Filling in the Gaps

Trying to find new ways to say old things can be a bit wearing. In my case, wearing on the old computer keyboard. My laptop was bought with the winnings from a short story competition in…damn, was it really three years ago? Anyway, I’ve worn the face off some of the keys. A R E S T to be precise. I don’t touch-type, but I know my way around a keyboard, so it is no real bother for me. I’m even trying to squeeze a poem out of the scenario, all about naked keys, worn to the bone. I think … Continue reading Filling in the Gaps

Watching the Dust Settle

I’ve been busy lately coaxing dust bunnies from under the sofa, not least because I’m mad for cleaning when I’m stressed or sad.  When I’m laid back and cheery, I can’t see dust, so my house is a mess. But right now, there are lots of things going on and I’m trying to fix them with a (faux) feather duster. When I’m not waving a microfibre cloth at dirty skirtings, waiting for the phone to ring with more sad news (long story), I’m getting ready for my book launch at Strokestown International Poetry Festival. Less than two weeks to go … Continue reading Watching the Dust Settle

I Started Early – Didn’t Take My Dog (or Visit the Sea)

If you happened to be listening to yesterday afternoon’s  Drive Time programme on RTE Radio One, you  might have heard a segment about Poetry Day Ireland (April 27th 2017), about a whole day of poetry, in all sorts of places throughout Ireland. (Listen here, starting about 1:58 in). The over-excited voice commenting about getting up at 5.30am in County Roscommon in order to get to Dublin in/on time – well, that was ME! I was interviewed about my favourite poet/poems, and of course I had to mention my devotion to Seamus Heaney (forgot to mention Emily!).  I also gave a … Continue reading I Started Early – Didn’t Take My Dog (or Visit the Sea)

The Boy Stood On The Burning Deck

Last year I was lamenting the potential demise of Strokestown Poetry Festival – Ireland’s longest running poetry event.  Thankfully, enough people rattled the right cages for the funding to get re-instated, and the festival goes ahead as planned this year, starting on April 28th. Once again I am short listed in the Roscommon Poet’s Prize, and I’ll get to read my entry at the prizegiving ceremony in the lovely Strokestown House. It’s on at 10.30am on a (Bank Holiday) Monday, so if you can’t get there in person (I might struggle a bit myself), you can read the poem at … Continue reading The Boy Stood On The Burning Deck

Poetry Please

It’s Poetry Day Ireland tomorrow (April 28th 2016), when you’ll hardly be able to avoid poetry as it pops up all over the place. I will be leading a poetry workshop in Roscommon Library (as will Jessamine O’Connor and Catherine Ryan).  The fun starts at 10.30am, when I’ll be looking at what makes good poetry (very subjective!) and revealing some of my favourite poems. Of course for the year that’s in it, the theme is ‘Revolution’ and we’ll take that as one of our writing prompts – but I intend to squeeze every drop of meaning from the word, as … Continue reading Poetry Please

Collaborative Scribbles (and Poetry Day Ireland)

Here’s a great creative writing prompt which we did in our writers’ group last week; it was great fun and we discovered the unexpected (and quite spooky) power of creative consciousness… There were six of us, and each person took a sheet of A4 paper and was asked to draw on it – any form of scribble would do, just marks on the paper. The point was to unleash creativity, not expose artistic ability. Pastels, wax crayons, coloured pencils and chalks were provided for us to choose from (I picked Wimbledon coloured pencils, purple and green, my go-to favourites).  After … Continue reading Collaborative Scribbles (and Poetry Day Ireland)