August and September

5th August

Ó Bhéal in association with Cork City Council, Coventry City Council and Silhouette Press

presents a Twin Cities Celebration with Coventry poets

Aysar Ghassan and Raef Boylan

You can listen to Aysar reading here.

Aysar Ghassan has lived in Coventry for 6 years. His poems have been published in journals including Magma, Strix, Under the Radar, Washington Square Review, Here Comes Everyone, Abridged, The Honest Ulsterman, The Scores and Zarf as well as in anthologies like Diversifly (Fair Acre Press). Aysar was shortlisted in the 2018 Leeds Peace Poetry Competition and has recently been a poet in residence at The Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Herbert Gallery & Museum, Coventry.

You can listen to Raef’s reading here.

Photo: Alan Van Wijgerden
Raef Boylan was born and matured (sort of) in Coventry, and wanted to be a writer from the age of five. He predominantly writes poetry – for both page and performance – and short stories with a focus on social realism, but is interested in stage drama and other forms. Over the years, he has won first prize in the CU Short Story Award and the inaugural Frederick Holland Poetry Collection Award, and been shortlisted for The Big Issue Short Fiction Award.

Boylan has also had work published in various magazines/anthologies, among them Ink Sweat & Tears, Palimpsest, StepAway and Paper & Ink. Keen to keep people engaged with Coventry’s literary scene, Raef organises local poetry night ‘Fire & Dust’ and is lead editor of lit magazine Here Comes Everyone (winner of ‘Best Magazine’ at Saboteur Awards 2019). Last year, he headlined at Positive Images Festival and Pure & Good & Right and his spoken word was commissioned for Sphere, a Theatre Absolute ensemble piece. In 2019 he has organised poetry shows for several events, and took on the Chair of Judges role for the slam at Leamington Poetry Festival. Raef really hopes investing his whole life into the written word pays off, otherwise he’s screwed. 


12th August

Patrick Lodge

You can listen to Patrick’s reading here.

Dr Patrick Lodge lives in Yorkshire and is from an Irish/Welsh heritage. A retired academic, Patrick now devotes much of his time to writing and to reviewing poetry. His work has been published, anthologised and translated in several countries including India, Australia, the USA and Vietnam.

Patrick has been successful in several international poetry competitions and more recently was commended in the 2018 Gregory O’Donoghue International Competition and shortlisted for the 2018 Leeds Poetry Peace Prize, the inaugural Trim Poetry Prize in 2019, the Poetry On The Lake Poetry Competition 2019. He won the Red House Poets poetry competition, 2019.


19th August

Ó Bhéal in association with the Heritage Council presents

Katie Donovan

You can listen to Katie’s reading here.

Katie Donovan hails from rural Co. Wexford but has lived in Dalkey, a suburb of Dublin, for most of her adult life. She has published five collections of poetry, all with Bloodaxe Books UK: Watermelon Man; Entering the Mare; Day of the Dead; Rootling: New and Selected Poems and Off Duty.

In 2017 she received the Lawrence O’Shaughnessy Award for Irish Poetry, and her collection Off Duty was shortlisted for the Poetry Now Prize. A former journalist with the Irish Times, she has taught Creative Writing at NUI Maynooth and at IADT, Dun Laoghaire. Her work has been widely anthologised, notably in the best-selling Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times, edited by Neil Astley.


26th August

Ó Bhéal in association with Colmcille and Foras na Gaeilge presents

Irish and Scottish Gaelic poets

Eibhlís Carcione and Pàdraig MacAoidh

You can listen to Eibhlís’s reading here.

Eibhlís Carcione ag cur fúithi i gCathair Chorcaí. D’fhoilsigh Coiscéim a céad chnuasach filíochta Tonn Chlíodhna i 2015 is cnuasach eile léi, Eala Oíche, i 2019. Bhuaigh sí Duais Fhoras na Gaeilge (Lios Tuathail) i 2012. Tá filíocht léi foilsithe i go leor irisí liteartha, ina measc, Cyphers, Comhar, An tUltach, Feasta, An Gael agus The Moth.

Eibhlís Carcione lives in Cork city. Her first collection of poetry Tonn Chlíodhna was published by Coiscéim in 2015, followed by Eala Oíche in 2019. She won Duais Fhoras na Gaeilge (Listowel) in 2012. Her work has been published in many literary journals including Cyphers, Comhar, An tUltach, Feasta, An Gael and The Moth.

You can listen to Pàdraig’s reading here.

Rugadh agus thogadh Pàdraig MacAoidh air Eilean Leòdhais. ‘S e bàrd, craoladair agus fear-naidheachd a th’ann, agus tha e na oraidiche ann an Litreachas aig Oilthigh Chill Rìmhinn, an dèidh dha a bhith ag obair aig Aonad Bhàrdachd Seamus Heaney ann am Beul Feirste, Colaiste na Trianaide agus UCD. Tha e cuideachd air a bhith na bhàrd air muinntireas aig Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, agus Fear-Naidheachd agus Riochdaire-Naidheachdan airson a’ BhBC. Tha pamflaid aige le Clutag Press – From another island (2010) – agus bha a’ chiad leabhar bàrdachd aige Gu Leòr / Galore (Acair 2015) air a’ gheàrr-liosta airson Duais Saltire Leabhar Bàrdachd Albannach na Bliadhna. Cho-dheasaich e, còmhla ri Iain S. Mac a’ Phearsain, An Leabhar Liath: 500 Years of Gaelic Love and Transgressive Verse. Tha e a’ fuireach ann an Dùn Èideann.

Peter Mackay is a native Gaelic speaker born and brought up on the Isle of Lewis. He is a poet, broadcaster, journalist and a lecturer in Literature at the University of St Andrews. Peter has worked at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, Queen’s University Belfast; Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin; at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, where he was writer in residence; and as a Broadcast Journalist and News Producer for the BBC. He has a pamphlet with Clutag Press – From another island (2010) – and his first collection Gu Leòr / Galore (Acair 2015) was shortlisted for the Saltire Scottish Poetry Book of the year. He is also the co-editor, with Iain S. MacPherson, of An Leabhar Liath: 500 Years of Gaelic Love and Transgressive Verse. He lives in Edinburgh.


2nd September

David Toms

David Toms lives and works in Oslo, Norway. A graduate of UCC in Cork where he lived many years, he has also lived in Prague, Czech Republic. A poet and historian he is the author of Soma | Sema (Knives Forks and Spoons Press, 2011), dikt / actions osl / ondon (with Maren Nygård – Smithereens Press, 2017) and Northly (Turas Press, 2019) as well as a variety of academic history books and articles. His poetry has appeared widely across the UK and Ireland and has been translated into Czech, Polish and Norwegian.

9th September

Alison Whitelock

You can listen to Ali’s reading here.

Ali Whitelock is a Scottish poet and writer living on the south coast of Sydney with her French chain-smoking husband. Her debut poetry collection, and my heart crumples like a coke can was published in 2018 by Wakefield Press, Adelaide, with a UK edition forthcoming by Polygon, Edinburgh in 2020.

Her memoir, Poking seaweed with a stick and running away from the smell was launched to critical acclaim in Australia and the UK in 2009 and her poems have appeared in The Moth Magazine, The American Journal of Poetry, The Glasgow Review of Books, The Pittsburgh Quarterly, The Tahoma Literary Review and all sorts of other rather fabulous places.

You can read more about Ali right here


16th September

Annemarie Ní Churreáin

You can listen to part of Annemarie’s reading here.

Annemarie Ní Churreáin is a poet from the Gaeltacht region of Donegal. Her debut collection Bloodroot (Doire Press, 2017) was shortlisted for the Shine Strong Award for best first collection in Ireland and for the 2018 Julie Suk Award in the U.S.A. She is the author of a suite of poems about Dublin titled Town (The Salvage Press, 2018).

Ní Churreáin’s work has been reviewed widely in Ireland and internationally. The Yale Review surmised that “Ní Churreáin often captures a whole world of cultural and historical implications in a single, simple, but metaphorically rich image.” The Los Angeles Review of Books states “that Ní Churreáin can condense the prototypical life of a young Irish woman into half a page while sustaining the poem’s impact is testament to her ability as a storyteller, the vividness of her language, and the universality of the portraits she is painting…”

Ní Churreáin has been awarded literary fellowships from Akademie Schloss Solitude Germany, Jack Kerouac House Florida and Hawthornden Castle Scotland. In 2016 she was the recipient of a Next Generation Artist Award by the President Michael D. Higgins on behalf of the Arts Council. In 2017-18 she was the Kerry County Writer In Residence and the recipient of the inaugural 2018 John Broderick Residency Award. Ní Churreáin is the 2019 Commissioned Writer at Templebar Gallery + Studios Dublin and a 2019-20 Writer-In-Residence at Maynooth University.

For more information visit

Friday 20th September

Ó Bhéal in association with Cork City Council presents

Cork Culture Night 2019 with

Beau Williams

You can listen to Beau’s reading here.

Beau Williams is a performance poet, writer, organizer & facilitator from the United States. He is currently based in Dublin, Ireland. Launching his career in venues of the New England region of the States, Beau has performed his work as part of collectives as well as solo across the US and Ireland along with competing for Manchester, NH & Portland ME in the National Poetry Slam.

His work, published by numerous websites and journals, may be found in his own collections RUMHAM (2016, Red Bench Press) and Nail Gun and a Love Letter (2018, Swimming With Elephants). In January of 2017, Beau was the Artist in Residence at Burren College of Art in Ballyvaughan, Ireland. He is also the Head Organizer of the Glasshouse Poetry Open Mic in Galway. Currently, Beau is studying at the University College of Cork in the Master of Creative Writing program; is the All-Ireland Poetry Grand Slam Champion of 2018; and remains fairly optimistic.


23rd September

Michelle O’Sullivan

You can listen to part of Michelle’s reading here.

Photo: Suella Holland
Michelle O’Sullivan was born in Chicago in 1972 and grew up in County Sligo. She has a BA and MA from the University of Hertfordshire and worked in England as a primary teacher. She has also lived in Greece and the US. She lives in County Mayo with her two children and works as a home tutor. Michelle is a recipient of Mayo County Council’s Bursary Award.

A recipient of this year’s Francis Ledwidge Poetry Award, O’Sullivan’s first collection The Blue End of Stars (The Gallery Press, 2012) won the Strong/Shine Award, her second collection The Flower and the Frozen Sea (The Gallery Press, 2015) is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and her third collection This One High Field (The Gallery Press, 2018) was published in October of last year.

“In this, her third collection, Michelle O’Sullivan returns to now familiar settings — the countryside, woodlands, an estuary — to examine ‘deep-set questions’ in the light, half-light, dusk and dark. Phrases accumulate like courses in a well-built stone wall as she wrestles with syntax, even language itself. Memorable images — the sun that ‘pocketed / its watch and stole to the hills’ — mark her journey to ‘elsewhere’ in poems that are gnomic (‘Endpoint’), emotionally charged (‘The Difficult Balance’) and ever conscious of how faithful suffering is. But, in her distinctive style, she also offers consolations and relief: ‘Not since childhood / have I felt so light, / brief intervals when the heart / knows no grief.’The Gallery Press

30th September

Kevin Griffin

You can listen to Kevin’s reading here.

Kevin Griffin is a former teacher from Killorglin, Kerry and has been writing poetry seriously since his retirement in 2009. He is influenced by his teaching background — he taught English and Latin, and also by his surroundings in Kerry, notably Rossbeigh beach, which provided the inspiration and setting for many of his poems. He is very interested in experimental poetry and verse from the wider world. His love of art and travel is a rich source of inspiration for him.

He has read his poetry in Kerry, Cork and at a number of other venues and has featured on Radio Kerry. His poetry has appeared in many publications including Crannog, The SHOp, Revival, Boyne Berries, Riposte, Stony Thursday, Labour of Love (Toronto), Salzburg Review, Orbis, North West Words, Pennine Ink, The Blue Nib, Star*Line (USA), and in The Elysian. His first collection, is due in September from New Binary Press.