February and March

2nd February

Macdara Woods

You can listen to Macdara’s reading here.

Macdara Woods, Irish poet, has published 16 books with New Writers’ Press, Gallery Press, Dedalus Press and others. He has read his poems from San Francisco to Moscow, and is a member of Aosdána.

Woods was born in 1942 and is married to Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin; they have a son, Niall. He was educated at Gonzaga College, Dublin, and University College, Dublin, and spent long periods in Co.Meath when he was growing up. He has travelled widely, in North America, Europe, Russia and North Africa, and lived in London for a time in the sixties and early seventies. He started to publish poetry as a teenager and his work has appeared ever since in Irish and foreign poetry publications. With Leland Bardwell and Pearse Hutchinson, Macdara and Eiléan are founder editors (1975) of the literary review Cyphers.

He has published numerous books of poems, has translated from a number of languages, has collaborated with musicians in performances and recordings in Ireland, Italy and America. He edited The Kilkenny Anthology in 1992 and in 2006 published Present Tense, poems and photographs from Co.Mayo (with Jim Vaughan). His latest commission is a sequence of poems based on the landscape and people of Clare Island, Co. Mayo.

He now lives mostly in Dublin and when he can in Umbria.


9th February

Ó Bhéal in association with The Stinging Fly presents an evening with

Declan Meade, Eabhan Ní Shúileabháin and Gwyn Parry

Declan Meade is a founding editor and publisher of The Stinging Fly literary magazine, which has worked since 1997 to publish and promote the best new Irish and international writing. Declan has also edited two short story anthologies for The Stinging Fly Press: These Are Our Lives (2006) and Let’s Be Alone Together (2008).

You can hear a few of Eabhan’s poems here.

Eabhan Ní Shuileabháin is originally from Dublin, Ireland, but has lived for several years in New York and now divides her time between Dublin and Gwynedd, North Wales. She was a member of the Dublin Writers Workshop for a number of years. Her work has appeared in various publications in Ireland, Britain, and America, including Orbis, Staple, THE SHOp, Poetry Ireland, Anon, Agenda, Envoi, The Frogmore Papers, Borderlines, The Ginkgo Tree Review and Van Gogh’s Ear. She has been poetry editor for The Stinging Fly since late 2001.

You can listen to Gwyn’s reading here.

Gwyn Parry is originally from Ynys Môn. He graduated from Newport College of Art and Design and has worked in Wales and Ireland as a Designer/Artist. He now lives in Talysarn near Caernarfon but maintains strong connections with Dublin and Ireland. He writes both in English and Welsh.

Gwyn has a great deal of experience in giving poetry readings but also performs his work using backing tracks and accompanying himself on the harmonica. His performance also uses films/projections. His poetry covers a wide variety of subject matter, offering a keen appreciation of the natural world, an insightful look at contemporary relationships and, at times, a humourous take on modern life. His publications include The Hurricane (1988, Poetry Wales) Mynydd Parys (1990, Seren Books) and Crossings (1998, Salmon Poetry).


16th February

Martin Daws

You can listen to a few of Martin’s poems here.

Surrey-born Martin Daws is a performance poet who has combined spoken word with various forms of music including hip hop and free jazz. He has also played Kalimba as an accompanying instrument. Daws’ work has shown a willingness to deal with social issues through personal perspectives and their narratives; multi-culturalism, identity, personal integrity, and the evolution of culture are all important themes for him.

From 1987-1994 Daws was active as a DJ, based in London, playing nationally and internationally in music venues and on pirate radio. In 1994 he was inspired to start writing for performance after experiencing the New York slam poetry scene. His interest in writing led him to take an MA in Literature and Cultural History in Liverpool (1997). From Liverpool, it was a short step (geographically) to Snowdonia where he has been living and working since 2001. Daws has been lucky enough to collaborate with many talented artists, including; electro-acoustician Rob Mackay, hip hop producers Skeematic, G-Frequency and Mr Phormula, dancer Sarah Mumford, and the musicians in Martin Daws’ quintet. He was runner up in the John Tripp Award for Spoken Poetry 2007, and second in the Glastonbury Festival Grand Slam 2008. His work has been broadcast by BBC Radio, published in international journals, and been performed extensively around the UK and Ireland and more recently on mainland Europe, in the USA and Mexico.

Martin will be holding a workshop on Spoken Word for Musical Accompaniment from 6.00pm to 7.30pm at Ó Bhéal. For more details click here.


23rd February

Eamonn Lynskey

You can listen to Eamonn’s reading here.

Dublin poet Eamonn Lynskey‘s poetry has appeared in many magazines. A first collection, Dispatches & Recollections, was issued by Lapwing in 1998 and a second is due from Seven Towers Publications (Dublin) in late 2009. He was nominated for a Sunday Tribune/ Hennessy Award for New Irish Poetry in 2006. A poem of his appears in the 2009 OXFAM calendar. He is a regular contributor to the open mic in Dublin.


2nd March

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

Gréagóir Ó Dúill

You can listen to Gréagóir’s reading here.

Gréagóir Ó Dúill was born in Dublin and now divides his time between Dublin and Gortahork, Co. Donegal. He is a much-published poet in both Irish and English who has read his work widely in Europe and North America and taught creative writing and contemporary literature at many levels. He is a stimulating workshop facilitator and frequent adjudicator in literary competitions.

Eight collections in Irish published by Coiscéim were followed by his Rogha Dánta 1965-2001 (Cois Life/ Coiscéim, 2001) and selections from them translated into English by himself in Traverse (Lapwing, 1998) and by Bernie Kenny in Gone to Earth (Black Mountain Press, 2005). His influential anthology Filíocht Uladh 1960 – 1985 (Coiscéim, 1986) drew attention to the recent northern poetry in Irish, and his end of century anthology Fearann Pinn 1900-1999 (Coiscéim 2001) is in use as a university textbook. He has also written a collection of short stories, Mar Atá (Coiscéim 1996) and a literary biography of poet and translator Samuel Ferguson, beatha agus saothar (An Clóchomhar, 1993).

Recently Gréagóir has developed his work in English, and his first collection of original English poetry, New Room Windows, was published by Doghouse of Tralee in 2008. He continues to publish in Irish and has been appointed a director of the magazine Comhar of which he was literary editor some years ago. Educated in Queen’s University, Belfast and University College, Dublin, Gréagóir took a Ph.D. in English in Maynooth and has taught undergraduate and postgraduate courses in literature and creative writing in the Poets’ House, Falcarragh, in Queen’s University, Belfast and in Waterford Institute of Technology.

Recipient of prizes for poetry, the short story and criticism, Gréagóir has received bursaries from the Arts Councils of Ireland and of Northern Ireland and from Foras na Gaeilge as well as several residencies; his work is widely anthologised. He is married with four adult children.

He may be reached at goduill2@eircom.net and is generally available for readings and workshops. He also lectures on literary topics.

Gréagóir will be holding a workshop entitled Uncertainty and Ambiguity/ Amhras agus Eiginnteacht from 6.00pm to 7.30pm at Ó Bhéal. For more details click here.


9th March

Susan Millar DuMars and Lorna Shaughnessy

You can listen to Susan’s reading here.

Susan Millar DuMars‘ debut poetry collection, Big Pink Umbrella, was published by Salmon in 2008. She is working on a follow-up collection titled Dreams for Breakfast (Salmon, 2010). Susan loves reading for audiences, and has recently performed in the US, Ireland, Britain and Greece. She and her husband, Kevin Higgins, organise the Over the Edge literary events series in Galway.

You can listen to Lorna’s reading here.

Lorna Shaughnessy was born in Belfast and lives in County Galway. Her first collection of poems Torching the Brown River was published by Salmon Poetry in 2008. She lectures in the Department of Spanish, NUI Galway and in 2006 published two translations of contemporary Mexican poetry with Arlen House, Mother Tongue: Selected Poems by Pura López Colomé and If We Have Lost our Oldest Tales by María Baranda.


16th March

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

Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill

You can listen to Nuala’s reading here.

Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill was born in Lancashire, England in 1952, of Irish parents, and moved to Ireland at the age of 5, where she was brought up in the Dingle Gaeltacht and in Nenagh, County Tipperary. Her uncle is Monsignor Pádraig Ó Fiannachta of An Daingean, the leading authority alive on Munster Irish. She studied English and Irish at UCC in 1969 and became part of the Innti school of poets. In 1973, she married Turkish geologist Dogan Leflef and lived abroad in Turkey and Holland for seven years.

One year after her return to County Kerry in 1980, she published her first collection of poetry in Irish, An Dealg Droighin (1981), and became a member of Aosdána. Ní Dhomhnaill has published extensively and her works include poetry collections, children’s plays, screenplays, anthologies, articles, reviews and essays. Ni Dhomhnaill’s poems appear in English translation in the dual-language editions Rogha Dánta/Selected Poems (1986, 1988, 1990), translated by Michael Hartnett; Her other works include Féar Suaithinseach (1984); Pharaoh’s Daughter (1990 – with translations by thirteen authors), Feis (1991), The Astrakhan Cloak (1992), The Water Horse ([with translations by Medbh McGuckian and Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin] The Gallery Press, 1999/Wake Forest University Press, 2000), Cead Aighnis (An Sagart, 2001) and The Fifty Minute Mermaid (2007). Selected Essays appeared in 2005.

She has written plays for children including Jimín and An Ollphiast Ghrána, and has edited The Incredible Hides in Every House: A Collection of Short Stories and Poetry in Aid of Habitat for Humanity ( Dublin, The Irish Writers’ Centre, 2005).

Her awards include Duais Sheáin Uí Ríordáin (1982, 1984, 1990); Gradam an Oireachtas (1984); Duais Na Chomhairle Ealaíne um Filíochta (1985, 1988); The Irish American Foundation Award (1988); American Ireland Fund Literature Prize (1991).

Dedicated to the Irish language she writes poetry exclusively in Irish and is quoted as saying ‘Irish is a language of beauty, historical significance, ancient roots and an immense propensity for poetic expression through its everyday use’. Ní Dhomhnaill also speaks English, Turkish, French, German and Dutch fluently.

Ní Dhomhnaill’s writings focus on the rich traditions and heritage of Ireland and draw upon themes of ancient Irish folklore and mythology combined with contemporary themes of femininity, sexuality and culture. Her myth poems express an alternative reality and she speaks of her reasons for writing about myths as those that are an integral part of the Irish language and Irish culture. ‘Myth is a basic, fundamental structuring of our reality, a narrative that we place on the chaos of sensation to make sense of our lives’.

Ní Dhomhnaill has received many scholarships, prizes, and bursaries. She has also won numerous international awards for works which have been translated into French, German, Polish, Italian, Norwegian, Estonian, Japanese and English. She is one of Ireland’s most well-known Irish language writers. She was Ireland Professor of Poetry from 2001-2003, and the first Professor of Irish (language) Poetry.

Nuala currently lives near Dublin with her husband and four children and is a regular broadcaster on Irish radio and television.

(Biography compiled from Wikipedia and various other online sources)


23rd March

Mary Mullen

You can listen to Mary’s reading here.

Mary Mullen is an Alaskan who has lived in south County Galway, Ireland for a dozen years. Her work has been published in numerous publications on both sides of the Atlantic, including The Stinging Fly, Crannog, the Irish Times, Sunday Miscellany, The Anchorage Daily News and Cork Literary Review. Mary has read her poetry at Cuirt in Galway and in Dublin as part of the Poetry Ireland Introduction series. She is working on a poetry collection and teaches a memoir writing class.


30th March

Lothar Luken

You can listen to Lothar’s reading here.

Lothar Luken is a poet, short story writer, actor, chauffeur and journalist. His poetry has been published in magazines like Revival, Riposte, The SHOp, Tintean (Australia) and HQ. He also writes short stories and is a regular contributor to Humanism Ireland, the publication of the Humanist Association of Ireland. For many years he was editor of Earthwatch Magazine.

Lothar won the 2007 West Cork Literary Festival Poetry Bash. Having done some stage acting, he enjoys performing his poems and has done so across Ireland from Schull to Carlingford. He’s been living near Bantry for 30 years and has two daughters. A poem by Lothar follows:

          Categorical Questions

          Does breaking
          Into Lines
          Make it
          A poem?

          Does breaking them into one line make it prosaic?

          Does its breaking it
          into a respectable magazine
          make it literature?