December 2019 and January 2020

2nd December

Umang Kalra

You can listen to Umang’s reading here.

Umang Kalra is an Indian poet and a student of History at Trinity College, Dublin. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Icarus, Vagabond City, Tn2 Magazine, Coldnoon, Porridge Magazine, and others. She has previously worked with Inklette Magazine, and is currently involved in a year long mentorship programme for women of colour in Ireland, under the bilingual poet Doireann Ni Ghriofa.

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9th December

Oran Ryan

Oran Ryan is a novelist, poet and playwright from Dublin. His poetry, short stories and literary criticism have appeared in magazines worldwide, including Iota, Poetry Ireland and The Stinging Fly. His novels The Death of Finn and Ten Short Novels by Arthur Kruger, both published in 2006, and One Inch Punch, 2012. His work has also appeared in the anthologies Census 1 (2008), Census 2 (2009), Living Streets, Anthology of the Ranelagh Arts Festival (2009), Dublin 10 Journeys, One Destination (2010).

His play Don Quixote Has Been Promoted was performed at the Ranelagh Arts Festival 2009; his work has been shortlisted for the P J O’Connor Award; his words were performed on stage at the Stone Theatre in Manhattan, New York in 2008 and in 2010 his Radio Play Christmas 1947 was performed live as part of KRCB FM 91.1 Twisted Christmas 8 Live performance in California, as well as broadcast on KRCB over Christmas 2010. He has completed a fourth novel with a working title of Murphy, and Revival press recently published Portrait of an Atheist Monk at Prayer (2019), his first poetry collection.


16th December

Ó Bhéal‘s End of Year Event presents

Frank Ormsby

Frank Ormsby was born in 1947, in Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, and was educated at Queen’s University in Belfast. Until 2010 he was Head of English at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution. His latest collections are The Darkness of Snow (Bloodaxe Books, 2017), a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, which was shortlisted for a National Book Circle Critics Award in the US, and The Rain Barrel (Bloodaxe Books, 2019).

His retrospective Goat’s Milk: New & Selected Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 2015), includes work from four previous collections, A Store of Candles (Oxford University Press, 1977), A Northern Spring (Secker & Warburg, 1986), The Ghost Train (Gallery Press, 1995) and Fireflies (Carcanet, 2009), together with new poems, and was shortlisted for the Christopher Ewart-Biggs Literary Prize. Ormsby has edited a number of anthologies and was editor of The Honest Ulsterman from 1969 to 1989, and has also edited Poetry Ireland Review. In 1992 he received the Cultural Traditions Award, given in memory of John Hewitt, and in 2002 the Lawrence O’Shaughnessy Award for Poetry from the University of St Thomas at St Paul, Minnesota. In 2018 he collaborated with singer/songwriter Anthony Toner on an album The Kiss of Light.

On 6 September 2019 Frank Ormsby was named the eighth Ireland Professor of Poetry. He will serve from 1 November 2019 until 31 October 2022.

Biography courtesy of Bloodaxe Books


13th January

Ó Bhéal in association with First Fortnight presents

Natalya O’Flaherty

Established as one of the most exciting names on the Irish spoken word scene, Natalya O’Flaherty has emerged from the dankest of dive bars of the Dublin scene perform at some of the country’s most prestigious cultural centres, exciting events and high profile media slots. Having found her voice through the cheap rhymes and hard hitting nature of spoken word, an appearance as part of the St Patrick’s Day Festival Young Blood concert at the National Concert Hall brought her to the attention of many.

Commissioned to write a new piece for RTE’s A Woman’s World programme marking the centenary of the female vote in Ireland, she performed on The Late Late Show to huge acclaim. She returned to the Late Late a month later for a second performance and in January read the Democratic Programme at the Mansion House in Dublin. Natalya made her UK debut at the London Irish Centre in February, followed by a multi-media headline show More Than Words. Summer festival appearances include All Together Now, Knockanstockan, Body & Soul and Electric Picnic, where she reprised More Than Words for Dublin Theatre Festival.

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