Now, let’s be clear, I was more a reader/helper in deciding which poems/fiction made the cut; which needed more work and touching up, when it is really Ariana D. Den Bleyker, editor, founder and master of the journal who puts in all the hard work, time, dedication, love, and I am proud to work with Ariana and be part of the team.
I am delighted to have a poem in Boyne Berries as this journal has been around since 2006 and is popular and respected amongst the writers and public of Ireland. The journal is produced by The Boyne Writers Group based in Trim Co. Meath. What I love about this group of individuals is that they meet twice a month to read and critique each others work whether it is poetry, fiction, a novel or play, it doesn’t matter, all work is read, critically analyzed with helpful feedback provided and worked on.
I’ve always had a fascination and love of Indian Poetry, past and contemporary and find myself in love with the new voices sprouting up and sharing their work across India (anyone who knows me personally knows of my Tishani Doshi writers crush) and a relatively new non-profit website promoting new Indian and international writing recently caught my eye and I have found some excellent writing and enthusiasm within here.
So it is with great pleasure that I have had two poems published on the website (thank you Linda) and delighted to be in some fine company alongside Max Babi, Ben Mazer, Angelina Llonguera, Todd Swift and others.
Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney from Castledawson, Co Derry has died at the age of 74-years-old. As a huge fan of his work, especially his translation of Beowulf, it is a sad day and our hearts go out to his family and close friends.
Since I was a young man I have collected most of Heaneys’ poetry books, translations and Essays. I have also been lucky enough to meet him twice, both time in Galway and one time to be in his company along with Michael Longley at a lunch in Galway city, a wonderful man and true gent.
It is great to see that there are many poetry work shops sprouting up in most towns and cities with a huge demand by wannabe and established writers, packing out classes and enjoying the creativity and editing of their poems or short stories. I am lucky to live in a town (Galway) that has an appetite for good literature and poetry, a thriving writing and listening community and some of the best creative writing classes in Ireland.
I’m delighted to add to my site an interview with American Poet Robert Peake. I have come to love and admire the poetry and poetry insight you get from Roberts writing and his essays aswell as articles are always inspiring and insightful.
Robert has started a new exciting project called Transatlantic Poetry, bringing together poets from Europe and the US for a live poetry reading and discussion online using Google+. The First live broadcast happened on the 10th of July involving the poets American Michelle Bitting and Scot poet Andrew Philip and was a huge success.
Galway is the place to be right now if you are a fan of the arts and great literature. The Cúirt International Festival of Literature has kicked off and now hitting its 28th year, it still has the power to draw crowds and great artists and writers. This is my favourite time of the year in Galway and there is always a lot going on and tons of great gigs to go to.
Yesterday, I was lucky enough to be at a lunch with Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley and Edna O’Brien (working at the restaurant may have helped my admission to the exclusive lunch) and I just had to bring along Sarah Clancy for company and she was of course delighted to be my guest.
It’s been a very busy year, especially since the summer and will continue into the new year. The summer here in Galway was nuts, so busy with festival after festival and the Volvo Ocean Race was huge and a great success, but, meant I had to work more hours than I needed to but was enjoyable.
I have had some poems and articles published in the last few months that I hadn’t the time to post about. I have also been busy creating our first poetry book, an anthology for a group of writers I am involved. Last Friday we had our book launch and it was a huge success with a large crowd and plenty of interest in our book.
The joy and Horror of Creating Your Own Book
A few months back our writing group, well a combination of writers who had participated in Kevin Higgins creative writing classes in Galway on Tuesday nights, decided to get together and produce an Anthology of poetry, which was exciting since not one of us had ever produced or been chosen for a book publication.
Actually, a few of us had never even been published at all. So the task upon us was a daunting one yet very exciting. Our goal was to have a book produced by ourselves and ready for the end of November (coming very soon) and that was back in June, maybe even before.
Books That Were Read Half Way Through The Year
There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.
I wanted to do this post at the end of July, but time was not on my side. I tend to squeeze in a lot of reading. Always at once, I will have a book of fiction, non-fiction and poetry on the go at the same time.
For the past couple of years I have attended a poetry workshop slash creative writing class to help me burst out of my writing shell and pen more poems, basically keep me preoccupied with poetry. While attending these classes, classes that always seemed to fall on a Tuesday evening, I met other eager poets, some experienced, others just starting out, and through many of the classes I met some great people who came to know each others work, to become friends, and now, to set up their own poetry group.
Starting from today June 15th until Sunday is the Dalkey Book Festival which has I have to say, an excellent line up. Reading, on the Saturday in Our Lady’s Hall at 2.30 from her popular and much talked about book ‘Under the Avalanche’ is the TV broadcaster Anne McCabe.
Anne is a well known writer and TV director and last year published her first novel ‘Under The Avalanche’ which has received rave reviews and also appeared here on this site. Around a month ago I had the privilege of an Interview with Anne and I asked if she had any poetry she would like to share in which she kindly has and sent me in a poem to include on this site which I am delighted to share here.
Though from Dublin, I had never been to the National Concert Hall of Stephen’s Green and when a chance came to go see and listen to the brilliant mind of Richard Dawkins, I quickly purchased a ticket and made my way last night to join the sell out crowd with a wonderful evening of discussion and intellect conversation.
I have to say, what an amazing venue, rich in history with a beautiful interior and excellent acoustic sound. It was a great experience to be in a room, packed full of people, most like minded, here to see the genius and well respected scientist Richard Dawkins.
Once again I’m lucky enough to have a Thursday off (very rare) this week and lucky enough it coincides with the May Over the Edge readings at the Galway library. If you have the night off too and looking for something to do, I highly recommend coming along to the reading as a fantastic writer I have come to know and love, Bernie Ash, who will be reading some of her excellent poetry to what I am a sure will be a packed house.
“I like myself better when I’m writing regularly.”
And that is a fact Willie, I feel the same as I am sure a lot of people do, writing regularly is a good habit to have and a fine way of escapism from the jaws of the day. For many people, writing poetry or fiction can come easily and instinctive, yet, there are people who love to write yet like to do it from the dark corner of their homes and never get to show and share their creation.
Who would have thought it that the love of eating a delicious sandwich would turn in to a poem and then eventually be published online in a literary journal; well that’s what happened with my Ode To A Gourmet Sandwich, a poem I had written one day in a coffee shop in Galway after eating probably the most delicious cranberry, bacon, turkey and salad sandwich I have had so far, prompting me to embed it in to memory through the ink of my pen.
As this site grows I had intentions to add some interviews to it, a world I know nothing about and have no skill in construction nor know how to go about doing, but, as it happens, I have been lucky enough to get in-touch with Ros Na Run director and novelist Anne McCabe for the first interview for the site and readers.
Anne McCabe is a writer and TV director and has won awards for original TV drama and documentaries. She has worked for RTE directing the likes of Glenroe and Fair City and has worked along side Brendan Gleeson and Gabriel Byrne. Anne established the hit Irish drama Ros N Run where she currently directs.
‘You are a dyed-in-the-wool, fascist, reactionary, squalid little, ‘know your place’, ‘don’t rise above yourself’, ‘don’t get out of your hole’ – complacent little turd. ‘
I know I just wished Jack Kerouac a happy birthday in the last post but today would have been the 100th birthday of the actor Wilfrid Brambell who is best know for the character Albert Steptoe in the hit 60′s TV programme Steptoe and son and he is one of my favourite characters of all time.
Jack Kerouac Is Alive and Well at 90!
Well, only in memory and legend and of-course the world of literature, but I do love to think if Jack were alive to day, what would he be doing at the tender age of 90 and what would he have accomplished?
So its March 12, it’s Jack Kerouac’s 90th birthday, and this has me thinking about this wonderful writer, how I discovered him and how he brought literature especially poetry alive and jumping of the page to be lodged like cement in my brain. I have read nearly everything belonging to Jack Kerouac and I am currently reading through every novel he has written simply because I enjoy his style and pace of writing, the simplicity of the stories, and the timeline they are situated in.
A Brief Encounter with Ricky Teague, Poet.
As I am looking through some oldish books at home, a brown sheet sneaks out to the floor and as I pick it up I am hit with warm memories of a meeting I had at the top of Market Street in San Francisco with a homeless man and writer named Ricky Teague, and this sheet was some of his poetry I had purchased.
This Thursday I highly recommend coming along to the Over The Edge Open Reading at the Galway City Library and for once, I will probably have the night off myself and able to attend. It is always a great night with a packed house, and this month I really do believe you are in for a treat with the poet Anne Irwin, for whom I have participated in many creative writing classes through Kevin Higgins and right at this month once again I am in the same class as Ann and enjoying her wonderful poetry.
Support Your Local Arts
I’ll admit, I’m a magazine addict and hoarder and love nothing more that a good Literary magazine and at the moment there are plenty of excellent old and new to choose from, most I purchase as regular as I can though some are only released quarterly. But, if you are anyway in to literature, art, poetry, fiction, reviews, there is no better way to support the local artists than to buy local Arts magazines.
Having Fun With Poetry Forms – Rictameter
I’ve decide to do (hopefully) a regular group of posts on poetry forms and their importance and use. I know many modern writers of poetry have opted just to write free verse in the belief the form is useless and out of date but I tend to disagree as to me, using forms is basically just about training and improving your writing brain and broadening your knowledge in your trade and industry, and adding some fun to your writing, bare with me. Today, let’s have some fun with the short crazy form of the Rictameter.
Sitting here, looking out my window at Galway bay (and the misery of raging wind and rain), writing, drinking a beautiful cup of coffee, and every-time I drink coffee these days, a slight sadness slaps me, with a longing for Caffe Trieste on Vallejo street in North Beach, San-Francisco, and as I am trying to get this site up and running, get a few posts going, I’ll will weep and sigh about this place today.
Welcome to my new site and blog. My name is Stephen, a passionate writer of Poetry and now in the process of learning Play Writing and also hoping to get in the habit of writing more short stories with a novel in mind. I have been writing years and many of my articles are well spread over the Internet.
I have set up this site with the intention of writing more Poetry, but also with the intention of teaching people with an interest in learning how to write passionately in contemporary writing but more importantly the basics such as form and structure and hopefully inspire ideas and energy in to your writing.