June and July

1st June

Michael Naughten Shanks & Evan Costigan

You can listen to Michael’s reading here.

Michael Naughten Shanks is the editor of online literary journal The Bohemyth. His own writing has featured or is forthcoming in various publications, including gorse, The Penny Dreadful, New Irish Writing, Southword, 3:AM and The Quietus. He is currently shortlisted for the Melita Hume Poetry Prize 2015 and has previously been listed for other awards including a Pushcart Prize and Over The Edge New Writer of the Year. He has read at numerous events around Ireland and also in the London Irish Centre. In 2015 he was selected to read as part of the New Writers’ Salon during Listowel Writers’ Week and also as part of the Poetry Ireland Introductions Series during the International Literature Festival Dublin.

You can listen to Evan’s reading here.

Evan Costigan‘s poems have been published in The Irish Times, Irish Independent, Cyphers, The Moth, Burning Bush 2, Cúirt Annual, Census 3 Anthology and elsewhere. Shortlisted for the 2014 Hennessy Literary Awards, he won the 2012 Francis Ledwidge International Poetry Award and his work has been shortlisted in numerous competitions, including the Listowel Writers’ Week Single Poem Competition, Bridport Prize, Over the Edge Competition, Boyle Poetry Competition and Red Line Poetry Competition. He has twice been nominated for the Forward Prize UK (Single Poem category). The recipient of a poetry bursary from Kildare County Council Arts Office, he has been a featured reader at poetry festivals and events in Japan, Canada and New Zealand.

His fiction has appeared in journals and magazines, broadcast on RTÉ’s Sunday Miscellany Programme and has been placed in national competitions. His travel articles have published in The Irish Times, Sunday Business Post, Get Lost! and Outsider. He has lived abroad for long periods – in South America, Australia, Japan and Canada – and just recently returned to Ireland.


8th June

Oran Ryan

You can listen to Oran’s reading here.

Oran Ryan is a writer living in Ireland. He has written novels: The Death of Finn (Seven Towers, 2006), Ten Short Novels by Arthur Kruger (Seven Towers 2007), and One Inch Punch (Seven Towers, 2012). He has written plays: Don Quixote has Been Promoted (2009, Ranelagh Arts Festival) for the Stage and radio; and Preliminary Design For a Universe Circling Spacecraft (KRPN, San Francisco, California 2010). He has written and published short stories, poetry and literary critical articles, particularly on William Burroughs, Marcel Proust, Virginia Woolf, David Foster Wallace as well as editing and contributing to a recent critical volume on Doris Lessing called Fragmented Societies: Feminism, Love and Identity in the Novels of Doris Lessing. He lectures on James Joyce, particularly Finnegans Wake. He has finished his next novel called Hardcastle, a book of short stories called The Weight and a slim volume named Portrait Of An Atheist Monk At Prayer.


15th June

Mike and Austin Durack

You can listen to Mike and Austin’s performance here.

Mike and Austin Durack grew up on a farm near Birdhill in County Tipperary. They have been collaborating on a programme of poetry and music for the past four years and they have produced two albums, The Secret Chord (2013) and Going Gone which was launched in April of this year.

Mike Durack was a teacher of English at Nenagh CBS until his retirement in 2008. He was a founder member of Killaloe Writers Group. His poems have been published in various literary journals and magazines including Riverine, Limerick Poetry Broadsheet, InCognito, Flaming Arrows, The Burning Bush, The Cafe Review (Portland, Maine), The Stony Thursday Book and Poetry Ireland Review, and have been broadcast on local and national radio. A chapbook, Nothing To Write Home About, was published by Derg House and A Hairy Tale of Clare, a comic narrative in verse was published by East Clare Telecottage in 1994. He has read his poems in schools and at festivals and arts centres throughout the MidWest. He now lives in Ballina, Co. Tipperary and is currently working on his memoir, A Farewell to Toucknockane.

Austin Durack‘s previous incarnations include a spell as a broadcaster with Clare FM and a period spent teaching Spanish through music. After a career as a singersongwriter, playing solo and with a variety of groups, he has been concentrating in recent years on guitar, playing his own compositions and arrangements of popular classics. His recent instrumental albums, A Guitar Journey (2008), Drops of Jazz (2012) and Fingerpicker (2014) have generated plenty of air play on radio programmes such as Late Date, In The Blue Of The Night and The John Creedon Show. He has appeared on The Late Late Show, Nighthawks and several times on TG4. He performs with Acoustic, Classical and Spanish Guitars in restaurants and at festivals and concerts. He now lives in O’Briensbridge in County Clare.


22nd June

Alice Lyons

You can listen to Alice’s reading here.

Alice Lyons’s poems have appeared in publications such as Tygodnik Powszechny (Kraków) and Poetry (Chicago), as poetry films, museum exhibits and public art projects. Two collections have been published, Staircase Poems (The Dock, 2006) and speck: poems 2002-2006 (Lapwing, 2015). She is the recipient of the Patrick Kavanagh Award for Poetry, the Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary and an IFTA nomination for her film The Polish Language. Alice will be a 2015/16 fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies, Harvard University. She lives in Sligo.


29th June

Ó Bhéal in association with Foras na Gaeilge presents

Seán Ó Roideacháin

You can listen to Seán’s reading here.

After graduating from the University of Limerick in 1976, Seán Ó Roideacháin has worked as an industrial engineering consultant and part-time sports journalist. At various times, he also spent periods as an aircraft appraiser, incinerator salesman, software developer and political aide. His first novel Shanagolden, set in rural Ireland during the First World War, War of Independence and Civil War, was published in 2013.

In 2014, Under the Black Bridge/Faoin nDroichead Dubh was published by Revival Press. This bilingual collection of 36 poems in English and 16 in Irish explores the eternal themes that have intrigued man since he first began to record his thoughts. Time, place, the limits of reason, love, society and the journeys of mind and body as well as football and the people and places of his Limerick home are all examined in this moving tour of the human spirit.


6th July

Nell Regan

You can listen to Nell’s reading here.

Nell Regan‘s latest collection One Still Thing was published by Enitharmon Press last year and her work has been widely published, translated and anthologised internationally. Her début collection Preparing for Spring (Arlen House, 2007) was shortlisted for the Strong, Glen Dimplex New Writing, Kavanagh and Vincent Buckley Awards. She was the recipient of an Arts Council Literature Bursary in 2010 and Fellow at the International Writing Programme Iowa and Fulbright Scholar at UC Berkeley the following year. She has also published non fiction including the first biography of activist Helena Molony. She has been variously a teacher, a researcher and literary festival director and now works freelance in Dublin where she lives. For more about Nell visit www.nellregan.com


13th July

Evelyn Casey

Evelyn Casey writes short stories and poetry. On her return from Germany in 2009, she visited a poetry evening in Limerick and was inspired to open, for the first time, her secret world of words to others. Her means of escape for as long as she can remember, has always been scribbling. Her work has featured, or forthcoming in, in the Blue Hour magazine, Boyne Berries, Hungry Hill Anthology, Revival journal, Poem Hunter, Anthology of a River, Love anthology and Limerick 12.12.12, a collection of art and poetry on exhibition at Limerick University. She was the recipient of a Desmond O’Grady prize in 2009 for her poem This Photograph I have of you. Her poems also appear in Sextet (Revival Press, 2010) an anthology of six poets. Her first collection of sixty five poems and five memoirs, entitled Not My Life Story was launched on August 31st 2014 in the Hunt museum, Limerick and published by Revival Press. Evelyn writes from the heart.


20th July

Clara Rose Thornton

You can listen to Clara Rose’s reading here.

Clara Rose Thornton is a spoken word artist, culture journalist, and radio and television broadcaster. She is a multiple slam champion, including the 2014-15 Dublin Slam Poetry Champion. Her themes of social justice, identity politics, and place have been featured at Electric Picnic, Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York, Bar Demory in Paris, Christiania Jazzklub in Copenhagen, and Workman’s Club in Dublin. In fall 2014 she toured Ireland as the headlining artist for the nation’s inaugural Black History Month, which she was instrumental in founding. The previous year saw her tour Europe as Vice & Verses, a site-specific performance she conceived involving her original spoken word set to live music, co-composed with native musicians in each country in which the shows were performed [Croatia, Denmark, France].

As a broadcaster, Clara acts as film critic for Arena on RTÉ Radio 1, discusses arts and culture on the likes of Tubridy on RTÉ 2FM and has appeared regularly as a television cultural critic on RTÉ 1’s Morning Edition. Irish poetry publication includes poems in Colony and wordlegs, while her evocative cultural criticism has been published in newspapers and magazines worldwide, including the Irish Independent. She is Chicago-born, New-York-simmered, Dublin-dwelling. Meet her at clararosethornton.com and @ClaraRose.


27th July

Emily Weitzman & Tom McCarthy

You can listen to Emily’s performance here.

Emily Weitzman writes artichokes and eats poems. The recipient of a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, she is spending the year traveling the globe, teaching, performing, writing, and learning about communities and cultures through spoken word and poetry. Raised in New York, she graduated from Wesleyan University, where as a competitor and coach, she was a four-year member of the award-winning Wesleyan University slam poetry team. As a part of the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational (CUPSI), Emily won awards including “Best Female Poet” (Yale Regionals 2012) and “Funniest Poet” (CUPSI 2012). Emily’s yearlong journey as a Watson Fellow has brought her to New Zealand, Australia, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Italy, and Ireland. As a teacher, performer, artist-in-residence, or observer, Emily has collaborated with various arts organizations across the globe.

You can listen to Tom’s reading here.

Tom McCarthy recently published a memoir in verse and prose called Susie’s Son (Limerick Writer’s Centre, 2014). He is currently MC at the weekly White House poetry reading series in Limerick, having read there since its inception in 2003. His work has been published in a number of journals and he was second in the All Ireland Poetry Slam held in Galway in 2009. His poetry strives to convey that impossible expierience of real life whether it be in nature or in the modalities of the everyday. Above all he reminds us of what is not at all self evident as he encourages us to encounter, with a sense of wonder, our insideness.