February and March

6th February

New Creative Writing from UCC

You can listen to all six readers here.

Poets and short fiction writers from the UCC MA Creative Writing programmes will be presented by Leanne O’Sullivan to read from their new work. Readers include Laura McKenna, Paul Asta, Mona Lynch, Kate Brock, Jacqui Corcoran and Alyssandra Tobin.

Laura McKenna’s poetry has been nominated for a Hennessy Award and her poem “Perspective”, published in the Irish Examiner Tuesday Poem slot, was nominated for a Forward Prize in 2016. She is writing historical fiction for her PhD.

Paul Asta was born in South Korea. He is a bookbinder and writer from the Chicago Suburbs. Currently he resides in Cork, Ireland studying Creative Writing at University College Cork on a Fulbright.

Mona Lynch is from Cork and is the mother of five children. She is currently completing her MA in Creative Writing at UCC.

Kate Brock is a writer and poet interested in travel and the arts. She is currently pulling together a collection of short stories and poems and is originally from the States.

After 20 years working as a producer with RTE Radio 1, Jacqui Corcoran took voluntary redundancy to focus on creative work. At the moment she is working on a number of creative projects, and doing an MA in Creative Writing at UCC. She is very new to poetry!

Alyssandra Tobin is an apprentice poet and short fiction writer from Boston, Massachusetts. She has been published or has work forthcoming in The Albion Review, The Quarryman, Atticus, and Curbside Splendor, and was awarded the Douglas A. Pinta Award. She is currently continuing work on her first poetry collection, and is pursuing an MA in Creative Writing at the University College Cork in Cork, Ireland.

13th February

Gerard Smyth

You can listen to Gerard’s reading here.

Gerard Smyth is poet, critic and journalist. He recently published The Yellow River (Solstice Arts Centre, Navan, 2017) – a sequence of poems, with artwork by Sean McSweeney. His other collections include A Song of Elsewhere (Dedalus Press, 2015) and The Fullness of Time: New and Selected Poems (Dedalus Press, 2010). The Salvage Press has published two limited editions of poem sequences: We Like It Here Beside the River (with a drawing by artist Donald Teskey) and After Easter (poems in response to the 1916 Easter Rebellion). He was the 2012 recipient of the O’Shaughnessy Poetry Award presented by the University of St Thomas in Minnesota and is co-editor, with Pat Boran, of If Ever You Go: A Map of Dublin in Poetry and Song (Dedalus Press) which was Dublin’s One City One Book in 2013. He is a member of Aosdána and Poetry Editor of The Irish Times.


20th February

Ó Bhéal in association with Foras na Gaeilge presents

Séamus Barra Ó Súilleabháin

You can listen to Séamus’ performance here.

Séamus Barra Ó Súilleabháin is from Listowel. He has performed at Reic, Liú Lúnasa, Caberet Craiceáilte and has worked with numerous musicians. He is a co-editor of Mionlach and part of hip-hop project Craos. Beatha Dhónaill Dhuibh (2016) is the title of his début collection of poems, from Cló Iar-Chonnacht.

Bhí Domhnall Dubh ann fadó. Is minic a bhí. Is beidh go deo. Easraíonn dhá fhocal a ainme ón bpréamh Luath-Cheiltise céanna a chiallaíonn doimhneacht. Is geall le scáth é nochtaithe tar éis aghaidh fidil na féiniúlachta a bheith stracaithe in am an toirmisc. Fáiscfidh sé farat mar phúicín poileistir ag ceilt ar do shúilibh na céadfaí agus déithe foirfe ag teilgean snap-chatanna chuchu ó fhuinneoga na ndearnana. Fágfaidh sé thú mar chnagaire folamh caite le glaise phortaigh d’fhonn aigne na hóige a fhóirithint ar olcas uachtanna conspóidithe. Tá an riach ar Dhónaillín le bréaga, a dhalta. Téanam ort ‘on duibheagán go gcloisfeam a allagar míofar…


27th February

Amanda Bell

You can listen to Amanda’s reading here.

Amanda Bell‘s collection Undercurrents, a psychogeography of Irish rivers in haiku and haibun, was published by Alba Publishing in 2016. Her illustrated children’s book, The Lost Library Book, will be published this spring by The Onslaught Press, and a debut poetry collection, First the Feathers, is forthcoming from Doire Press. She is the editor of The Lion Tamer Dreams of Office Work: An Anthology of Poetry by the Hibernian Writers (Alba Publishing, 2015) and Maurice Craig: Photographs (Lilliput, 2011). She has a Masters in Poetry Studies from the Irish Centre for Poetry Studies, DCU, and her poetry has been published in journals and anthologies including Poetry Ireland Review, Cyphers, Crannóg, Skylight 47 and The Stinging Fly. She won the William Allingham Prize in 2015, and was highly commended for the Patrick Kavanagh Award in 2015 and 2016. In 2016 she was selected for Poetry Ireland’s Introductions Series and the Munster Literature Centre’s Introductory Readings. She works as a freelance editor and indexer.

For more about Amanda, visit www.clearasabellwritingservices.ie


6th March

Claire Crowther

You can listen to Claire’s reading here.

Claire Crowther has published three full collections and four pamphlets of poetry. Her first collection, Stretch of Closures (Shearsman) was shortlisted for the Aldeburgh Best First Collection prize. She has an MPhil and PhD in Creative Writing (Poetry). Her poems and reviews have appeared in many journals including The London Magazine, London Review of Books, New Statesman, PN Review, Poetry Review, Poetry Wales and The Times Literary Supplement. Her poems have been widely anthologised including in The Best British Poetry 2015. She was poet in residence at the Royal Mint Museum during 2014-2015, resulting in a pamphlet Bare George, published in June 2016. John Greening in The Times Literary Supplement commented that Claire Crowther is ‘a poet whose work is fully achieved and anything but conventional’. Jane Holland commented in Poetry Review: ‘Claire Crowther is a poet whose confident, highly sensuous explorations of language and gender deserve to be read and recognized.’


13th March

Michelle Cahill

You can listen to Michelle’s reading here.

Michelle Cahill has lived in Kenya, the UK and Australia. Her poems appear in Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry Review, The Australian and Meanjin. She won the Val Vallis Poetry Award, the Hilary Mantel International Short Story Competition, and her collection Vishvarupa was shortlisted in the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards and broadcast on ABC Radio’s Earshot. She was a poetry fellow at Hawthornden Castle and at Kingston Writing School, and a visiting scholar at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte. Her most recent books are a collection of short stories, Letter to Pessoa (Giramondo) and The Herring Lass (Arc, 2016), a collection of poems themed on animal and human migrations. She has received grants from the Australia Council and the Copyright Agency Limited.


20th March

Michèle Vassal-Ring and Brendan Ring

You can listen to Michèle & Brendan’s performance here.

Originally from the Ubaye Valley in the French Alps, half-way between Provence and Piedmont, Michèle Vassal moved to Ireland in her late teens. In 1999, she won the Prize for a First Collection at Listowel Writers Week, since then her poems have been appeared in many journals and anthologies and she is frequently invited to read her work at festivals and events in Ireland and abroad. Her two collections, Sandgames (2000) and A Taste for Hemlock (2011) are both published by Salmon Poetry. Some of her poems have been adapted to music, most notably by legendary Skid Row guitarist Jimi Slevin and acclaimed Irish singer/songwriter, the late Martin Egan. She is also an artist and has designed CD and book covers. She lives near Bantry, with her husband, the piper/harper Brendan Ring. They are currently working together on some recordings, mixing traditional Irish instruments and contemporary verse.

Brendan Ring plays the uilleann pipes, low-whistle and clairseach. His musical roots lie in North Cork and his grand-father was a box player. He has numerous television, radio and recording credits to his name. He is a noted composer of traditional tunes and has collaborated with such musical luminaries as Mícheál Ó Súilleabhán and singer/songwriter John Spillane.


27th March

Michael J. Whelan

You can listen to Michael’s reading here.

Michael J. Whelan is a historian, soldier-poet and member of the Irish Defence Forces since 1990, where he is curator of the Air Corps Aviation Museum at Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel. He holds an M.A. in Modern History from NUI Maynooth and served as a Peacekeeper in Lebanon and Kosovo during the conflicts in those countries. Much of his recent poetry is inspired by his and the collective experiences of Irish citizens on International U.N. Peace Support Operations with the Irish Army and has been published in France, Australia and the UK & Ireland. He was 2nd Place Winner in the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Awards and 3rd in the Jonathan Swift. He was selected to read at the Poetry Ireland Introductions Series in 2011 and his debut collection Peacekeeper was published by Doire Press in 2016.

visit www.doirepress.com/writers/m_z/michael_whelan OR michaeljwhelan.wordpress.com