October 17th, 2015 at 7:01 pm
Posted by pc in Ópen-mic on Mondays
When: Monday evenings from 9.30pm

Where: The Long Valley, Winthrop St, 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

Guest / Open-Mic mp3s: 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**OPEN** Five Words Poetry Competition 2015-16 **OPEN**

For this week’s words, click here.

Ó Bhéal Guest Poet Line-up for December 2015 / January 2016
Events are posted every two months. Click names for biographical details

Rozalie Hirs – 7th December
Philippe Beck – 14th December

Seasonal Break Closed on Mondays – 21st & 28th December, 4th January

Colm Scully & Conor McManus – 11th January
Helen Harrison and Marian O’Rourke – 18th January
John McGrath – 25th January

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!

October 17th, 2015 at 7:00 pm
Posted by pc in Uncategorized


3rd Ó Bhéal Poetry-Film Competition Winner Announced
12th October 2015

Congratulations to Cheryl Gross, whose superb film In the Circus of You is the winner this year’s poetry-film award at the IndieCork Festival of Independant Cinema & Music. Cheryl’s film was in competition with thirty shortlisted entries from 13 countries, which you can read about here. Our thanks go to all the filmmakers for submitting, and what a delight to view such a range of world talent and excellent variety of work. Thanks are also due to Zata Banks from PoetryFilm for her marvellous archival work and richly imaginative presentation of avante-garde poetry-film experimentations.

In The Circus Of You (6:07)

Poem: In the Circus of You by Nicelle Davis

Synopsis – a visceral spectacle of controlled excess; it dismantles the three rings we use to contain our most domestic horrors and shows us the way through vulnerability to release. Nicelle Davis’s poetry mythologizes pain, makes grief, anger, disgust, and fear bearable by transforming them into finely wrought poems. These poems are filled with sharp edges, dissections, illusions, and images of flight; both in their language and in the ways they occupy the page. They are perfectly matched by the animation and drawings of Cheryl Gross, who translates Davis’s poetry into an equally grotesque, equally eloquent visual language.

Director: Cheryl Gross (U.S.A.)

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Cheryl Gross is an illustrator and motion graphic artist living and working in the New York area. She is a professor at Pratt Institute and Bloomfield College.

I equate my work with creating and building an environment, transforming my inner thoughts into reality. Beginning with the physical process, I work in layers. I am involved in solving visual and verbal complexities such as design and narrative. My urban influence has indeed added an ‘edge’ to my work.” Many have compared Cheryl’s work to “Dr. Seuss on crack.


Judges Comments
“Too many poetry films apply great cinematography to bad poetry and sometimes great poetry is left down by less than fully committed visuals. Here is a poetry film where the aesthetic accomplishment and craftmanship of the cinematography and the poetry are equal. Gross’s animation remains faithful to Davis’s text while not compromising its own ambition. Gross has demonstrated great taste and discernment in investing her talent as a cinematographer in poems which demand your attention with captivating subject matter and their awareness of language as a musical medium.”
Patrick Cotter & Padraig Trehy

Submissions will open for the 4th Ó Bhéal Poetry-Film Competition from May 2016 at this link.

March 1st, 2015 at 11:46 am
Posted by pc in Uncategorized


2nd Five Words Poetry Competition Winner Announced

Our hearty congratulations go to Derek Sellen, winner of the second Five Words competition for his poem Survivor. Derek will be the guest poet at Ó Bhéal’s 8th anniversary event in April. Our best wishes go to all the shortlisted entrants, and for highly commended entries from Afric McGlinchey and Adannaya Igwe. Thanks to everyone who took part this year, and to judges Billy Ramsell and Jennifer Matthews for their excellent choices.


Survivor   by   Derek Sellen (England) winner
Sonnet in B Major   by   Afric McGlinchey (Ireland) highly commended
Home Cooking   by   Adannaya Igwe (UK) highly commended
Saved   by   Liz Smith (England)
Breakfast   by   Sheena Blackhall (Scotland)
At the Hair Clinic   by   Derek Sellen (England)
The Snooze Button   by   Margaret McCarthy (Ireland)
The Sectioning   by   Bernadette McCarthy (Ireland)
I Coin a Line   by   Mary Fahy (Ireland)
The Stereogram   by   Anthony Scott (England)
Black Mountain Rebel   by   Tess Sheridan Adams (Ireland)
False North   by   John W. Sexton (Ireland)

Judges: Billy Ramsell and Jennifer Matthews

These poems will appear in Five Words Vol VIII, to be launched at Ó Bhéal on Monday the 13th of April 2015, along with an award presentation and readings from available contributors. The 3rd Five Words International Competition will commence at noon on Tuesday the 14th of April, 2015.

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.

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