poetry Festival 2015

Poetry Competition 2015!

Strokestown from Google Images

Strokestown are now accepting entries for the 2015 awards and the closing date is the 27th of February, so still plenty of time to get your entries in. A number of categories in the awards and some great prizes if you should be so lucky which to date is not myself. Rules and regulations and categories if you go to the link below and you can enter both online and by post with a fee of €5 or €6 per poem depending on which you chose. Same for Sterling and Dollars. Poems not more than 70 lines, which is getting to story length. The Strokestown Poetry Awards shortlists will be announced in mid-March, and the prizes will be awarded during the Strokestown International Poetry Festival, County Roscommon which will take place over the weekend of 1-3 May, 2015. It is a condition of entry that short-listed competitors are prepared to attend the festival. Check out details below!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Poets Meet Politics 2015!

Poets Meet Politics 2015!

From Google Images

The above are inviting entries for the Poets Meet Politics writing competition for 2015 and the closing date is January the 25th. Poems may be on any theme relating to politics but must be in English and not exceed forty lines. You may submit as many poems as you wish. A fee of €10 per entry of up to three poems is payable and send to: Online entries:  Poems should be in the body of the email or as an attachment and payment via the Pay Pal button. Further info on all that at website address and best to check this out for details.
Website address: 
There will be one cash prize of €500. Winning and commended poems will be featured at a reading in Castletownbere, County Cork, on 14 March 2015 and published in a printed and/or online anthology. See map above for Castletownbere. For postal entries the address is as below; now I'll have to see if I can find something to send. Poems on a separate sheet of paper and with covering letter, listing all details. 

                 Hungry hill Writing, Errisbrg, Rodeen, Castletownbere, County Cork, Ireland.