Tag Archives: Irish Poets

November – Cork Poets, Fireworks, Book Launch, Performances, Workshop, Work, Getting Published, Writing & Wild Fire!


November – Cork Poets, Fireworks, Book Launch, Performances, Workshop, Work, Getting Published, Writing & Wild Fire!

to do

Just taking a deep breath to read the title of this post makes me realise how busy this first week of November has been, especially as I used my only writing day (Monday) to catch up on household chores and laundry. The laundry was a bit of a mistake, 3 loads, it started raining, we have just enough airers for this amount, discover our central heating does NOT work. Fortunately Mr G called up our insurance company and they sent an engineer out – we have a new thermostat and more importantly, a warm house! We were beginning to ice up on the inside! Unfortunately the engineer wasn’t here until Friday so the clothes are only just dry. inkspill laundry We do have a tumble dryer mode on the washer but it seems to make everything several sizes smaller, so we avoid it for clothes.

Hard to believe it was sunny back at the beginning of the week, after the monsoon of recent days. I accepted way too much work this week but it was all at places I have worked before so at least there were no extra miles getting lost or classes I wasn’t prepared for! It did result in two 5pm crash outs Wednesday and Friday though.

Writing Work

I have an ever-growing list of current writing projects, 3 of which now come from workshops I have attended over the past fortnight. None of which I have managed any time on this week. All of which I want to get my teeth stuck into this weekend, well Sunday now. I have used today up in a flurry of road systems, motorway junctions and a gallery workshop.

In writing the reviews of these events this week I have decided to go back to the old format of posting separate events.

Here are some links so you won’t get lost (unlike me)!

Tuesday 4th November


Nightblue Fruit – Antony Owen, with Guest Poets from Cork; Adam Wyeth, Cal Doyle & Kathy D’Arcy.

saleha Adam saleha cal saleha kathy

Photos by Saleha Begum.                                                                                                    Saleha Begum © 2014


Wednesday 5th November was Guy Fawkes Night and despite it being a work night Mr G planned our first ever Bonfire Party. Last year we had a fire in the firepit, some sparklers and watched everyone else’s fireworks in the sky.

This year we invited neighbours, friends and Mr G’s God children, who loved it. Was great to see them work through fear of sparklers and fire and before the end of the evening they were (under supervision) throwing more wood on the fire and writing in the air with Sparklers. We took photos but have not uploaded any yet. Many of our neighbours celebrated on the 5th so there were lots of other fireworks to watch as well as our own.

The fireworks still whiz, pop and bang as I write this, families waiting for the weekend to have a party. Mr G and I have always gone to public displays – nothing beats your own garden though, the fairy lights looked great on the summer house and a great night was had by all. At least 4 hours of fun in layers in the cold, before the rain came. fs fireworks Big thanks to Mr G for buying the fireworks and for Leyton for lighting them!

I was exhausted after work and had gone to the supermarket too (I planned to cook burgers and had bought refreshments for the kids). I fell asleep watching teatime TV and could have happily gone straight to bed. By the time I woke up Mr G had the fire going and the garden was all ready for our guests. It was a great night, even if I was too tired to cook and the kids had all the Sparklers!




Thursday 6th November – Fergus McGonigal launched his first poetry collection.  Fergus Tatty Truth


fergus book launch © 2014 Gary Carr Gary Carr © 2014

I was invited to read at his launch, I forgive him for making me go first!



If you would like to buy the book directly rather than through Amazon, here is a link:



By Friday I was so tired it was a struggle to survive work, but I did and then slept for a few hours when I got in. Mr G and I had planned a quiet night in and that’s exactly what we did.imagesCAUYQ41E

I had hoped to manage some writing but I was too tired to think, let alone type. I had the night off completely. Except for checking emails on my phone – and thank goodness I did, as I received one from an editor telling me they were publishing a poem of mine in an upcoming print anthology.


Saturday Last week I discovered a call out for people to take places on a workshop run by Emma Purshouse at Bilston Art Gallery, they currently have an exhibit called ‘Craft & Conflict’.

I got extremely lost and it took twice as long (and then some) than it should have and even though I ended up on the motorway 6 junctions further away than I should have been on my way home, it still only took 35 minutes to make the 15 miles back, although probably more miles owing to the junctions, really need to get my Sat Nav mended.

Anyway it was totally worth the extra petrol and road stress. This was the 2nd session of the day and the Arts Services had advertised it as intergenerational, which it was this afternoon. Children have great imaginations and I was impressed by the writing of younger members of this workshop. The Gallery collection was more than I expected, more pieces. There was so much that grabbed me that I plan to continue producing work from this workshop.

Craft-and-Conflict-web-210x200 wolverhampton art orguk

Saturday 8th November a Workshop with Emma Purshouse, Bilston Art Gallery, Craft & Conflict


SUNDAY 9th November

With such a busy week of work and events by Sunday my tiredness caught up with me and once again I didn’t make it online to complete my planned schedule, nor did I find time to write my Wild Fire poems from David Calcutt’s wonderful Community garden Workshop. My list of writing projects is growing faster than the first scarf I knitted, when I forgot how to cast off! caldmore david-portrait-1

Needless to say I didn’t make it to the Community Garden Bonfire to read my non-existent fire poetry,  I barely made it to getting dressed!

caldmore bonfire

Caldmore Community Garden Bonfire with Poetry readings with David Calcutt.

With work booked the next day, I had an early night. Sure this was a great night I missed and I look forward to hearing all about it.

Coventry – Nightblue Fruit’s Annual Celebration with Poets from Cork


Tuesday 4th – A Treat in Coventry and a Night with Poets from Cork

Antony Owen works hard on the exchange programme between the UK and Ireland. He had invited a handful of Irish Poets from Cork, Adam Wyeth, Cal Doyle & Kathy D’Arcy to guest at Nightblue Fruit at a new Venue (which we only just found), to be fair we were delighted to find Coventry, I took Claire Walker and Maggie Doyle too, Three Poets do Battle with Road Signs and the A44 4 44 (title of a poem yet to be written)!BCB

It was a great night, I felt energised by the atmosphere and thoroughly enjoyed listening to new poetry, both that of the Guest Poets and open mics. I performed a few poems which seemed to go down well. I performed an allotment poem (from the ever expanding collection), my Halloween poem about Princess Juliana and a poem written for 52 about my hacking chest infection, called Constrict.

Before we left I treated myself to a book. Kathy D’Arcy’s collection ‘Encounter’, which I look forward to reading, I am sure I will hear her voice as I read my way through it. She was complimentary about my poetry and liked the unique voice of my work. A voice I hope future years of writing will strengthen.

I enjoyed all the sets, Kathy’s poetry spoke to me and connected me, it is powerful when that happens. Her work reminded me of my time in Ireland and she was brimming with smiley positivity! I was very careful not to look around the shelves, I could have spent a fortune on books! I have so many lined up to read and have just borrowed two more.


Poet Biographies Written by Antony R Owen;

Major Open Mic event run annually to celebrate Coventry’s twinning with Cork, Ireland in association with O’Bheal and Coventry’s Nightblue Fruit. Twin city link acknowledged by President Michael D Higgins in 2014.

ADAM WYETH is a poet, playwright and essayist. Born in Sussex in 1978, he has lived in Co. Cork since 2000. Wyeth’s critically acclaimed collection, Silent Music was Highly Commended by the Forward Poetry Prize. He has been hailed as a ‘poet of ideas exquisitely wrought and swarming, demanding a reader awake to complexity on a subtle scale… The Irish Times call, ‘Silent Music is a clever volume that playfully questions taken-for-granted certainties… a fresh and imaginative voice is evident.’

Adam’s second book The Hidden World of Poetry: Unravelling Celtic Mythology in Contemporary Irish Poetry was published by Salmon in 2013. The book contains poems from Ireland’s leading poets followed by short essays that unpack each poem and explore its Celtic mythological references. Paula Meehan says ‘This book connects us back to a Celtic dreamtime through mythology, which is, no more, no less than the poetry of the ancestors. Seamus Heaney calls Adam, ‘A gifted commentator/close reader. A hearer and heartener.’

Adam’s debut play Hang Up, produced by Broken Crow, has been staged at many festivals, including the Electric Picnic, the Galway Theatre festival and will be staged in Berlin later this year alongside his fourth play, Apartment Block. Hang Up has also been recently adapted into a short film and premières at Cork international Film Festival, 2014. His third play, Lifedeath was showcased at the Triskel Arts Centre mini-festival of new work in 2013 and was named by the Irish Examiner as the play of the festival. It had a performance reading as part of University College Cork’s Theatre programme. In 2013 Adam was commissioned to write the The Poetry Sessions, for Cyclone Theatre Rep. A full-length play covering all the poets on the Leaving cert syllabus, which has just been on its nationwide tour.

adam wyeth

Cal Doyle has read as part of Poetry Ireland’s Introductions Series. Most recently his poetry has appeared in New Eyes on the Great Book and the Penny Dreadful. He regularly writes on Irish poetry for Southword and is the poetry editor for the Weary Blues. He is currently working on respective collections of poetry and prose. He lives in Cork, where is completing an MA in Irish literature and cinema in UCC.

Cal Doyle

Kathy D’Arcy is writer in residence with Cork literary organisation Tigh Fili (Poets’ House). Her first collection, Encounter, was published by Lapwing Publications in 2010, and a second, The Wild Pupil, was published by Bradshaw Books in 2012 (‘among the best poems I have read in years’ – Thomas McCarthy). She currently teaches Irish women’s literature with UCC’s MA in Women’s Studies programme, runs writing workshops and works with homeless teenagers, but she originally qualified and worked as a doctor. She is also a playwright; her plays ‘Retreat’ and ‘This is my Constitution’ have been staged in Cork, and the latter appeared recently at an Irish parliamentary briefing on constitutional change. Last year she was awarded an Arts Council Literature Bursary, and this year she received an Irish Research Council Postgraduate Award to conduct a Creative Writing PhD developing her experimental poetic techniques.

Kathy d'Arcy

It was good to see Saleha Begum too, she has travelled far and wide since I last saw her and is busy with her own creative projects. Here are some of her photographs from the night, they catch some of the warm atmosphere (in a very cold room).

saleha Adam saleha cal saleha kathy

Saleha Begum © 2014

It was a fabulous evening, the Big Comfy Bookshop is a place to visit, great venue for words, coffee, books and marshmellows. It didn’t matter that we lost our way (or at least I did) on the way home, or that it was midnight before I was in, or that I had work the next day. This was one of those truly magical, uplifting nights where the stress of the work day slips away as you surround yourself with comfort. Pure pleasure.