December and January

6th December

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

Biddy Jenkinson

You can listen to Biddy’s reading here.

Is maith le Biddy Jenkinson bheith ag scríobh agus baineann sí triail as cinealacha eagsula scribhneoireachta. An leabhar filiochta is deireanaí dá cuid Oíche Bhealtaine a d’fhoilsigh Coiscéim.

Biddy Jenkinson (a pseudonym) is widely held to be one of Ireland’s most eminent writers in the Irish language.

‘Well, one of the reasons for a pen name is to leave the poems as free as possible …cut the umbilical cord of the kite. An idea comes from the air, the Muse, and the writer has the honour of doing his/her best by it and letting it off again.’

Her poetry collections include Baisteadh Gintlí (Coiscéim, 1987), Uiscí Beatha (Coiscéim, 1988), Dán na hUidhre (Coiscéim, 1991), Amhras Neimhe (Coiscéim, 1997), An Grá Riabhach (Coscéim, 1999), Mis (Coiscéim, 2001), Rogha Dánta (Cork University Press, 2000) and Oíche Bhealtaine (Coiscéim, 2005). While her verse has not been published into English, she offers outlines of her poems before reading as Gaeilge.

On her prosaic works: Two of Jenkinson’s plays Mise, Subhó agus Maccó and Oh Rahjerum! were produced by Aisling Ghéar, Belfast with subsequent productions in Dublin and Galway. Her many fiction works include children’s stories Púca Púca (Coiscéim, 2005) and An Bhanríon Bess agus Gusaí Gaimbín (Coiscéim, 2007), a collection of prose fiction An Grá Riabhach (Coiscéim, 1999) and most recently a collection of short stories An tAthair Pádraig Ó Duinnín – Bleachtaire (Coiscéim 2008), in which The Rev. Patrick S. Dinneen, who was the compiler of the legendary Foclóir Gaedhilge agus Béarla – a dictionary renowned for its strange definitions, is portrayed as an amateur detective.

Jenkinson is hailed by Ciaran Carson as ‘one of our greatest writers’. An online review by Carson, of both her collection Oíche Bhealtaine and her recent detective stories, is available at A poetry-film of Eanáir 1991 (Janvier 1991) by Biddy Jenkinson, was produced as part of a series of six short Irish language poetry films for TG4 in 2008 called Nead an Dreoilín (The Wren’s Nest) and is available to view online at with subtitles in French.

Jenkinson, who lives in the Wicklow mountains, believes that ‘it is the responsibility of the writer to find something to be happy about. Geantraí seachas Goltraí!’ (musically light and fun, rather than slow and sad). She is interested, at present, in bumblebees, plants and detective fiction.

(Biography compiled from the poet and various online sources)


13th December

Ó Bhéal presents an end of year reading with

Paul Durcan

Paul Durcan was born, and continues to live, in Dublin in 1944.. His first book, Endsville (1967) has been followed by twenty-one others, including The Berlin Wall Café (a Poetry Book Society Choice in 1985), Daddy, Daddy (winner of the Whitbread Award for Poetry in 1990), A Snail in My Prime: New and Selected Poems (1993), Greetings to Our Friends in Brazil (1999), The Art of Life (2004), The Laughter of Mothers (2007) and Life is a Dream: 40 Years Reading Poems 1967-2007 (Harvill Secker, 2009).

In 2001 Durcan received a Cholmondeley Award. He was Ireland Professor of Poetry from 2004 to 2007 and is a member of Aosdána.


10th January

Ian Wild

Ian Wild is a poet, writer, composer and theatre worker from Enniskean, Co. Cork, Ireland. In 2009 he won the Fish International Short Story Prize and received a literature bursary from the Irish Arts Council. His publications and broadcast work include Way Out West – a comedy series for RTE Radio One; The Great Moodini and other stories – 20 children’s stories also broadcast on RTE’s Radio One. He has a collection of short stories published by Fish: The Woman Who Swallowed The Book Of Kells and also a volume of poetry entitled Intercourse With Cacti (Bradshaw Books.)

His literary awards include the North West Playwrights Award, a short story prize with the Cork Literary Review and in 2005 he won a runner-up award in the Bridport Short Story Prize. Four of his highly successful musical comedies appeared in Cork Midsummer Festivals between 1998 and 2003: The Pirates in Short Pants, Marco Polo’s Toilet Brush, Reds Under the Beds and Spaghetti Western. Since 2001 he has been teaching creative writing and theatre improvisation at Kinsale Further Education College, was Writer in Residence at Tigh Fili from 1999 – 2002 and was workshop leader at the Munster Literature Centre from 2003 – 2006. Prior to 1990, Wild also worked as a prop maker, musician and actor for a number of Theatre Companies.

From January 2011 he will be working for the Munster Literature Centre as short fiction editor of Southword and judge of the Seán Ó Faoláín Prize.

Ian will also be holding a workshop before the reading entitled Magic Realism in Poetry from 7.00pm to 8.30pm at Ó Bhéal. For more details click here.


17th January

Catherine Ann Cullen

You can listen to Catherine Ann’s reading here.

Catherine Ann Cullen was born in Drogheda, Co Louth. She is a graduate of the M.Phil in Creative Writing at Trinity College Dublin. Her first poetry collection A Bone in My Throat, was published by Doghouse Books in 2007. Her poem Scooter won the Francis Ledwidge Award in 2009. She is currently writing a novel for young adults.

Her work has been published widely including in two Census anthologies, The Doghouse Book of Ballad Poems, two Sunday Miscellany collections, The Stinging Fly and The Sunday Tribune. She is a contributor to RTÉ Radio One’s Sunday Miscellany and A Living Word. She has also published two children’s books, The Magical, Mystical, Marvelous Coat (2001) and Thirsty Baby (Little, Brown – 2003) in the US. She first won a gold award for Poetry and Folklore from the American Parents Association. She has also published short stories and her animation work includes a bawdy verse-script for Rowlandson Rides Again (Moving Still, 2006), an adult short on the 18th Century artist Thomas Rowlandson.

Cullen lectures in radio in Griffith College Dublin and has made documentaries and a series about food for RTÉ Radio 1 as well as producing current affairs, arts and features. She lives with her husband Harry and daughter Stella in Kimmage, Dublin.


24th January

Órfhlaith Foyle

You can listen to Órfhlaith’s reading here.

Galway-based poet Órfhlaith Foyle was born in Nigeria to Irish Parents. Her first poetry collection Red Riding Hood’s Dilemma was published by Arlen House in December 2009.

Foyle’s first novel Belios was published by Lilliput Press in 2005 and a collection of her short fiction and poetry Revenge was published by Arlen House in 2005. She is currently working on her second novel. In 2011, one of her short stories will be published in the Faber and Faber Book of Irish Short Stories.


31st January

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

Pól Ó Muirí

You can listen to Pól’s reading here.

Pól Ó Muirí was born in Belfast in 1965 and has written several volumes of poetry. He attended Queens University, where he obtained a B.A. (Hons) in Celtic Studies and Scholastic Philosophy, and a PhD in Celtic Studies. Well known for his journalism, he writes for the Belfast Telegraph and is the Irish-language Editor of The Irish Times.

Since the publication of his first collection of poetry Faoi Scáil na Ríona in 1991, Ó Muirí has emerged as one of the leading writers of his generation. Although not a native speaker, he writes mainly in Irish. Aside from his poetry, he has written short stories, radio plays, biography and creative fiction for adult learners in Irish. He has had two hour-length English-language radio dramas produced by RTÉ Radio 1 and has produced one volume of English-language poetry, D-Day (Lagan Press, 1995), translations from his own work with some original material in English. Among other awards, he has won an Oireachtas na Gaeilge literary award with his novel Dlithe an Nádúir (2001).

Ó Muirí’s collections include Faoi Scáil na Ríona (Coiscéim, 1991), Dinnseanchas (Coiscéim, 1992), Ginealach Ultach (Coiscéim, 1993), Siosafas: Gearrscéalta (Coiscéim, 1995), Abhar Filíochta (Coiscéim, 1995), D-Day (Lagan Press, 1995), Is Mise Ísmeáél (Lagan Press, 2000), Na Móinteacha (Lagan Press, 2004) and his most recent, Acht (Cosceim, 2009).

Scrúdaíonn Pól Ó Muirí an saol, stair, polaitaíocht agus cúrsaí litríochta sa chnuasach nua filíochta seo (Acht – Cosceim, 2009). Tugann sé léargas filiúnta ar Éirinn, ar Albain, ar an Eoraip agus ar an chultúr a bheathaíonn na háiteanna sin. In his latest collection Acht, Ó Muirí examines life, history and politics. He gives a poetic insight on Ireland, Scotland and Europe and the culture that supports them. – (

(Biography compiled from various online sources)