January 20th, 2015 at 4:41 pm
Posted by pc in Ópen-mic on Mondays

When: Monday evenings from 9.30pm

Where: The Long Valley, Winthrop Street, Cork.
                                          [here’s a map]

What: Poetry Challenge, Guest Poets and Open-Mic

    Original poetry, storytelling and unplugged ceol

        Ó Bhéal – a poem by Anamaría Crowe Serrano

                       mp3 Podcasts & Comments: What happened on Monday?

                               Wordshops: Creative Writing at Ó Bhéal and Beyond …

                               Interviews: with Ó Bhéal guests by Jennifer Matthews

                               Five Words Vol VIII: Submit Monday compositions here

Five Words Poetry Competition**CLOSED** Five Words Poetry Competition 2014-15 **CLOSED**

A shortlist of twelve poems and winner will be announced during the first week of March, 2015 here

Ó Bhéal Guest Poet Line-up for February / March
Events are posted every two months. Click names for biographical details

Creative Writing from UCC – 2nd February
Erin Fornoff & Caleb Brennan – 9th February
Martin Dyar – 16th February
Melissa Diem – 23rd February
in association with Foras na Gaeilge   Aifric MacAodha – 2nd March
Alan McMonagle – 9th March
Richard Halperin – 16th March
Bernadette Cremin – 23rd March
Noel Duffy – 30th March

Entrance is free. Full bar available.

The night begins with a Poetry Challenge starting around 9.30pm. Guest poets begin about 10.00pm for between 30-45 minutes, after which follows the usual open-mic session. Be sure to come early to get good seats!

January 20th, 2015 at 4:40 pm
Posted by pc in Uncategorized

Liz Lochhead on Video

followed by the open-mic

15th December 2014

For those who missed our end of year reading with Liz Lochhead (the Scots Makar / National poet of Scotland), we have all 13 of Liz’s poems on video for you. Liz gave a fabulous reading and an excellent open-mic followed to end off the year. With thanks to Rab Urquhart for capturing the footage.

All the videos are here
(or on the Ó Bhéal Youtube channel).

January 12th, 2015 at 10:29 am
Posted by pc in Uncategorized


Winter Warmer Videos 2014

21st-22nd November


The 2nd Winter Warmer festival at Sample Studios was a resounding success, with a mighty array of exceptional poets drawing fantastic crowds throughout. It’ll be more than difficult to match next year, but that won’t stop us trying! We have one video from each guest poet’s reading/performance at the festival (in order of appearance), including the closed-mic.

All the videos are here
(or on the Ó Bhéal Youtube channel).

December 30th, 2014 at 12:44 pm
Posted by pc in Uncategorized


Jazz-Poetry Night 2014

Guest Poet and Open-Mic videos
(also on the Ó Bhéal Youtube channel)

20th October


A class night of jazz-poetry with Patrick Cotter accompanied by Mo O’Connor, Pat Barrett and Niall Dennehy, and followed by an excellent open-mic for our 7th jazz-poetry night. The videos (filmed by Stephen O’Riordan) of both the main set and the open-mic are here.

December 21st, 2014 at 3:15 pm
Posted by pc in Uncategorized

[L-R] Adam Steiner, Saleha Begum, Adam Wyeth, Kathy D’Arcy and Cal Doyle

Twin Cities
Poetry Exchange

with photos and reviews from

Cork and Coventry poets

July and November 2014

[L-R] Saleha Begum and Adam Steiner at Béal na Bláth

This year’s Cork-Coventry Twin Cities poetry exchange welcomed five new and talented voices. Representing Coventry were two exciting young poets: Adam Steiner and Saleha Begum, while Cork returned with three well-known local poets: Adam Wyeth; Kathy D’Arcy and Cal Doyle. Over three days in July the Coventry poets gave readings at Ó Bhéal, the West Cork Literary Festival and at the Whitehouse in Limerick. They visited Lord Mayor Cllr. Mary Shields at City Hall and travelled through counties Cork, Kerry and Limerick, making various detours to visit historical monuments and rare curiosities like The Time Traveller’s Bookshop in Skibbereen. In November the Cork poets gave readings at The Big Comfy Bookshop in Coventry and also in Burton-on-Trent, visited Lord Mayor of Coventry Hazel Noonan who accompanied them on a tour of the old Cathedral ruins. They were interviewed live by Kate Hills on Hillz FM Radio and also visited Stratford and Birmingham.

“I am finishing now and I say this; I cannot think of a better place to bring this state visit to a close than among the Irish community; with the Irish of Britain active for 40 years with groups like the St. Patricks Club, Leamington Spa, the Coventry Irish Society, the Coventry County Association and the Coventry Cork Poets.”President Michael D Higgins at the Guild House, Coventry, April 2014

For the full review from the participants, with photos, click here.

November 12th, 2014 at 9:24 pm
Posted by pc in Poetry Events and News


2nd Ó Bhéal Poetry-Film Competition Winner Announced
19th October 2014

Our congratulations go to Marleen van der Werf whose beautiful film Wadland, a breathtaking portrayal of sea-life found in tidal areas, is this year’s poetry-film competition winner at the IndieCork Festival of Independant Cinema. Marleen’s film was under strong competition from the other thirty shortlisted entries, which you can see here. This year the films were screened in the main Firkin Crane theatre on Shandon where the huge screen and cultural location made it the perfect venue. Thanks also to the participating filmmakers and poets who travelled from afar for the screenings: Svitlana Reinish (Ukraine), Silvie Wolff (Netherlands) and Kevin Barrington (Dublin). We’re already looking forward to next year!

Wadland (9:19)

Poem: Wadland by Marleen van der Werf

SynopsisWadland is a poetic wildlife documentary about the life in the sand of a tidal plain, and the search for a lost childhood memory.

Director: Marleen van der Werf (Netherlands)

After finishing her Masters in Biology and Philosophy at the University of Amsterdam, Marleen van der Werf specialized in filming nature.


Judges Comments

“A sensitive and poignant study of an ecosystem by a filmmaker whose knowledge and appreciation of the subject matter shines in each finely crafted shot.” - Stephen O’Riordan

“Wadland invites us into a liminal landscape, to experience that intimate place where sea meets sand, where the strength and fragility of living is inhabited and washed away in tidal cycles. The imagery, beautifully captured is poetic in it’s own right, while the poem is heart felt and intelligent. Wadland is a true marriage of poetry and film.” – Rosie O’Regan

“Wadland comes pretty close to being a perfect poetry film.” – Rab Urqhart

“Exploring the metaphor of tidal-land sea-life as symbolic of our own lives, is both frightening and enlightening, and this delicate subject matter has been treated beautifully here. The balance between poem, image and music in Wadland is terrific and absolutely captivating. It does the best of what both poetry and film can do – it takes you somewhere new, within yourself.” -
Paul Casey

Submissions will be open for the 3rd Ó Bhéal Poetry-Film Competition from May 2015.

March 1st, 2014 at 3:09 pm
Posted by pc in Poetry Events and News


Five Words Poetry Competition Winner Announced

Our congratulations go to Don Nixon, winner of this inaugural five words competition for his poem, Fado in a Lisbon Bar. And congratulations to all the shortlisted entrants, and for highly commended contributions from Afric McGlinchey and Janet Lees.


Old Maps and Books by Don Nixon (England)
Fado in a Lisbon Bar by Don Nixon (England) winner
Gipsy Girl by Eithne Reynolds (Ireland)
The Magician’s Hat by Linda Mills (USA)
Matinée Idol by Richard Hawtree (Ireland)
Postcard by Joy Howard (England)
A boy of six thousand parts by Janet Lees (England) highly commended
Palimpsest by Janet Lees (England)
Frozen moment by Afric McGlinchey (Ireland) highly commended
Life on Mars by Colm Scully (Ireland)
The Choice by Tom Dredge (Ireland)
At the Banquet by Máire Wren (Ireland)

Judges: Cal Doyle and Paul Casey

These poems will appear in Five Words vol VII, to be launched at Ó Bhéal on Monday the 14th of April 2014, along with an award presentation and readings from available contributors.

January 6th, 2014 at 1:54 pm
Posted by pc in Uncategorized

[L-R] Tom Wyre, Sarah James, Martin Brown, Julie Field and Rab Urquhart

Twin Cities
Poetry Exchange

with photos and reviews from

Cork and Coventry poets

July and November 2013

[L-R] Martin Brown, Sarah James and Tom Wyre at the Norman Keep near Cobh

Thanks to the City Councils of Cork and Coventry, the 2013 Cork-Coventry Poetry Twinning exchange saw five poets travel from their respective twin cities to share their work. Representing Coventry were Tom Wyre, Sarah James and Martin Brown, and for Cork, Julie Field and Rab Urquhart. The Coventry poets visited for three days in July and gave readings at Ó Bhéal and at the Whitehouse in Limerick. They visited Lord Mayor Cllr. Catherine Clancy at City Hall and made daily excursions to Spike Island, the Old Head of Kinsale, Blarney Castle, Lough Gur and Cobh, while during a reciprocal three-day visit the Cork contingency gave readings at Playwrights Café in Coventry, the King’s Head in Litchfield and at the Old Crown in Birmingham, visited Lord Mayor Cllr. Gary Crookes and were interviewed live on Hillz FM Radio.

For the full review from the participants, with photos, click here.

December 22nd, 2013 at 8:56 pm
Posted by pc in Poetry Events and News


Jazz-Poetry Night 2013

21st October


Oh what live jazz and poetry can create – our 6th jazz-poetry night in October saw Dimitra Xidous team up with musicians Gary Baus, Jack O’Rourke, Mo O’Connor and Michael O’Callaghan. So we won’t harp on about the magic when the videos (filmed by Stephen O’Riordan) of both the main set and the open-mic, are right here.

October 8th, 2013 at 5:26 pm
Posted by pc in Uncategorized

15th – 16th November 2013

the Ó Bhéal Winter Warmer Festival

to be held at
Sample Studios Amphitheatre (Sullivan’s Quay, Cork)

Ó Bhéal is proud to announce it’s first Winter Warmer Festival, a weekend of poetry featuring twenty-one poets, four of whom will be performing to music.

oikos will present a live installation incorporating poetry, influenced by butoh and body-weather practices. There’s also a preview screening of Seamus Murphy’s excellent new poetry film Snake: Poetry of Afghanistan’s Women (the world première of which follows in December), as well as a closed-mic for ten local poets.

Free Admission to all events

For the complete programme click here

Videos of the festival performances are available here.

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