March 7th, 2018 at 5:25 pm
Posted by pc in Ópen-mic on Mondays
When: Mondays from 9.30pm (+ poetry-films from 8.30pm)

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

What: Poetry Challenge, Films, Guest Poets & 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 XI: Submit 5W poems penned at Ó Bhéal

Five Words Poetry Competition**Clósed** Five Words Poetry Competition 2017-18 **Clósed**

Click for news & submission guidelines>>>

Guest Poet Line-up for February and March 2018
Events are posted every two months. Click names for biographical details

in association with UCC  New Creative Writing – 5th February
All the Worlds Between – 12th February
Joel Deane – 19th February
Hazel Hogan & Alice Kinsella – 26th February
for Seachtain na Gaeilge  Louis Mulcahy – 5th March
Patrick Stack – 12th March
John Foggin – 19th March
Eleanor Cummins, Eileen Sheehan and Jessie Lendennie – 26th March

Entrance is free. Full bar available.

The night begins with a selection of poetry-films, screened between 8.30-9.30pm. The Five Words poetry challenge starts at 9.30pm. Guest poets begin around 10.00pm, for between 30-45 minutes, after which follows the usual open-mic session. Be sure to come early to get good seats!

546 Responses to “Poetry Readings & Open-Mic Nights”

  1. 1
    pc Said: @7:52 pm 

    Open-mic night – 3rd March 2008

    For those who didn’t bare Winter’s late comeback freeze on Monday to see Trish Casey, you missed out on a really great night. Trish will be coming back later in the year to give a workshop series in voice delivery (10 places only). The poet elevated the entire ambience with her unique alternating vocal blend of litany, satire and much besides. You can hear a few of here poems here.

    Thanks to all the open-mic poets, Alan Coakley, Joe Sweeney, Miriam Casey, Jennifer Matthews, Billy Ramsell, Meghann Plunkett, Patricia Walsh, Edward O’Dwyer, Niall Herriott, Seline McCarney, Gene Barry, Brian Ó Murchú, Jerry O’Neill and Daw Harding.

    The poetry challenge was taken by Lucy. Well done.

    The open-mic mp3 is here.

    03/6/08; 7:52 pm
  2. 2
    pc Said: @2:04 pm 

    Open-mic night – 25th February 2008

    Gene Barry took the reins for the 44th open-mic, and as eMCee held the night together with pristine skill. Thanks Gene. Guest poet Gary King read generously from a variety of his work, switching back and forth comfortably between performance and the page. His reading can be heard here.

    Thanks to all the open-mic poets, Matthew Sweeney, Alan Coakley, Aaron Lewis, Joe Sweeney, Meghann Plunkett, Edward O’Dwyer, Pat Cotter, Patricia Walsh, Séamus Harrington, Finbarr Owens, Finbarr O’Mahony, meself, David Winter, Jill, Daw Harding, Claire, Celine and Alan Titley.

    Daw Harding won the poetry challenge – Good Stuff.

    The open-mic mp3 is here.

    02/27/08; 2:04 pm
  3. 3
    pc Said: @11:05 pm 

    Open-mic night – 18th February 2008

    We had another great night, this time on the wings of Raven’s extraordinary poetic rhythms which kept all soaring way above the city from beginning to end. He’s yet another extremely gifted performer who keeps far from the page during his delivery, and I found myself wondering afterwards if there’s such a thing as too much inspiration. What I am certain of though is that passion like that is contagious. You can hear his performance here.

    Thanks to all on the open-mic, Draven, Alan Coakley, Joe Sweeney, Jerry O’Neill, Patricia Walsh, Niall Herriott, Gene Barry, Bern, Kevin Hennessy, Séamus Harrington, Dean Adedipe, Mel O’Dea, Rosie O’Regan, Edward O’Dwyer, George Harding, Finbarr O’Mahony, Celine McCarney, Jill, Meghann Plunkett, Mike O’Brien and Alan Titley.

    The poetry challenge was won by Raven.

    The open-mic recording can be heard here.

    02/20/08; 11:05 pm
  4. 4
    pc Said: @6:13 pm 

    Open-mic night – 11th February 2008

    I’m beginning to wonder if these nights can get any better. 53 people in the house and others queuing up on the stairs. Then again, with Gearoid Mac Lochlainn around I’d imagine nothing less. An excellent performance, and we’ll be sure to get him back to Cork in the future. The mp3 of Gearoid’s reading is here.

    Thanks to the open-mic poets, Pat Cotter, Jennifer Matthews, David Winter, Alan Titley, Joe Sweeney, Niall Herriott, Patricia Walsh, Alan Coakley, Séamus Harrington, Meghann Plunkett, Brian Ó Muruski, Marta, Gene Barry, Paddy Reidy, Edward O’Dwyer, Cora Reidy, Brian McElroy, Francis Donnelly, Liam Keily, Billy Ramsell, George Harding, Aaron Lewis and Gearoid Mac Lochlainn.

    14 took up the poetry challenge which was won by Séan Ó Laoi, well done, and thanks to the Munster Literature Centre for donating the evening’s prize of The Echoing Years.

    The open mic mp3 is here.

    02/14/08; 6:13 pm
  5. 5
    pc Said: @2:41 am 

    Open-mic night – 4th February 2008

    Poet Jennifer Matthews compèred the evening with great finesse and aplomb in her debut as eMCee, and we hope to see more of her in the driving seat in the future. Thanks Jen.

    With Mark Whelan’s elegant reading from his latest collection, it was a nice change to take a back seat and take in the 41st evening which was greatly enjoyed by all, including another hearty Whitehouse contingent. The mp3 of Mark’s reading is here.

    Thanks to all who were up at the open-mic, Aaron Lewis, Edward O’Dwyer, Mary O’Connell, Dominic Taylor, Joseph Sweeney, Patricia Walsh, Brian Ó Murcaidh, Gene Barry, Séamus Harrington, Patrick Cotter, Marta, Michael O’Brien, Finbarr O’Mahony, George Harding, Pev Cache, Meghann Plunkett, Jill O’Keefe and Dave Winter.

    Alan Coakley won the poetry challenge.

    The open-mic mp3 is here.

    02/7/08; 2:41 am
  6. 6
    pc Said: @5:07 pm 

    Open-mic night – 28th January 2008

    What a night! 18 took on the poetry challenge and 25 went up to the open-mic. Both new records for Ó Bhéal.

    Neil McCarthy delivered a mighty performance to the house, with a series of stream-of-conciousness poems written all around the globe. Flowing from the heartiest of humour to both the gravitas and ridiculous of the human condition, Neil captured the crowd from start to finish. You can listen to his performance here.

    Thanks to the open-mic poets, Mel O’Dea, Meghann Plunkett, Finbarr O’Mahony, Paddy Reidy, John Ryan, Edward O’Dwyer, Patricia Walsh, Bern, Jen Matthews, Billy Ramsell, Séamus Harrington, Anne-Marie Grandfield, Gene Barry, Cora Reidy, Pat Cotter, Alan Titley, Padraig O’Suilleabháin, Dean Adedipe, Jill O’Keefe, Brian Ó Murcaidh, Aaron Lewis, George Harding, Liam Kiely, Mike O’Brien and Bryan McElroy.

    The challenge was taken by Dean Adedipe. Well Done.

    The mp3 of the open-mic is here.

    01/29/08; 5:07 pm
  7. 7
    pc Said: @1:03 am 

    Open-mic night – 21st January 2008

    Cliff Wedgbury delivered a powerfully spirited reading, selected from a number of his collections, leaving an inspired audience more than eager to get up to the open-mic. Cliff’s well seasoned cadences and lyric ballads left more than a few open-mouthed … with 45 minutes of flowing performance completely off the page. Cliff’s reading is here.

    A completely packed open-mic had us pushing the limits of closing time once again. Thanks goes to Brian Ó Murchú, Lil, Joe Sweeney, Edward O’Dwyer, Meghann Plunkett, Jerry O’Neill, Jennifer Matthews, Sinéad Ryan, Marta, John Ryan, Patricia Walsh, Liam Kiely, Alan Titley, Cuan Muyllaert, Gene Barry, Rosie O’Regan, Pat Cotter, Peter, Séamus Harrington, George Harding, Finbarr O’Mahony and Séan Óg Ó Glacín.

    The poetry challenge was won by Finbarr O’Mahony.

    The mp3 of the open-mic is here.

    01/25/08; 1:03 am
  8. 8
    pc Said: @11:29 pm 

    Open-mic night – 14th January 2008

    A big thank you to Jessica Peart for coming down from Dubs at such short notice, and sparking off a great night with her excellent pageless performance. Yet more proof that delivering the poetry without the page is both more engaging and accessible. Here is Jessica reading Indian Elephant.

    Thanks to the open-mic contributors, Brian Ó Murchú, Mel O’Dea, Jennifer Matthews, Mary O’Connell, Edward O’Dwyer, Cuan Muyllaert, Patricia Walsh, Séamus Harrington, Eugene Crowley, Aaron Lewis and Rosie.

    Edward O’Dwyer won the poetry challenge. Sláinte.

    The open-mic mp3 is here.

    01/20/08; 11:29 pm
  9. 9
    pc Said: @3:01 am 

    Open-mic night – 7th January 2008

    A great start to the New Year with a full house to welcome Teri Murray, our first guest of the year. Although very relaxed the evening had great variety, echoing Teri’s own performance. A lot of new faces and a strong Limerick contingent bodes well for the year to come. Teri’s performance can be heard here.

    Thanks to the open-mic poets and crooners, Ger Sheehy, Dominic Taylor, Jennifer Matthews, Annie Power, Jerry O’Neill, Alan Coakley, Helen Kavanagh-Ronan, FionnBarra, Gene Barry, Edward O’Dwyer, Finbar, Patricia Walsh, Mary O’Connell, Séamus Harrington, George Harding, Aaron Lewis, Cuan Muyllaert and Bryan McElroy.

    The poetry challenge was won by Martine. Nicely taken with a Haiku-Limerick combination. Well Done.

    The open-mic mp3 is here.

    01/9/08; 3:01 am
  10. 10
    pc Said: @7:04 pm 

    Open-mic night – 17th December 2007

    Wow! What a night. Buddy, Andrea and Katie Rocked and Corked the house from beginning to end. With a packed out house Ó Bhéal’s end of year Xmas party was a night to be remembered. Videos will be up in the new year, and the mp3 of the I Am a Lagan performance is here.

    Thanks to everyone for supporting the venue during the 36 consecutive Mondays in 2007, and to the Arts Council and Cork City Council for their recent endorsements and support. 2008 looks to be even better, and we hope to hit the 50 week mark.

    Thanks to the open-mic poets, Edward O’Dwyer, Mel O’Dea, Aaron Lewis, Helen Kavanagh-Ronan, Joe Sweeney, Jerry O’Neill, Niall Herriott, John Ryan, Séamus Harrington, Fionnbarra, Patricia Walsh, Jack Lyons, Eugene Crow Zey, Sinéad Ryan, Gene Barry, Jennifer Matthews, Alan Coakley, Hana, Anne-Marie Grandfield, Mary O’Connell and Felicia Meshach.

    The poetry challenge was won by Gene Barry. Well Done.

    The open-mic mp3 is here.

    12/19/07; 7:04 pm
  11. 11
    pc Said: @10:31 am 

    Open-mic night – 10th December 2007

    Barbara Smith read from her new collection Kairos, exploring the ancient world as well as the modern. The rhythm of those old celtic quatrains brought much of the traditional poetic into the evening. Some of Barbara’s reading can be heard here.

    Thanks to all the open-mic contributors, Alan Coakley, Mary O’Connell, Mel O’Dea, Edward O’Dwyer, Jennifer Matthews, Gene Barry, Patricia Walsh, Hugh Murphy, David Burke, Sinéad Ryan and Séamus Harrington.

    The challenge was won by Alan Coakley, well done.

    The open-mic mp3 is here.

    12/12/07; 10:31 am
  12. 12
    pc Said: @11:03 pm 

    Open-mic night – 3rd December 2007

    Helen’s diverse offering of poetry and impromptu theatre followed the challenge with a creative boost for the crowd. No-one expected a sneak-preview of her forthcoming poetic play, Hoodwinked. Helen’s performance can be heard here.

    Many thanks to the open-mic enthusiasts, Matthew Sweeney, Mel O’Dea, Séamus Harrington, FionnBarra, Jennifer Matthews, Wes Wallace and Aoife Neachtainn (with an hilarious take on Irish place-names), Aaron Lewis, Edward O’Dwyer, Jack Lyons, Patricia Walsh, Alan Coakley, Scott Barriscale and Kyle Barriscale.

    The poetry challenge was taken by Mel O’Dea, congratulations.

    The mp3 of the open mic is here.

    12/4/07; 11:03 pm
  13. 13
    pc Said: @10:07 pm 

    Open-mic night – 26th November 2007

    We had another great night with spirited guest Alan Garvey, who risked the ominous shadows of Limerick junction to get here from Waterford, and then jumped right into the poetry challenge on arrival. With the challenge being first, it worked much better for the night so we’ll probably be continuing with this format for the foreseeable future. Alan’s reading is here.

    Thanks also to our open-mic contributors, Draven, Edward O’Dwyer, Aaron Lewis, Alan Coakley, Sinéad Ryan, Anne-Marie Grandfield, Annie Power, Jack Lyons, John Ryan, Niall Herriott, Jennifer Matthews, Séamus Harrington, Patricia Walsh and Gavin Ryan.

    The challenge was taken by Jennifer Matthews. Congratulations.

    The mp3 from the open-mic is here.

    11/28/07; 10:07 pm
  14. 14
    pc Said: @8:25 pm 

    Open-mic night – 19th November 2007

    The high-energy pace of The Poetry Chicks’ AlphabetidudeZ collective performance riveted the Cork audience with its hard-hitting themes and lyrical interludes. Hope to see them back next year. The mp3 of their performance is here.

    Thanks to the open-mic participants, Jennifer Matthews, Draven, Mel O’Dea, FionnBarra, Patricia Walsh, Sinéad Ryan, Edward O’Dwyer, Jerry O’Neill, Jack Lyons, Séamus Harrington, Felicia Meshach, Eugene Crowley and Aaron Lewis.

    Alan Coakley won the poetry challenge. Well done.

    The mp3 of the open-mic is here.

    11/21/07; 8:25 pm
  15. 15
    pc Said: @6:35 pm 

    Open-mic night – 12th November 2007

    Anamaría Crowe Serrano delighted a packed house with a preview performance of poems from her latest collection, to be published in April 2008. Personally delivered to audience members after choosing page numbers, Anamaría’s eloquent tones and thought-provoking journeys ranged from obliquely offbeat to profoundly inspirational. And that set the tone for one of the best nights so far.

    A full open-mic pushed us to the limits of closing time. Altogether a scorcher of a night. Thanks to Chris Collins, Edward O’Dwyer, Brian O’Murchu, Mel O’Dea, Mary O’Connell, Jennifer Matthews, Gene Barry, Patricia Walsh, John Ryan, Sinéad Ryan, Aaron Lewis, Séamus Harrington, Felicia Meshach, Eileen Sheehan, Finn, John. W.Sexton, Paul Roche and Sean Tracy.

    Co-Winners of the McNamara slam challenge were Sinéad Ryan and John Ryan. Comhghairdeas agaibh!

    The open-mic mp3 was saved after rogue faeries were shooed into behaving by Gene. It’s here.

    11/13/07; 6:35 pm
  16. 16
    pc Said: @12:52 pm 

    Open-mic night – 5th November 2007

    Another great night and many thanks to Cork poet Billy Ramsell for a fantastic reading. Perhaps we should make it compulsory for guest readers to recite their poetry off the page … what do you think?

    Overall the open-mic poetry was exceptional. Thanks to Jennifer Matthews, Anita Daly, Brian Ó Murchú, Aaron Lewis, Edward O’Dwyer, Sinéad Ryan, Alan Coakley, Draven, Patricia Walsh, Jack Lyons, Gene Barry, Séamus Harrington and Felicia Meshach.

    The poetry challenge was won by George Harding. Well done.

    The mp3 of the open-mic is here.

    11/6/07; 12:52 pm
  17. 17
    pc Said: @3:26 pm 

    Open-mic night – 29th October 2007

    The efforts of last evening were much appreciated. Stumbling in with the guests, after 24 hours of non-stop poetry writing, the tail end of the Jazz weekend buzz was already chilling up in the loft. Everything almost set up by the faeries who promised they wouldn’t rob the mp3. So its absence this week is entirely down to human memory, or could it be energy? Not likely. How many poets are there? What’s a poet?

    Thanks Mags and Steve, for the lift. Hope to see you both again soon. Cheers to the bank holiday open-mic poetry from Alan Coakley, Mel O’Dea, John Ryan, Bernadette Hall, Jerry O’Neill, Anita Daly, Gene Barry, Patricia Walsh, Felishia Meshach and Aaron Lewis.

    An early close meant no poetry challenge, so all in all a very mellow evening. Sláinte


    10/30/07; 3:26 pm
  18. 18
    pc Said: @11:18 am 

    Open-mic night – 22nd October 2007

    It’s always at 8.30 that I’m wondering if there’s going to be a crowd. The guest poets get the same story every week, Irish Time. And there’s usually a gracious “Don’t worry, I’m used to it”, or “Poetry’s like that”. Well, by 9 there was almost a full house and by the time Mark was half way through, we were a full house. And you’d think that Mondays would get people in earlier … it seems to me the tether of the poetry world must have it’s own personal pace after all. I suppose we could always petition for the venue to stay open till 1am, and I wouldn’t mind, but the later we get people in, the less poetry we get to enjoy. So please come earlier if you can so the end of the night doesn’t get so squashed (Am I talking to myself again?). Here’s to all the great poetry yet to come.

    Thanks to Mark O’Flynn for a great reading, for a great dose from Hadestralia, his lyrical and subtly humorous eloquence awakening the visceral in the crowd.

    Thanks also to the open-mic enthusiasts Aaron Lewis, Mel O’Dea, Draven, Jennifer Matthews, Patricia Walsh, Anita Daly, Séamus Harrington, Sinéad Ryan, Alan Coakley, Jack Lyons, Chris Collins, Séan Tracy, Elaine Moynihan and Edward O’Dwyer.

    The McNamara slam challenge was taken by Alan Coakley, well done.

    The open mic mp3 was saved, and the faeries were much amused by their being watched so carefully. It’s here.

    See you next week


    10/25/07; 11:18 am
  19. 19
    pc Said: @11:29 am 

    Open-mic night – 15th October 2007

    Another full line-up in the Hayloft meant a great night for all involved. Thanks to Keith Armstrong and Paul Summers who set off the evening with their respective repertoires, both being humourous and strikingly sobering at the same time. Two quality performances that inspired a great welcome. We look forward to their return in late 2008.

    Thanks also to the open-mic participants, Jennifer Matthews, Chris Collins, Patricia Walsh, Edward O’Dwyer, Miriam Casey, Anita Daly, Séamus Harrington, John Ryan, Jerry O’Neill, Jack Lyons, Draven, Liam Heophy, Sean Tracy, Aaron Lewis, Helen Kavanagh-Ronan, Cliff Wedgebury and Neil O’Sullivan. Thanks to Owen Kileen for the music too.

    The Poetry Challenge was won by Lillian Corbin, congrats.

    The tech faeries robbed the mp3 again. Turn your back for one minute … though all in all a fantastic night.

    10/17/07; 11:29 am
  20. 20
    pc Said: @12:37 pm 

    Open-mic night – 8th October 2007

    Great humour and cheer from New Delhi poet Sandeep Sinha sparked a lively atmosphere on Monday, and with both a full house and a full open-mic, everyone enjoyed the night immensly.

    Thanks to the contributors; Gavin Ryan, Chris Collins, Edward O’Dwyer, Neil O’Sullivan, Mary O’Connell, Gene Barry, Aaron Lewis, Jen Matthews, Eileen Lordan, Fidelma Lehane, Patricia Walsh, Sinéad Ryan, Séamus Harrington, Alan Coakley and Anita Daly.

    The poetry challenge was won by Séan Tracy.

    The mp3 of the open-mic is here.

    10/10/07; 12:37 pm
  21. 21
    pc Said: @8:52 am 

    Open-mic night – 1st October 2007

    Well if the Hayloft isn’t a poetry venue, then there are no poetry venues. In my books that’s the best night we’ve had. One of Greece’s few living poets Dimitris Lyacos’ gave an otherworldly reading from his work Nyctivoe, leading to much poetic discussion to the delight of the audience. A rare treat indeed.

    A surprise visit from Dr. Robyn Roland gave an unexpected kickstart to the open mic and we look forward to her return as a guest poet in 2008. Thanks to all who contributed, Robyn Roland, Miriam Casey, Gene Barry, Jennifer Matthews, Patricia Walsh, Eileen Lordan, Seamus Harrington, Edward O’Dwyer, John Ryan, Sinéad Ryan, Fionnbarra and Owen Killeen.

    Gene Barry won the poetry challenge.

    The open mic mp3 is here.

    10/2/07; 8:52 am
  22. 22
    pc Said: @1:48 pm 

    Open-mic night – 24th September 2007

    Apologies for getting this week’s mp3 up so late. It’s been the busiest week of the year surely. I even got the wrong months in the newsletter – oh well, At least poetry is getting more popular. Wednesday night in Dublin’s Carnival brought out the biggest poetry crowd I’ve seen in the city. And our move next Monday to the Hay Loft marks the return to an age-old poetic tradition for Cork.

    The last night at Pa Johnson’s was a scorcher, with Louis de Paor going on for a full 50 minutes much to everyone’s enjoyment. An inspiring performance from Louis sparked some great response at the open-mic.

    Thanks to all who participated, Noel Magnier, Alan Coakley, Mel O’Dea, Jerry O’Neill, Gene Barry, Patricia Walsh, Anita Daly, Helen Kavanagh-Ronan, FionnBarra, Eileen Lordan, Seamus Harrington, Diarmuid O’Dalaigh, Edward O’Dwyer and Owen Kileen.

    The poetry challenge was a tie between FionBarra and Edward.

    The open mic mp3 is here.

    09/28/07; 1:48 pm
  23. 23
    pc Said: @1:29 pm 

    Open-mic night – 17th September 2007

    After a succinct reading from Gerry and a few lovely songs by Angelique, a packed house was treated to a full open-mic line up. Thanks goes to our guests and to Mary O’Connell, Alan Coakley, Patricia Walsh, Gene Barry, Anita Daly, Miriam Casey, John Ryan, Aaron Lewis, Seamus Harrington, Eileen Lordan, Edward O’Dwyer, George Harding and Christian.

    The winner of the poetry challenge was Edward O’Dwyer.

    The mp3 of the open-mic is here.

    09/18/07; 1:29 pm
  24. 24
    pc Said: @8:52 am 

    Open-mic night – 10th September 2007

    What at first looked to be a quiet evening turned out to be an almost full house, with both regular and new faces turning up to see Mel O’Dea and Séamus Harrington. They both read eloquently and promise to feature more prominantly in the Irish poetry scene.

    The mp3 of Mel and Séamus’ readings is here.

    Thanks to the open-mic contributors, Jennifer Matthews, Ger Sheehy, Anita Daly, Patricia Walsh, Sinéad Ryan, Marie Casey, Helen Kavanagh-Ronan, FionnBarra, Edward O’Dwyer, John Keating and Ardjuna Seghers.

    The poetry challenge was won by Billy Ramsell.

    The open-mic mp3 is here.

    09/11/07; 8:52 am
  25. 25
    pc Said: @12:59 pm 

    Open-mic night – 3rd September 2007

    Gene Barry gave his first Cork reading to a most welcoming and intimate reception. Gene’s poetry has gone from strength to strength in recent months and promises to be a signature voice in Irish poetry. He is at present being sought after by leading publishers and is close to completing his first collection. Thanks Gene.

    The mp3 of Gene’s reading is here.

    Thanks also goes to the open-mic enthusiasts of the evening, Alan Coakley, Mel O’Dea, Jennifer Matthews, Edward O’Dwyer, Anita Daly, Patricia Walsh and John Keating.

    The poetry challenge was won by Gene Barry.

    The open-mic mp3 is here.

    09/4/07; 12:59 pm
  26. 26
    pc Said: @5:44 pm 

    Open-mic night – 27th August 2007

    Five artists from the Seven Towers troupe delivered a colourful variety of poetry and prose, and with such comfort and familiarity that they could have easily been regulars. The craic was as they say, ‘mighty’, and rivalled only by a vigorous display of well-developed talent. Thanks for an excellent evening, and to Sarah for making it possible.

    The mp3 of the Seven Towers performances is here.

    Thanks to all the Ó Bhéal regulars for making mash of the mass monday musician mission (who were competing for the venue). Pa Johnson’s owners say we won hands down, so we’re in for the long haul. Great news for Poetry.

    The Open mic brought out Mel O’Dea, Mary O’Connell, John Ryan, Marie Casey, Patricia Walsh, Jamie, Sinéad Ryan (Smith), Jennifer Matthews, Billy Ramsell, Gene Barry, Gavin Ryan and Edward O’Dwyer.

    Jen Matthews is starting a poetry discussion group from next Monday an hour before we start (7.30pm). Fair play Jen.

    The challenge was won by Ronan Surnameless-Firstimer. Well done.

    The mp3 of the open mic is here.

    08/28/07; 5:44 pm
  27. 27
    pc Said: @1:20 pm 

    Open-mic night – 20th August 2007

    Perciphone Petticoat and Alabaster de Plume turned more than a few heads with their avant-garde sets. From French Marshmallows to Little People and a laid back saxophone, all were well-entertained and geared up for the open-mic. Watch out Ireland, Here comes Perciphone Petticoat!

    The mp3 of Perciphone’s and Alabaster’s performances is here.

    Thanks to all the open-mic enthusiasts, Mel O’Dea, Catherine Murphy, Billy Ramsell, Niall Herriott, Seamus Harrington, Sinéad Ryan, Annie Power, Gavin Ryan, Anne-Marie Grandfield and Patricia Walsh.

    The poetry challenge was taken by Kate Ryan, with her debut poem. Excellent!

    The mp3 of the open mic is here.

    08/22/07; 1:20 pm
  28. 28
    pc Said: @1:14 pm 

    Open-mic night – 13th August 2007

    For the first time, Ó Bhéal moved into Pa Johnson’s next door, as there had been a double booking with theatre rehearsals. The venue and crowd were fantastic and this looks like a possible trend for the future.

    Terry and Diarmaid gave an excellent performance to roaring applause, showing that Music and Poetry really do work so well together. The mp3 of their performance is here.

    Thanks to all who participated in the open-mic, Dezed, Alan Coakley, Mary O’Connell, Gene Barry, Mark, Anita Daly, Sinéad Ryan, Patricia Walsh and Ian Queally.

    The poetry challenge was won by Gene Barry.

    The mp3 of the open mic is here.

    08/14/07; 1:14 pm
  29. 29
    pc Said: @10:46 am 

    Open-mic night – 6th August 2007

    With the bank holiday and concurrent staging of “The Importance of being Earnest”, we were partitioned into an intimate setting once again, and a somewhat lonely microphone had to stay silent for the evening.

    Those who didn’t make it, missed a reading that was at once greatly engaging and graceful. Martin Farawell’s deconstruction of religious anectodes and allegories contained both refined humour and a sobering gravitas. A real treat from Martin, who co-organises the largest poetry festival in the U.S., and on his fiftieth birthday too. Happy Birthday Martin.

    The mp3 of Martin’s reading is here.

    Many thanks to those who read, all delivering fine pieces, John Ryan, Gene Barry, Cliff Wedgebury, Alan Coakley and Marie Casey. Alan also surprised everyone by turned his classical violin into a ‘reel oul fiddle’ during his performance, and Gene Barry won the evening’s poetry challenge. Well done Gene.

    The mp3 of the open mic is here.

    08/7/07; 10:46 am
  30. 30
    pc Said: @10:34 am 

    Open-mic night – 30th July 2007

    Ó Bhéal had a full house with guest poet John Liddy’s book launch, with distinguished poets Desmond O’Grady and Patrick Galvin adding poetic gravity to the evening with their attendance.

    John read from his new collection, The Well: New and selected Poems which was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Thanks goes to Tigh Filí and Poetry Ireland for making this one possible. The mp3 of John’s reading is here.

    The open-mic was full to the brim and charged with fervent contributions from Dominic Taylor, Alan Coakley, Mary O’Connell, George Harding, John Ryan, Anita Daly, Gene Barry, Marie Casey, Desmond O’Grady, Sinéad Ryan, Seamus Harrington, Paul O’Mahony, Helen Kavanagh-Ronan, Annie Power, Anne-Marie Grandfield and Fionn Barra. Thanks to all for making it a great evening.

    The winner of the poetry challenge was Sinéad Ryan. Well done Sinéad.

    The mp3 of the open-mic is here.

    07/31/07; 10:34 am
  31. 31
    pc Said: @10:37 am 

    Open-mic night – 23rd July 2007

    Another rare to chilled evening at the Tigh Filí gallery with a modest turnout didn’t detract in the slightest from the quality of the performances. It was quite a relaxed session as there were no guest poets, and it may be the last for a long time to come … we’re almost booked to the hilt with guests for the rest of the year.

    Thanks to Emmet Crowley, Tomás James, Miriam Casey, Alan Coakley, Anita Daly, Jen Matthews, Mel O’Dea, Sinéad Ryan and Annie Power.

    Congrats to both Sinéad and Annie who tied in the poetry challenge.

    The mp3 of the open-mic is here.

    07/24/07; 10:37 am
  32. 32
    pc Said: @11:20 pm 

    Open-mic night – 16th July 2007

    Sunderland football poet Ian Horn began the evening with a fine display of his ‘verses united’ poems and a variety of collected poesy in his mellow Durham brogue – I wonder why the CCFC fans didn’t show up! They missed a real treat. Thanks Ian. The mp3 of Ian’s reading is here.

    The open mic saw yet more of Cork’s poetic talent ease its way out of the woodwork, and the beats and rhythms of the city’s spirit ebbed and flowed yet again.

    Thanks to Emmet Crowley, Alan Coakley, Aaron Lewis, Richard Collins, Cliff Wedgebury, Anita Daly, Gavin Ryan, Gene Barry, Sinéad Ryan, Miriam Casey, Seamus Harrington, Cozy and Tomás James.

    Congrats to Gavin Ryan for winning the poetry challenge.

    The mp3 of the open-mic is here.

    Apologies for the noise in the recordings, the mp3 recorder ended up too close to the speaker. Live ‘n Learn!

    07/18/07; 11:20 pm
  33. 33
    pc Said: @2:34 pm 

    Open-mic night – 9th July 2007

    A quieter evening than usual, with cold rain and the aftermath of a fantastic 5-day SoundEye Cork International Poetry Festival, the scene was relaxed and evoked more than a few debonair performances.

    Many thanks to Cliff Wedgebury, Emmet Crowley, Gene Barry, Anita Daly, Anne-Marie Grandfield, Seamus Harrington, Annie Power, Rab and Fionn Barra.

    Amanda Neri won the challenge for the third time.

    The mp3 of the open-mic is here.

    07/10/07; 2:34 pm
  34. 34
    pc Said: @2:12 am 

    Open-mic night – 2nd July 2007

    New Orleans guest poets Gina Ferrara and Jonathan Kline began the evening and set a sobering tone with impassioned poesy and storytelling, beautifully contrasted by the surrounding photography of Malcolm McCabe – grounding contemporary perspectives on the State of the State in the States. Two lovely performances.

    The open-mic delivered more of Cork’s new talent and gave our guests a pleasant sampling of our traditional variety. Thanks to Jaz, Mel O’Dea, Tomás James, Ruby Spilsbury (15), Anita Daly, Gene Barry, Sinéad Ryan, Anne-Marie Grandfield, John Ryan, Niall Herriott, Aaron, Seamus Harrington, James Kelly and Finn Barra.

    Well done to Sinéad Ryan for winning the evening’s poetry challenge, just minutes before we were evacuated by the fire department. Yep. The place was on fire.

    A great evening altogether.

    The Mp3 from the open-mic is here. The first few readers got lost to the tech fairies though, not really, yours truly forgot to press record until 10 minutes in. Whoops :o)

    07/4/07; 2:12 am
  35. 35
    pc Said: @9:41 pm 

    Open-mic night – 25th June 2007

    The evening was more than enjoyable, despite the more secluded lounge-setup to accomodate the midsummer festival performance in the theatre. Guest poet Adam Wyeth entertained all with his goods, accompanied with great humour by Paula McGlinchey.

    Thanks to all who made it, and to those who adorned the invisible open-mic: Anita Daly, Cliff Wedgebury, Peter Donoghue, Annie Power, Sinéad Ryan, Jennifer Lynch, Anne-Marie Grandfield, Helen Kavanagh-Ronan, Seamus Harrington and Finn Barra.

    The challenge was won by Jennifer Lynch, well done.

    The Mp3 from the open-mic is here.

    06/27/07; 9:41 pm
  36. 36
    pc Said: @2:43 am 

    Open-mic night – 18th June 2007

    What a night! Perciphone Petticoat and Alibaster de Plume’s show got everyone into major gear – enthusiasm levels were at maximum and the open-mic stepped up more than a few gears towards venue-of-the-year type quality. More of those please!

    Thanks to all for making it a really great night: Gerry O’Mullane, Tim Meagher, Mel O’Dea, Aaron Lewis, Anita Daly, John Ryan, Gene Barry, Jennifer Lynch, Paul O’Mahony, Anne-Marie Grandfield, Seamus Harrington, Cosy, James Kelly, Helen Kavanagh-Ronan, April and Finn Barra.

    Congratulations to Anne-Marie Grandfield for winning the poetry challenge.

    The Mp3 from the open-mic is here.

    06/25/07; 2:43 am
  37. 37
    pc Said: @6:26 pm 

    Open-mic night – 11th June 2007

    Monday was a magic night indeed, packed to the brim with variety.

    The evening started off with Ó Bhéal’s first guest poet performance from the Limerick Revival ‘Trio’ Series, with poets Noel Harrington, Edward O Dwyer and Gerard Sheehy reading from their new collection. You can listen to the readings here.

    With the house packed, the open-mic followed and we listened to no less than seventeen performers delivering lyrics mostly as yet unheard.

    Thanks to Peter Goldman, Anne-Marie Grandfield, Gene Barry, Mary O’Connell, Dominic Taylor, Pat Cotter, Gerry Murphy, Fabio Mele, Antonio Bocchino, Sinéad Ryan, Nicoletta Ingenito, Carmela Annarunma, Annie Power, Seamus Harrington, Helen Kavanagh-Ronan, Paul O’Mahony and Fionnbarra.

    You can download or listen to the Open-mic Performances (58min).
    The mp3 podcast is here (8.1mb).

    06/13/07; 6:26 pm
  38. 38
    pc Said: @10:54 am 

    Open-mic night – 4th June 2007

    Well the bank holiday couldn’t keep the hard-core poetry lovers away and though we had the smallest group to date, with only ten of us, the mic was given a breather and we hauled out the old traditional circle for a decent spiral-session of alternating voices.

    John Ryan, Sinéad Ryan, Gene Barry, Seamus Harrington and Helen Kavanagh-Ronan were among the first of the June lyricists, while Finn Barra and Owen Kileen punctuating the circuit with melody.

    Congratulations to Amanda Neri, the first to win the Ó Bhéal poetry challenge twice.

    You can download or listen to the Open-mic Performances (53min).
    The mp3 podcast is here (7.6mb).

    06/5/07; 10:54 am
  39. 39
    Paul O'Mahony Said: @5:19 pm 

    Thanks Paul.
    What a good reply you write.
    I take your point about the desirability of a distinct format. You are right. What’s the point of replicating a formula that works elsewhere? And if this leads to poets wanting to move round the circuit, so much the better, I say too.
    I got an email circular from Galway, outlining a format that they are using there, and that one puts the visiting poet(s) on first. But I puzzle over your remark that some visiting poets don’t like waiting until late? Since poets are cranky beasts, isn’t it was likely to be the case that many would like to wait until later on the proceedings, until they have caught the tempo of the audience.
    Maybe poets don’t consider their audience? Maybe they are often so wrapped up in their own words that they are oblivious of the listeners?
    I provoke and I wonder. I have observed a few types reading.
    Twould be good if some others chipped in, even those from outside Cork. Time will show.

    If there are other things in your reply to which I have not yet responded, that gives me more food.

    Meanwhile, I’m sorry I missed last night. I’m preparing for Listowel. I’m with Nuala Ni Domhnaill on an ‘advanced poetry’ workshop. Doesn’t mean I think I’m advanced in anything but I thought for someone of my age, it was the right one to go to.

    05/29/07; 5:19 pm
  40. 40
    pc Said: @1:34 pm 

    Open-mic night – 28th May 2007

    A great turnout again with lots of new talent up at the mic.

    Owen Kileen started the mood off again with his original acoustic guitar and song. Tim Meagher offered a display of poesie d’amour, followed by a series of fine pieces by Mary O’Connell and Niall Herriott. Anita Daly and Tony Godkin were up next, both capturing the audience with ease.

    Rhythm and Poetry (RAP) artistes Tomas James and JAZ picked up the tempo with their excellent beat-poetry.

    Lovely poems flowed from Sinéad Ryan, Fabio, Annie Power, Amanda Neri, Seamus Harrington, Maire O’Donoghue and Anne Marie-Grandfield.

    Tomas and JAZ climbed in at the end of the break with some fun impromptu RAP, and the evening’s poetry challenge was taken hands down by Tim Meagher.

    The PODCAST was hijacked by the Tech-Faeries, but we’ll be on our guard next week.

    Thanks to all for a great evening.

    05/29/07; 1:34 pm
  41. 41
    pc Said: @2:03 am 

    Hi Paul

    Thanks for the interest here. I hope your post will encourage some discussion around the format – it would be nice to get a wider sense of how everyone feels about it.

    Some clarity on my motivations:

    The 30-60 minute framework takes multiple readings into account (The ‘Trio’ series for example), and is only an indication to the audience as well as a maximum limit for the poet(s). Perhaps I should add ‘(max)‘ to the email. Poets can read for the most comfortable period they prefer.

    (at least for now) On evenings where there’s a guest reader(s), we’ll begin at 8.30 sharp, probably for a half an hour in the case of individual poets. Open-mic then starts between 9.10 and 9.30 and usually goes for an hour. From 10.30 – 10.45 the challenge will begin as usual, with no cut-off limit.

    Evenings without guest poets will continue as per the usual, with no strict starting time.

    With respect to the order. While I like the WhiteHouse setup, I have discussed it with some others and the main reason I have it this way, is that I don’t have to create a cut-off time if we have a full house, or if the reading is long. With a guest poet reading last I’d have to cut short the open-mic and/or the writing challenge, limiting the participating audience which I want to avoid. This way one poet adapts for many. In any event, I have also found that guest readers often don’t like waiting that long to read.

    If the night is going well, there shouldn’t be any pressure preventing open-mic performers from their opportunity. I also like to have a different format to the WhiteHouse for oblique reasons e.g., keeping variation, interest levels, etc. The rationale behind the entire format was considered in the context of open-mics around Ireland. I don’t want to mirror anyone, and as a result am getting reading referrals from Dominic and others. Promoting poetry seems to be easier when your setup is as unique as possible, which MCs are always trying to achieve. So while there is a similar foundation between all open-mic venues, each needs a touch of its own.

    I should mention, the 5-word challenge is the brainchild of friend and Dublin MC Jerry McNamara, who from the outset has been very supportive in setting up Ó Bhéal. Other venues could also benefit from his ingenuity.

    Having said all this, should enough people feel uncomfortable with the schedule, I’ll certainly review it.

    Ó Bhéal: By word of mouth; lit. from the mouth.

    Thanks again for the feedback


    05/27/07; 2:03 am
  42. 42
    Paul O'Mahony Said: @9:15 pm 

    I guess the introduction to this is in the ether awaiting moderation.

    Interesting development… I see you are moving things in the direction Whitehouse poets has used.

    One thought: an open mic after a 60 minute reading by a guest poet? I guess this is worst case senario.

    I like the Whitehouse model because it encourages local poets, especially new poets, to have their go before the experienced poet. Also it holds on to most people because people will wait for the star. I suspect 60 minutes is about 20 minutes too long for any one poet: the poet might love it but the audience? Even if Heaney came, I’d have enough of him after 40 minutes. Also the time limit of say 30-40 minute forces the guest poet to be discriminating about their work, to choose carefully and with difficulty.

    I was given 29 minute at Whitehouse recently and even though it was six minutes shorted than I’d been offered, I think the audience had enough of my voice to do them for a couple of years.

    I’d be interested to know if you’ve had any reaction from others?

    The other good thing about putting the open mic on first is that the audience get warmed up.

    Also what happens to your wonderful practice of getting people to write during the interval. It looks to me as if you might be considering killing that off. I hope not. But how on earth to fit that in with guest + open mic?

    Finally, does this mean that you intend to start proceedings at 830pm?

    If you’d like to send this email on to anyone to get their views on what I’ve written, you may, as far as I’m concerned.

    Thank you ever so much for getting this whole thing off the ground. The only thing I don’t like is the name, and that’s my problem.


    05/26/07; 9:15 pm
  43. 43
    Paul O'Mahony Said: @9:12 pm 

    Greetings Paul and all,
    I’ve just discovered this blog, and jolly good it is too. It’s great to have a record of who was there reading (or singing or reciting from heart) each time. As the years pass, this’ll become a valuable archive.

    I’ve had the rich email from Paul about the future shape of sessions and I must say it set me thinking.. It looks like we are in for a stimulating ride. I even got another email from Limerick today, warning me the some of the Whitehouse Gang were threating to come on June 11. So it looks as it some artistic cookery is happening about the Lee.

    At the risk of writing something that no one would ever have the energy to read, I offer my response to Paul’s plans – the email I sent him today and which he has encouraged me to put up in order to see what you all think…

    05/26/07; 9:12 pm
  44. 44
    Aaron Said: @5:13 pm 

    Hi guys, I really enjoy the poetry open mike nights thank you Paul. It’s a wonderful opportunity for people to get together and share creatively. See you all soon Aaron.

    05/24/07; 5:13 pm
  45. 45
    pc Said: @12:37 pm 

    Open-mic night – 21st May 2007

    Another great turn-out with 16 performers inspiring the eardience.

    Exhilarating poetry from Aaron, Mel O’Dea, Anthony Jackson, Sinéad Ryan, John Ryan, Tony Godkin, Anne-Marie Grandfield, Rodney Quinn, Paul O’Mahony, Peter Goldman, Seamus Harrington and Helen Kavanagh-Ronan. Surprise guest poet Gerry Murphy delivered four short pieces including ‘A Pact’ (with Patrick Kavanagh). Thanks also to Finn Barra and Owen Kileen for their songs.

    The winner of the evening’s poetry challenge was Rodney Quinn.

    You can download or listen to the Open-mic Performances (55min). The mp3 Podcast is here (6.24mb).

    05/22/07; 12:37 pm
  46. 46
    pc Said: @5:17 pm 

    Open-mic night – 14th May 2007

    Monday brought out yet more new voices through the open-mic, with some insightful scientific poetry by Seamus Harrington, and four excellently delivered, sinister though humorous, love poems by Cork-based Polish poet, Magdalena Liebersbach. Peter Goldman took us on a tour of Cork’s church services while singer Moira O’Brien gave us an delightful worm’s point-of-view of life.

    Aaron and Tommy Curran both delivered sizzlers hot off their poetry-presses. Thanks also to Pat, Sinéad and Rodney for their poems. The poetry challenge was won by Amanda Neri, local opera singer who will be performing on Fota Island on Friday the 25th.

    05/16/07; 5:17 pm
  47. 47
    pc Said: @2:57 pm 

    Open-mic night – 7th May 2007

    Well the bank holiday couldn’t keep the poetry at home last night, as yet more local talent roamed in to breathe their pearls of life experience into the microphone.

    New voices to the venue were Tipperary poet Kelfin, who eloquently brought the sidhe back into the human realm to remind us of our forgetfulness and misgivings. Finn Barra delivered a spine-chilling rendition of ‘She Moved through the Fair’, and Helen Kavanagh added gravity to the evening with a fine political piece. Paul McGrath drew some insightful contemporary parallels with Greek Myth, and surprise guest poet Peter Goldman from Australia had some excellent pieces on Nature and discovering roots. The evening’s poetry challenge was a tie between musician/poet Cozy and Paul McGrath.

    Thanks also goes to Aaron for his impromptu short story-poetry fusions, and to Pat Cotter for his astute though concise contribution.

    See you all on the 14th.

    05/8/07; 2:57 pm
  48. 48
    pc Said: @1:00 pm 

    Open-mic night – 30th April 2007

    Last night was a somewhat quieter one as we had to partition the foyer space to accomodate theatre-production goers , as we’ll have to do from time to time. I shouldn’t imagine this happening more than once a month, but we were amply compensated with the arrival of two well-known Cork poets, Paul O’Mahony and Pat Cotter, who both delivered fine performances. Paul also shared a titleless (true) short story about his grandmother’s duck, which Anthony Jackson quickly found a title for.

    With just over a dozen in the audience, and with the smaller space, we went without a mic which made a cosy change. And talking of Cosy, another first timer to Ó Bhéal and to open-mic, Cozy, won the evening’s poetry challenge. Well done.

    Thanks also to Tommy Curran, Anne-Marie Grandfield and Aaron for the excellent poetry and prose. See you all next week for the 4th Ó Bhéal evening, on the 7th of May.

    05/1/07; 1:00 pm
  49. 49
    pc Said: @12:22 pm 

    Open-mic night – 23rd April 2007

    The second Ó Bhéal evening was another great success as more of Cork’s poets surfaced and rose to the occasion. As it coincided with World Book and Copyright day, many of the would-be performers and audience where snapped up by the library to see Cathal O Searchaigh, Cliff Wedgebury and others read at the Cork branch of the festival.

    Cliff joined us afterwards, arriving at the end of our open-mic session to top it off with three great poems including ‘Girl in the Window’. We look forward to seeing him again. Clonakilty-based Spanish poet Alfonso Ortega Fuentes arrived early, and had two of his affective humanitarian poems read in translation by his partner Mary. He is currently seeking publication. Other strong performances were heard from local poets Tommy Curran and Ray Hanrahan. A lovely ballad was delivered by Tim Healy while Shirley Foley gave us a new insight into Gráinne Ní Mháille. Finn Barra arrived as Cliff Wedgebury finished off and sang his very powerful protest song ‘Kathleen Ni Hourihan’. Anthony Jackson won the evening’s poetry challenge.

    All in all a fantastic evening. Thank you to everyone again and we hope to see you back for more. The 3rd Ó Bhéal evening is next Monday, the 30th of April.

    04/24/07; 12:22 pm
  50. 50
    pc Said: @10:00 am 

    Open-mic night – 16th April 2007

    Thank you to all the fine poets and to the audience for coming out in style on the opening night. Over forty enthusiasts filled the foyer of the Cork Arts Theatre and welcomed an eclectic variety of performers with great cheer and encouragement. 15 different individuals fluffed their creative feathers and illuminated the evening with their varied forms of poetry, hip-hop and song. Anthony Jackson delivered an inspiring display of Hip-Hop on-the-spot adlib, with Mary O’Connell and Jamie Ross drawing reams of applause for their strong compositions. Jamie won the evening’s poetry challenge.

    Next Monday will be the second Ó Bhéal open-mic evening and we look forward to updating the blog with what the woodwork turns out.

    A reminder that the 1st All-Ireland Poetry Slam is set for the 11th of May in Belfast. For more see and see

    04/17/07; 10:00 am

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