Friday, July 3, 2020

LitLab ~ The Trim Poetry Festival 2020!

Lit Lab was initiated by the Cavan and Meath Arts Offices back when! I remember Tommy telling me about the group, so it would be pre 2010 at least. Anyway first chance to listen to some of the members although I have read some of their poems. The Trim Poetry Festival has left a nice collection of videos for dipping into and will probably load one or two more. 

Saturday, June 27, 2020

"Troubles" - Michael Farry - Book Launch!

This is Michael Farry's latest book of poems and may be purchased on his website, link to the right or from Revival Press, Limerick. Launched by Anne Tannam at the Trim Poetry Festival.

Revival Press

Monday, June 22, 2020

BB1/Launch of Boyne Berries 27 by Orla Fay!

On this video Orla Fay launches Boyne Berries 27 with readings from some of the contributors.: Gerard Smyth, Felicia McCarthy, John D Kelly Lorraine Carey, Peter Goulding, Sinead MacDevitt and Orla reads a poem by Jenny Andersson (1940 - 2020) Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

President and Sabina celebrate Bloomsday 2020

For Bloomsday 2020, President Higgins hosted the first in a series of cultural performances highlighting Irish art, and makes a call to support artists at a time of crisis. From youtube, Loaded by Aras an Uachtaráin. Link from Verona and even at this late date a thank you to Noel O' Grady who sang and put in such a brilliant performance at the launch of our "Centenary Book" in the Trim Castle Hotel back in 2016, Thanks Noel.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Bloomsday - James Joyce's First Date

With thanks to Jonathan Brielle who loaded. Hitting the share button on youtube! Finn's Hotel is in Dublin (Video Editor!) and Nassau Street which I often walked down. I think Nora said something about swinging a cat! Well done on the video. Something for Bloomsday.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Welcome/Trim Poetry Festival 2020!

A welcome to the Trim Poetry Festival by Boyne Writers chair, Michael Farry and also by Noel French, chair of Trim Municipal District and Trim Tourist Network.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

MeathWritersCircle/Trim Poetry Festival 2020!

With thanks to Michael Farry for editing on the above. The Trim Poetry Festival which was postponed last March due to the corona virus was held over the weekend as an online event and if you click on the link to the right there is a whole library collection of poems for your entertainment. Every cloud has a silver lining and the video presentations here means that you can browse through at your leisure. Congratulations to all concerned. Will hit the share button more than a few times I think. The event saw the launch of 'Boyne Berries 27' by Orla Fay and Michael Farry's new poetry collection 'Troubles' by Anne Tannam.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

The Children of the Nation/Reviews!

Review 1    Neil Young

Review 2    Cork Echo - Jenifer Horgan

Review 3    Galway Advertiser - Kevin Higgins

Review 4    Dublin Review of Books - Micheál O' hAodha

Review 5    Irish Times - Jenny Farrell

Review 6    Morning Star - Andy Croft

Review 7    People's Star - (USA)

Review 8    Derry Now

Just some of the reviews of The Children of the Nation. Have a read and enjoy.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Troubadour Poetry Prize 2020!

Troubadour Poetry Prize 2020!

Time to think about submitting your poems
 to our prestigious poetry judges,
 Mark Doty & Mona Arshi, for the 2020
 Troubadour International Poetry Prize.

Deadline 28 Sep, £3,500 in prizes,
details below & on our prizes page, &
feel free to pass info on to poetry groups, friends etc. 

troubadour international poetry prize 2020
judged by mona arshi & mark doty
  • first prize £2,000
  • second prize £1,000
  • third prize £500
  • plus 20 commendeds
submit via email by mon 28 sep 2020
(Check out winners, winning poems & judges’ reports,
 2019 & previous, on our poems page.)
  • Mark Doty is an American poet & memoirist, 
  • winner of Stonewall, Robert Creeley,
  •  Lambda Literary & National Book Awards &
  •  a former Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.
  •  His books of essays
  •  include Still Life with Oysters and Lemon,
  •  memoir includes Firebird &
  •  Dog Years, &
  •  his 13 poetry collections
  •  range from Turtle, Swan (1987)
  •  to Deep Lane: Poems (Norton, 2015). 
  •  His latest publication is What is the Grass: 
  •  Walt Whitman in my Life
  •  (Norton & Cape, April 2020).
  • Mona Arshi worked
  •  as a Human Rights lawyer at Liberty
  •  before starting to write poetry: her debut,
  •  Small Hands won the 2015 
  • Forward Best First Collection Prize,
  •  her poems have featured
  •  in Poems on the Underground &
  •  she was recently commissioned
  •  to write a programme
  •  on The Odyssey for BBC Radio 4’s
  •  Book of the Week.
  •  Her latest collection is 
  • Dear Big Gods (Pavilion Poetry, 2019)
judges will read all poems submitted
Poems: Poems may be submitted
 from any country &
 must be in English, must each be no longer
 than 45 lines,
 must show title & poem only,
 must not show poet’s name,
 must be the original work
 of the entrant (no translations) &
 must not have been previously published;
 no text alterations after submission;
 no limit on number of poems
 or number of subsequent submissions.
Submission: Email only, no postal entries;
 email your poems as attachments
 (.doc, .docx, .pdf, .rtf only)
 include in e-mail: Poet’s Name & Address,
 Phone Number, List of Titles, Number of Poems, 
 Total Fees, & PayPal Receipt Number.
Fees: £5/€6/$7 per poem
 (Sterling/Euro/US-Dollars only);
 payment via PayPal (see below,
 PayPal account not required).
Timeline: Submit by midnight (your local time)
 on Mon 28 Sep 2020;
 prizewinners will be contacted in week
 commencing Mon 16 Nov 2020.
 Submissions acknowledged within 14 days of receipt;
 results posted on website after Mon 23 Nov 2020;
 judges’ decision is final; no correspondence entered into.
Email Address: By including email address
 you agree to receiving emails regarding 
Troubadour International Poetry Prize.
 You will not receive emails regarding Coffee-House Poetry
 readings &  classes unless specifically requested.
Note re Dates: The 2020 prize is now rescheduled
 with an autumn closing date (see Timeline above), 
having been placed on hold due to circumstances in March
 which made the original June deadline impractical.
 The small number of submissions
 prior to that date were cancelled & fees returned.
Our secure online payments are handled by PayPal 
on our website prizes page; 
PayPal account not required; all major credit cards accepted.

This info was taken from the Troubadour Poetry email.
So check Troubadour site to be sure of all details. Frank Murphy.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Trim Poetry Festival Online

Trim Poetry Festival Online

Trim Poetry Festival was postponed in March and because it seems very unlikely that there will be an opportunity to hold it later this year we have decided to hold an online version over the week-end of 5-7 June. It will be held as a Facebook event and also published on this blog

Here is the programme. More details soon. 

Friday 5 June 

6pm Welcome by Noel French, chair of Trim Municipal District and Boyne Writers Group chair, Michael Farry 
Launch of Boyne Berries 27 by editor Orla Fay. 
Readings by a number of contributors to Boyne Berries 27. 

Saturday 6 June 10am 

Online workshop by festival poet-in-residence Anne Tannam. 
This is free but places are limited. More details and booking facility here.
This course is now filled. See the clinic details below which also include
 an email address should you wish to inquire about other
 Anne Tannam workshops.

1pm Readings by members of local writers groups including 

Frank Murphy of Meath Writers Circle, Polly Richardson and members
of the Bull’s Arse group, Navan and members of LitLab,
the Cavan/Meath Writers Group. 

3pm Trim Poetry Competition 2020. 

Introduction by judge Orla Fay. Readings by the winner,
the runners up and the shortlisted poets. 
See results already published in the
Trim Poetry Competition Results 2020 page.

Sunday 7 June 

11am "Tips on How to Sustain a Flourishing Writing Practice"
- Clinic by Anne Tannam.  During this clinic, 
which will take the form of a pre-recorded video,
Anne will explore ways to help poets to sustain their writing practice.
Poets, if you’ve any questions about your poetry practice
that you want to ask Anne, just email her on 
before May 24th, and she’ll include the answers in her clinic.

4pm Poetry Reading by Anne Tannam. 
Launch of Michael Farry’s new poetry collection, “Troubles” by Anne Tannam.
Welcome by the publisher Dominic Taylor. 
Reading from the collection by the author. 

6pm Some poet friends who have had long associations with Boyne Berries

including Carolyne Van Der Meer, Kate Dempsey and Maurice Devitt,
read their poems from the recently published Boyne Berries - The Covid Issue.

8pm Open Mic on Zoom. Rachel Coventry, the MC,

will open this fifteen minutes before start
and people can register to read on a first come basis.
Five minutes each. More details here closer to the time.

The above info is from the and all the real details are there. Pay a visit please!

Frank Murphy.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Boyne Berries 28 ~ The Covid Issue!

Boyne Berries 28 ~  The Covid Issue!

Cover Image by Rory O' Sullivan

To a theme of - There Will Be Time - The Boyne Writers Group have created a special digital issue of their literary magazine "Boyne Berries". Formatted by Michael Farry and with a foreword by their editor Orla Fay this magazine can be downloaded from their blogsite link to the right. This special online issue was a free pdf created to mark Poetry Day Ireland 2020. Enjoy reading! 

Friday, May 8, 2020

The Corries, Ronnie's Tribute to Roy

Ronnie Browne's tribute to Roy Williamson. (1936 - 1990) The Corries were probably Scotland's most favourite folk group and considered as important to her heritage any of its great writers or scientists. Bold claim! I know. If you listen you'll hear a fair reference to one of our local musicians. Loaded by Iain40. 

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Poet Eavan Boland Reads 'Quarantine'

Something for National Poetry Day and given the times we live in. This poems takes us back to an even darker time during the Irish Famine of the 1840's and is read here by the author Eavan Boland,  who died this week on Monday the 27th. She was born on September the 24th 1944. The video was loaded to youtube by PBS the American Public Broadcasting Service in March 2012.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Poetry in the Time of Coronavirus!

Original submissions are now being accepted for the second volume of POETRY in the TIME of CORONAVIRUS.
This will be a competition.

The top 100 poems will be published and the top prize award will be roundtrip air travel, hotel accommodations, and a weeklong pass to the West Cork Literary Festival in Ireland (July 2021)!
Please note the following rules regarding this contest:
1. The submission deadline is May 15, 2020.
2. All entries must be original and previously unpublished.
3. One submission per poet, please.
4. Each poem is limited to a character count of 2,020. That total includes the title, spaces, and paragraph breaks. No exceptions.
5. There is no mandated theme or subject matter for the contest; the only limitation is your creativity.
We look forward to receiving your submissions!
The first volume of POETRY in the TIME of CORONAVIRUS is available on Amazon.
Proceeds from sales of both poetry anthologies will continue to benefit to Partners in Health and Doctors Without Borders.

Info is from the Poetry Ireland Web Page. The Entry Box is located via a link on that page.

Top of Form
The submission deadline for the poetry contest is May 15, 2020.
Please click the  Submit"button once. Not twice, not four times. Once

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Will Ye Go, Lassie - Credo Vocal Ensemble

Got this link from Verona Pentony of The Meath Writers' Circle. Credo Vocal Ensemble are an acapella vocal ensemble from Trim in County Meath. Self-isolating during the current covid-19 pandemic. They would be grateful for any donation to their GoFundMe page where they are planning to provide care packages for the elderly of Trim who are cocooning, The video was loaded to youtube by Malcolm White. Nice one.

Friday, April 17, 2020

SiarScéal Festival 2020!

SiarScéal is a historical, literary community festival hosted annually in Roscommon Library. SiarScéal is inspired by the culture and heritage of county Roscommon and celebrates all artistic mediums, internationally through the Hanna Greally Literary Awards

The festival will take place over two dates: Friday 2nd October in Roscommon Library commencing at 11.00 until 12.30pm and Saturday 3rd October at the same venue starting at 10am. Featuring the Hanna Greally Literary Awards with an overall prize of €400 and two Highly Commended prizes of €100 each, commended will receive trophies, categories to include all writing disciplines. This year’s theme is ‘Western Reflections’. Closing date for entries will be Tuesday September 1th.
Beneath Western Skies Anthology, a compilation of the winning and trophy entrants which will be compiled and edited by Author/Poet Anni Wilton- Jones, writers included in the Anthology will be contacted in due course.

11.00 – 1.00PM (12.30pm McDonalds Refreshments)
Regional counties are represented by children from Leitrim’s Aughavas NS and Dromahair Library, Book Club. Bunnanaddan NS, Co. Sligo and locally Roscommon’s Castleplunkett NS. Beneath Western Skies Anthology will be Launched followed by the Hanna Greally Literary Awards on their Climate Change & Me themed for the junior workshops only. Roscommon County Council chairperson, will present the Literary Awards - trophies and certificates to the school children, and Readings. The Ger Hanily Memorial Cup presentation will follow.


Officiated by the chairperson of Roscommon County Council, overall prize of €400 and two Highly Commended entries will receive €100 each, followed by trophies and Readings from the winning entries. Award Winning Poet Jessamine O’Connor is the adjudicator for this year’s competition and Guest poet.

2.00 – 4.30pm
With Jessamine O’Connor
Please text SiarScéal at 0861649756 for inclusion in the Reading List.

All submitted entries must be your own unpublished work
Entries are limited to three poems/prose/stories per person,
Entries submitted must be typed and titled
Entrant’s name/address/contact number/details and entry title must be written on a separate page
Not to appear on the same page of the poem
Entries will not be returned and the Judges’ decision is final
Festival organisers are not eligible for entry.
Entry into the competition implies acceptance of the competition rules and guidelines.

Competition entry fee €5 per entry and €10 for up to three entries. Please make cheques and postal orders payable to SiarScéal Festival Group, c/o Mary Butler, Executive Librarian, Roscommon County Council Library Services, Abbey Street, Roscommon, Ireland. You can also enter online. Please see our website for more information. closing date: All entries (postal or online) must be received on and before the 1st September 2020. All are welcome to attend the SiarScéal Library events. Further details can be obtained by contacting Gwen at CHY:20201056 from SiarScéal and Team.

Is supported by the Creative Ireland Programme, an all-of-Government five-year initiative, from
2017 to 2022, which places creativity at the centre of public policy. Further information from and

Saturday, April 11, 2020

John Prine - "Speed of the Sound of Loneliness" (Live)

One of the great American singer songwriters, John Prine passed away on April the seventh from the Corona virus. (October 10th 1946 - April 7th 2020) R.I.P. Check out his site and lyrics: Some great ones. With thanks to youtube and the share button. Irish connections to Galway and Donegal.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Ken Saro ~ External!

This might be of interest to you or your group

Below is a link to the Maynooth University Ken Saro-Wiwa Poetry Competition.  Irish poet Jessica Traynor will run a workshop for Maynooth University Library on Saturday 18th April from 11 to 1.  The purpose of the workshop is to help participants  prepare a poem/poems for the poetry competition (closing date May 29th).  Please use the web address below to register. The workshop is free but booking is essential. You need access to the internet to participate (via Zoom) and will be sent a link nearer the time.

Any queries please let me know,

Helen Fallon

Helen Fallon
Deputy University Librarian

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Culture Matters!

Working People’s Stories in Contemporary Ireland
Call for submissions

Culture Matters is taking an initiative in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis to compile a second anthology of working-class writing. We hope it will be one way for working people to creatively express their anxieties, experiences and thoughts about various aspects of their lives in these troubled times.
Our first anthology of working people’s poetry from contemporary Ireland, The Children of the Nation, was a success in the U.S. and Europe, as well as in Ireland. This second volume will focus on short prose: flash fiction, short stories, anecdotes, epigrams, memoirs and other kinds of life writing (diary, letter/email, essays, blogs, and black and white images).

Relevant themes that come to mind include the Climate Emergency, the Coronavirus Crisis, Working Women, More Than Profit, and Community and Global Solidarity – but also quite simply your everyday experience as a working person in contemporary Ireland. We are unable to offer fees for publication, but will supply free and discounted copies to contributors.

Here are the stipulations:
·         One or two submissions per person, unpublished in print
·         Maximum of 2,500 words per submission
·         In English or Irish (if in Irish, our international readership will appreciate your English translation, please)
·         Black and white images should be jpegs of photos, drawings, cartoons etc., no bigger than 1MB.
·         A brief biography outlining your connection with the working class, 150 words max.
·         Deadline for submission: 31 July 2020.
·         Submissions to be sent to:
You retain copyright on any submissions but your material may be published in print and online by Culture Matters.
Jenny Farrell
Associate Editor
Culture Matters
March 2020.