August 4th, 2012 at 12:24 pm
Posted by pc in Ópen-mic on Mondays

Ó Bhéal reviewed by visiting Travel Writer

18 July 2012

‘An American fiction writer faces a crisis of self-doubt upon finding the poetry open mic of his literary-tourism dreams in Cork, Ireland’ – World Literature Today

Visiting writer Eric Bosse, Professor in the Expository Writing Program at the University of Oklahoma, came to Ireland to teach travel writing to students for a semester at UCC.

‘And, as I left the pub and raised my umbrella for the long walk to my apartment in the University College Cork dorms, I vowed to carry the spirit of Ó Bhéal home to Oklahoma’.

Enjoy the entire review at World Literature Today right here.

December 22nd, 2011 at 2:14 pm
Posted by pc in Ópen-mic on Mondays

Ó Bhéal open-mic on Video

12 December 2011

At Ó Bhéal’s 238th event, after a magnificent reading by poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy and musical performance by John Sampson, all sixty-five minutes of which had to remain live for copyright reasons, we managed to video the poets from the open-mic, which you can enjoy right here.

November 22nd, 2011 at 12:14 pm
Posted by pc in Poetry Events and News

[L-R] Malcolm Dewhirst, Afric McGlinchey, Colm Scully and Jennifer Matthews

Twin Cities
Poetry Exchange

with photos and reviews from

Cork and Coventry poets

August and November 2011

The successful annual exchange between Cork and Coventry has been taking great strides forward, with poet Malcolm Dewhirst performing at Ó Bhéal and Limerick’s Whitehouse in early August, including excursions in Cork city, Cobh and Lough Gur. Malcolm has been inspired to write a number of poems about his visit. The return trip during the first week of November featured three Cork poets, Jennifer Matthews, Colm Scully and Afric McGlinchey, who gave readings in Coventry and Polesworth, were taken along the Polesworth poetry trail and performed on HillzFM Radio – and a lot more … reviews follow from each of the poets here.

You can also read Gary Longden‘s reviews of both events at Night Blue Fruit and The Fizz right here.

March 31st, 2011 at 3:35 pm
Posted by pc in Poetry Events and News

Ó Bhéal on

BBC Northern Ireland‘s Spotlight


TG4‘s Imeall

March 2011 and January 2010

Two videos for you, the Five-Word challenge broadcast by BBC Northern Ireland this March along with Marie Coveney’s winning poem, and Alan Titley interviewed by TG4 about Ó Bhéal last year. Enjoy …

January 23rd, 2011 at 4:00 pm
Posted by pc in Poetry Events and News

Twin Cities
Poetry Exchange

with photos and reviews from

Cork and Coventry poets

July and November 2010

As the twinning relationship deepens between Cork and Coventry, so does the poetry. 2010 produced yet another eventful exchange with poets Barry Patterson and Anthony Owen performing at Ó Bhéal and the Whitehouse in Limerick last July, followed by a memorable reciprocal visit by four Cork poets for the Coventry Peace Festival.

For the complete review written in six seperate voices with photos, click here.

August 18th, 2010 at 10:55 am
Posted by pc in Ópen minds in Poetry

Cork poetry-film goes to Berlin

The 5th International Zebra Poetry Film Festival, held biennially in Berlin, is to screen the Irish poetry-film, The Lammas Hireling in October. It is the largest and most significant festival of its kind, so the email was particularly sweet.

The Lammas Hireling from Paul Casey on Vimeo.


From a choice of about 1000 entries the programme commission has selected your film to be part of the film programme of the 5th ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival. We would therefore be happy to welcome you to the festival from 14th – 17th October 2010 here in Berlin.

And so goes the email of the year. On a zero budget, creating the film version of Ian Duhig’s award winning poem The Lammas Hireling, adapted for the screen with poet Sam Thomas, took the best part of eight months of near full-time beg, borrow and pray tactics, in order to be realised. Made by Paul Casey with the help of poets from Ó Bhéal, the ten minute film has a primary cast of two Corkonians, Geoff Daykin and Rosie O’Regan, who play the Farmer and the Hireling/Departed Wife, as well as a small flock of Cork poets who volunteered their natural skills at being extras. Most of the work and many of the locations and props were kindly donated by a long list of supporters from Cork and Antrim. The score reinterprets McCauley’s ‘The Aul Lammas Fair’ exquisitely rendered by Santiago Philharmonic Orchestra violinista Macarena Ferrer, and score engineer Carl Hammond.

The film was shot mostly in various parts of County Cork while the framing scenery was captured on the Northern coast of Ireland, around the Glens of Antrim and Ballycastle (plus a day on Rathlin island). Ireland’s nearest point to the Scottish Mull of Kintyre features in some of the time lapse sequences in the film, which was made entirely from still images taken with a Nikon D90. Completed in June 2010, The Lammas Hireling has been entered into at least a dozen other film festivals and has also been accepted for two literature festivals. This post will be updated with screening info as it becomes available.

Do I sense the rise of the poetry-film? Hopefully this new fusion of art forms will catch on more. It really is an avant-garde dance of 21st century digital technology with the timeless steps of poetry, which must surely be the freshest and most innovative combination of creative forces that can be experienced today. Whilst not quite the same as learning another poet’s poem off by heart, it’s a deeply rewarding experience, as is the festival in Berlin, showing the best from across the globe. See you there!


Zebra Poetry-Film Festival, Babylon Theatre, Berlin – 16th October 2010
Clones Film Festival (in competition), Monaghan – 24th October 2010
Ó Bhéal Poetry-Film Night, Cork – 8th November 2010
Foyle Film Festival (in competition), Derry – 27th November 2010
Cork Spring Literary Festival, Metropole Hotel, Cork, February 2011
Corona Cork Film Festival, Gate Cinema Cork – 8th November 2011
Sadho Poetry Film Festival, New Delhi – 12th November 2011
StAnza Poetry Festival, Edinburgh – 14th to 18th March 2012
Cork Underground Film Festival – 15th August 2012
Visible Verse Festival, Vancouver – 13th October 2012

November 22nd, 2009 at 3:02 pm
Posted by pc in Poetry Events and News

Raftery Festival, Kiltimagh

9 – 14 November 2009

Terry McDonagh is certainly inspired enough to keep this festival on its toes, and what better tribute to pay than to Mayo’s most renowned poet, Anthony Raftery, who left Kiltimagh in the late 18th Century after breaking the back of his master’s horse. He spent the rest of his days wandering half-blind and reciting his poetry in the towns and along the roads of County Galway, where he now lies buried in the ‘Cemetery of the Poets’ (Reilig na Bhfilí) in Killeeneen (Craughwell).

After a four days of outreach workshops in local schools, book launches and readings by Colette Nic Aodha, Louise Lawrence, Geraldine Mitchell and Terry McDonagh, the Friday night readings by Phillip Casey and myself, which drew an excellent crowd of discerning enthusiasts and then the impromptu readings and song at Kitty McGreal’s and workshops on rhythm and music in poetry the next morning, the festival ended with the usual Saturday night Festival Slam, which saw two rounds of readings end with five finalists. Defending champion Micéal Kearney relinquished his title to newcomer Elizabeth Mace. 2nd place went to Tony Reidy, 3rd place was a tie between John Walsh and Miceál Kearney and 5th went to Una Flanagan. Well done to the contestants, and thanks to Terry and the Raftery Committee for keeping this important festival vibrant and fresh year after year.

On the way back to Cork I decided to stop in to Reilig na Bhfilí to pay my respects to the man himself.


Mise Raifteiri an file
Lán dochais is grá
Le súile gan solas
Le ciunas gan chra

– Antoine Ó Raifteiri (1779-1835)

The videos and review are here.

November 15th, 2009 at 1:53 pm
Posted by pc in Poetry Events and News

Féile Bheag Filíochta

6-8 November 2009

It marked another magical excursion into the west Kerry gaeltacht as ten poets from Ó Bhéal and as many from Limerick and Tralee descended on Ballyferriter’s little poetry festival. Due to rapid expansion and popularity since it began a few years ago, the festival committee are now calling for a new name for this annual event.

This year featured workshops and a reading by Waterville-based Paddy Bushe as well as a lecture on local history by Dr. Deirdre Nic Mhathúna. After settling into the local cuisine on Saturday evening, we were welcomed by Máirín Feirtéar (the last living descendant of Piaras Feirtéar) and Domhnall MacSithigh, in the theatre at Tigh ui Chatháin. After a short reading by Paddy Bushe, Máirín and Domhnall then chaired the yearly open-mic, which is for me the festival highlight, giving stage to a variety of quality poets, chiefly from across Munster.

As per last year, the next morning we found ourselves once again comfortably gathered in Dingle, packed into Diseart chapel and bathing under the magnificent stained-glass windows of Harry Clarke. Firstly we were treated to an excerpt and dramatisation from Noel Ó Briain’s translation of Cúirt an Méan-Oíche (The Midnight Court), played out by Noel and Áine Moynihan. This was followed by readings from all the poets present from Limerick’s Whitehouse, Cork’s Ó Bhéal, Tralee’s Doghouse and local poets, chaired by Bríd Ní Mhórain, Billy Ramsell and Bertha McCullagh.

The festival closed over a well-deserved breakfast at the Garden Café where much talk was given to next year’s return to Ballyferriter. A big thanks is due to the Féile Bheag Filíochta committee for organising this event, which holds a uniquely special place on Munster’s annual poetry landscape. Make it next year if you can!

The videos and review are here.

November 3rd, 2009 at 6:15 pm
Posted by pc in Poetry Events and News


Jazz-Poetry Night 09

26 October


Ó Bhéal’s Jazz-Poetry night was all a-buzz yet again this year with the BACKRA MeN, over from Coventry with Jon Morley on poetry, Si Hayden on bass and Ben Haines on drums. For most at the event this made a relaxed and excellent end to the festival. The band even took on Romanian guest poet Denisa Mirena Pi?cu’s poetry from her brand new hot off the press collection, Disposable People.

For videos from the night click here.

September 22nd, 2009 at 2:16 pm
Posted by pc in Poetry Events and News

Munster Slam Championships


Tobias Manderson-Galvin and Tom McCarthy

21 September 2009

18 poets from across Munster competed in two rounds last night at Ó Bhéal to produce this year’s Munster Slam Champ, Tobias Manderson-Galvin, and runner-up, Tom McCarthy. Congratulations to both, who will represent Munster in the 2009 All-Ireland Slam Championships held this year in Galway on the 26th of October. North Beach Nights will be hosting the event, which alternates annually between the four provinces.

Congratulations to all the contestants who were all on top form, Rosalyn Blue, Donna Coogan, John Carmody, Ed O’Dwyer, Marie Coveney, Paddy Doyle, Seamus Harrington, Tobias Manderson-Galvin, Lorcan Murray, Mary O’Connell, Ciaran O’Driscoll, Jonni O’Gorman, Rosie O’Regan, Stephen O’Riordan, Christy Parker, Tom McCarthy, Colm Scully and Patricia Walsh.

Videos of all the performances are this way.