August and September

1st August

Michael McCarthy

You can listen to Michael’s reading here.

Michael McCarthy grew up in a farm in West Cork. His first collection Birds’ Nests and Other Poems won the Patrick Kavanagh Award. His second collection At the Races was the overall winner of the Poetry Business Book and Pamphlet Competition judged by Michael Longley. He has also published two children’s books in verse: The Story of Noah and the Ark and The Story of Daniel in the Lion’s Den, which have been translated into seventeen languages. Michael is a Priest and lives in North Yorkshire.

What I love about Michael’s poetry is the extraordinary specific detail, the pictures painted by the juxtaposition of words. It sings with a poetic intelligence. It moves me: the people, the memories, the
vividness of detail.
– Sinead Cusack


8th August

Ó Bhéal in association with the Cork City Council
presents a Twin Cities Celebration with Coventry poets

Jon Morley and Malcolm Dewhirst

You can listen to Malcolm’s reading here.

The Lord Mayor’s address is here.

Jon Morley runs The Heaventree Press, and is an arts facilitator for the Drum Arts Centre in Birmingham, where he programmes and produces live music, theatre, literature and dance. His books include an edition of Sir Walter Ralegh’s Discoverie of Guiana (1596), the Collected Early Poems of Derek Walcott, and Geminar, an anthology of younger British poets in Portuguese translation. His poems have been included in Bloodaxe’s anthology Voice Recognition: 21 new poets for the 21st Century, and escaped reviewers’ attention by coming in at No.12. His first collection of poems Backra Man was published in 2008 by Perdika Press.

Jon is the poet element of the Morley-Hayden-Haynes jazz-poetry ensemble, who have just recently released their second album Uncorked (Live at the Cork Jazz Festival), and Morley is currently collaborating on a libretto with the streetdance company Urban Colours.

Mal Dewhirst was born in Birmingham and now lives in Tamworth. His prime focus is as a poet who explores the themes of places and the spirit of place; his poems have been published in a number of anthologies and journals. Through his work in exploring the themes of places, he is the lead poet on the Polesworth Poets Trail, which saw ten new contemporary poems placed into the landscape of the town in 2009. A further seventeen poems have been written to extend the trail, when they are installed during 2011. Mal has also written plays, which have been performed in Burton-Upon Trent, Swadlincote, Derby and Coventry, working with theatre companies and community projects. He has written and recorded work for BBC Radio and written tourist guides for local authorities. His work in film has seen him collaborating with tourism projects to write scripts for short films that put heritage and history into context with what there is for tourists to see today, and so enhancing the experience of the place. His most recent script was used in the Abbey Gatehouse project in Polesworth, which also saw him make his acting debut as the poet John Donne.

He runs Grandad Shirt Productions to produce his own poetry films, the first of which was POLLYSWORDA, a film about the development of the poetry trail; this was followed by his film YELL!. He is currently working on a series of short films to be shown at the Polesworth International Poetry Film Festival, collaborating with poets and sound sculptors through his collaborative partnership with Hydranoid Musia. Mal runs the FIZZ poetry and spoken word evening, a bi-monthly event that brings guest poets to Polesworth and provides a space for local poets to share their work. Most recently he was Poet in Residence at the Nuneaton Summer Day of Poetry and one of ten West Midlands poets to take part in the Great West Midlands Poetry Relay, a Cultural Olympiad event, which sees projects designed to promote artistic endeavors in the run up to the London Olympics in 2012.

Malcolm is regular reader at poetry and spoken word events and festivals; he also runs workshops with schools and writing groups. He is currently working on his first full collection of poems.



15th August

Aidan Hayes

You can listen to Aidan’s reading here.

Aidan Hayes was born in Cork in 1947 and educated at University College Dublin. He has worked variously as an actor and as a teacher at schools, colleges and prisons. In 1995 he won the Listowel Writers’ Week Prize for Best Single Poem. His translations from Irish and French have been published widely in anthologies and periodicals since 1981, including in Our Shared Japan (Dedalus, 2007) and Earth Voices Whispering (Blackstaff, 2008). He also edited and translated the anthology of Francophone songwriter-poets Richesses (Southword Editions, 2008).

His first full collection Two Halves (Lapwing, 2009) has just been followed by a second, Notes Towards a Love Song (Doghouse Books, 2011). He has lived in France and taught in Millstreet. Since attending the Poets’ House in Falcarragh during 2001 and 2002, he moved to Donegal where he now lives.


22nd August

Maeve O’Sullivan

You can listen to Maeve’s reading here.

Dubliner Maeve O’Sullivan has published her poems and haiku widely. One of her poems won first prize at Listowel Writer’s Week in 1999, and a number of her haiku have won awards and been anthologised. She is a member of Haiku Ireland, the British Haiku Society and the Poetry Divas. Maeve’s first solo haiku collection Initial Response was launched in April 2011 by Alba Publishing (UK). – biography courtesy of Seven Towers Agency.


Friday 26th August

Ó Bhéal in association with
The Late Date and the Crafts Council of Ireland
at the National Craft Gallery in Kilkenny, @ 6.00pm – 8.30pm

presents a complete Ó Bhéal session with guest poet

Grace Wells

You can listen to Grace’s reading here.

Modified Expression is the National Craft Gallery ‘s exhibition as part of the Kilkenny Arts Festival. The exhibition is an exciting mix of emerging and established artists whose work is inspired by the written word, or by the binding and recycling of books and paper, and responds directly to the work of the authors participating in the Literature strand of the festival.

The Late Date is held on each last Friday at the National Craft Gallery and this year Ó Bhéal have been invited to run their complete three-part session (poetry challenge, guest poet and open-mic) alongside the exhibition, where the artists have responded with a breathtaking range of techniques, manipulating and experimenting with all aspects of the authors’ recent works, from the text itself to the structure and binding, the paper, the print and the illustrations. Featuring calligraphic text, deconstructed books, intricately hand-cut paper, and recycled and re-sculptured works, Modified Expression is a fascinating collection of artworks that demonstrates each artist’s personal interpretation of the texts, transforming literary works into visual ones and creating powerful new forms of expression.

A number of Cork poets will travel to take part in the poetry challenge and open-mic. All are welcome!

Grace Wells‘ debut collection of poetry When God has been Called Away to Greater Things won the 2011 Rupert and Eithne Strong Best First Collection Award and was short-listed for the London Fringe Festival New Poetry Award. Also published as a children’s author, her novels include Ice-Dreams and Gyrfalcon, which won the Eilis Dillon Best Newcomer Bisto Award and was an International White Ravens’ Choice. She reviews Irish poetry for the University of Chicago’s online literary journal, Contrary, and for Poetry Ireland Review and The Stinging Fly.

Wine Reception
Time: 6pm – 8.30pm
Venue: National Craft Gallery, Castle Yard, Kilkenny.
All welcome.


29th August

Mary Melvin Geoghegan

You can listen to Mary’s reading here.

Mary Melvin Geoghegan was born in Dublin and now lives in County Longford. Her first two collections The Bright Unknown (2003) and Abbeycartron Epiphanies (2005) were published by Lapwing. When They Come Home was published with Summer Palace press in 2008. She is currently working on Say It Like a Paragraph to be published in 2012 with Bradshaw Books.

Mary has edited three anthologies of children’s poetry including Ride Along Dear Grandma, A Hand in The Future with foreword by Belinda McKeon, and From the Wild Wild West, a collection of poems from Ballinamuck N.S. Longford, published in 2010 as part of a Children’s Books Ireland Residency. She is a regional editor for the Eurochild anthology of children’s artwork and poetry based in Tigh Fili, Cork.

Her poems have been shortlisted for many awards and published in the following: Poetry Ireland Review, The SHOp, The Sunday Times, The Stinging Fly, Revival, The Scriobh Anthology, The Cuirt Journal ( 2008), The Oxfam Calendar 2007, Books Ireland, The Shinrone Poetry Awards, Crannog ( 2011), The Stoney Thursday Book (2006), (2008) The Maria Edgeworth Literary papers, Acorn ,The Longford Leader and Riposte. She has read at the Maria Edgeworth Literary Festival, the Goldsmith International Literary Festival, the Boyle Arts Festival, the Athlone Literary Festival, Force 12 Writers’ Weekend, Belmullet, as part of Poetry Ireland’s Introductions Series, Out-to-Lunch at the Irish Writers’ Centre, the Siarsceal Festival in Boyle and Roscommon, at the Backstage Theatre Longford and the Lecture Theatre, National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin.

Mary also facilitates creative writing for the Writers-in-Schools Scheme, the Niland Gallery, Sligo, The Dock, Carrick-on-Shannon and the Arts Offices of Mayo, Leitrim, Sligo, Roscommon, Longford and Westmeath.


Thursday 1st September

Ó Bhéal’s first Fundraiser will be held

at the Hotel Metropole Ballroom, MacCurtain St from 8.00pm

presenting an evening of Music, Poetry, Comedy and a Raffle

Due to recent funding concerns, Ó Bhéal’s first Fundraiser hopes to raise enough to continue it’s popular reading series.

The evening will run from 8.00pm until midnight (Metropole bar stops serving at 11.30). This will include 11 music sets (10-15 minutes each), including Áine Duffy, Torcán, W!LD, Andy Wilson, Jo Collins, David Nelligan, Lady Grew, Fionnbarra, One Horse Pony, Cormac O’Caoimh and Niamh Murphy. There will also be two short sets of poetry, a performance by Tom Campbell, a raffle, Aaron the Balloonman and an improv comedy set performed by Snatch Comedy.

Tickets are now on sale at Ó Bhéal for €10.00 and can also be requested by email.

There will be seating and standing aisles in the main area of the ballroom. We also have a good few raffle prizes so far, including pottery from Louis Mulcahy, books from Waterstones and Doghouse Books, vouchers from Greene’s restaurant and Vibes and Scribes, with many more on the way. Raffle tickets will be available on the night. Any additional raffle-prize donations are welcome!

Ó Bhéal (non-for-profit) has hosted fifty poetry nights per year since 2007 (about Ó Bhéal) – over 215 nights so far, each presenting a poetry challenge, open-mic and guest poet(s), who we accommodate and pay reading fees to. It’s an invaluable asset to the country, let alone Cork, as we get to showcase the full spectrum of Irish poets as well as many from abroad. Local poets have been thriving in the open-mic and workshop environment, with many being published as a result. The Arts Council, City Council, Foras na Gaeilge and Poetry Ireland have all funded us consistently, though we’re still on the bottom of the funding pile and are being squeezed more now than ever, like everyone.

All are welcome to attend and help support Ó Bhéal’s future. Donations can also be made via the link on the right-hand side of the website.


5th September

Geraldine Mitchell

You can listen to Geraldine’s reading here.

Geraldine Mitchell lives near Louisburgh, Co. Mayo. Born in Dublin, she lived in France, Algeria and Spain for many years, where she taught and worked as a journalist, before returning to Ireland in 1992. She is also the author of two novels for young people and a biography. Her first collection of poems World Without Maps (2011) was recently published by Arlen House. She won the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award in 2008.

Geraldine will also be holding a workshop entitled Taking Off, from 7.00pm to 8.30pm at Ó Bhéal. For more details click here.


12th September

Ó Bhéal in association with Foras na Gaeilge presents

Rody Gorman

You can listen to Rody’s reading, with introduction and translations by Alan Titley here.

Rody Gorman was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1960 and now lives in the Isle of Skye, Scotland. He has published the poetry collections Fax and Other Poems (Polygon, Edinburgh, 1996); Cuis-Ghaoil (diehard, Edinburgh, 1999); Bealach Garbh (Coiscéim, Dublin, 1999); Air a’ Charbad fo Thalamh/On the Underground (Polygon, 2000); Naomhóga na Laoi (Coiscéim, 2003); Tóithín ag Tláithínteacht (Lapwing, 2004); An Duilleog agus an Crotal (Coiscéim, 2004); Flora from Lusitania (Lapwing, 2005) Zonda? Khamsin? Sharaav? Camanchaca? (Leabhraichean Beaga, Inverness, 2006) and; Eadar Fiaradh is Balbh na h-Oidhche (diehard, Callander, 2007), Céilí san Oíche (Coiscéim, 2009), Ceangailte (Coiscéim, 2011) and: Beartan Briste/burstbroken judgementshroudloomdeeds (Cape Breton University Press, Sydney, 2011) in English, Irish and Scottish Gaelic. His selected poems in Irish and Scottish Gaelic Chernilo was published by Coiscéim in 2006.

He has worked as writing fellow at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, University College Cork and the University of Manitoba and is editor of the annual Irish and Scottish Gaelic poetry anthology An Guth. Among his Gaelic translations are works by Cavafy, Yeats, Neruda, Milosz, Rósewicz, Popa, Holub, Aspenstrom, Snyder, Issa, Basho and Buson. His English translations include poems by Donald MacAulay, Sorley MacLean and Iain Crichton Smith. Working between Irish and Scottish Gaelic, he has translated poetry by Máirtín Ó Direáin, Sorley MacLean, Seán Ó Ríordáin, Derick Thomson, Seán Ó Tuama, Iain Crichton Smith, Donald MacAulay, Myles Campbell, Aonghas MacNeacail, Gabriel Rosenstock, Michael Davitt, Liam Ó Muirthile, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Meg Bateman and others. His own work has been translated into Arabic, Dutch, Estonian, Galician, German, Hebrew, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Portugese, Romanian, Slovene and Swedish.

In 2009 he was employed as Scottish Writing Fellow at PROGR in Berne, Switzerland and appointed as a member of the Scottish Government Literature Working Group and Writer in Residence for a second term at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. He has worked as Convenor of the Translation and Linguistic Rights Committee of Scottish PEN; Chair of HI-Arts Writing Development Group, as Specialist Adviser for the Scottish Arts Council, and as songwriter, lecturer, creative writing tutor and adjudicator of literary competitions.


19th September

Rab Urquhart

You can listen to Rab’s reading here.

Edinburgh-born poet Rab Urquhart is Cork-based and known for delivering enigmatic performances at many spoken-word venues. For years he has hosted open-mic events including as MC of the open-mic nights the Slam, Fun club, The Vox, The Tikki Sunday Social and with Mike Burgess, the Cheeky Sunday Social in the Slate bar, Cork. Rab’s poetry crosses into Experimental / Lyrical / Punk genres and he mostly performs off-page.

Urquhart has been involved with the performing arts since the 80’s. Unpublished and unconcerned, Rab will read a selection of work spanning late adolescence and early middle age with the occasional foray into adulthood.


23rd September

Ó Bhéal in association with Cork City Council presents a special Friday edition of Ó Bhéal for

Cork Culture Night 2011

John Carmody

You can listen to John’s reading here.

John Carmody was born in Limerick in 1965. He has published two chapbooks and one full collection of poetry, The Butter Lamp (Clo Dunaire/Irish and Celtic Publications, 2008). In 1995 he was a prizewinner at Listowel Writers’ Week and some of his writings have been broadcast on RTE Radio’s Sunday Miscellany. In 2007 he won the Cuisle Limerick International Poetry Slam prize. A new collection from Revival press is due out in 2012. His poetry has been described as quirky and humorous but deeply reflective and philosophical.

The hallmark of John’s poetry is an honesty and accessibility that at first can belie the breadth and substance of his poetic talent. Here indeed is a new voice who has forged out of life’s adversities and joys the stuff of true-felt and illuminating poetry. And while his performance [covers] the deeper tones of life’s journey, he also [shows] a finely tuned sense of fun. – Gerard O’Shea

As per last year, the evening will follow the usual format with the open-mic being dedicated to:

Cork-based Poems, or poems by Cork Poets, Past and Present

For more about Culture night events click here.

For the Culture Night Programme click here.


26th September

Munster Slam Championships

Ó Bhéal’s Munster heat for the 2011 All-Ireland Slam Championship in Ulster

From 9pm sharp … One hour, Twelve-Eighteen poets compete
over two rounds to produce Two Winners to represent Munster!

You can listen to the final six poets in round two including winner Fergus Costello and Runner-Up Mary O’Connell here.

Followed with a performance by

Sarah Clancy

You can listen to Sarah’s reading here.

Sarah Clancy is from Galway and has been writing poetry for about two years. Already she has been shortlisted for several poetry prizes including the Patrick Kavanagh award and the Listowel Collection of Poetry competition in 2010. She was the runner up in the 2010 North Beach Nights Grand slam series and won the Cuirt International Festival of Literature Grand Slam in 2011.

Sarah’s first collection of poetry Stacey and the Mechanical Bull was published by Lapwing Press, Belfast in December 2010. Her work was further featured in a three-writer anthology published by Doire Press in June 2011 and her second full length collection will be published by Salmon Poetry in April 2012.