February and March

7th February

Mary Kennelly

You can listen to Mary’s reading here.

Mary Kennelly was born in 1970 and was raised along with her five siblings in the North Kerry village of Ballylongford. She recently undertook a Postgraduate Diploma in Learning Support and Special Educational Needs in Mary Immaculate College, Limerick and has just completed her Masters degree in Educational Management in Waterford Institute of Technology. She teaches in Presentation Secondary School, Listowel, Co. Kerry and also works for the Special Education Support Service as a special needs teacher.

Mary worked in the Arts for many years including time with Writers’ Week Listowel and the Brendan Kennelly Summer Festival. She has written features for a number of publications including The Kerryman, The Sunday Independent and The Sunday Tribune. She has edited a number of publications. In 2004 she published Sunny Spells, Scattered Showers a collection of poetry with paintings by the artist Rebecca Carroll. In 2010 she published a second collaboration From the Stones, with paintings by renowned artist Brenda Fitzmaurice.

About: From The Stones

Brenda Fitzmaurice and Mary Kennelly have known each other for more years than either of them would care to remember or to admit. Over the years they have been aware of and admirers of each other’s work. They worked together on a number of occasions for the Brendan Kennelly Summer Festival. In 2005, Brenda held a solo exhibition in the Limerick County Gallery. The exhibition was inspired by the Shannon river estuary and by the landscapes that are washed by it. In response to the paintings, Mary wrote a poem on the same theme and dedicated it to Brenda. Brenda used the poem on her exhibition invitations. The idea to collaborate grew from this time, but like a fine wine took a little while to mature.

They began working on ‘From the Stones’ in 2008. They drew their inspiration from the places and people of their shared surroundings. They chose the title ‘From the Stones’ to reflect the extent to which they are products of the nurturing landscape in which they live. This work is an open love letter to their place yet within its pages are found resonances of the cultural legacies and daily concerns of people far beyond their place.

But I know this is my place,
I could not be
Myself in any other.
This place has made me
What I am – I am
Sky and wind and water.

– The Lighthouse


14th February

Ó Bhéal presents a Valentine’s reading with

Gerry Murphy

You can listen to Gerry’s reading here.

photo – John Minihan
Gerry Murphy was born in Cork in 1952. His poetry collections include A Small Fat Boy Walking Backwards (Commons Press, 1985; Three Spires Press, 1992) and five previous collections from the Dedalus Press, Rio de la Plata and All That (1993), The Empty Quarter (1995), Extracts from the Lost Log-Book of Christopher Columbus (1999), Torso of an Ex-Girlfriend (2002) and End of Part One: New & Selected Poems (2006). His poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies, and Pocket Apocalypse, his translations of the Polish poet Katarzyna Borun-Jagodzinska, appeared in 2005 from Southword Editions. His latest collection from Dedalus, My Flirtation with International Socialism was recently launched in November 2010.

“A political poet who also writes daring love poems, or a love poet whose portraits and parodies constitute a necessary clearing of space – whether in a small city or on a larger, global stage – either way Gerry Murphy is a particular case in Irish poetry, at once provocative and hugely entertaining, serious even in his most apparently throw-away gesture. ‘What makes Murphy unique among his contemporaries,’ according to John Montague in a brief foreword to this selected volume, ‘is his curious integrity, the way he has created an aesthetic out of nearly nothing, ex nihilo. But there is much skill behind his lightness of touch…’ – Dedalus


21st February

Nuala Ní Chonchúir

You can listen to Nuala’s reading here.

Nuala Ní Chonchúir‘s début novel You (New Island, 2010) was called ‘a heart-warmer’ by The Irish Times and ‘a gem’ by The Irish Examiner. Her third short story collection Nude was shortlisted for the UK’s Edge Hill Prize, and her third poetry collection The Juno Charm appears from Salmon Poetry in 2011.



28th February

Cherry Smyth

You can listen to Cherry’s reading here.

Cherry Smyth is an Irish writer, living in London. Her debut poetry collection, When the Lights Go Up was published by Lagan Press in 2001. Her anthology of women prisoners’ writing, A Strong Voice in a Small Space (Cherry Picking Press, 2002) won the Raymond Williams Community Publishing Award in 2003.

A second collection called One Wanted Thing (Lagan Press) appeared in 2006. The Irish Times wrote of this collection: ‘Here is clarity and realism, couched in language that is accessible and inventive. The title poem of this collection was nominated for the Forward Best Poem of the Year 2004, and carries all Smyth’s hallmarks: precision, linguistic inventiveness and joy.’

Cherry is also the Poetry Editor of Brand Literary Magazine.


7th March

Simone Mansell Broome

Simone Mansell Broome spent her early childhood in Tenby. She returned to Wales at the end of 2006 and now lives on a Carmarthenshire farm, co-running a small centre for groups, workshops and courses – Ceridwen. Since 2006, she has been successful in numerous poetry competitions, published in anthologies and magazines, broadcast on BBC Radio 4, Radio Wales and elsewhere, performed all over Wales and beyond, won poetry slams and represented Wales in BBC Radio 4’s performance poetry competition. She also organises and comperes Word Up in Cardigan, leads workshops and writes commissioned poems.

Simone has produced three collections: a pamphlet in 2008 – Not exactly getting anywhere but… , a slim volume in 2009 – Juice of the Lemon and her first full-length book, Cardiff Bay Lunch (Lapwing, 2010). Simone is working on a CD of her performance poems and is a fervent believer in both the page and the stage.

There’s more info about Simone at www.simonemb.com and www.ceridwencentre.co.uk.

Simone will also be holding a workshop before the reading entitled Sucking the Lemon from 7.00pm to 8.30pm at Ó Bhéal. For more details click here.


14th March

Ciaran O’Driscoll

You can listen to Ciaran’s reading here.

Ciaran O’Driscoll was born in Callan, Co. Kilkenny and lives in Limerick. He is a member of Aosdána and a committee member of Cuisle Limerick City International Poetry Festival.

He has published six collections of poetry, including Gog and Magog (Salmon, 1987) and his New and Selected Poems, Moving On, Still There (Dedalus, 2001). Liverpool University Press published his childhood memoir, A Runner Among Falling Leaves (2001). He has won a number of awards for his work, including the Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship in Poetry. Life Monitor, his sixth collection, was published in October 2009 by Three Spires Press.

“a poet in confident possession and exercise of his craft. [His] poems do what good poems should do, widening and deepening the world for the rest of us.” – Eamonn Grennan, The Irish Times.


21st March

Cork Launch of The Other Side of Longing

Geraldine Mills & Lisa C. Taylor

You can listen to the reading, with an introduction by Maire Bradshaw here.

Geraldine Mills is an award-winning writer of poetry and short story. Her collections of poetry are Unearthing your Own (Bradshaw Books, 2001), Toil the Dark Harvest (Bradshaw Books, 2004) and An Urgency of Stars (Arlen House, 2009) for which she was awarded a Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship. Her latest collection is a poetry collaboration with American poet Lisa C. Taylor titled The Other Side of Longing (Arlen House, 2011) which explores themes of culture, folklore and language through a series of poems of call and response, weaving in and out of their own internal and external landscapes, the collection from which Geraldine and Lisa will be reading.

Arlen House has also published her two short story collections Lick of the Lizard (2005) and The Weight of Feathers (2007) for which she was awarded an Arts Council Bursary.

She was the Millennium winner of the Hennessy/Tribune New Irish Writer Award. Both collections of her short stories are now on Contemporary Literature courses in Connecticut, USA. Her work has been published in the Sunday Tribune, The Irish Times, Poetry Ireland Review, The SHOp, The Stinging Fly, Atlanta Review, de brakke hond and others. She lives in County Galway.

Lisa C. Taylor is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently Talking to Trees (Finishing Line Press, 2007) which was nominated for the L.L.Winship PEN New England Award, and another, Falling Open (Alpha Beat Press). Her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and she is widely published in literary journals. In 2009, Lisa received a Surdna Arts Teaching Fellowship which enabled her to travel to Ireland to work with Geraldine Mills.

The Other Side of Longing is the result of their creative collaboration. Lisa holds an Master of Fine Arts Degree in Creative Writing from the Stonecoast Writing Program at University of Southern Maine. She teaches creative writing and poetry at Eastern Connecticut State University in Connecticut. The American Association of College Professors (AAUP) awarded her a Faculty Development Grant in 2011.


28th March

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

Philip Cummings

You can listen to Philip’s reading here.

Philip Cummings was born in Belfast in 1964, is now living near Moneyglass in County Antrim and is a graduate of QUB and of UUC. His first poetry collection Néalta (Coiscéim, 2005) won the Irish Language Prize in the Glen Dimplex New Writers Awards 2006 and was shortlisted for the Rupert and Eithne Strong Award 2006. Dar Liom (Coiscéim, 2008) is a selection of his columns from the newspaper Lá Nua, where he was the Arts Editor from 2003 until 2008. He won an Oireachtas Prize in 2009 for a radio play Ar Thóir na Fírinne which was broadcast on RTÉ Radio in January this year, and has also been recognised by Oireachtas na Gaeilge for his poetry criticism. His latest publication is An Fear sa Ghealach (Coiscéim, 2010), a book-length poem completely unlike anything else being written in Irish at the moment. He works as a translator for CCEA.

Rugadh Philip Cummings i mBéal Feirste in 1964, ina chónaí anois gar don Mhuine Ghlas, Contae Aontroma, céimí de chuid QUB agus de chuid UUC. Bhuaigh Néalta (Coiscéim, 2005), a chéad chnuasach filíochta, duais na Gaeilge Glen Dimplex 2006 agus bhí sé ar an ghearrliosta don Rupert and Eithne Strong Award 2006. Foilsíodh Dar Liom (Coiscéim) in 2008, díolaim dá cholúin ón nuachtán Lá Nua, a raibh sé ina eagarthóir ealaíon air ó 2003 go 2008. Bhain sé duais Oireachtas na Gaeilge in 2009 do dhráma raidió agus craoladh an dráma Ar Thóir na Fírinne ar RTÉ Raidió in Eanáir na bliana seo. Fuair a léirmheastóireacht ar an fhilíocht duais eile Oireachtais cúpla bliain ó shin. Is é An Fear sa Ghealach (Coiscéim, 2010) an leabhar is déanaí leis, dán fada amháin atá go hiomlán neamhchosúil lena bhfuil á scríobh faoi láthair i bhfilíocha na Gaeilge. Ina aistritheoir faoi láthair le CCEA.