November 19th, 2008 at 7:00 pm
Posted by pc in Poetry Events and News

Twin Cities Celebration

with poetry from

Jon Morley and Anthony Owen

17 November 2008

Cork’s first Twin City was Coventry, established in 1958. In celebrating the 50th anniversary of this valuable relationship, Ó Bhéal hosted two of Coventry’s more prominent masters of verse, Jonathan Morley and Anthony Owen. The evening was attended by Deputy Lord Mayor Jim Corr, who addressed the audience with an inspired speech, acknowledging the importance of poetry and the long-established link between the two cities.

As Anthony had to reluctantly fly back due to unforeseen circumstances, six of Ó Bhéal’s regular poets, Billy Ramsell, Alan Coakley, Daw Harding, Joe Sweeney, Bríd Buckley and myself each read one of his poems, before Jonathan Morley took to the stage to recite from his forthcoming collection, Backra Man.

The videos from the evening are here.

November 19th, 2008 at 6:40 pm
Posted by pc in Poetry Events and News

2nd All Ireland Live Poetry Championships

held in the Whitehouse, Limerick

Winner: Dónal Ó Siodhacháin (Munster)

12 November 2008

Munster poet Dónal Ó Siodhacháin took the title back from Connaught this year at the second All-Ireland Poetry Slam Championships, moving from Ulster in its inaugural year to Limerick’s legendary Whitehouse. Regular compere Barney Shehan passed the reins over to eMCee and guest poet Steve Murray for this high-paced event which proved its worth a hundredfold with excellent performances from all around the island.

The first All-Ireland Slam was in McHugh’s in Belfast last year, a fantastic event where Brendan Murphy from Galway took the crown. Next year it will be held in either Leinster or Connaught. Congratulations to champ Dónal Ó Siodhacháin, to Stephen Smith who took second place, Dave Lordan who took third, as well as to Dominic Taylor and Desmond Swords for making it all possible.

You can see the main videos from the night here.

November 19th, 2008 at 6:20 pm
Posted by pc in Poetry Events and News

Ballyferriter’s Little Poetry Festival

7-9 November 2008

In the Gaeltacht poetry seems to be a part of everything. It’s in the language, the scenery and especially the hospitality. What a weekend! 9 poets from Cork and about the same from Limerick converged on the West Dingle peninsula only to be met by two score more of local filí and storytellers. After a first-rate appraisal workshop with Gabriel FitzMaurice on Saturday afternoon, everyone settled in for a meal and an evening of Mighty Craic, including a fiery three hour open-mic session, emceed by Domhnall MacSíthigh and Máirín Feirtéar, herself a direct descendant of the original Ferriters who ruled the North Dingle peninsula from the 13th to the 17th Centuries. The poetry flowed non-stop as did various other liquid substances, and was followed by a late late oiche fada.

The next morning (don’t ask) there were readings from local poets, from Ó Bhéal and Limerick’s Whitehouse chaired by Ceaití Ní Bheildiúin over in Dingle, after a tour of Harry Clarke’s church windows by Monseigneur Pádraig Ó Fiannachta (now retired). Well I for one didn’t want to leave, and I heard a few others say the same. Ballyferriter must be the perfect place for a new poetry retreat. Any takers out there?

This elegant, heartening event, organised and hosted annually by poet and potter Louis Mulcahy, has etched its way firmly into my 2009 diary. Thanks Louis. May there be many more!

The videos from the Sunday morning are here.

November 19th, 2008 at 6:05 pm
Posted by pc in Poetry Events and News



Joseph Horgan, Áine Moynihan,
Gréagóir O Dúill
and Eileen Sheehan

7 November 2008

On Friday evening at Siamsa Tíre in Tralee, poetry enthusiasts gathered to enjoy four poets who have each had collections published by Noel King and DOGHOUSE books in 2008. Since its inception in 2003 this successful Kerry house has established a number of highly regarded poets and has since become Munster’s primary publishing vessel for individual collections.

To see the videos of the evening click here.

November 5th, 2008 at 7:06 pm
Posted by pc in Poetry Events and News

Ó Bhéal jazzing up the Verse

27 October 2008

At the tail end of Cork’s Jazz festival, a full house swayed to the improv fusions of Keith Armstrong and The Honeyfeet, who met for the first time in the afternoon to rehearse for an hour, and they made magic.

Keith’s lyrical verse and tenor tones balanced superbly with the zesty quintet from Manchester, with Alabaster de Plume on saxophone, Samuel J Double Bass Buckley, Rick Warren on harmonica, Ríanna Ní Chonghaile on flute and vocals and Alice Davis on guitar. Videos of Newcastle poet Guy Hudson’s opening reading follow afterwards.

These vids are going to be major on Youtube. Here they are. Enjoy.

August 4th, 2008 at 4:55 pm
Posted by in Poetry Events and News

Ó Bhéal poets on Video

21 July 2008

At Ó Bhéal’s 65th open-mic, the camera came out for the night as Matthew Sweeney was filming for his new documentary, so we couldn’t let the opportunity pass to capture some of our famous open-micers. Here they are.

April 18th, 2008 at 6:01 pm
Posted by pc in Poetry Events and News

Revival Poetry Journal launched at the Whitehouse

9 April 2008

April 9th marked the launch of the 7th issue of Revival at The Whitehouse in Limerick, featuring readings from some of the contributors. Editor Teri Murray gave welcome and Galway poet Kevin Higgins introduced the collection, while John Johnston compèred in the abscence of Barney Shehan, who we hope to see back at the microphone soon.

It’s not surprising that the Shannon’s Whitehouse emanates one of the more popular Irish poetry journals. Revival features over forty contemporary poets from across the island and far beyond, and has become widely in demand thanks to the committed work of Teri Murray, Mark Whelan and Dominic Taylor. A great display of verse from a great venue.

Submissions are being accepted for Revival issue 8 (July 2008), and guidelines can be found at

The Revival readings were followed by the launch of Kevin Higgins’ latest collection, Time, Gentlemen Please

For videos from the evening, click here.

April 17th, 2008 at 8:29 pm
Posted by pc in Poetry Events and News

Poetry Reading & Open Mic
in An Cupán Tae café, Carraroe

8 April 2008

Over the past year, artist-poet Aoife Casby has been holding a series of bilingual evenings in Carraroe, Co. Galway.

Earlier this month and with the support of Údarás na Gaeltachta, Aoife hosted readings by Trish Casey and Micheál Ó Cuaig, who also sang sean nós. In a cheerful Gaeltacht style, Ceara Conway creatively eMCeed the proceedings which later included an open-mic session featuring Maire Uí Eidhin, Pádraic Harvey, Aoife Casby (reading a poem by Dan O Flatharta), Annette Lohan, Caroline Lynch and Biddy Jenkinson.

A spirited Connemara crowd filled the venue and after a most pleasurable few hours the evening ended with an impromptu sing-along. I think one enjoys poetry that much more in an inspiring setting, and gently rolling, luminescent Carraroe with its panoramic views of the Aran Islands and the cliffs of coastal Clare, proves ideal.

To see the videos from the evening, click here.

February 16th, 2008 at 10:30 am
Posted by pc in Poetry Events and News

The Over the Edge Poetry Book Showcase

8 February 2008

A lively crowd of Galwegian (and beyond) poetry enthusiasts ventured out last Friday to Sheridan’s Wine Bar, to enjoy readings by eight of Galway’s most active contemporary poets. They represented over ten from the area who brought out collections in 2007.

Kevin Higgins, who organises the ongoing Over the Edge reading series compèred a cheerful, refreshing event and at the halfway mark Mayor Tom Costello came out in full regalia to declare well-deserved words of praise for the ongoing success in the Galway poetry scene. The audience were in great spirits (partially thanks to the world of cheesy odours wafting up the stairs), and filled this very elegant venue comfortably.

With fine poetry from Elaine Feeney, Jarlath Fahy, Moya Cannon, Mags Treanor, Knute Skinner, Sheila Phelan, John Walsh and Neil McCarthy, no-one was left athirst, and as Kevin says, ‘a little from a lot’ is far more delectable than the contrary.

This is an annual event well worth the journey. Long may it last.

For videos of the readings, click here.

January 14th, 2008 at 12:12 am
Posted by pc in Poetry Events and News

Visiting poets slam six venues in one week

13-19 December 2007

The first successful All Island Touring Circuit for Poetry and Spoken Word took place in December, showcasing the I am a Lagan collective of Buddy Wakefield, Katie Wirsing and Andrea Gibson. These world class performers who almost hold more slam championships between them than there are slam poets in Ireland, thrilled audiences in Derry, Belfast, Dublin, Cork, Galway and Limerick before jetting off the next day to continue in Frankfurt. Aside from the performances, they also held four workshops and hosted two slams during their high-energy tour, and they managed it all in a single week.

This is mainly thanks to all the supporting venues of the newly formed circuit, which now promises to open the way for top class performers from across the globe to bring their poetry to the entire island with rhythmic ease.

Videos from Dublin Slam Poetry‘s MC Gerry McNamara, who hosted the Dublin leg at the Bankers pub are here, including the slam which was judged by the guest poets.

Videos from the main performances at Ó Bhéal are here.