December and January

7th December

Rozalie Hirs

Rozalie’s reading will be available here soon.

Photo: Bianca Sistermans
Rozalie Hirs is a contemporary Dutch composer and poet. Her poetry and music are lyrical as well as experimental. The principal concerns of her work are in the adventure of listening, reading, and the imagination. Her poetry includes both printed collections and digital poetry: interactive poems created in collaboration with visual artists, and graphic designers. Her music consists of vocal, orchestral, and electronic compositions. She often combines traditional instruments with electronic sounds. She is a regular performer of her compositions for voice and electronic sounds; mostly at international poetry festivals. Her music scores are published by Donemus and her CDs by Attacca.

Her poetry books, all from Querido (Amsterdam) are Locus (1998), Logos (2002), Speling (2005), Geluksbrenger (2008) and work in stuttering (2012). Performers of her music include Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Asko|Schönberg, Bozzini Quartet, Klangforum Wien, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, and Slagwerk Den Haag.

“It should be said that Rozalie Hirs writes beautiful poetry. She has great control of language and sensibility and often invents original metaphors.”Rogi Wieg, Het Parool

14th December

Philippe Beck

You can listen to Philippe’s reading here.

Philippe Beck was born in Strasbourg in 1963 and is a leading French poet, writer and professor for Philosophy at both the University of Nantes in France and the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. He is the author of some fifteen books of poetry, including Garde-manche hypocrite (Fourbis, 1996), Chambre à roman fusible (Al Dante, 1997), Verre de l’époque Sur-Eddy (Al Dante, 1998), Rude merveilleux (Al Dante, 1998), Le Fermé de l’époque (Al Dante, 1999), Dernière mode familiale (Flammarion, postface de Jean-Luc Nancy, 2000) , Inciseiv (MeMo, 2000), Poésies didactiques (Théâtre typographique, 2001), Aux recensions (Flammarion, 2002), Dans de la nature (Flammarion, 2003), Garde-manche Deux (Textuel, 2004), Élégies Hé (Théâtre typographique, 2005), Déductions (Al Dante, 2005), Chants populaires (Flammarion, 2007), De la Loire (Argol, 2008), Lyre Dure (Nous, 2009), Poésies premières (1997–2000) (Flammarion, 2011) and Boustrophes (Texts & Crafts, 2011).

In 1990, he was a founding member of Alter, a journal of phenomenology (Ecole Normale Supérieure of Saint-Cloud). He was also the founder and editor in chief of the poetry magazine Quaderno . He is a member of the editorial board of Cités (Cities) and Droits de cités (Laws of Cities) and of the journal Agenda de la Pensée Contemporaine (Calendar of Contemporary Thought, by Flammarion). He was Writer in Residence at Château de Blandy-les-Tours in 2008 and at Mission Stendhal Laureate in China in 2009. His poetic works have been featured in numerous magazines and anthologies. Some of his books and poems have been translated into English, Dutch, Korean and German.

Through his poetic work, Philippe Beck has collaborated with contemporary musicians and composers on many occasions. He is one of the co-writers of Gérard Pesson’s opera libretto Pastorale. A number of Beck’s works have also been put to music by Pesson: Chants populaires (Popular Songs) for the vocal ensemble Accentus. Beck’s Lyre Dure (NOUS éditons, 2009) was also the basis for Philippe Mion’s Oeuvre acousmatique (Acousmatic work), the premiere of which was held in 2009. In March 2013, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Kent Nagano premiered a work by Maxime McKinley, which was based on Beck’s book In Nature. Since October 2012 Beck has served as President of the Commission of poetry at the Centre national du livre (National Book Centre) in Paris.

Philippe recently won the distinguished 2015 Grand Prix de Poésie, from Académie Française, for the entire oeuvre of his work. He will be reading from Didactic poems, due out in March 2016 from Minnesota University Press, Univocal Series – with translations by Nicola Marae Allain of his acclaimed work Poésies didactiques (Théâtre typographique, 2001).


11th January

Ó Bhéal in association with The Community Foundation for Ireland presents

2016 Commemoration Series (Event 1 of 8): Breakfast with Pádraig

Colm Scully & Conor McManus

You can listen to Colm and Conor’s performance here.

Colm Scully and Conor McManus‘s Breakfast with Pádraig is a sideways glance at the 1916 rising and the shadow it has cast across our collective cultural consciousness. Expressed through the ideas and work of two writers, one from Leitrim and one from Cork, it is sometimes funny, sometimes thought provoking. Performed through the media of Poetry, Story, Song, Music and Film, it is not a parody and not a history lesson. Its aim is to be an entertaining way to commemorate the rising.

“Cleverly interwoven with song and poetry, the work cast a very human eye on the effects of the 1916 Rising over the last one hundred years.”Nick Smith, Psoken Wrod, Clonakilty

Conor McManus‘s stories and poems have been published in The Stinging Fly, Crannog, The Shakings of the Bag, and The Moth. He has performed at many festivals and venues such as Electric Picnic, Winter Warmer Festival and White House Limerick

Colm Scully has been published in many journals. He won the Cuirt New Writing prize 2014, and was selected for Poetry Ireland Introductory series 2014. His first collection What News, Centurions? was published by New Binary Press in 2014.

Colm and Conor have collaborated on a number of poetry films, one of which, Crow, was shortlisted for the Indie Cork Poetry Film competition 2014 and was Curators Choice at the Rabbit Heart Poetry Film festival 2015.


18th January

Helen Harrison and Marian O’Rourke

You can listen to Helen’s reading here.

Helen Harrison was raised on the Wirral, seven miles from Liverpool, by Irish parents, and has lived most of her adult life in the countryside of County Monaghan. Her poems have been published in A New Ulster, North West Words, Mad Swirl, and Bray Journal and on the Poethead blog. Helen’s début collection of poetry The Last Fire was published in 2015 by Lapwing. You can read some of Helen’s poetry at:

Balanced thought combined with strong emotion and perfectly wrought original lines lead us to believe we will hear much more from Helen Harrison in the future.Carmen Cullen, Bray Arts Journal.

You can listen to Marian’s reading here.

Marian O’Rourke is from Limerick and has spent most of her life in North America. Her poems have been published in a variety of journals and anthologies both in Ireland, England and Canada. She has read her poetry on WBAI Radio (New York City), and Lyric FM and has read at events in Ireland, England, Canada and The United States. Her short stories have been accepted by RTE’s Sunday Miscellany.

Uprooted was published by Horn Press in 2008 followed by Inhaling The Light published by Lapwing Press in 2009. Marian Holds an M.A. in Creative Writing from Waterford Institute of technology.

… in all her modes we find the essential dialogue with feeling, and the frequent spark of lyric transformation. Her willingness to vary her approaches, creating a rage of poetic possibilities, is remarkable. She has both the ambition and the talent. – Ciaran O’Driscoll


25th January

John McGrath

You can listen to John’s reading here.

John McGrath is a poet, writer and retired teacher who lives in Lisselton, North Kerry with his wife Kate. He is a founder member of the Seanchaí Writers’ Group in Listowel and a member of the Listowel Writers’ Week Committee. His work has previously been included in The Ballydonoghue Magazine, The Malpais Review, Santa Fe, and online in The First Cut.

John’s first poetry collection, Blue Sky Day, was published by Moybella Press in 2007. He also co-wrote Rebel Mind, Conor O’Sullivan’s biography published by Moybella Press in 2011. His latest collection, Closing the Circle, also published by Moybella Press, was launched at Listowel Writers’ Week in 2015.