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May 31, 2012

I’m delighted to see I’ve been shortlisted for this year’s William Trevor/Elizabeth Bowen International Short Story Competition.

I attended the Trocaire/Poetry Ireland Poetry competition ceremony yesterday in the National Library. It was a really nice experience as there were multiple age categories and wonderful readings from all age groups. Geraldine Mitchell took first prize in her category with her lovely poem Basso Continuo (remembering the cellist Vedan Smailovic), and I was very pleased to take second prize with a poem called The Same Sky’s Roof.

I have a piece in the latest edition of The Prose-Poem Project.



May 19, 2012

I went to Cavan over the weekend for the 20th Cavan Crystal/Windows Publications National Poetry competition award ceremony and was very pleased to come away with the first prize in the Adults’ category for a poem called St Brendan in Iceland. It was a unique ceremony given the emphasis on children’s categories and it was great to see the pleasure the winners received from being part of the ceremony. It was impressive hearing about the long history of this competition and the whole culture surrounding the Windows publications project during the opening speeches – both Heather Brett and Noel Monahan deserve huge kudos for all the work they’ve put in over the last 20 years. It is clearly a labour of love.

Other bits of news – lovely to receive 2nd prize in the Inktears’ short story competition.

Perhaps the most meaningful thing of late was to be highly commended in the Final Chapters Writing competition for a poem called ‘The Grief Schism.’ The competition, run by the Dying Matters coalition is designed to raise awareness for issues surrounding dying, death and bereavement. The ceremony was held on Wednesday 16th in London, chaired by the legendary Carmen Callil, founder of Virago press. My mother died very suddenly in January this year so I was very much in a place to write about this subject and felt there was something comforting in having a place that was open to receiving that kind of material. One of the keynote quotes attached to the project (derived from Iris Murdoch) really spoke to me – ‘Bereavement is a darkness impenetrable to the imagination of the unbereaved.’ I have found that grief is a game-changer in so many ways, and perhaps the only way through it is by confronting and exploring it. It makes a lot of things difficult, writing included, and so writing about grief itself was perhaps the only way to ensure writing would happen. It’s a very private thing too, but the Final Chapters project is a comfort precisely because it is founded on this idea of sharing a very common, human experience. It was nice to be part of that, despite how raw the experience is.

Cafe Writers’ Competition & killauthor

February 20, 2012

It was interesting to read the Cafe Writers’ competition winning poems and Pascale Petit’s very comprehensive judge’s report.

Congrats to everyone on the shortlist – it’s a really strong group of poems and I’m proud to be among them.

Also here’s a link to the ‘Italo Calvino’ edition of killauthor. I have two pieces in this edition.

Cafe Writers’ Competition

February 2, 2012

I’m very pleased to have a poem and story in the latest elimae. elimae is a very unique webjournal with a very particular house style.

I’ve got two poems in the latest edition of the webjournal, Alba – link here. Alba is a great journal devoted to short poetry.

It was great to see that my poem ‘The Swim’ was commended in the Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Competition.

Finally, I was very surprised and pleased to discover that I won the Cafe Writers’ Competition. The competition was judged by the Pascale Petit – I’m very proud that a writer of her calibre chose my poem. Some nice mentions by both Peter Goulding and Michael Farry – thanks to both.


December 9, 2011

Bits of pieces cropping up at the end of the year -I was very pleased to have two poems – Addressing the Weather and Honeycomb – accepted by Alba, a very good webjournal that specialises in short poems.

How wonderful is the new Kate Bush album? I mean to say I’ve been a fan since Hounds of Love but she’s still got this rare ability to innovate, surprise and delight decade after decade.

This has been the year for reading and re-reading – have discovered and re-discovered so many good books this year. Particularly loved the miniature silver-covered Penguin classics series – I just like miniature books. I have a phobia of collected works – give me the edit. It was nice to re-read some old favourites in this form – great stories like A Distant Episode, Children on Their Birthdays and La Grosse Fifi.

Was very pleased to see that my poem, The Lazarus Dream has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize.

Also a year of re-connecting with films after several years of feeling disaffected with going to the cinema, though having said that some of the best stuff I saw this year was watched at home. For some reason I’ve been pushing in a slightly gothic direction of late – all of the highlights are ghost/horror films – The Innocents, The Haunting and even the everso ridiculous Insidious (gas-mask seance hello) which for all its flaws has a little terror going on.

Flash fiction in Irish Times

November 24, 2011

Great to see my flash piece in today’s Irish Times.

Dumb was as good as dead; better to utter

November 2, 2011

After a blog hiatus I am back with some miscellaneous stuff.

Look out for the next edition of Abridged 23: Dust and Desire. I’ve got a sonnet in it.

As I’ve been AWOL from the blogosphere I’ve missed loads of stuff. Big congrats to Eimear Ryan for her storming year – well deserved!

Catching up with stuff it was nice to see that my Contrary story, The Pool, was featured in Wigleaf’s 2011 Longlist of Top 50 Very Short Fictions, and that a poem of mine was longlisted for the Lightship poetry prize.

Loved the new Carol Ann Duffy collection, The Bees. My faves would be Premonitions (a very moving poem about her mother), Telling the Bees, Atlas, and Snow. Love the description of the Snow as ‘a huge unsaying.’ The name of this post is taken from one of the sections of the collection.

A belated mention re: The Sunday Independent Hennessy supplement. It was great to be involved, and I especially loved the high concept photo shoots!

I’ve just finished Tom Vowler’s debut short story collection The Method and it’s very impressive – he’s got great versatility and daring. I like diverse collections, and Vowler is authoritative regardless of whether he is writing about the criminal underworld, suburban angst or future dystopias.

I was delighted to hear I received 1st prize in this year’s Jonathan Swift Short Story Award. Unfortunately I couldn’t make the ceremony because of family issues, but it’s always a lovely event and big thanks to everyone involved in organising it over the last few years.