December and January

2nd December

Umang Kalra

You can listen to Umang’s reading here.

Umang Kalra is an Indian poet and a student of History at Trinity College, Dublin. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Icarus, Vagabond City, Tn2 Magazine, Coldnoon, Porridge Magazine, and others. She has previously worked with Inklette Magazine, and is currently involved in a year long mentorship programme for women of colour in Ireland, under the bilingual poet Doireann Ni Ghriofa.

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9th December

Oran Ryan

You can listen to Oran’s reading here.

Oran Ryan is a novelist, poet and playwright from Dublin. His poetry, short stories and literary criticism have appeared in magazines worldwide, including Iota, Poetry Ireland and The Stinging Fly. His novels The Death of Finn and Ten Short Novels by Arthur Kruger, both published in 2006, and One Inch Punch, 2012. His work has also appeared in the anthologies Census 1 (2008), Census 2 (2009), Living Streets, Anthology of the Ranelagh Arts Festival (2009), Dublin 10 Journeys, One Destination (2010).

His play Don Quixote Has Been Promoted was performed at the Ranelagh Arts Festival 2009; his work has been shortlisted for the P J O’Connor Award; his words were performed on stage at the Stone Theatre in Manhattan, New York in 2008 and in 2010 his Radio Play Christmas 1947 was performed live as part of KRCB FM 91.1 Twisted Christmas 8 Live performance in California, as well as broadcast on KRCB over Christmas 2010. He has completed a fourth novel with a working title of Murphy, and Revival press recently published Portrait of an Atheist Monk at Prayer (2019), his first poetry collection.


16th December

Ó Bhéal‘s End of Year Event presents

Frank Ormsby

You can listen to Frank’s reading here.

Frank Ormsby was born in 1947, in Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, and was educated at Queen’s University in Belfast. Until 2010 he was Head of English at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution. His latest collections are The Darkness of Snow (Bloodaxe Books, 2017), a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, which was shortlisted for a National Book Circle Critics Award in the US, and The Rain Barrel (Bloodaxe Books, 2019).

His retrospective Goat’s Milk: New & Selected Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 2015), includes work from four previous collections, A Store of Candles (Oxford University Press, 1977), A Northern Spring (Secker & Warburg, 1986), The Ghost Train (Gallery Press, 1995) and Fireflies (Carcanet, 2009), together with new poems, and was shortlisted for the Christopher Ewart-Biggs Literary Prize. Ormsby has edited a number of anthologies and was editor of The Honest Ulsterman from 1969 to 1989, and has also edited Poetry Ireland Review. In 1992 he received the Cultural Traditions Award, given in memory of John Hewitt, and in 2002 the Lawrence O’Shaughnessy Award for Poetry from the University of St Thomas at St Paul, Minnesota. In 2018 he collaborated with singer/songwriter Anthony Toner on an album The Kiss of Light.

On 6 September 2019 Frank Ormsby was named the eighth Ireland Professor of Poetry. He will serve from 1 November 2019 until 31 October 2022.

Biography courtesy of Bloodaxe Books


13th January

Ó Bhéal in association with First Fortnight presents

Máighréad Medbh

You can listen to Máighréad’s performance here.

Máighréad Medbh was born in Newcastle West and has become well known as a textual innovator and performer of her work. She has published seven books of poetry, the most recent a verse fantasy/allegory called Parvit of Agelast (Arlen House, 2016), which was shortlisted for the Pigott Prize in 2017. She has also published a mixed genre work, Savage Solitude: Reflections of a Reluctant Loner (Dedalus, 2013). Several books explore themes: Tenant (1999) is a story in verse set during the famine; Twelve Beds for the Dreamer (2010) is a series of dreams in relation to the astrological cycle; When the Air Inhales You (2008) is largely elegies.

Máighréad has performed widely at home and abroad, and on the broadcast media. She has also written for radio and three novels are online as ebooks. She holds an M.A. in Poetry Studies from DCU and is currently working towards a practice-based PhD in Experimental Literature.

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