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Ó Bhéal’s 11th Winter Warmer (and 3rd hybrid) festival presents over 30 poets from seven countries. Most of these featured guests will read/perform in-person at Nano Nagle Place, with others appearing virtually. All events are free to access at the venue or via our online Festival Stage and usual social media channels. In-person audience capacity is 100.

The festival hosts two poetry workshops with Dylan Brennan and Jessica Traynor, a poetry-film workshop with Colm Scully, three music/poetry fusions from Rónán Ó Snodaigh, Aindrias de Staic and Alistair Mackay (with Rody Gorman) (all in-person), an Open-Mic Showcase featuring four Cork-based regular open-mic events, poetry-films from the verse of the late Macdara Woods, plus a Closed-Mic set for poets from Ó Bhéal’s regular open-mic sessions during 2023.

Other guests include Eiléan Ni Chuilleanáin, Fred D’Aguiar, Sarah Clancy, Vona Groarke, Lauren O’Donovan, Emma Must, Kim Shuck, Alejandro Murguía, Gormfhlaith Ni Shiochain Ni Bheolain, Laima Vincė, Jason J. Fisher and S’phongo.

The shortlist and prize-giving for Ó Bhéal’s 11th International Poetry-Film Competition will be screened and simulcast, as will an additional, special selection of poetry-films made in Ireland.


A downloadable pdf programme is available HERE.
The festival poster is available HERE.

Free Admission to all events.

(€5 suggested donation)

Ó Bhéal gratefully acknowledges its Winter Warmer sponsors


Festival Programme

Workshop 1 (online)

Thursday 23rd November
7.00pm – 9.00pm

FLORA/FAUNA with Dylan Brennan (ONLINE)


Cost is €20. Online via Zoom (12 Places max). To book a place, please email

What can our perception of the natural world tell us about how we see ourselves? How can we use scientific vocabulary, folklore, etymology etc. as springboards for writing our own poems? In this workshop we will read and draw inspiration from poems that focus on a sense of (or lack of) human kinship with flora and fauna.

We will read and discuss work from poets such as Ada Limón, Michael Longley, Elizabeth-Jane Burnett and Jane Lovell with an eye to composing our own poems. All welcome.

  Photo by Liliana Pérez-Brennan
Dividing his time between Mexico and Ireland, Dylan Brennan writes poetry and prose. He is a recipient of the Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary award. In 2022 he won the inaugural Drumshanbo Written Word Weekend Poetry Film Award for ‘Four Attempts at Making a Human’, a poetry film in collaboration with Jonathan Brennan. He has read at literary festivals in Colombia, Nicaragua, Mexico, Italy, Ireland and USA and has twice been recipient of a Culture Ireland Travel Grant. Most recently he was awarded an Arts Council literature bursary. His second collection Let the Dead (2023), is available now from Banshee Press.

Friday 24th November

Workshop 2 (in-person)

Friday 24th November
10.30am – 1.30pm

An introduction to Poetry Film Making with Colm Scully


Cost is €30. In-Person in Civic Trust House, 50 Pope’s Quay.
To book a place, please email

Colm Scully has won awards internationally for his poetry films. Join him for a three hour introductory course on Poetry films and how to start making them. Watch some classic poetry films then learn the next steps necessary to make your own. Colm will provide resource material for Editing software, Audio and visual sourcing, how to get your films out to the world. Colm will create a complete poetryfilm in front of your eyes. Participants need only bring a notebook and pen. If you have already made a film that you would like to show to the class, bring it along.

Colm Scully is a poet and poetryfilmmaker from Cork. He gave up Chemical Engineering to follow this path, can you believe it. His poems have been published in Poetry Ireland Review, Crannog, The Friday Poem, Cyphers, Howl. His poetry films have won The Deanna Tully Multi Media Prize, The Rabbit’s Heart Poetry Film Competition Smart Phone Prize, The MicroMania Animation Prize. He recently gave a two day workshop on Poetry Film in The Scottish Poetry Library, Edinburgh. He gives workshops around Ireland on Poetry and Poetry film. He curates The Drumshanbo Written Word Poetry Film Competition and is a judge for the Ó Bhéal International Poetry Film Competition.

Readings & Performances

Friday 24th November
2.00pm – 3.30pm

Southword Launch

Southword is a literary journal published twice a year by the Munster Literature Centre. Starting in 2000, the journal went online from 2009 until 2018, and has returned to being a print-only journal since then. This launch of issue 45 will feature readings from the following Munster-based poets and a wine reception.

Faye Boland won the Robert Leslie Boland Prize 2018 and the Hanna Greally Award 2017. Her first poetry collection, Peripheral, was published in 2018.

Paddy Bushe writes in Irish and in English. Peripheral Vision is his latest collection in English.

Eoin Cahill’s poems have recently appeared in Cork Words 3 and Black Bough Poetry. Find him on Twitter @eoinspoems.

Jake M.M. Griffin is a multimedia creator from the Northside of Cork City. His poems have appeared in The Outpost Eire, Flotsam Mag and Tower Magazine. @jake_griffin_is_lost

Lucy Holme lives in Cork City. Her debut chapbook Temporary Stasis was published in 2022 by Broken Sleep Books.

David McLoghlin’s third collection, Crash Centre, will be published by Salmon Poetry in May 2024. His work has recently appeared in Howl: New Irish Writing (2023) and elsewhere.

Stephen Spratt is a writer and researcher based in Clonakilty, West Cork. His poems have appeared in Poetry Ireland Review and elsewhere.

Patricia Walsh has published two novels, The Quest for Lost Eire (2014) and In The Days of Ford Cortina (2021), and one collection of poetry, Continuity Errors (Lapwing Publications, 2010).


Friday 24th November
4.00pm – 5.30pm

Laima Vincė (via zoom) | Sarah Clancy

Laima Vincė is a poet, literary translator, writer of works of both nonfiction and novels, playwright, artist, academic and educator. Her collection of translations of the Latvian poet Matilda Olkinaitė, The Cerulean Bird (2023), has just been released by Arc Publications.

Laima has published over twenty books in the United Kingdom, United States, and Europe. She earned a PhD in Humanities from Vilnius University, an MFA in Writing with a concentration in Poetry from Columbia University, an MFA in Nonfiction from the University of New Hampshire, and a BA in English and German Literature from Rutgers University. She is the recipient of two Fulbright grants, a National Endowment for the Arts grant in Literature, a PEN Translation Fund grant, an Academy of American Poets Honorary Mention in Poetry, an Association of the Advancement of Baltic Studies book subvention grant and dissertation grant, among other honors. Vanished Lands, her academic monograph on intergenerational trauma and the role of postmemory in diaspora literature is forthcoming this autumn with Peter Lang Publishers. For more about Laima Vince’s work, please visit her website at



  Photo by Eugene McCafferty
Sarah Clancy has published three poetry collections, Stacey and the Mechanical Bull (Lapwing Press, 2011), Thanks for Nothing, Hippies (Salmon Poetry, 2012) and The Truth and Other Stories (Salmon Poetry, 2014) and has had her work published in Queering the Green (The Lifeboat, 2022) and The Art of Place – People and Landscape of County Clare (Liffey Press, 2021).

In 2021 her poem ‘Cherishing for Beginners’ was the subject of a poetry-film collaboration between the Aidan Brinkerhoff Poetry Foundation and IMMA and was shown as part of the Ghosts from the Recent Past Exhibition. Her work has been published and anthologised in Ireland, Canada, Mexico, Nicaragua, Slovenia, Spain, Poland and the USA. She works in community development and has been involved in many campaigns including those concerning marriage equality, reproductive and migrant rights.


Friday 24th November
7.00pm – 9.00pm

Rónán Ó Snodaigh | Dylan Brennan (via zoom) | Jessica Traynor

Is file agus ceoltóir é Rónán Ó Snodaigh. Aithnítear é mar dhuine de na seinnteoirí bodhrán is fearr agus is nuálaí in Éirinn, agus mar amhránaí-cumadóir thar a bheith bunaidh. Foilsíodh The Garden Wars, a chéad imleabhar iomlán filíochta, i mí na Nollag 2007 le moladh ó na léirmheastóirí.

Rónán Ó Snodaigh is a poet and musician, most famously known as a founder and frontman for the band Kila. He is recognized as one of Ireland’s best and most innovative bodhrán players and a highly original singer songwriter. In 2003, Rónán’s first book Luascadán was published – a collection of his Irish language songs, followed one year later by his book of English lyrics entitled Songs. The Garden Wars, his first full volume of poetry, was published December 2007 to critical acclaim. His most recent album (created with Myles O’Reilly) is The Beautiful Road (2023), which follows their release of Tá Go Maith (2021). They will be on tour around Ireland in early 2024. A number of striking music videos have been made from these albums (discoverable on youtube), as Myles is also a filmmaker.

Born in Dublin 1970 Rónán Ó Snodaigh, one of six brothers, was brought up in an Irish speaking home. His mother was the artist, writer and sculptor Cliodhna Cussen, and his father is a writer and the well-known Irish language publisher, Pádraig Ó Snodaigh of Coiscéim. Rónán started writing poetry in his teens, selling his work on the streets of Dublin’s city centre where he also started his musical career, busking with a collective of young musicians including Glen Hansard, Mic Christopher and Paddy Casey. Kíla started to take form from this busking fraternity with Rónán on bodhran and vocals. They quickly earned wider recognition for their unique blend of traditional Irish, rock and an ability to absorb just about any other musical culture into their writing pot.



  Photo by Liliana Pérez-Brennan
Dividing his time between Mexico and Ireland, Dylan Brennan writes poetry and prose. He is a recipient of the Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary award. In 2022 he won the inaugural Drumshanbo Written Word Weekend Poetry Film Award for ‘Four Attempts at Making a Human’, a poetry film in collaboration with Jonathan Brennan. He has read at literary festivals in Colombia, Nicaragua, Mexico, Italy, Ireland and USA and has twice been recipient of a Culture Ireland Travel Grant. Most recently he was awarded an Arts Council literature bursary. His second collection Let the Dead (2023), is available now from Banshee Press.



Jessica Traynor is a poet, essayist, librettist, and poetry editor at Banshee. Her debut collection, Liffey Swim (Dedalus Press, 2014), was shortlisted for the Strong/Shine Award. The Quick (Dedalus Press, 2018) was an Irish Times book of the year. Pit Lullabies (Bloodaxe, 2022) is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and was an Irish Times book of the year, and a Guardian Best Summer Read of 2022. It was shortlisted for the Yeats Society Sligo/ Irish Independent Poetry Prize.

She is 2023 recipient of the Lawrence O’Shaughnessy Award for Poetry. Other awards include the Ireland Chair of Poetry Prize, the Listowel Poetry Prize, and Hennessy New Writer of the Year. She is a Creative Fellow of UCD, and 2023 Arts Council Writer in Residence in Galway University. She is a judge for the 2023 Forward Prizes and a poetry critic for The Irish Times.



Friday 24th November
9.30pm – 11.00pm

Alejandro Murguía (via zoom)| Lauren O’Donovan

Alejandro Murguía is a two-time winner of the American Book Award. His publications include This War Called Love: Nine Stories (City Lights Books, 2002) and Stray Poems (City Lights, 2013) – in the Poet Laureate Series #6. His short story “The Other Barrio” was recently filmed in the Mission District. He is the first Latino to be named San Francisco Poet Laureate, 2013-2017.

In April 2019 he wrote and directed a one-act play, performed at Brava Cabaret, The Latin Quarter: Maclovia Ruiz and the Missing Beat, based on the true story of a Mexican girl in San Francisco who became a world renown dancer. He is currently preparing an anthology of contemporary Mayan poetry.

For more about Alejandro visit



Lauren O’Donovan is a writer from Cork, Ireland. In 2023, she won the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award and the Cúirt New Writing Prize in Poetry. Lauren’s work has been shortlisted for Listowel Writers’ Week Collection Award, Poetry Business Book & Pamphlet Competition, and the Fish Poetry Prize. In 2022, Lauren was awarded Arts Council funding and a Munster Literature Centre Mentorship. Lauren is a graduate of UCC, co-founder of Lime Square Poets, and an editor at HOWL New Irish Writing.

Lauren has work published or upcoming in journals and anthologies such as: Rattle Magazine, Southword, The North, Skylight 47, The Waxed Lemon, The Storms, The Galway Review, The Galway Advertiser, The Honest Ulsterman, A New Ulster, Cork Words, Augur Magazine, Green Ink, Grand Little Things, The Echo, The Quarryman, Poems from my 5km, NTTTBS and Swerve. In 2022, her poetry film, Latrina Vox, was part of the official selection for Bloomsday Festival, Ó Bhéal Winter Warmer Festival, International Poetry Film Festival Greece, and Cork International Film Festival.


Saturday 25th November

Workshop 3 (in-person)

Saturday 25th November
10.30am – 12.30pm

Re-Introductions with Jessica Traynor


Cost is €20. In-Person in Civic Trust House, 50 Pope’s Quay.
To secure your place, please book through eventbrite via this link

Jessica Traynor, the tutor on Poetry Ireland’s very popular Introductions performance masterclasses, is facilitating two sessions this autumn as part of the Re-Introductions series, including this two-hour masterclass at the Winter Warmer festival, which will focus on the art of reading and performing poetry in public. 

In this workshop we’ll use your words as a guide to find a performance style that works for you. This unique mixture of writing and performance workshop is perfect for those looking to fine-tune both their work on the page, and their reading style. It would suit early to mid-career published poets, and is open to ANYONE including non Poetry Ireland alumni.

Jessica Traynor is a poet, essayist, librettist, and poetry editor at Banshee. Her debut collection, Liffey Swim (Dedalus Press, 2014), was shortlisted for the Strong/Shine Award. The Quick (Dedalus Press, 2018) was an Irish Times book of the year. Pit Lullabies (Bloodaxe, 2022) is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and was an Irish Times book of the year, and a Guardian Best Summer Read of 2022. It was shortlisted for the Yeats Society Sligo/ Irish Independent Poetry Prize.

She is 2023 recipient of the Lawrence O’Shaughnessy Award for Poetry. Other awards include the Ireland Chair of Poetry Prize, the Listowel Poetry Prize, and Hennessy New Writer of the Year. She is a Creative Fellow of UCD, and 2023 Arts Council Writer in Residence in Galway University. She is a judge for the 2023 Forward Prizes and a poetry critic for The Irish Times.



Poetry Films – Irish Selection

Saturday 25th November
11.00am – 12.00pm
(A single screening of 16 films)

Selected from Ó Bhéal’s 11th International Poetry-Film Competition entries


While these sixteen, specially selected Irish-made poetry-films and many other excellent entries didn’t quite make the competition shortlist, they are of a fine standard and we are delighted to present them in a separate screening.

The screening will be viewed by a live audience at Nano Nagle Place, Cork & streamed via our website festival stage and Facebook & YouTube channels.

You can view details of the selection at this link. The films were chosen from 208 submissions received from 168 filmmakers in 33 countries. For the competition shortlist please follow this link.



Closed Mic Session

Saturday 25th November
1.00pm – 2.00pm

Ó Bhéal’s annual Closed Mic showcases ten poets who have contributed to Ó Bhéal’s open-mic sessions on Monday nights, over the past year. This year’s line-up includes Olha-Lelya Matso, Raef Boylan, Rosie O’Regan, Mo O’Connor, Mona Lynch, Karan Casey, John Horan, Alexandra Toth, Seamus Harrington and Philip Spillane.

Readings & Performances

Saturday 25th November
2.30pm – 4.00pm

Emma Must | Fred D’Aguiar
(both via zoom)

Emma Must is a poet living in Belfast. Formerly a full-time environmental campaigner, in 2021 she completed a PhD in English (Creative Writing) at Queen’s University Belfast, focusing on ecopoetry and ecocriticism. Her first full-length poetry collection, The Ballad of Yellow Wednesday, was published by Valley Press in December 2022. It was longlisted for the Laurel Prize 2023. A poem sequence from The Ballad of Yellow Wednesday, ‘Holloway Letters’, has been Highly Commended in the Forward Prizes for Poetry, and an extract is included in The Forward Book of Poetry 2024.

Emma’s poem ‘Toll’ won the Environmental Defenders Prize in the 2019 Ginkgo Prize for Ecopoetry; her debut poetry pamphlet, Notes on the Use of the Austrian Scythe (2015), won the Templar Portfolio Award. In 1995 she was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize for Europe, for her efforts towards land conservation. She teaches creative writing and academic writing in universities, in the community, and online.


Fred D’Aguiar‘s books include poetry, fiction, plays and a memoir. His most recent publications are, a memoir, Year of Plagues (Carcanet, 2021) and a collection of poetry, titled, For the Unnamed (Carcanet, 2023). His previous collection, Letters to America (Carcanet 2020) was a PBS Winter Choice. Arc Publications released his pamphlet Arboretum for the Hunted in 2023.

Born in London of Guyanese parents, he grew up in Guyana and returned to the UK for his secondary and tertiary education. Currently, he is Professor of English at UCLA.


Saturday 25th November
7.00pm – 9.00pm

Rody Gorman with Alistair Mackay | Vona Groarke (via zoom)

Rugadh Rody Gorman i mBaile Átha Cliath sa bhliain 1960. Feidhmíonn sé mar léachtóir i scríbhneoireacht chruthaitheach, mar eagarthóir ar an iris bhliantúil An Guth. Tá cónaí air ar an Eilean Sgitheanach agus scríobhann sé i nGaeilge na hÉireann agus Gàdhlig na hAlban, agus aistríonn sé idir na teangacha sin, agus aistríodh a chuid filíochta féin go iliomad teangacha.

Rody Gorman was born in Dublin in 1960 and lives in the Isle of Skye. He lectures in creative writing and edits the annual bilingual anthology An Guth. He has published collections of poetry in English, Irish and Scottish Gaelic including Fax (1996), Flora From Lusitania (2005), Zonda? Khamsin? Sharaav? Camanchaca? (2006) and Beartan Briste / Burstbrokenshroudloomdeeds (2011).

His selected poems, Chernilo, were published in 2006 and his most recent collections are Trìtheamhan (2017) and Cuala, Dothra (2021). Lorg Eile/Final Call, his latest New and Selected collection, was published in May 2022. He has a forthcoming collection Sa Chnoc in Gaelic (CLÀR Publishers) and his highly anticipated Sweeney: An Intertonguing will be published shortly by Francis Boutle Publishers.


Alistair Mackay is a piper and TV Director based in the Isle of Skye with both Scottish Highlands and West of Ireland connections. His mother was a Cleary from Ballycroy, Co. Mayo and as such, he has grown up with a strong link to and appreciation of Irish language, history and culture. His father is also a piper and still going strong playing regularly at the age of 83!

Piping was very much in the family for generations. Music, stories and song are a natural part of his family, which hails from the mountainous Kintail near the Isle of Skye, where you’ll find the famous Eilean Donan Castle on the shores of Loch Duich. Like his father, Alistair is a Scottish Gaelic speaker and studied Gaelic Studies at the University of Aberdeen before completing a Diploma in Gaelic Media at Scotland’s Gaelic College, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig in Skye.

Musically, Alistair was fortunate to be taught the Highland bagpipes initially by his father and then by a family friend and another Scottish Gaelic speaker from Roy Bridge. This friend, Anthony MacDonald, was a great piper and very much rooted in Highland piping and traditions and could trace his piping lineage back to the great piper John MacColl and the historical and famous MacCrimmon pipers of Skye. Anthony was Alistair’s main tutor and mentor for many years and was also a cousin to the world renowned Highland piper and musician Allan MacDonald of Glenuig. As well as playing the Highland Pipes, Alistair plays Scottish smallpipes, and whistles.



Vona Groarke’s fourteenth book, Woman of Winter, (a contemporary re-telling of the ninth century Irish poem, ‘The Lament of the Hag of Beare’ with drawings by Isobel Nolan), was published by Gallery Press in August 2023. Her thirteenth, Hereafter: The Telling Life of Ellen O’Hara – a poetic account of the lives of Irish women domestic servants in 1890s New York (which arose out of her time as a Cullman Fellow at the New York Public Library 2018-19) – was published in Nov 2022 by New York University Press. Her Selected Poems won the 2017 Pigott Prize for Best Irish Poetry Collection.

Poet, essayist, reviewer and editor, her work has recently appeared in New York Review of Books, L.A. Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement and Poetry Review. Vona is the current Writer in Residence at St John’s College, Cambridge.


Saturday 25th November
9.30pm – 11.00pm

Kim Shuck (via zoom) | Aindrias de Staic

Photo by Douglas A. Salin
Kim Shuck is a writer, bead artist, iconoclast, social awkward, and an increasingly silly series of proteins. Shuck served as the 7th Poet Laureate of San Francisco. She periodically gets out her poem rake and creates books. Kim is solo author of 11 books and has edited, co-edited, assistant edited, been edit adjacent or been edit curious for 11 anthologies. Her latest collection of poems is Pick a Garnet to Sleep In from Scapegoat Press.

For more about Kim visit




Is scéalaí, béaloideasóir agus ceoltóir as Iarthar na hÉireann é Aindrias de Staic. Tá sé ar dhuine den bheagán scéalaithe in Éirinn sa lá atá inniu ann a oibríonn i mBéarla agus i nGaeilge.

Aindrias de Staic (pr: Stack) is a storyteller, folklorist and musician from the West of Ireland. He is one of a few storytellers in Ireland who works in both English and Irish languages. Born in Galway, he spent much of his youth on the Mayo-Galway border where he attended National School in the Gaeltacht and grew up to embrace the language & music from surrounding areas.

He inherited his storytelling ability from his late father Eddie Stack, storyteller & musician from Co. Clare. While studying Heritage Studies at GMIT in the late 1990’s Aindrias was encouraged by the late great Dr. John O’Donohue (Anam Cara) to pursue his talent for Storytelling. Since returning to Ireland from his travels in 2006, when his professional career as a storyteller began, Aindrias has found himself on stage relating travel tales and musical adventures, and in recent years his storytelling has seen him programmed widely at festivals internationally.

He has won awards from Edinburgh Fringe to NZ Fringe and has performed on the stages of Calgary Folk Festival, Vancouver Folk Festival, and the Spoken Word stage at Glastonbury. His work as professional musician, actor and TV presenter (TG4) in recent years has given a confident approach to reinvigorate aspects of Irish storytelling with music, character development and theatrical devices. He has enjoyed roles on London’s West End (Woody Sez) and with Dublin’s Abbey Theatre (Jimmy’s Hall). For more about Aindrias visit


Sunday 26th November

Poetry Film Competition

Sunday 26th November
11.00am – 1.30pm
(Two Screenings: 11.00am-12.00pm and 12.30pm-1.30pm)

Ó Bhéal’s 11th International Poetry-Film Competition


This year’s shortlist of 30 films was chosen from 208 submissions received from 168 filmmakers in 33 countries. The shortlist represents 14 countries: Belgium, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Namibia, New Zealand, Scotland, The Netherlands, UK, Ukraine and the USA. Judges Colm Scully and Paul Casey, will select one winner to receive the Ó Bhéal award for best poetry-film, designed by glass artist Michael Ray.

The screenings will be viewed by a live audience at Nano Nagle Place, Cork & streamed via our website festival stage and Facebook & YouTube channels.

The winner will be announced directly after the shortlist screenings.


Special Poetry Film Screening & Reading

Sunday 26th November
2.00pm – 3.30pm

m a c d a r a (s) – sounds of 21st century poetry | Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin

A poetry-film sequence from the poems of the late MACDARA WOODS

introduced by Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin
(Eiléan will also read after the film.)

The poet Macdara Woods died in 2018. The previous year, he had taken part in a project to record several of his poems, which would then be mixed with music by the rock group Militia and used as the soundtrack for a film made by students of the Art academy in Florence. His friends in Militia have brought the project to fruition, in spite of the pandemic and the death of another collaborator. The film is a triumph of international and multimedia collaboration, mingling Macdara’s famous voice with the dynamic sound of Militia, and images ranging from the intimate to the cosmic and from Italian cities to Clare Island. A book of the poems in English and Italian has been published to accompany the film.

The film also features Nicola CAPPELLETTI, CORO delle VOCI BIANCHE del CONSERVATORIO MORLACCHI di Perugia, Gianfranco DE FRANCO, FAST ANIMALS AND SLOW KIDS, Paolo FRESU, Giovanni GUIDI, MASTER FREEZ, Eilean NI CHUILLEANAIN, D.J. RALF, Francesco “BOLO” ROSSINI, Umberto UGOBERTI, VESPERTINA – and is made in memory of Macdara Woods and Massimo Rossi.

The screening will be viewed by a live audience at Nano Nagle Place, Cork & streamed via our website festival stage and Facebook & YouTube channels.

  Photo by Michael Augustin
Macdara Woods was born in 1942 in Dublin and died there in 2018. He was married to Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, and they have a son, Niall. He started to publish poetry as a teenager and his work has appeared ever since in Irish and foreign poetry publications. With Leland Bardwell and Pearse Hutchinson, Macdara and Eiléan were founder editors (1975) of the literary review Cyphers. He travelled widely, in North America, Europe, Russia and North Africa, and lived in London for a time in the sixties and early seventies.

He published numerous books of poems, translated from a number of languages, collaborated with musicians in performances and recordings in Ireland, Italy and America. He lived mostly in Dublin, and when he could in Umbria. There he collaborated with the band Militia and a number of publishers to produce books with accompanying recordings and also performed with them in public. The recordings for the film Sounds of 21st Century Poetry were made the year before he died. He was a member of Aosdána.


  Photo by Aurelio-Stoppini
Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin was born in Cork. She taught at Trinity College from 1966 to 2011, and was Ireland Professor of Poetry from 2016-19. She has published twelve collections of poetry, the latest The Map of the World (Gallery Press 2023) has been shortlisted for the T.S.Eliot prize.

The Sun-Fish (2010) won the International Griffin Poetry Prize. Her last book, The Mother House (Gallery, 2019), received the Irish Times/ Poetry Now award. Her Collected Poems appeared in 2020 from Gallery Press and was awarded the Pigott Prize at the Listowel Writers’ Week. She was awarded the 1573 International Poetry Prize at the International Festival of Poetry and Liquor in Luzhou, Sichuan Province, China. With her late husband Macdara Woods, Leland Bardwell and Pearse Hutchinson she founded the literary magazine Cyphers and remains its principal editor.



Readings & Showcase of 4 Cork Open-Mics

Sunday 26th November
4.00pm – 7.30pm


Gormfhlaith Ní Shíocháin Ní Bheoláin

  Photo by Hannah McCallum Media
Is file, scríbhneoir, aisteoir, feadógaí, pianódóir, amhránaí ar an sean-nós agus rinceoir seite í Gormfhlaith Ní Shíocháin Ní Bheoláin. Tá mórán duaiseanna bainte ag a cuid scríbhneoireachta agus ceoil, agus tá a saothar le léamh i bhfoilsiúcháin éagsúla, ina measc sna cnuasaigh Lampa ar Lasadh: Gradam Mháire Mhac an tSaoi (NLI, 2022) agus Washing Windows Too: Irish Women Write Poetry (Arlen House, 2022), san iris Feasta, in Comhar.

Gormfhlaith Ní Shíocháin Ní Bheoláin is a poet, writer, actor, pianist, sean-nós singer and set-dancer. Her writing and music has won many awards, and her work is published in the collections Lampa ar Lasadh: Gradam Mháire Mhac an tSaoi (NLI, 2022) and Washing Windows Too: Irish Women Write Poetry (Arlen House, 2022), and in the serials Feasta and Comhar.



Cork Open-Mic Showcase 1: Sling Slang


Cara Kursh | Spekulativ Fiktion | Kate McElroy

EmCeed by Richard Pierce

Sling Slang is a monthly spoken word night that is based on the 3rd Wednesday of the month in Maureen’s Bar in Cork city. It is an intimate little night that comprises two guest speakers, an open mic in between the two acts and a communal poem written on the night as the people who attend write a line and pass it on. The final poem that was created during the night is read at the very end by our resident MC Richard Pierce. You can check out the Sling Slang group on facebook or contact Cara Kursh through her instagram if you would like to get in touch about the evening.


Cara Kursh is a singer/songwriter and poet from Galway who has been living in Cork for the last 8 years. Her music has been described as ethereal and transportive. She is currently working on an album The Moth & the Moonlight, which will include a short story, and will be released at the end of this year.

She has been running the spoken word night Sling Slang over the last 6 years. She has also in the past curated gigs for Sofar Sounds Cork and ran an acoustic showcase called Second Sundays. Gigs have included Townlands Festival (2017), Electric Picnic as part of ‘The Crossover’ (2019), supporting Lisa Hannigan and playing a variety of fundraisers.


Cerebral weirdo rapper, beatmaker and musician Spekulativ Fiktion has been a Cork hip-hop staple for well over a decade having toured Ireland extensively and performing at many of the island’s major music festivals. Spek has supported international acts including GZA of Wu-Tang Clan, Danny Brown and Immortal Technique and has collaborated with Hazey Haze, Naive Ted, Mankyy and Clerk 5.

His work has been discussed in the books, Flip the Script: European Hip Hop and the Politics of Postcoloniality (University of Chicago Press, 2017) and in Made In Ireland: Studies in Popular Music (Routledge, 2020). After numerous eps and singles over the years, he is currently completing a full length album set for release in February 2024 with the lead single dropping in November. “A hallucinatory world of hazy grooves, fractured beats, and philosophical musings.” – Irish Examiner.


Photo by Celeste Burdon
Kate McElroy is a multidisciplinary artist based in Cork. She received a first class honours Master’s degree from Crawford College of Art and Design (2021). She is part of the artist collective inter_site who create site responsive exhibitions including 6 in Cork since 2021. Primarily a visual artist, Kate recently has incorporated spoken word and performance into her work, which draws attention to an environment in flux, a space between construction and destruction. Her spoken word weaves social and political contexts heightening an awareness on the bodily effects of the altering environment.


Richard Pierce (EmCee) is the host of the monthly poetry and spoken word night Sling Slang running for the past year in Maureen’s bar. As a host he uses his talents to offer an inclusive and welcoming environment for creativity to flourish. Richard also preforms his own spoken word poetry and music (the poor decisions) and is now pursuing storytelling as a vehicle for expression.



Cork Open-Mic Showcase 2: The Underground Loft


Cian Walsh | Adam Jere | Em Egan Reeve

EmCeed by Ciaran Shanahan

The Underground Loft is a poetry and storytelling open mic event that takes place every 2nd Thursday in The Liberty Bar on South Main Street. The Loft has created a vibrant welcoming atmosphere thanks to its diverse and ever growing community.

Follow the Loft on instagram @the.undergroundloft.


Cian Walsh (he/him), is an original and gifted poet/playwright from the Rebel County. Cian’s words transform pain and laughter into sensation of awe. Currently studying Arts in UCC, Cian has developed tremendously and flourished since his time at the Underground Loft and he has become a strong foundation. Cian explores themes of existentialism and love inspired by elements of daily life.


Adam Jere (he/him), is an inspiring and multi gifted rapper/poet/filmmaker. Cork born, 3rd generation kid Adam reflects on contemporary and past experiences in hard hitting ways through engaging performance. Self-identification and Morality infuse with topics such as relationships and drugs.


Em Egan Reeve (they them), a West Cork raised innovative and evocative writer/poet. Em is currently studying a master’s degree in creative writing in UCC. Em’s words and topics are thought provoking and have an incredible ability to resonate with others no matter the subject. Themes of gender, sexuality, and mental health strike a central core of Em’s work.


Ciaran Shanahan (EmCee) (he/they), is a poet/filmmaker from Tipperary. Ciaran examines mental health and relationships with use of vivid imagery especially with reference to nature and religion. Ciaran has been running the Underground Loft since he established it last March.



Cork Open-Mic Showcase 3: Ubuntu Sessions


Raphael Olympio | Cliff Masheti | Outsider Yp

EmCeed by Seheedo

Ubuntu Sessions is run by Sauti Studio crew, a group of musicians and creatives from a wide range of backgrounds, ages, and nationalities. This weekly open mic is held at The Haven Cafe in Cork City Centre, every Friday from 6 to 8pm. The sessions offer a friendly and encouraging space for artists and creatives at all levels to express themselves. They are not limited to music and poetry alone, they allow acting, dancing, storytelling and any form of expression, within reason.

The atmosphere is very chill, and people can request to hit the stage by signing their name on the list upon arrival or anytime during the session, time permitting of course. There are often free snacks and refreshers on offer, courtesy of Cork Migrant Centre (CMC) and The Haven Cafe. For more information please contact Ubuntu Sessions via @sautistudiocork


Raphael Olympio, known professionally as Olympio, is an Irish rapper, spoken word artist, singer and songwriter. Olympio is a proud Cork native with Togolese heritage. He first encountered music in church, where he developed a taste for live gospel music and also began writing poetry and fictional stories whilst in direct provision.

In his early teenage years, he started composing songs, poems, and spoken word as he found it easier to speak up about the struggles of his life through music.


Cliff Masheti began his journey when he became part of The Impressionists at the age of 16 with a group of friends that came together and focused on creating a blend of fresh funk, rock and jazz mixed with true hip-hop using live instruments – guitar, drums, bass, trumpet, turntables and a live MC. They were fortunate to compete and win the Blastbeat national battle of the bands beating over 100 other bands from around the country to claim the coveted prize of a recording contract.

Since then he has gone on to become a solo artist, making HipHop, writing poetry, as well as DJing throughout Ireland. He’s currently a part of the Sauti Studio group where he’s involved in running open mic sessions every Friday in the Haven cafe and doing workshops as well. As a result of this work, they were invited to perform at the Electric Picnic festival which was “an amazing experience”.


Outsider Yp is a musician, photographer, and poet who’s work is primarily inspired by manga, comics, indie literature, and his tumultuous life.

Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Outsider Yp had to escape the 1990’s civil war to Angola as a refugee, which eventually led to arriving in Ireland in 2003. A new world with a different language and culture made him feel like an alien. Comics, movies and pop culture were his main escape. Creating music and poetry helped him channel himself forward and allowed him to express the self he never felt he had an opportunity to be.


Seheedo (EmCee) is a stand up comic and event host who has been doing the comedy circuit throughout Cork and Ireland. His energetic and charismatic persona is infections, and he is always up for the craic. The Nigerian born creative grew up in Cork where he played GAA in order to try and fit in with his fellow schoolmates.

Within his comedy, he conveys his struggles growing up in Cork, as well as the duality of cultures at home vs at school. He wears his character on a sleeve and is unafraid to bear it all on the stage.



Cork Open-Mic Showcase 4: DeBarra’s Spoken Word


Margaret O’Regan | Sébastien Revon | Catherine Ronan

EmCeed by Moze Jacobs

DeBarra’s Spoken Word celebrated its 10th anniversary in October. It organises monthly events at the back of DeBarra’s Folk Club in Pearse Street, Clonakilty (P85 RH95) that often feature one or more speakers (mostly writers of poetry or prose although there have been some topic-based sessions) with an open mic at the end.

Ó Bhéal in Cork City has been a big inspiration. There are occasional crossovers with other art forms (music, visual arts, comedy) while workshops could be added to the mix more frequently in 2024. The events are in-person and the atmosphere is warm and welcoming, with a lot of encouragement for writers who take the initial steps towards “reading in public”. Any questions? Email or visit


Margaret O’Regan is a retired law clerk, a political activist for many decades, and a poet. She is a member of Ó Bhéal, DeBarra’s Spoken Word and Blue Mondays Writing Group.


Sébastien Revon lives in Ireland. A pharmacist, lover of jazz, photography, and short poetry, haiku in particular is his preferred form of writing. He has been published in Seashores, Failed Haiku, Cold Moon Journal, Gong (the journal of the Association Francophone de Haiku), Fireflies Light and Poetry Pea. His first haiku chapbook, Plan d’évasion (éditions Via Domitia) and a book of photo-poems, Résonances with his father, the photographer Jacques Revon (éditions l’Harmattan) were published in 2022.


Catherine Ronan holds a degree in Applied Psychology and French and has been writing poetry since childhood. Published in multiple anthologies, her debut collection Elemental Skin was published by Revival Press in November 2023. A year in which she was also selected for the Poetry in the Park Project, Long Island Sounds (NY) and read at the Cork World Book Festival. She has been long listed for the Cúirt New Writing prize and she won the James Harpur Clerihew Competition as part of the West Cork Literary Festival in Bantry.


Moze Jacobs (EmCee) is a writer/(sound) poet/musician/event organiser/journalist/translator. She co-authored Terra to Titan, a science fiction/non-fiction graphic novel (In de Knipscheer, 2019). Moze co-organises DeBarra’s Spoken Word, and co-runs the Pied Wagtail Collective (with Paul McMahon, Lauren O’Donovan, Thaddeus Ó Buachalla, Marie-Laure Haas and Pat Barrett). She’s ghost-writing an autobiography. An associative artist of 49, North Street (Skibbereen) she was born in Amsterdam and lived in Surrey, Liverpool and Belfast before landing in West Cork.


Jason J. Fisher | S’phongo (via zoom)

Jason J. Fisher is …


Curious With Questions.

Cork via Deutschland via Texas.



Hailing from the majestic Matopo Mountains in Zimbabwe, S’phongo is a wellness storyteller who expresses his thoughts on mental health, politics, social life, existence, and personal growth through the power of poetry. With a passion for spoken word, S’phongo has won seven international slam championships and has performed in various countries such as Italy, France, Belgium, Zambia, Ivory Coast, the UK, and beyond.

In 2022, S’phongo released his first chapbook titled TRIALS, which is published by Ubuntu Afro Publishers and launched in Cesena, Italy. In addition to his literary pursuits, S’phongo also serves as the Operations Director of VAfrica, a youth media organization based in Freetown. When he’s not crafting metaphors or weaving lyrical lines, S’phongo can be found sharing his love for South African House music as one of the most sought-after DJs in Freetown. S’phongo’s artistic pursuits reflect his passion for creative expression and social impact, whether he’s performing on stage, DJing, or working with other young artists.’

“Poetry is conciousness in action, it is all my ancestors screaming loud through the words I write.”

For more about S’phongo, visit


With special thanks to our Sponsors

The Arts Council of Ireland, Cork City Council, Foras na Gaeilge, Dunnes Stores,
Forum Publications, Colmcille, Arc Publications, Cork City Libraries, Poetry Ireland,
Paradiso, The Long Valley and the UCC School of English and Digital Humanities.