August and September

4th August

Paddy Bushe

Paddy Bushe was born in Dublin in 1948. A poet who writes in both English and Irish, he has published many poetry collections, among them Poems With Amergin (Beaver Row Press, 1989), Teanga (Coiscéim, 1990), Counsellor (Sceilg Press, 1991), Digging Towards The Light (Dedalus Press, 1994), In Ainneoin na gCloch (Coiscéim, 2001), Hopkins on Skellig Michael (Dedalus Press, 2001) and The Nitpicking of Cranes (Dedalus, 2004). In February 2007 the Dedalus Press published To Ring in Silence: New and Selected Poems, drawing on all of these earlier collections and including the author’s own translations of his own and a number of classic Irish lyrics. The recipient of the Oireachtas prize for poetry in 2006, Paddy Bushe was also the recipient of the 2006 Michael Hartnett Poetry Award. He lives in Co. Kerry.

“Despite the tough tone of Bushe’s poetry, reflecting its material, there is an intelligent sensitivity always at work that does justice to the more tender of human experiences” – The Irish Times

Biography from Dedalus Press.


11th August

Ó Bhéal in association with Foras na Gaeilge presents a bi-lingual evening with

Dairena Ní Chinnéide

Dairena Ní Chinnéide lives in the West Kerry Gaeltacht of Corca Dhuibhne. Her first bilingual collection of poetry An Trodaí agus Dánta Eile/The Warrior and Other Poems was published by Cló Iar Chonnachta in 2006. She received second prize in the Samhain Smurfit International Poetry Competition in 2004. She was awarded a bursary from Ealaíon na Gaeltachta and the Arts Council the same year. In 2005 she was shortlisted for the Strokestown International Poetry Competition and received a bursary from Bord na Leabhar Gaeilge.

Dairena represented Ireland on the Words Unbound international poetry exchange visiting France, England and Belgium in 2006/2007. She also represented Ireland in the Cuairt na mBard poetry and musical exchange with Scotland and the Outer Hebrides. Dairena also worked on the Gaelic Jazz Project for IMRAM 2007. She was shortlisted for the Strong Award in 2007. Her second poetry collection Máthair an Fhiaigh/The Raven’s Mother was published by Cló Iar Chonnachta in May 2008. A new work An tEachtrannach/The Stranger was published by Púca Press Dingle in June 2008. She works as an interpreter for the European Parliament.


18th August

Ó Bhéal in association with Seven Towers presents

Oran Ryan and Ross Hattaway

You can listen to Oran’s reading here.

Oran Ryan is a novelist, poet and playwright from Dublin. He has had poems, short stories and literary critical articles published in various magazines. His first two novels, The Death of Finn and Ten Short Novels by Arthur Kruger were published by Seven Towers in 2006. He is currently working on his fifth novel and has three plays and two screenplays in pre-production. Oran won a 2008 Arts Council Bursary Award.

You can listen to Ross’s reading here.

Ross Hattaway was born in Wellington New Zealand, but has lived in Ireland since 1990. He has had many varied jobs and currently works as a civil servant. His first collection of poetry, The Gentle Art of Rotting was published by Seven Towers in 2006. Ross has toured Lithuania as part of the Poetry Spring Festival 2008 and has seen his work translated into Lithuanian.


25th August

Billy Ramsell

You can listen to Billy’s reading here.

Billy Ramsell was born in Cork in 1977 and educated at the North Monastery and UCC. He began writing seriously in 2000 when he moved to Barcelona for a year. His first collection Complicated Pleasures was published by the Dedalus Press in 2007. he has been shortlisted for a Hennessy award and a Strong award. He lives in Cork where he co-runs an educational publishing company.


1st September

Knute Skinner

You can listen to Knute’s reading here.

Knute Skinner was born in St. Louis, Missouri. After receiving a PhD in English, Skinner turned his back on job offers, left the US, and headed off to spend the rest of his life on the Canary Islands. Instead, after two years travelling around Europe, he purchased a cottage in rural Ireland. There, when not writing poems, he worked in a turf bog and grew vegetables for the local market. He has lived in Killaspuglonane, County Clare since the 1960s.

His collection The Other Shoe won the 2004-2005 Pavement Saw Chapbook Award. His most recent book, Fifty Years: Poems 1957-2007, from Salmon Poetry, contains new work collected along with work taken from 13 previous books.


8th September

Robyn Rowland

You can listen to Robyn’s reading here.

Robyn Rowland, previously Professor of Social Inquiry at Deakin University, has published nine books, six of them poetry. Her most recent is Silence and its Tongues (Five Islands Press, 2006). Her fourth, Shadows at the Gate, (Five Islands Press, 2004) was launched to powerful acclaim at Adelaide Writers’ Week, Perth International Arts Festival, and in Clifden, Ireland. She has read her work at Melbourne Writers Week, Byron Bay Writers’ and Readers’ Festival, Norfolk Island Writers’ and Readers’ Festival, The Australian Poetry Festival (Sydney), Tasmanian Poetry Festival( among others), and in Italy, Portugal, Greece, England and Ireland.

Robyn has regularly visited Ireland since 1983 and lived there over extended periods of time (2001/2 funded by Arts Victoria) in Connemara. She has read and given workshops at among others: Cúirt International Festival of Literature (2004), Éigse Michael Hartnett; Listowel Writers Week; Boyle Arts Festival; Yeats Society, Sligo; Scriobh, Sligo; Clifden Community Arts Week; October Arts in Ennis, Co Clare; Kings House Boyle, Roscommon; The Australian Arts and Culture Festival 1999, Dublin (where her third book Fiery Waters was launched by the Australian Ambassador). In February 2000 she was the guest poet at the University of Coimbra, Portugal, funded by the Luso Americana Foundation and the Faculdade de Letras, where she read in the Teatro Academico de Gil Vicente. In 1996 Robyn was made an Officer in the Order of Australia by the Australian Government for her contribution to higher education and women’s health.

Robyn will be conducting a Three-Hour workshop prior to her reading themed Leaving home – finding home – writing out of the experience of exile, emigration, immigration and belonging.

Workshop 5pm-8pm. Places Limited. Cost €25 (€20 concession). For more details click here.


15th September

Leanne O’Sullivan

You can listen to Leanne’s reading here.

Leanne O’Sullivan is from the Beara peninsula in West Cork. She completed an MA in English at University College Cork in 2006. Her poems have been published in The Stinging Fly, Poetry Ireland Review, The New Irish Poets Anthology and in other magazines and journals. She has previously won several of Ireland’s poetry competitions, including the Seacat, the Davoran Hannah Award and the RTE Rattlebag Poetry Slam. Her first collection of poetry, Waiting for My Clothes, was published in 2004 by Bloodaxe Books. Her second collection, Cailleach; The Hag of Beara, will be published by Bloodaxe in 2009.


22nd September

Ó Bhéal in association with Seven Towers presents

‘The Might of the Pen’

Writings from Conflict Zones and about Conflict, with writer and activist Felicity Heathcote and publisher, poet, and activist Seamus Cashman

This is one of a series of themed readings organised by the Seven Towers Agency, with themes ranging from the frivolous (Chocolate and other food groups) to this more serious one. The readings focus in on how certain themes are explored in literature and also allow us to highlight the importance of art and literature for speaking out, protesting and highlighting truth.

You can listen to Felicity’s reading here.

Felicity Heathcote is a Dublin-based clinical psychologist, teacher and writer who has spent several years in Palestine. She was the first official psychologist to the Irish Olympic team and accompanied gold-medallist Michael Carruth and others in the course of two Olympic Games. Born in England, she has also worked in Iran during the Iran-Iraq war, in Belfast, Japan and the USA.

Her books, Peak Performance: Zen & the Sporting Zone, and The Learning Zone were published by Wolfhound Press. Her latest book, The Resting Place of the Moon (2006) was published by Other World Books. This is a gently narrated but harrowing fable from Jerusalem’s famous Mount of Olives where a conference of all the birds of the air has been assembled by the Hoopoe bird. The Hoopoe aspires to inform and awaken a sleeping world – for, as Felicity says, “there is shame too on all who believe in human dignity and freedom but who do nothing.” Her time in Palestine coincided with Israel’s building of a giant Separation Wall, ostensibly to combat the Palestinian suicide bombers but, according to 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee and Israeli academic, Jeff Halper, who wrote the book’s preface, ‘… it was really a landgrab by the Israelis‘. Halper says Heathcote’s book is unique: it tells the truth about the situation.

The author’s royalties are being donated to peace and humanitarian groups in Palestine and Israel, especially to assist: children suffering from learning disabilities and trauma who need special care and education; to give gifts and presents for the children of Bethlehem arranged by the Conflict Resolution Centre; and to provide food and basic medicines especially for the elderly.

You can listen to Seamus’ reading here.

Seamus Cashman is a writer, poet and activist and was the founder of Wolfhound Press, Ireland’s largest literary publisher. In 2006, Seamus visited Palestine to see the situation there for himself. The series of poems he wrote while there reflects his experience of the situation and also forms part of his latest collection And that Morning Will Come. a collection of new and selected poems published by Salmon.


29th September

Ó Bhéal in association with Foras na Gaeilge presents a bi-lingual evening with

Gabriel FitzMaurice

You can listen to some of Gabriel’s reading here.

Gabriel Fitzmaurice was born in Moyvane, Co Kerry, in 1952. A former Chair and Literary Advisor of Writers’ Week, the Writers’ Conference in Listowel, Co. Kerry, he is author of more than twenty books, including poetry in English and Irish, children’s verse in English and Irish, translations from the Irish, essays, and collections of songs and ballads.

His poetry collections in English include Rainsong (Dublin, Beaver Row Press, 1984); The Space Between: New and Selected Poems 1984-92 (Gallimh, Cló Iar-Chonnachta Teo, 1993); The Wrenboy’s Carnival: Poems 1980-2000 (Dublin, Merlin Publishing, 2000);and The Boghole Boys, with an introduction by Bernard O’Donoghue (Cork, Mercier Press, 2005).

An award winner at the Gerard Manley Hopkins Centenary Poetry Competition, he has twice represented Ireland at the European Festival of Poetry in Louvain, Belgium. A musician and singer, he has played and sung on a number of albums of Irish traditional music. He frequently broadcasts on Irish radio and television and local radio stations on education and the arts. He lives in Moyvane.