June and July

5th June

Stephanie Conn and Simon Lewis

You can listen to Stephanie’s reading here.

A former teacher and graduate of the MA programme at the Seamus Heaney Centre, Stephanie Conn won the Yeovil Poetry Prize, Funeral Service NI prize and the inaugural Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing. Her first collection, The Woman on the Other Side is published by Doire Press and was shortlisted for the Shine/Strong Award for best first collection. Her pamphlet Copeland’s Daughter won the Poetry Business Pamphlet Competition and is published by Smith/Doorstep.

You can listen to Simon’s reading here.

Simon Lewis was the winner of the Hennessy Prize for Emerging Poetry and the runner up in the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award in 2015. He also featured in Poetry Ireland’s Introductions Series the same year. He has been shortlisted for the Shine/Strong Award, Listowel Poetry Prize, Strokestown International Poetry Prize and Bridport Prize and received commendations in the Gregory O’Donoghue prize and Dromineer Literary Prize. Simon’s first collection, Jewtown, was published by Doire Press in 2016. simonlewis.ie


12th June

Matthew Caley

You can listen to Matthew’s reading here.

Photo By Pavla Alchin
Matthew Caley‘s Thirst [Slow Dancer, 1999] was Nominated for The Forward Prize for Best First Collection. Since then he’s published four further collections, including The Scene of My Former Triumph [Wrecking Ball, 2005], Apparently [Bloodaxe, 2010] and Professor Glass [Donut, 2011], which were featured on BBC Radio 3’s The Verve. His most recent collection is Rake [Bloodaxe, 2016] and he’s taken the book ‘on the road’ reading at Ledbury, Aldeburgh, Stanza, Galway, Brighton, Bristol, Swindon, South Downs, Cambridge, Durham, Paris Lit Up and Novi Sad, Serbia amongst many other places – including a crypt, The Gypsy Hill Tavern and Wayne Holloway-Smith’s living room. He’s addicted to square brackets.

“It is the sense of play that makes the poems so striking … colloquial enough to keep you reading, complex enough to keep you uncomfortable … the reader is aware of something strange and beautiful”Emma Hammond, Poetry London


19th June

Jo Slade

You can listen to Jo’s reading here.

Jo Slade, poet and artist, has published five collections of poetry and two chapbooks of poems. The Painter’s House (Salmon Poetry, 2013), was joint winner of the Michael Hartnett Poetry Prize 2014. The White Cottage, an installation and chapbook of poems, took place at The Sailor’s Home, Limerick in 2016.

Jo’s other collections include In Fields I Hear Them Sing (Salmon Poetry, 1989), The Vigilant One (Salmon, 1994), which was nominated for The Irish Times/Aer Lingus Literature Prize, Certain Octobers (Quimpeir, 1997), City of Bridges (Salmon, 2005) and The Artist’s Room (Pighog Press, 2010). Jo also exhibits her paintings widely.


26th June

Linda Ibbotson and Sarah Byrne

You can listen to Linda’s reading here.

Linda Ibbotson is a poet, artist and photographer from the UK, currently residing in Co. Cork. Her poetry has been published internationally including in Levure Litteraire, Enchanting Verses Literary Review, Irish Examiner, California Quarterly, Live Encounters, Eastern World (with her artwork) and Fifty Ways to Fly, also read on radio and performed in France by Irish musician and actor Davog Rynne.

Linda’s painting Cascade featured as the cover of a cd and a selection of her paintings and photographs are published in Fekt. Linda was invited to read at the Abroad Writers Conference in Lismore Castle and in Butlers Townhouse, Dublin. She writes the blog Contemplating the Muse.

You can listen to Sarah’s reading here.

Sarah Byrne was born in Cork. She studied criminology and currently works in the field of restorative justice. She writes poems and her work has appeared in Poetry Ireland Review, Prelude & other journals. She was the recipient of an Arts Council bursary for her writing in 2016. She is the editor of The Well Review and is edging slowly towards a first collection of poetry (?, 2025).


3rd July

Maria McManus

You can listen to Maria’s reading here.

Maria McManus is the author of We are Bone (2013), The Cello Suites (2009) and Reading the Dog (2006), all published by Lagan Press. Maria received an ACNI Artist’s International Award (2016/17) for The Quotidian Project, for exploring ways of putting literature into public space. In 2016 she was awarded a Poetry Ireland/ Tyrone Guthrie Centre bursary and an Artist’s Career Enhancement (ACES) Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland for the Cirque des Oiseaux Project. This large-scale project involved collaborations with artists of other disciplines and the resultant manuscript was short-listed for the 2016 Periplum Award and will be published by Arlen House in 2017/18.

McManus was awarded an MA with distinction from the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen’s University Belfast in 2005 and received the inaugural Bedell Scholarship from Aspen Writers’ Foundation, USA. She was runner-up in the 2007 Strong Awards and short-listed for the 2007 Glen Dimplex New Writers Award. Her credits as a playwright include, Elizabeth Corr (Kabosh) Bruised (Tinder Box), The Black Out Show (Red Lead), His ‘n’ Hers (Replay) and Nowhere Harder (Replay Script Lab). She has performed widely across the island of Ireland as well as in the US, Czech Republic, Basque Country, Sweden and Portugal.


10th July

Didi Jackson & Major Jackson

You can listen to Didi’s reading here.

Didi Jackson‘s poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Green Mountains Review, The Common and Water~Stone Review, among other publications. She lives in South Burlington, Vermont where she teaches Creative Writing, Poetry and the Visual Arts, and Poetry of War and Witness at the University of Vermont. Her book Killing Jar is forthcoming with Red Hen Press.

You can listen to Major’s reading here.

Major Jackson is the author of four books of poetry including Roll Deep (2015), Holding Company (2010), Hoops (2006) and Leaving Saturn (2002), which won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize for a first book of poems and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry. A recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, Major Jackson has been awarded the 2016 Vermont Book Award, a Pushcart Prize, a Whiting Writers’ Award, and a Pew Fellowship in the Arts.

He has published poems and essays in American Poetry Review, The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, The Paris Review, Poetry, as well as multiple volumes of Best American Poetry. Having taught widely at such institutions as New York University, Columbia University, and the University of Massachusetts as the Jack Kerouac Writer in Residence, he is a core faculty member of the Bennington Writing Seminars. Major Jackson lives in South Burlington, Vermont, where he is the Richard Dennis Green and Gold Professor at the University of Vermont. He is Poetry Editor of The Harvard Review.


17th July

Ó Bhéal in association with Foras na Gaeilge presents

Celia De Fréine

You can listen to Celia’s reading here.

Is file, drámadóir, scriptscríbhneoir, aistritheoir agus leabhrógaí í Celia De Fréine a scríobhann i nGaeilge agus i mBéarla. I measc na ngradam atá buaite aici dá cuid filíochta tá Duais Patrick Kavanagh (1994) agus Gradam Litríochta Chló Iar-Chonnacht (2004). Ocht gcnuasach filíochta atá foilsithe aici go dtí seo. Is iad cuir amach seo dom : riddle me this (Arlen House, 2014), Blood Debts (Scotus Press, 2014) agus A lesson in Can’t (Scotus Press, 2014) na leabhair is deireanaí óna peann. Tá go leor duaiseanna Oireachtais buaite ag a cuid drámaí.

Celia de Fréine is a poet, playwright, screenwriter, translator and librettist who writes in Irish and English. Awards for her poetry include the Patrick Kavanagh Award (1994) and Gradam Litríochta Chló Iar-Chonnacht (2004). She has published eight poetry collections of poetry to date of which cuir amach seo dom : riddle me this (Arlen House, 2014), Blood Debts (Scotus Press, 2014) and A lesson in Can’t (Scotus Press, 2014) are her most recent. Her plays have won many Oireachtas awards.


24th July

Ó Bhéal in association with Cork City Council and Silhouette Press

presents a Twin Cities Celebration with Coventry poets

Andrea Mbarushimana and Russ Berry

You can listen to Andrea and Russ reading here.

Dep Lord Mayor Cllr. Keiran McCarthy’s introduction (+ original poetry) is here.

Andrea Mbarushimana is a community worker, artist and writer. Andrea has been published in The London Magazine and Here Comes Everyone, exhibited in the Herbert, Coventry Cathedral Chapel of Unity and on various brick walls and has worked with refugees, minority groups, young people and parents. Andrea made two short films televised on the Community Channel, one with young migrants and one tackling Islamophobia and she’s a regular spoken word performer at Fire and Dust in Coventry. Her uncle once described her as ‘a real searcher’, which feels about right. Her first collection, The Africa in My House (2017), has just been published by Silhouette Press. @AndreaMbarushimana    www.andrea-mbarushimana.com

Russ Berry has been writing poetry for around 4 years, after featuring in the Bradford-on-Avon Poems on a Beermat Competition in 2014. Russ regularly performs at Coventry’s Fire & Dust open-mic poetry night and at events around the UK. He has published poems in local anthologies and in Writer’s Forum magazine. In 2016 he was Writer-in-Residence for the Concealment and Deception exhibition at Leamington Spa Art Gallery and winner of the Oriel Davies Gallery prize for nature poetry.


31st July

Mary O’Malley

You can listen to Mary’s reading here.

Mary O’Malley was born in Connemara in Ireland, and educated at University College Galway. She lived in Lisbon for eight years and taught at the Universidade Nova there. She served on the council of Poetry Ireland and was on the Committee of the Cúirt International Poetry Festival for eight years. She was the author of its educational programme.

She taught on the MA programmes for Writing and Education in the Arts at NUI Galway for ten years, held the Chair of Irish Studies at Villanova University in 2013, and has held Residencies in Paris, Tarragona, New York, NUI Galway, as well as in Derry, Belfast and Mayo. She has been active in Environmental education for twenty years with a specific interest in the Sea and Bogland.

Mary has published eight books of poetry, her most recent being Playing The Octopus (Carcanet Press, 2016). Her seventh, Valparaiso (Carcanet Press, 2012), arose out of her residency on the national marine research ship, The Celtic Explorer. She is working on a memoir of childhood, as well as essays on place.

She is a member of Aosdána and has won a number of awards for her poetry. She writes for RTÉ Radio and broadcasts her work regularly. She was the 2016 Arts Council Writer –in- Residence at University of Limerick.

“O’Malley is a true artist in sketching the beautiful, small details without which the essence of place, and the identity dependent on it, can be all too easily erased.”Eavan Boland