April and May

5th April

John W Sexton

You can listen to John’s reading here

John W Sexton was born in 1958 and is the author of four previous poetry collections: The Prince’s Brief Career, Foreword by Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, (Cairn Mountain Press, 1995), Shadows Bloom / Scáthanna Faoi Bhláth, a book of haiku with translations into Irish by Gabriel Rosenstock (Doghouse, 2004), Vortex (Doghouse, 2005), and Petit Mal (Revival Press 2009).

He also created and wrote The Ivory Tower for RTE radio, which ran to over one hundred half-hour episodes. His novels based on this series, The Johnny Coffin Diaries and Johnny Coffin School-Dazed are both published by The O’Brien Press and have been translated into Italian and Serbian. Under the ironic pseudonym of Sex W. Johnston he has recorded an album with legendary Stranglers frontman, Hugh Cornwell, entitled Sons of Shiva, which has been released on Track Records. He is a past nominee for The Hennessy Literary Award and his poem The Green Owl won the Listowel Poetry Prize 2007. In 2007 he was awarded a Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship in Poetry.

More excitingly than any other poet presently writing in Ireland, Sexton thinks the world anew. His poems offer a unique, provocative adventure through a landscape surreal as a dream, lyrical and terrifying as a fairytale. Yet for all its absorbing forays into the visionary, his work remains anchored by a profound and often painful wisdom. Breathing the exotic into plainness, Sexton pushes back the flawed boundaries of ordinary life. He satisfies our desire for a world porous with imagination, potent with subconscious symbology readable on the surface of the quotidian like Braille. Unquestionably Sexton has the visionary power and imaginative reach of writers such as H. G. Wells, Ray Bradbury, Heinrich Hoffman and Edward Lear, but his most feverish scope for creative conjuring is matched by an equal and outstanding dedication to craft.Grace Wells (Contrary)

Sexton’s own sure hand with poetic craft is extraordinary, and he’s not afraid to put it to use, whether for delicate lyrics or for horror. Highly recommended. Dr. Suzette Haden ElginThe Linguistics & Science Fiction Newsletter

A lively and inventive poetBooks Ireland

A fine control of form and sureness of phrasingKnute Skinner

Sexton has the ability to be both disturbing and lyrical in one……If you’re new to Sexton, find himFred Johnston (The Western Writers Centre)


12th April

Ó Bheal’s Third Anniversary
(150 nights of Poetry) celebrates with

an Only Other Poets’ Poetry Night

and the launch of Five Words Volume III

You can listen to poems being read by Ó Bhéal poets from Five Words Vol III here

Ó Bhéal’s Third Anniversary is being celebrated with the launch of Five Words Volume III, a mini-anthology of poems written during the Five-Word Challenges held over the last fifty poetry nights up in The Hayoft. Poets reading from the anthology will read contributions by poets other than themselves.

There is to be a double-round open-mic on the night, where anyone can only read anyone else’s poetry, but not their own, so bring a handful of your favourite poems, classical, contemporary or whatever you enjoy! Thanks to everyone for helping Ó Bhéal grow over the last three years into a great venue.


19th April

Ó Bhéal in association with Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge presents

Cuairt na bhFilí Albanacha
Pádraig MacAoidh, Joy Dunlop, Aonghas Pádraig Caimbeul agus Shona Masson

Cuairt na bhFilí Albanacha is a bilingual festival which promotes the connection between Gaeilge and Scots Gaidhlig. Each year an exchange is held where a group of Scottish artists come to visit for a weeklong tour and then the favour is returned later on that year with an Irish contingent touring Scotland (Cuairt na bhFilí Éireannacha ar Albain). This usually happens in a different region every year and always incorporates a Gaeltacht area. This year their tour also takes in Cork city. More info can be found at www.gaelport.com

You can listen to Pádraig’s reading here

Pádraig MacAoidh is from the Isle of Lewis in the Western Isles. He teaches Scottish Literature and Scottish Gaelic Literature at Trinity College Dublin. A pamphlet of his poetry, titled From Another Island / Bho Eilean Eile, will be issued later this year by Clutag Press; and he will also publish a book about the poetry of Sorley MacLean in Summer 2010.

’S ann à Leòdhas anns na h-Eileanan an Iar a tha Pàdraig MacAoidh. Bidh e a’ teagaisg Litreachais na h-Alba agus Litreachais Gàidhlig na h-Alba ann an Colaiste na Trianaid ann am Baile Àtha Cliath. Bidh an leabhran bàrdachd aige, From Another Island / Bho Eilean Eile, a’ nochdadh am-bliadhna bho Clutag Press; cuideachd thèid leabhar a sgrìobh e mu bhàrdachd Shomhairle MhicGill-Eain fhoillseachadh as t-samhradh.

You can listen to Joy singing here

Joy Dunlop was born and raised in the village of Connel in Argyll. She was immersed in Gaelic culture from an early age, regularly participating in local Féisean and Mods. She graduated from Sabhal Mòr Ostaig in 2004 with an honours degree in Gaelic Language and Culture, and since then has worked full-time for An Comunn Gàidhealach as a Gaelic development officer in Argyll, Bute and the Islands. Joy is also a language teacher and has taught Gaelic courses throughout Scotland, and in Cape Breton and New Zealand.

Joy has won many awards for her singing, including the Oban Times Gold Medal and Puirt-a-Beul competitions at the Royal National Mod in 2006, and the prestigious Òran Mòr competition in 2007. She has also been lead vocalist of the winning traditional group several times at the International Pan-Celtic Festival. Joy is equally at ease performing at local ceilidhs as she is at major festivals, and in recent years has appeared at Celtic Connections (Scotland), Celtic Colours (Canada) and the Schotland Festival (Netherlands), as well as touring extensively in the Highlands and Islands. Her debut album, Dùsgadh (Awakening) was released in February 2010.

Rugadh is thogadh Joy Dunlop sa Chonghail ann an Earra-Ghàidheal. Bha i air a bogadh ann an cultar nan Gàidheal bho aois òg, ’s i tric a’ gabhail pàirt ann am Fèisean agus Mòdan ionadail. Cheumnaich i à Sabhal Mòr Ostaig ann an 2004 le ceum le urram ann an Cànan is Cultar na Gàidhlig, agus bhon uair sin tha i air a bhith ag obair làn-thìde na h-oifigear leasachaidh airson An Comunn Gàidhealach and an sgìre Earra-Ghàidheal, Bhòid is na h-Eileanan. Bidh Joy cuideachd a’ teagasg, agus tha i air cùrsaichean Gàidhlig a theagasg air feadh Alba, agus ann an Ceap Breatann is New Zealand.

Tha Joy air grunn dhuaisean a chosnadh airson a bhith a’ seinn, nam measg, Bonn Òir Tìm an Òbain agus farpais Phuirt-a-Beul aig a’ Mhòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail ann an 2006, agus duais chliùiteach an Òrain Mhòir ann an 2007. Tha i cuideachd air duaisean a chosnadh mar phàirt de chòmhlain-ciùil thraidiseanta aig an Fhèis Pan Cheilteach Eadar-nàiseanta. Tha Joy a cheart cho cofhurtail air an àrd-ùrlar aig cèilidh bheag ’s a tha i aig fèis mhòr, agus bho chionn ghoirid tha i air nochdadh aig Celtic Connections (Alba), Celtic Colours (Canada) agus Fèis Schotland (An Òlaind), a bharrachd air cuairt air feadh na Gàidhealtachd is na h-Eileanan. Nochd a’ chiad chlàr aice, An Dùsgadh, sa Ghearran 2010.

You can listen to Angus’ reading here

Angus Peter Campbell is from South Uist. An award-winning poet, novelist, journalist, broadcaster and actor, he has published a number of books including the epic novel An Oidhche Mus do Sheòl Sinn, which was voted by the public as one of the Top Ten Best-Ever Books from Scotland in the List/Orange Awards. When reviewing Campbell’s first poetry collection in October 1992, Sorley MacLean wrote ‘I have no doubts that Angus Peter Campbell is one of the few really significant living poets in Scotland, writing in any language‘.

He is married with six children and lives in the West Highlands of Scotland.

Buinidh Aonghas Pádraig Caimbeul do dh’Uibhist a Deas. Bàrd, nobhailiche, craoladair, fear-naidheachd agus cleasaiche, tha e air grunn leabhraichean fhoillseachadh – nam measg, An Oidhche Mus do Sheòl Sinn, a chaidh a thaghadh gu poblach mar fhear dhe na 10 leabhraichean as fheàrr a chaidh riamh fhoillseachadh an Alba.

Nuair a rinn Somhairle Mac Gill-Eain lèirmheas air a’ chiad leabhar bàrdachd aige ann Am Pàipear Beag an Eilein Sgitheanaich ann an 1992, sgrìobh e – “Is e sàr-bhàrdachd a tha seo. Chan eil teagamh sam bith agam nach e Aonghas Pàdraig Caimbeul fear de phrìomh bhàird na h-Alba a’ sgrìobhadh ann an cànan sam bith”.

Tha e pòsta le sianar chloinne agus a’ fuireach air taobh siar na Gàidhealtachd.

You can listen to Shona playing here

Brought up in Skye where she first picked up a fiddle at the age of 9, Shona Masson has been immersed in Gaelic music and culture for as long as she can remember. Inspired through the many Fèisean she attended from a young age, she was accepted to the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music in Plockton where she developed her musical skills under the tuition of some of Scotland’s top traditional musicians. On leaving school, Shona studied Gaelic and music for a year at Sabhal Mór Ostaig on the Isle of Skye. She is currently a Gaelic student at Glasgow University and is involved with many Gaelic events in and around the university. Outside university, Shona is regularly found playing in sessions and at ceilidhs, and is a member of the successful Glasgow Gaelic Musical Association choir.

Is as Oilean Sciathanach don cheoltóir Shona Masson. Bhí ceol agus cultúr na Gàidhlige mar chuid da saol i gcónaí agus tá sí ag seinm ar an bhfidil ó bhí sí 9 mbliana d’aios. D’fhreastal sí ar a lán féiseanna ó bhí sí óg. D’fhoghlaim sí go leor faoina ceird ó cheoltóirí móra traidisiúnta nah Alban nuair a d’fhreastal sí ar an Ionad Náisiúnta Barr Feabhais ar cheol traidisiúnta i bPlockton. Rinne Shona staidéar ar Ghàidhlig agus ar cheol ar feadh bliana I Sadhal Mór Ostaig ar an Oilean Sciathanach. Chomh maith le suim sa cheol is mac léinn Gàidhlig í faoi láthair in Ollscoil Glaschú agus glacann sí páirt in imeachtaí Gàidhlig san Ollscoil go rialta. Bíonn Shona le cloisteáil I roinnt seisiún agus céilithe agus is ball de chumann choir ceolmhor Gàidhlig Glaschú í.


26th April

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

Aifric Mac Aodha

Aifric Mac Aodha is about to publish her first poetry collection. Her poems have been printed in various journals, including Poetry Ireland Review, Innti and Bliainiris. She has received a number of prizes for her poetry and was recently awarded an Arts Council bursary.

Foilseofar an chéad chnuasach le Aifric Mac Aodha go luath. Tá dánta dá cuid i gcló ar irisí go leor, Poetry Ireland Review, Innti agus Bliainiris ina measc. Is iomaí duais atá gnóthaithe aici as a cuid filíochta agus bronnadh dámhachtain de chuid na Comhairle Ealaíon uirthi le déanaí.


3rd May

Ó Bhéal in association with Poetry Ireland presents

Vincent Woods

You can listen to Vincent ‘s reading here

Vincent Woods is a poet, playwright and broadcaster. He presents the weekly programme Arts Tonight on RTE Radio 1. His plays include A Cry From Heaven, At The Black Pig’s Dyke and Song of The Yellow Bittern. His work has been staged in Ireland, the U.S., England, Scotland, Canada and Australia and has been translated into several languages.

Vincent has published two collections of poetry, The Colour Of Language and Lives and Miracles and has co-edited The Turning Wave, an anthology of the poetry and song of Irish Australia. He received the 2002 Ted McNulty poetry award and the Stewart Parker award for drama. He has been writer in residence at NUI Galway and with Mayo County Council and is a member of Aosdána.


10th May

Camille Martin

You can listen to Camille’s reading here

Camille Martin, a Toronto poet and collage artist, is the author of Sonnets (Shearsman Books, 2010) and Codes of Public Sleep (BookThug, 2007). A classical pianist from an early age, she earned degrees in both music and poetry, and her recent work explores ways in which these two disciplines inform one another. Her two works-in-progress are a collection of poems entitled Nomadic Slant and a poetic sequence entitled The Evangeline Papers, drawing on her Acadian/Cajun heritage. She’s also composing musical settings for some of her sonnets. And she’s looking forward to her first visit to Ireland.

Camille will also be holding a workshop entitled Communal Sonnets from 7.00pm to 8.30pm at Ó Bhéal. For more details click here.



17th May

Richard Tillinghast

You can listen to Richard’s reading here

Richard Tillinghast is a poet, translator and critic from the United States, now living in County Tipperary. He is the author of ten books of poetry, most recently Selected Poems (Dedalus, 2009). His poetry and essays have appeared frequently in Irish and American periodicals and his book of criticism, Poetry and What Is Real, was published by the University of Michigan Press in 2004. With his daughter, Julia Clare Tillinghast he also recently published Dirty August (Talisman House, 2009), a selection of their translations from the Turkish poet Edip Cansever. His works also include two other non-fiction works, Damaged Grandeur, a critical memoir of Robert Lowell, with whom he studied at Harvard, and Finding Ireland: A Poet’s Explorations of Irish Literature and Culture.

From the earliest poems gathered here, written in the 1960s, through to poems first published in 2008, Tillinghast has crafted works of great beauty on a wide range of themes and subjects: they ‘Archaeologise the ordinary’, as he puts it in one late poem, but he is also a poet who ‘Sing[s] songs of the Machine Age.’
                – Philip Coleman, The Irish Times
                    (see full review here)


24th May

Carlos Reyes

Carlos Reyes is a noted poet, writer and translator. Additionally, he is a book editor and publisher, and often writes freelance reviews of poetry books. When he’s not traveling or staying in his cottage in Ireland, he lives in Portland, Oregon.

Carlos has published numerous collections and chapbooks, his latest book of poetry being The Book of Shadows; New and Selected Poems (2009). Other recent books include At the Edge of the Western Wave (2004) and A Suitcase Full of Crows (1995) (a Bluestem Prize winner and finalist for 1996 Oregon Book Awards). His books of translations is entitled Poemas de la Isla/Island Poems by Josefina de la Torre (Eastern Washington University Press, 2000). Reyes’ translation of the Obra poética completa (Complete Poetic Works) of the preeminent Ecuadorean poet Jorge Carrera Andrade, was published in 2004 in a bilingual edition in Ecuador. He is the publisher/editor of Trask House Books, Inc. In 2007 he was awarded a Heinrich Boll Fellowship to write on Achill Island, Ireland and in 2008 was awarded the Ethel Fortnter Award from St Andrews College.

He has also been teaching poetry writing in Oregon, Washington and Nevada schools since 1982. He has also been the poet-in-Residence in the Joshua Tree National Park, and aside from his regular visits to Ireland, is a frequent visitor to Spain and Ecuador.

Of his work Carolyn Kizer has said: Mr. Reyes is one of our local and national treasures. His poetry is as clear and strong as his social conscience. One is always struck by his sensual and sensory qualities: the touch, taste, feel, color of things, and his ability to capture a mood, a world, in a handful of lines.


31st May

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

GMC and Bubba Shakespeare

You can listen to the performance here

GMC and Bubba Shakespeare will be tuning their popular hip hop tracks into the Cork poetry spoken-word scene. Conas atá tú , for example, is the newest track from Cork rap sensation GMC, featuring Bubba Shakespeare, and will also feature in the line-up for this year’s Electric Picnic. In an exciting new development for the Irish language, the artists have been working with lecturer & trad music artist Johnny McCarthy to create this contemporary and catchy Irish hip-hop tune in association with Gael-Taca, a Cork-based company set up to promote the Irish language. As the modernisation of the Irish language has become a hot topic in recent years, this combination of old and new has the potential to send Irish hip-hop in a whole new direction.

GMC is a music producer/rapper from Co. Cork whose tracks on pirate radio gave him huge local success since 2004 with his hit Not Tonight (The Bouncer Song) which later peaked at number 12 in the Irish Charts. In 2006, he released his successful debut album Diggin’ A Hole, to the Irish Charts.

GMC has a unique style which brings witty, edgy and real lyrics over some of the catchiest beats you’ll ever hear. While remaining true to his Corkonian heritage, he never tries to Americanize his music. He gets inspiration from his own life and from things that he sees around him. His upcoming album entitled Shiny Filth features a wide variety of sound ranging from hip hop, traditional Irish, grime, drum ‘n bass and house. As hip hop is increasingly becoming an important voice for the youth, GMC is also involved in hip hop/rap workshops with Gurranabraher Arts Project, CIT, Cork Music Works and the Triskel Arts Centre

Where to find GMC online
Official GMC website (in progress): www.gmcbeats.com
GMC Bebo: www.bebo.com/gmcbeats
GMC MySpace: www.myspace.com/gmcbeats
GMC YouTube: www.youtube.com/gmcbeats

Bubba Shakespeare is Rapper/singer/poet/rap tutor and a Nenagh native. At age 12, he began exploring and expressing his gift of the gab via poetry which later developed in to rap. While also displaying a talent for singing as he joined a cover band but later decided to go solo and write original music. His R&B/hip-hop version of Oró sé do Bheatha Abhaile is played regularly on Irish radio stations nationwide and also in the North of Ireland.

He has performed at many festivals including Glastonbury, Electric Picnic, the blue stack festival, the Clifton Arts Fest, the Nenagh EMM Fest and many more. Some of his poetry has been published in papers and on line. Bubba also gets involved with rap workshops as more and more youth take interest in having a voice. He has worked with the Triskel Arts centre and has given workshops from Cork to Nenagh. He believes to live is to have a dream, so to be a performer with a chance to bring an Irish track to the people with GMC is living the dream.

Where to find Bubba online
Bebo: www.bebo.com/poeticsex
MySpace: www.myspace.com/Bubbashakespearebaby
YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/tomasjames87