#WeMadeHistory

#WeMadeHistory

The people of Ireland have voted YES for marriage equality — regardless of sexuality — in a public referendum, with one of the largest turnouts in voting history; we are the first country in the world to make this choice by popular vote. I've never been prouder to be Irish.

Double Shot @ Books Upstairs: New Poetry Event in Dublin

This week sees the launch of Double Shot - a series of poetry readings at the new Books Upstairs premises on D'Olier Street, which pairs an emerging poet with a more established peer, to provide reading opportunities for poets who don't often get to read in Dublin. 

Cork Spring Poetry Festival 2015: Poetry Bus Showcase

Cork Spring Poetry Festival 2015 - Poetry Bus Showcase

Cork Spring Poetry Festival 2015 kicks off tomorrow (12 Feb), with a fantastic line-up of local, national and international poets over 4 days. Guests include Don Share, Jo Shapcott, Lavinia Greenlaw and Peter Fallon but, as well as the big names, the festival includes debut launches from the winners of the Fool For Poetry chapbook competition, a focus on independent literary journals in Ireland - The Penny Dreadful, Poetry Bus & Southword - and the Prizegiving for the Gregory O'Donoghue International Poetry Competition, won last year by Breda Wall Ryan.

Personally, I'm looking forward to the Don Share reading, along with UK poet, Liz BerryI've only recently discovered Berry's work and it is gorgeous - no surprise then that her debut collection, Black Country, won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. For a taster, read about Liz Berry's process for writing her poem, 'Sow', on Campus.

I'll be reading a couple of poems at the Poetry Bus showcase on Thurs 12 February, at Cork Arts Theatre. Poetry Bus is the editorial and creative vision of Peadar O'Donoghue and Collette O'Donoghue - an annual anthology that seeks out new and emerging voices in poetry, the ones that might not get a hearing elsewhere. Poetry features alongside selected artwork, reviews and essays, even a CD of music and spoken word performances - all in a high quality paperback format. It's hard to think of another literary print publication that ticks all those boxes. It's a labour of love and I'm delighted to see Peadar & Collette's hard work and dedication being recognised at Cork Spring Poetry Festival.

The Poetry Bus Showcase includes readings by Melissa Diem, Sorcha Ní Mhealláin, Fióna Bolger, BeRnzy Mac, Liz Quirke, Bec GimblerBrendan McCormack, a poem film by Melissa Diem, and a discussion with the editors.

Showcase starts at 7pm - tickets available from Cork Arts Theatre.

Poetry Competitions & Submissions - February 2015

Poetry Competitions & Writing Submissions - February 2015

First day of February, first day of Spring! Time to make a fresh start and to help you shoo your latest poetic masterpieces out into the world, here's a fresh batch of poetry competitions and writing submissions to look out for this February:

(Click on links for info)

Helen Literary Magazine - Poetry, Flash & Short Fiction, Non-fiction, Spoken Word, Film, Art & Photography, theme: Music - closes 1st Feb (submit online)

Open House 2015 Poetry Competition - Poetry, judged by Liz Berry - closes 1st Feb (submit online)

Berkeley Poetry Review - Poetry to challenges conceptions of race, gender, sexuality, ecology & poetic form  - closes 1st Feb (submit online)

CutBank Literary Journal - Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction - closes 1st Feb (submit online)

Bellevue Literary Revue - Poetry, Short Fiction, theme: War - closes 1st Feb (submit online)

Cuirt New Writing Prize - Poetry & Short Fiction - closes 2nd Feb (submit online)

The Piggot Poetry Prize (in association with Listowel Writers' Week) - Poetry collections - closes 3rd Feb (submit by post - publishers only)

The Corinium Museum Poetry Competition - inspired by works in museum, all ages - closes 6th Feb (submit by post)

The Fourth River - Poetry, Creative Writing Poems, theme: Queering Nature - closes 7th Feb (submit by post)

SubTerrain Magazine - Poetry, Fiction, Essays, Memoir. Spring Issue, theme: Outsiders - closes 10th Feb (submit by post)

The Michael Hartnett Poetry Award 2015 - Poetry collections - closes 12th Feb (submit by post - publishers only)

Burning Bush 2 Online Literary Magazine - Poetry, Guest Ed. Joseph Horgan - closes 14th Feb (submit online)

Lumen / Camden Poetry Chapbook Competition - Poetry, judged by George Szirtes - closes 14th Feb (submit by post & online)

Side Eye Digital Magazine - Poetry, Fiction, Flash, Non-fiction, Memoir, Visual Arts - various, from 14th Feb (submit online)

Fire River Poets Open Poetry Competition - Poetry, any style - closes 20th Feb (submit online and by post)

The Strokestown Poetry Festival Competitions - Poetry, Irish Language, Comic Verse - closes 27th Feb (submit online and by post)

The Stinging Fly - Poetry, Short Fiction, Translation - closes 28th Feb (submit online and by post)

HAD Poetry Competition - Poetry, theme: Honouring the Ancient Dead - closes 28th Feb (submit online and by post)

YorkMix Open Poetry Competition 2015 - Poetry, judged by Carole Bromley - closes 28th Feb (submit online)

Wag's Revue Winter Contests - Poetry, Fiction, Essays - closes 28th Feb (submit online)

Tupelo Press Snowbound Chapbook Award - Poetry, 20-36 pages - closes 28th Feb (submit online and by post)

Ninth Letter Journal - Poetry, Fiction, Essays - closes 28th Feb (submit by post)

Okey-Panky - Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Graphic Stories - dark, comic, experimental - closes 28th Feb (submit online)

The Rialto Nature Poetry Competition 2015 - Poetry, judged by Simon Armitage - closes 1st Mar (submit online and by post)

Paper and Ink Zine - Poetry, Fiction, Flash, Memoir, Rants, theme: Shitty Jobs - closes 1st Mar (submit online)

Atlanta Review International Poetry Competition - Poetry - closes 1st Mar - (submit online and by post)

Pilcrow & Dagger - Poetry, Fiction, Essays, theme 'Hometown Stories' - closes 1st Mar (submit online and by post)

Black Warrior Review - Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction - closes 1st Mar (submit online)

Quotable - Poetry, Fiction, Flash, Non-fiction, theme: Atmosphere - closes 1st Mar (submit online)

Doolin Writers Weekend Competitions 2015 - Poetry & Short Story - closes 2nd Mar (submit by post)

Listowel Writers' Week Competitions - Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction - closes 2nd Mar (submit online and by post)

Rethink Your Mind - Poetry, Artwork, Photography, theme: I feel better when I am... - closes 15th Feb (submit online)

Synaesthesia Magazine - Poetry - mini collection of 3-5 poems, judged by Mark Cugini - closes 16th Mar (submit online)

Journals with open submission periods in February:

The Southampton Review - Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Plays - opens 1st Feb (submit online)

Lunch Ticket - Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction, Translations, Visual Art - opens 1st Feb (submit online)

Paris Lit Up - Poetry, Fiction, Essays, Reviews, Art - opens 1st Feb - 15th Mar (submit online)

TriQuarterly Magazine - Poetry, Short Fiction, Non-fiction, Plays, Video Essays - opens 16th Feb (submit online)

Slice Magazine - Poetry, Short Fiction, Non-fiction & Artwork, theme: Desire - opens 1st Jan - 1st Mar (submit online)

Ambit Magazine - Poetry, Short Fiction, Flash - opens 1st Feb - 1st Apr (submit online and by post)

Granta Magazine of New Writing - Poetry, Fiction, Memoir, Reportage and Art - open until Apr 1 (submit online)

Lighthouse Literary Journal - Poetry & Short Fiction - open (submit online)

The Ofi Press Magazine - Poetry & Short Fiction - open (submit online)

Best of luck!

(Illustration by Nicole Ray via Etsy)

Poetry Ireland Introductions 2014 Redux: Angela T. Carr

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The Poetry Ireland Introductions Series - a showcase for emerging poets working towards a first collection and with a track record of publication in journals and magazines - is open for submissions until 31 Jan. Introductions mentors new writing talent in Ireland, providing the opportunity to workshop poetry with an established, published poet and perform work to a live audience at a showcase, hosted by Poetry Ireland; the showcase is recorded and published on the Poetry Ireland web-site.

As an alumni of last year's series, 2014 was pretty busy for me on the writing front, and I've been asking my fellow emerging poets to share their experience of taking part in the Introductions series. I thought I'd round up today with my own feedback: what it was like to take part in Poetry Ireland Introductions, how I benefited and where I am now with my writing.

Angela T. Carr

"When I received the call from Poetry Ireland, I was floored - there is no doubt being named as an emerging voice by Ireland's principal poetry organisation is a landmark moment. I had discovered, at the end of 2013, my debut poetry collection was to be published and to be selected for Introductions, shortly after, felt like I was graduating, after a 5 year apprenticeship in poetry. As I said to Erin, when our readings at the Dublin Writers' Festival were announced: "We'll have to give up our outlaw ways and go legit."

There's always a fear of rejection, for me, at least, when exposing work to a group of experienced writers for the first time, and I was reassured to hear both Rachel Coventry and Erin Fornoff talk about their nervousness about attending the workshop - both appeared to be the epitomy of calm on the day! The fear usually dissipates when you realise there is no ego and you are among people who genuinely care about the written word who want to make their work all it can be. This is the tie that binds between writers, I think. It's hard to resist anyone who is passionate about the thing you also really care about.

Alan Jude Moore and Theo Dorgan, both, were instructive and encouraging mentors; Ayoma Bowe of Poetry Ireland was a fantastic 'house-mother', guiding and supporting us through the process, step-by-step, and even rehearsing with us, before the big event: the Introductions reading at the Dublin Writers' Festival. It was a fantastic night - a great energy in the room, with a wonderfully receptive and engaged audience.

I'd also like to commend Poetry Ireland on selecting poets to represent the scope and variety of new writing in Ireland - in the ratio of male to female writers, age range, geographical location, language, voice and style. It says poetry is for everyone and whoever, wherever you are, you are never too old or too young to develop the habit!

It's been great to see my fellow Introductions poets prosper throughout the year - Breda Wall Ryan's winning poem in the Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Prize 2015, Colm Scully launching his debut poetry collection, Rachel and Kevin Conroy being short-listed for the Cork Literary Review Poetry Manuscript Competition, Larry Stapleton reading at the Cuisle International Poetry Festival, Breda named runner-up and Paul McMahon, Highly Commended, in the Patrick Kavanagh Award,  Erin and friends launching Lingo - Ireland's first Spoken Word Festival - and also the potential for collaboration, as with Breda and Stephen Heffernan's poetry in translation project. As a result of talking to Colm about his experience of making films, I was prompted to make a poetry film of my own.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FHl4TiOmGs&w=560&h=315]

Angela T. Carr reads 'The Tiger's Tail'. Photography by Mike Bors.

Taking part in Poetry Ireland Introductions has given me the confidence to take my writing seriously, to call myself a writer, and to put my work out into the world.

In 2014, I had 7 poems accepted for publication in Ireland and the UK, took part in a poetry workshop with Don Paterson at the Mountains to Sea Book Festival (along with Breda), read at journal launches, O'Bheal, Culture Night, as well as the Dublin Writers' Festival, was Commended in the Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Prize, short-listed in the Listowel Writers' Week Single Poem award, a finalist in the Mslexia Women's Poetry Competition, judged by Wendy Cope, Highly Commended in the Over the Edge New Writer of the Year and the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award and won the Allingham Poetry Competition. In November, I launched my debut collection, How to Lose Your Home & Save Your Life.

I'm now focused on taking part in the poetry scene and reading as much as possible to promote the book - I'll be reading at the Cork Spring Poetry Festival 2015, as part of the Poetry Bus Showcase on 12 Feb, the Crannog Magazine launch in Galway, on 27 Feb, and a Galway launch for the debut collection on 13 March.

I'm also working on my second collection - the idea for which sprang from discussions with fellow Introductions poets, Rachel and Breda, and Cork poet, Afric McGlinchey, during the Mountains to Sea Book Festival last September.

Good things come of poets getting together and talking about poetry!"

If you have a track record of published poems and are still to publish a full-length collection, there is still just enough time to submit to this year's Introductions series, which closes today.

Poetry Ireland Introductions 2014 Redux: Stephen Heffernan / Stiofán Ó hIfearnáin

stephen

The Poetry Ireland Introductions Series - a showcase for emerging poets working towards a first collection and with a track record of publication in journals and magazines - is open for submissions until 31 Jan. Introductions mentors new writing talent in Ireland, providing the opportunity to workshop poetry with an established, published poet and perform work to a live audience at a showcase, hosted by Poetry Ireland; the showcase is recorded and published on the Poetry Ireland web-site.

As an alumni of last year's series, 2014 was pretty busy for me on the writing front, and I thought it would be fun to catch up with my fellow emerging writers to see what they've been up to.

To encourage those of you who might be thinking of applying this year, I asked them to share what it was like to take part in Poetry Ireland Introductions, how they benefited and where they are now with their writing.

Stephen Heffernan / Stiofán Ó hIfearnáin

[Note: Stephen is an Irish language poet]

"There can be little doubt that taking part in the Poetry Ireland Introductions series was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life so far. To be perfectly honest, I submitted my portfolio of work as a means of testing the waters rather than having any great ambition fulfilled and the positive response was a surprise to say the least! As someone who never did much in the line of creative writing classes or the like, and who had only ever shown my work to a small circle of friends, before submitting poems, it was an exciting experience to exchange criticism and praise with the other selected poets on the work they brought to the workshop.

Since taking part in the programme, myself and Breda Wall Ryan have dabbled a bit in the translation of one of my poem sequences, with a view to publishing both versions in the Poetry Ireland Review but, apart from that, I've been going through something of a dry patch. [Stephen is currently a visiting student at the University of Potsdam, Germany, as part of his degree studies in History & German Literature - A.] I admit to being somewhat envious to see many of my fellow poets announce the publication of their first collection, as I'm still considerably distant from the particular milestone, but suppose I have youth on my side, if nothing else."

To his own great surprise some people have decided that Stiofán Ó hIfearnáin should be called a poet: his words have graced the pages of Comhar, The Stinging Fly and Cabhsair/Causeway and in 2014, he was selected for the Poetry Ireland Introductions series. Although he is presently in exile in the former East Germany, he is usually to be found somewhere in the shadows of the Knockmealdowns.

Poetry Ireland Introductions 2014 Redux: Erin Fornoff

Erin Fornoff - Spoken Word Poet. Photo by Arek Wnuk

The Poetry Ireland Introductions Series - a showcase for emerging poets working towards a first collection and with a track record of publication in journals and magazines - is open for submissions until 31 Jan. Introductions mentors new writing talent in Ireland, providing the opportunity to workshop poetry with an established, published poet and perform work to a live audience at a showcase, hosted by Poetry Ireland; the showcase is recorded and published on the Poetry Ireland web-site.

As an alumni of last year's series, 2014 was pretty busy for me on the writing front, and I thought it would be fun to catch up with my fellow emerging writers to see what they've been up to.

To encourage those of you who might be thinking of applying this year, I asked them to share what it was like to take part in Poetry Ireland Introductions, how they benefited and where they are now with their writing.

Erin Fornoff

"Poetry Ireland Introductions was a big confidence booster for me. Focusing so much on spoken word, I sometimes get a bit insecure about "traditional" poetry and it really helped me feel as though I fit in there a bit more. It's entry into a community. It's amazing what a community feel it creates, even with such a short time together. The workshop and support, and promotion thereafter, was a great thing. There is a camraderie among the writers which is quite lovely--like a football team of poets there to root for one another. And Poetry Ireland has been immensely supportive.

This year writing was sacrificed on the altar of organising and performing. I helped found (together with a great poetic committee) Lingo, Ireland's first ever spoken word festival, which sold out, featured over 100 performers including Paula Meehan, Mary Coughlan, and Polarbear, and received 45 media hits including features in the Irish Times, Irish Independent, Metro Herald, Journal.ie, RTE Arena, Newstalk, and RTE The Works. I finished an M.Phil in Creative Writing from Trinity College, focusing on a novel, and received Distinction. Other than that, I had a poem published in The Stinging Fly and a couple other places and performed at Edinburgh Fringe, Electric Picnic, Indiependence, Mountains to Sea, Culture Night, Bram Stoker Festival, NYF Dublin, and other events. In 2015, I'll be reading at O'Bheal in Cork, Over the Edge in Galway, and opening for Hollie McNish's Irish tour in three cities in May. Then I'm taking a few months off to write my book!"

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Our Nation's Sons from Joe Caslin on Vimeo.

Erin recently collaborated with artist, Joe Caslin on the poetry film 'Our Nation's Son'.
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A native of the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina, Erin Fornoff has performed poetry at Glastonbury, Electric Picnic and many other festivals and events. Called 'deliciously exotic' (Irish Independent), and 'one of the top performance poets in Ireland' (Electric Picnic), in 2013, she was featured poet at Farmleigh House's 'New Voices', alongside Hollie McNish and Hozier. Her work is published in the Stinging Fly, Cyphers, New Planet Cabaret and Burning Bush II, among others. She won First Prize for Poetry in The Cellar Door, Third Prize in the Strokestown International Poetry Award, and won the 2013 StAnza Digital Slam. She is Artistic Director for Lingo, Ireland's first spoken word festival. Follow Erin on Twitter @jarsofshine.
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Photo by Arek Wnuk.