Easter by Roisín Kelly

As it’s Easter, and Roisín is one of Cork’s own (well, we claim her!) here’s her lovely poem, which first appeared in The Guardian. Just had to share it on my blog:

You walk by holding a bunch of flowers
never knowing that you’ve just performed a miracle.
Are those flowers for your girl?
I imagine her dressed up like an Easter egg
in yellow and pink. I’d tap at you like an egg,
cracking your thin chocolate shell.
If I were made of chocolate too, I’d break
off parts of myself to give to you and your girl.
Once, I gave my words for garden
and water and moonlit and love
to a man who kissed me. After he rolled
a stone over my heart and shut me off
from the world, I had no words left
to describe the dark dream that followed.
Now you’ve walked by, godlike in jeans
and an old t-shirt, the sun glinting on one
silver earring. Now a rose is once again
not only rose but also soft and red
and thorn and bee and honey.
Now a bird is singing song and tree
and nest in a high place and blue speckled egg.
You yourself are glowing with words, they move
up and down you as if they’re alive.
The words bring themselves to me
and tell my tongue sweetness over and over.
The words are everything. With them,
I’ll turn water to wine at your wedding.

And here’s Carol Rumens’ analysis of the poem. Hope she doesn’t mind me sharing it:

From Mercy, the first full-length collection by the young Belfast-born poet, Róisín Kelly, Easter seems to have a special glow to it. And no, the glow isn’t only that of romantic love. The latter is a strong contributory factor, of course: its pains are rekindled for the speaker when her ex-boyfriend walks by “holding a bunch of flowers”. The question “Are those flowers for your girl?” contextualises it a little, while retaining the tonal mystery. Is the voice angry, sarcastic, sorrowful? We might guess it’s all three.

I like the mixed emotions playing throughout the earlier passages of the poem, and how they are finally resolved. Easter eggs initially supply the poetic calories. All three players in the love triangle are turned into chocolate, the man’s current girlfriend being a particularly sickly and triumphant example “dressed up … / in yellow and pink”. The man is seen as the more vulnerable.

Writing a kind of verse letter to the man in question, the speaker imagines tapping him and “cracking your thin chocolate shell”. Birth may be suggested, but death occurs first. She imagines her own comic-extreme self-sacrifice, breaking off parts of her chocolate self to give the man and his girl.

Later on, imagery from the Passion of Christ recalls the numbness and sense of being buried alive “after he rolled / a stone over my heart / and shut me off from the world”. Probably the same boyfriend was the culprit, though not necessarily. Kelly’s change of pronoun leaves it ambiguous. The “sepulchre” analogy is pitched high, yet it’s also faithful to the experience of severe depression, a suffocating stone that’s all too real.

Now the speaker returns the ex-lover to mortal form, a little self-mockingly at first – “godlike in jeans / and an old t-shirt, the sun glinting on one / silver earring”. The mood has changed, perhaps with the recovery of simultaneously erotic and sublimated feelings.

Words withheld and words given become the dominant theme. In line nine, the first of the special, italicised words and phrases, garden, helps the transition to biblical analogy. There is an implied betrayal. But the words are magically potent. They ignite the rose, although they include thorn. They produce birds who lay “blue speckled egg(s)” in nests high in trees. Kelly’s italics slow the reader, so we savour these archetypal symbols, these ordinary happy words, and, importantly, imagine them as the especially meaningful gifts originally offered in the poet’s native Irish language.

Six lines from the end, the poet turns on her full power with that marvellous image of the man clothed in, covered in, words that “move / up and down you, as if they’re alive”. Most significantly, “the words bring themselves to me / and tell my tongue sweetness over and over”. They enable the speaker to find her own words and “The words are everything…” Once more, I was reminded of a passage from the New Testament: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God. And the word was God.”

Out of the rediscovery of inspiration and language comes the generosity of forgiveness – and, of course, the miracle. A miracle was first attributed to the man in the poem’s second line: now, an old-new miracle is performed by the speaker. What could be more generous than turning water to wine at a rival’s wedding feast? And of course the wine is also the poet’s gift-to-self – part of her own word feast, now freely flowing.

Easter appears in the forthcoming collection, Mercy, to be published by Bloodaxe Books in 2020.

My father moved through dooms of love by e.e. cummings

My father moved through dooms of love by e.e. cummings

My  father moved through dooms of love
through sames of am through haves of give
singing each morning out of each night
my father moved through depths of height

this motionless forgetful where
turned at his glance to shining here;
that if(so timid air is firm)
under his eyes would stir and squirm


newly as from unburied which
floats the first who, his april touch

drove sleeping selves to swarm their fates
woke dreamers to their ghostly roots

and should some why completely weep
my father’s fingers brought her sleep:

vainly no smallest voice might cry
for he could feel the mountains grow

Lifting the valleys of the sea
my father moved through griefs of joy;
praising a forehead called the moon
singing desire into begin

joy was his song and joy so pure
a heart of star by him could steer
and pure so now and now so yes
the wrists of twilight would rejoice

keen as midsummer’s keen beyond
conceiving mind of sun will stand
so strictly(over utmost him
so hugely)stood my father’s dream


his flesh was flesh his blood was blood:
no hungry man but wished him food;

no cripple wouldn’t creep one mile
uphill to only see him smile


Scorning the Pomp of must and shall
my father moved through dooms of feel;
his anger was as right as rain
his pity was as green as grain


Septembering arms of year extend
Yes humbly wealth to foe and friend
Than he to foolish and to wise
Offered immeasurable is

Proudly and (by octobering flame
Beckoned) as earth will downward climb

So naked for immortal work
His shoulders marched against the dark


His sorrow was as true as bread:
No liar looked him in the head;
If every friend became his foe
He’d laugh and build a world with snow

My father moved through theys of we
Singing each new leaf out of each tree
(and every child was sure that spring
Danced when she heard my father sing)

Then let men kill which cannot share
Let blood and flesh be mud and mire
Scheming imagine, passion willed
Freedom a drug that’s bought and sold

Giving to steal and cruel kind
A heart to fear, to doubt a mind
To differ a disease of same
Conform the pinnacle of am

Though dull were all we taste as bright
Bitter all utterly things sweet
Maggoty minus and dumb death
All we inherit, all bequeath

And nothing quite so least as truth
–i say though hate were why men breathe–
Because my Father lived his soul
Love is the whole and more than all.

Got this from Genius. To learn more about the poem, check out their site: https://genius.com/E-e-cummings-my-father-moved-through-dooms-of-love-annotated

Home by Warsan Shire


no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well

your neighbors running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay.

no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it’s not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilet
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back.

you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten
pitied

no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
or prison,
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough

the
go home blacks
refugees
dirty immigrants
asylum seekers
sucking our country dry
niggers with their hands out
they smell strange
savage
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up
how do the words
the dirty looks
roll off your backs
maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off

or the words are more tender
than fourteen men between
your legs
or the insults are easier
to swallow
than rubble
than bone
than your child body
in pieces.
i want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home told you
to quicken your legs
leave your clothes behind
crawl through the desert
wade through the oceans
drown
save
be hunger
beg
forget pride
your survival is more important

no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
saying-
leave,
run away from me now
i dont know what i’ve become
but i know that anywhere
is safer than here

In honour of Bloomsday…

Yes

(after Molly Bloom in James Joyce’s Ulysses)
 

Molly Bloom


…yes and then
I touched my finger to his lips
to stroke away the cider,
and put it to mine
and our tongues went plunging
– such a lush sweetness –
the grass so springy-soft on the cliff
and the waves crashing below
and I had to catch my breath
and the night’s perfume drowned
that tang of lamb
and I thought of my first kiss
– what was his name? Johnny? – yes,
his tongue so unexpected,
wriggling like an eel,
but this time it felt different,
and even his silence didn’t matter
when he stared, stared at my breasts
and I let my hair slip loose
like that Cape Town girl,
and you have moonlight in your eyes, he said
so I took him in my hand
and he whispered, would I,
ma petite phalène, he said
and I thought I may as well,
as well him as another,
and the sea was swirling below us in a froth
the sky gorgeous with stars
and I suggested with my eyes
that he ask again
and I knew he would
and I wondered if I’d say yes
and then I urged him down
and he found his way
through all my layers
and I might, I thought, yes
I think I will
say yes.
  
Yes is © Afric McGlinchey.
First appeared in The Lucky Star Of Hidden Things, published by Salmon (2012). Subsequently published in Poethead.

Image shows Muireann Kelly performing as Molly Bloom in a production of Liberate Ulysses.

Forthcoming readings (so far)

Image

The craic is always good at Irish festivals and events…I’ve been invited to be a guest reader at these:

12801107_963589183709887_8838549528468539010_n

(Photo taken by Linda Ibbotson)

30th June       – Spotlight Poetry reading, Alchemy Café, Barrack St. Cork 7pm.  

Delighted to be appearing as guest reader  at Cork’s own Alchemy Café as part of the Spotlight Poetry Reading series.  Also featuring is Mags Creedon with her instruments and beautiful voice.  Plus there’s an open mic! It all kicks of at 7.30.pm.

Alchemy Café is a special word-friendly venue, so if you’re Cork-based it’s definitely the place to hang out.

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 16th July         – Itaca magazine launch, 16th July 2016 at 6pm, Cassidy’s                                            Hotel, Cavendish Suite, Dublin

 

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17th July         – Stanzas Festival, Limerick city,  2.00pm at the Bubble Tea Paradise                           café, reading with Michael Ray and Emma Langford

 

 

18th July       – Hosting a poetry event with Jo Shapcott, Sarah Howe and Theo Dorgan at the Maritime Hotel, 6.30pm.

19th July         – Reading at West Cork Literary Festival, arguably one of Ireland’s best literary festivals, in beautiful Bantry, with Cónal Creedon and  William Wall, Maritime Hotel, 2.30pm.

 

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30th July         – in conversation with Liz Nugent at the Ludgate Hub, Ireland’s first digital café, at 2pm, during the colourful Skibbereen Arts Festival



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30th July         –   WAS poetry marathon at Working Artists Studios, Skibbereen

 

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 19 – 22nd Aug    – Five Glens Festival, ManorHamilton, Leitrim, reading and workshop

 

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 28th Sept         –Toner’s famous traditional Pub, Baggot St.,  Dublin

 

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17th October       – Taking part in a showcase reading at the Troubadour, London

 

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 4 Nov                 –Allingham Festival, Ballyshannon, Co Donegal, for a reading and workshop

And I thought it would get quiet once my kids had left home…!

 

Directory of Irish poetry journals

Poetry journals appear and disappear. So I thought I’d compile a list of all the ones currently active on the island of Ireland. If you see that any are missing, please leave me a comment, and I’ll amend.  I’m not including those published once a year, with winning competition poems. I’d love opinions on which you think have charisma, are outrageous or cutting edge, or excellent, or who are not keeping up with the times. The ones with the best covers and visual art, like this one, from Spontaneity’s latest issue:

untitled-alicia-martin-fernandez-

What are your favourites? Would love you to add your comments below.

So, here’s the list:

Abridged                                                                                                   http://abridgedonline.com/   
Beautiful product. Online and print journal, based in the North (but we’re being inclusive here!) Besides, they’ve taken poems of mine, so they’re right up there in my estimation!

A New Ulster                                                                 https://sites.google.com/site/anewulster/new-home-page    
The editor, Amos Grieg, hopes that this journal ‘will act as a reflection of the changing times in which we live in and grant you the reader a doorway into other worlds of the imagination.’ The journal appears monthly and has been in publication since September 2012.

Banshee Literary Journal                                                       https://bansheelit.tumblr.com                                                                                            A gorgeous new journal, with three editors who are happening writers themselves: Laura Jane Cassidy, Eimear Ryan and Claire Hennessy. They have taken poems of mine. And they pay! Going places.

Bare Hands anthology                                        https://barehandspoetry.tumblr.com/post/15088388198
This one went into hibernation for a bit, but it’s back! Edited by Kerrie O’Brien. Another sparkling journal featuring the work of new young voices mainly.

Blowing Raspberries                                                    http://www.blowingraspberries.org/submissions/                                                          New journal from N.I. that is accepting both published and unpublished poetry – with a nom de plume!  Obviously, with such a title, they’re looking for stuff that is upbeat, irreverent,  dark but not bleak. Have fun with this one. 

Boyne Berries                                                                                 http://boyneberries.blogspot.ie/ 
This journal came out of a writers’ group and has grown legs since.

Burning Bush 2                                                                                  https://issuu.com/burningbush2 
A good reputation, but went underground for a bit. Had work in this. But not sure if it’s still happening.

Crannóg                                                                                http://www.crannogmagazine.com/                                                                                   A dynamic print journal, established in 2002, and Arts Council funded, it’s now a key part of the literary landscape of Ireland. They receive about a thousand submissions for each of their three issues per year. One of the first to publish a poem of mine, so I have a soft spot! And they pay. The editors are Sandra Bunting, Tony O’Dwyer, Ger Burke and Jarlath Fahy, all of whom read each submission.

Cyphers                                                                                               http://www.cyphers.ie/                                                                                                        An esteemed print journal, founded by Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Macdara Woods and the late Leland Bardwell. One to aim for. Glad to have work in this. They pay

Dead Drunk Dublin                                                                              http://www.deaddrunkdublin.com  This is an online journal aimed at those who claim to be ‘manifestly unobvious.’ I’m not familiar with this one, but sounds like they’ll get a following!

Dublin Poetry Review                                                          http://dublinpoetryreview.com/section2-issue22/88-editors/162-issue-22-c   
Flattered that they published a poem of mine alongside Jane Hirshfield! Has numerous patrons and ‘executive’ guest editors from around the world. Not keen on the layout or masthead, but interested to see where this one goes. Started by Emmanuel Jakpah,  who is based in Ireland. One of the Irish editors is Elaine Feeney.

FourXFour                                                                                 http://www.poetryni.com/fourxfour.html                                                                              A quarterly online journal of new poetry from Northern Ireland, committed to highlighting the up-and-comings. Edited by Colin Dardis.

Gorse                                                                                                                http://gorse.ie/                                                                                                                  Haven’t sent work to this one yet, but looks interesting. Essays, interviews, fiction, poetry. Curated by Christodoulos Makris.

HCE Review                                                                                                https://hcereview.com/
HCE Review (ISSN 2009-9916) is named after the fluidly-named Humphrey (or Harold) Chimpden Earwicker in Finnegan’s Wake, to pay homage to Joyce, one of UCD’s most prominent graduates. It is a bimonthly online literary journal launched in 2016 by the MA and MFA Creative Writing courses at University College Dublin. The journal aims to publish fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, and visual art from both established and emerging writers and artists from around the world. There’s also a HCE Review podcast, which works in conjunction with the online journal to bring literature into the digital sphere, hosting regular readings and speeches by prominent Irish authors, and featuring discussions of the pieces that appear in the online journal.

Headstuff                                                                                  http://www.headstuff.org/2016/08/its-the-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it-call-for-poetry-submissions/
Edited by Angela Carr, a strong online presence whose blog is an invaluable resource. Headstuff has regular calls for submissions for their Poem of the Week slot. They are currently accepting submissions until 30 September.

Icarus                                                                              http://www.icarusmagazine.com/editorialteam/                                                          Another one I don’t know, but will look into – can’t resist the name! Connected to Trinity University. The editorial team is currently headed by Will Fleming and Leo Dunsker.

Idler                                                                                                                 http://www.idler.ie                                                                                                              A brand new journal, just started this year. Promises ‘regularly updated fresh, engaging, thought provoking and entertaining writing, including stories, poems and essays.’ The editor is Barbara Clinton. Although there’s no pay, Idler provides a link back to the writer’s own blog or website.

Impossible Archetype                                                  https://impossiblearchetype.wordpress.com/
Here’s a welcome new journal. Founded in January 2017, they publish two issues a year and are a space for LGBTQ+ poetry.

Irish Pages                                                                                                          http://irishpages.org/
Based in Belfast. Editor is Chris Agee. I haven’t sent work to this journal yet, but it’s well-regarded. Here’s their blurb: IRISH PAGES is a biannual journal, edited in Belfast and publishing, in equal measure, writing from Ireland and overseas. Its policy is to publish poetry, short fiction, essays, creative non-fiction, memoir, essay reviews, nature-writing, translated work, literary journalism, and other autobiographical, historical, religious and scientific writing of literary distinction. There are no standard reviews or narrowly academic articles. Irish Language and Ulster Scots writing are published in the original, with English translations or glosses

Outburst                                                                                      http://www.outburstmagazine.com/    
A journal that’s beginning to get on its feet after some hit-and-miss issues with unfortunate formatting. Editor is Arthur Broomfield.

Panning for Poems                                                                    http://www.poetryni.com/panning-for-poems.html 
A new micro-poetry print and online journal, edited by Geraldine O’Kane, based in the North. Nice to have an outlet for those tiny poems.

Poethead                                                                                     https://poethead.wordpress.com/                                                                                    An excellent poetry blog by Christine Murray, who is compiling a valuable and  extensive index of women poets. Great resource, and influential.

Poetry Ireland Review                                                      http://www.poetryireland.ie/writers/submission-to-pir/  
The ‘journal of record’ in Irish poetry. You’re on the official literary radar once you’ve managed to get work between these pages. Current editor is Vona Groarke, who is shaking things up a little. Looking forward to her issue on the Rising poets – thrilled that I am included! From July, the new editor will be Eavan Boland. They pay contributors.

Ropes                                                                                          https://ropesgalway.wordpress.com/                                                                            ROPES is an annual  review that publishes original poetry, prose, photography, artwork, as well as excerpts from scripts and screenplays. Ropes is published in association with NUI Galway and this year all proceeds from the journal will go to depression awareness charity – Aware.

Sixteen                                                                                                               http://sixteen.ie/                                                                                                              ‘Stab me with your dreadful words.’ A new online journal, started specially for the commemoration year. Rising prompts. Archive photographs give a wonderful atmosphere. And they’ve taken my work! Edited by Simon Lewis.

Skylight 47                                                                          https://skylight47poetry.wordpress.com/                                                                      Their blurb states that they are ‘possibly Ireland’s most interesting publication’. Based in Galway. Current editors: Bernie Crawford, Nicki Griffin, Marie Cadden and Ruth Quinlan. Interesting, broadsheet-style journal. They published a glowing review of my first collection, and also some poems, so I have a crush!

Southword                                                                      https://southword.submittable.com/submit                                                                     The best Irish online journal to be in!  Easy to navigate, a history of all your submissions, reviews etc on your page. Updated bios and pics. It’s a great archive and resource for all poets/scouts. Cork-based, connected to the Gregory O’Donoghue international poetry competition. Rotating editors. Current editor is Matthew Sweeney. They pay contributors.

Spontaneity                                                                                               http://spontaneity.org/issue-9/haunts/                                                                               A new journal, curated by Ruth McKee. Ekphrastic responses to visual art. This one’s going to get better and better.

Stanzas                                                                                                     http://stanzas.ie/Upcoming/                                                                                    Connected to the Stanzas festival in Limerick, curated by Shane Vaughan, this is a monthly ‘chapbook’, looking for poems, graphics and stories. They welcome work by newcomers.

Stony Thursday                                                                                          http://www.writing.ie/guest-blogs/submissions-for-stony-thursday/   
An annual anthology from Limerick. It doesn’t seem to have an online website. I have had work published in this, but found out about it via writing.ie, a very useful website.

SurVision                                                                                                  http://survisionmagazine.com
This is an independent international online magazine founded in March 2017 and based in Dublin, Ireland. Edited by Anatoly Kudryavitsky, SurVision publishes neo-surrealist poetry and comes out in January and July. The deadlines for these issues are 31st December and 30th June. Submissions of not more than five poems are considered at any time. SurVision have now begun publishing chapbooks too.

The Bohemyth                                                                                              http://thebohemyth.com/                                                                                                Based in Dublin, editor is Michael Naghten Shanks. I don’t know much about this one yet, but it’s a quarterly online journal, publishing poetry, fiction, photography, essays. It also has links to interesting Irish and international journals and publishers. Here you go: http://thebohemyth.com/links/

The Brain of Forgetting                                                            http://www.brainofforgetting.com/                                                                                      A Cork-based journal, curated by Bernadette McCarthy, who has a PhD in archaeology. Wonderfully-named, The Brain of Forgetting ‘provides a forum for writing and artwork that relates to heritage and memory.’ Thrilled to have work in this journal. 

The Dublin Review                                                                                 https://thedublinreview.com/                                                                                            The Irish Times called this ‘a world-class forum for the literary essay.’ A quarterly magazine of essays, memoir, travel writing, criticism, fiction and reportage. Founded and edited by Brendan Barrington, it is highly regarded. Published in book format and is assisted by The Arts Council of Ireland. (I bet they pay.)

The Galway Review                                                                                http://thegalwayreview.com/                                                                                    ‘Committed to excellence in the extraordinary art of the written word.’ Not familiar with this journal, but as it’s based in my the city of my birth, must check it out! A number of editors.

The Honest Ulsterman                                                                                           http://humag.com/                                                                                                          Connected to the Verbal Arts Centre in Derry. Don’t know much about this long-standing journal at all, but big names are mentioned in the February issue. Wish the website was a little more aesthetic. But they have poetry, prose, an ‘observatory’ and promise a podcast.

The Incubator                                                                https://theincubatorjournal.com/submissions/                                                                      ‘We do not know until the shell breaks what kind of egg we have been sitting on.’ — T.S. Eliot. Well. Got to try that! Issues alternate fiction and poetry, flash fiction and memoir.

The Irish Examiner                                                      http://www.irishexaminer.com/lifestyle/artsfilmtv/the-tuesday-poem-in-the-pub-many-voices-322604.html                                                                                                    Patrick Cotter of the Munster Literature Centre selects poems to publish in the Tuesday Poems. Not sure if you can submit. But they pay.

The Irish Literary Review                                                   http://irishliteraryreview.com/index.html                                                                        Haven’t submitted yet, but I will. Clean. Classy.

The Irish Times                                                                        http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/poetry                                                                The new home for Hennessy New Irish Writing, with a chance to be shortlisted for the coveted Hennessy awards.  And they pay contributors.

The Moth Magazine                                                                                        http://themothmagazine.com/                                                                                            This is a print journal, associated with the Ballymaloe poetry competition, and includes artwork. Considered one of the most beautiful and tasteful journals around. Another one to aspire to. Glad I’ve had work published here.

The Ogham Stone                                                                            https://theoghamstoneul.com/                                                                                            This is a literary journal run by the Masters students of English and Creative Writing at the University of Limerick, featuring poetry, art and fiction.

The Penny Dreadful   
http://thepennydreadful.org/                                                                                                 ‘It does not have stars in its weeping eyes nor a particularly idealistic soul. There is only the void.’ Editors are John Keating and Marc O’Connell. I’m working on getting the stars out of my eyes so I can get IN to this damn journal! Although they did accept my review of Kimberly Campanello’s collection…

The Pickled Body                                                                              http://thepickledbody.com/                                                                                          Editors are Dimitra Xidous and Patrick Chapman. An online poetry and art magazine ‘that plays with the senses.’ Each themed issue presents work from the surreal to the sensual and points in between – ‘poems that not only sound as good as they look, but taste as good as they feel.’ I concur.

The Poetry Bus                                             http://thepoetrybusmag.wix.com/change#!submissions/cgyc                                      Published by Peadar and Collette O’Donoghue, this print journal gets bigger and more ambitious with each issue. Had a poem published both in print and on the CD that accompanied the journal. And they nominated it for the Forward Prize! Cool.

The Stinging Fly                                                                                                               http://www.stingingfly.org/                                                                                                I’d say this is one of the most rated journals in Ireland today. Hard to get into – took me four attempts! A lot of acclaimed names seen between these pages. Often themed. The English poetry editor is Eabhan Ní Shuilleabháin, but there are also guest editors. The current one is Mia Gallagher. English and Irish language stories, reviews, essays and poetry. And they pay contributors.

The Sunday Independent                          http://www.independent.ie/entertainment/books/the-sunday-poem-anthony-cronins-personal-anthology-34512641.html                                                                                    Like the Irish Examiner’s Tuesday Poem, The Sunday Poem might well be selected by the editor. Not sure if you can submit for it. If anyone can confirm this, that would be helpful. They probably pay.

The Tangerine                                                                                    https://thetangerinemagazine.com/                                                                                  The Tangerine is a new Belfast-based magazine of new writing. It covers culture and politics, and is published three times a year. The Tangerine includes features, reportage, commentary, fiction, poetry, illustration and photography. They’re currently inviting artists to submit illustrations for a potential cover.

 The Well Review                                                                                                                 http://www.thewellreview.com/
The Well Review is a Cork-based, bi-annual print journal founded by Sarah Byrne and Christian Carley. It was established in 2016, ‘to create a space to house exceptional poetry from all over the world,’ says Sarah Byrne. I, along with most of my Irish poet friends, very much miss The SHOp, edited by John and Hilary Wakeman, who have retired. I’m hoping that The Well Review will be the journal to compensate for that loss. The inaugural issue featured work by international poets such as John Burnside, Maram al-Masri, Ellen Bass, Ishion Hutchinson, Kaveh Akbar, Nick Laird, Matthew Dickman and Maggie Smith. The journal is published in February and September of each year. And they pay.

The Quarryman                                                            https://www.facebook.com/quarrymanjournal
This is a newly revived literary journal, associated with University College Cork (rated the best university in Ireland for the second year in a row.) Originally started in 1920, this journal has been revived by the current MA creative writing students, and the first, substantial issue is already sold out. Submissions are accepted, via their Facebook page, only for those affiliated with UCC, including alumnae. Email them at quarrymansubmissions@gmail.com

                                                           

Scribblers, Higgins and Teen Camp

Uillinn
Making letter shapes

Wow, the time flies. One of the highlights of the last couple of weeks was visiting Alison Glennie’s drama group, and doing poetry with them. Of course, first they had to warm up by making letter shapes together. Then down to the hard work:

Writing poems

We’ve almost reached the end of the Scribblers course– only one workshop to go, when we’ll be working on the cover of our magazine, to be printed in time for Michael D’s visit on the 11th June. A lot of excitement about that. So many poems and stories for me to type up this week!

One of my young writers surprised me with this poem last Friday.I think she captured me perfectly! Have to share it with you:

Lucija's poem to me

I’ll have a couple of weeks to respond to new work at Uillinn, and to work on my collection, as well as continuing the one-to-one editing surgeries. Anyone interested in that can phone me on 086 3633567 to book an appointment.

Then it’ll be on to the Teen Camp taster, from the 8th-10th July, which will end my residency. As well as a little poetry, we’ll be doing fiction. I’m hoping for teenagers (aged from 13-18, although so far those booking are around 16) who are serious about writing.

TEEN CAMP brochure

And I’m not sure if that will open! But you can call me on 086 3633567 for details or to book.

Leaning into your world

Blog dancers better

The Dancer in Residence, Tara Brandel, and a visiting dancer from San Francisco, Kathleen Hermesdorf, performed in Gallery One, incorporating into their movements connections with the exhibited delicate unfired ceramics, and in particular, the upper torsos and heads of two young boys. A random box provided another prop.

Aside from a couple of synchronized phrases, they danced separately or in response to each other. In particular, their breathing, and level of energy seemed particularly symbiotic, synergistic. Sometimes dynamic, spaciously taking up the whole room with frenzied gestures, sometimes foetal, supine, still, they were a mesmerizing act.

They invited me to read a couple of poems for them to respond to. I read ‘Leaning into your world’ and ‘No need’, with long pauses between lines, so they could pick up on the mood of the poem, and respond kinetically to the images. (The poems can be read at the end of this blog.)

Emma Jervis came down and took some photographs. Tara’s agreed to doing a collaboration for my showcase at the end of my residency, so I’m excited about that. Tomorrow, I’m going to their studio to write a poem in response to their movements.

Blog skirt

My Tuesday lunchtime Poem to Go group responded to work by Bernadette Cotter, which features 600 names embroidered into organza squares, sewn together and hung as two enormous wall hangings. In front of the two wall hangings is a tumble of red organza strips which suggest the skirt of a ball-gown. Some fantastic poems emerged – in just one hour!

I popped in to meet Alison Glennie’s drama students. She’s brainstorming words with them, in anticipation of next week’s workshop, when I’ll join them for a word-fest.

Blurred background blog EmmaBlog Hugh and Flo

My Scribblers are getting into the swing of things now. We have a core group of four boys and four girls. This week they wrote a story. We had Chinese horses, magic masks and jars of pickles.

I’m hoping Emma’s video will be available soon. meanwhile, here are the poems Tara and Kathleen responded to:

Leaning into your world

Yours was an impenetrable loneliness;
a skeletal tree leaning away
from nomadic winds.

I passed
and found arms braced,
like rocks for waves.

Your mouth, skin, hands –
these are my borders now,
my land.

With a knife,
you measure rock pools,
clouds, my hips.

We bump against each other
while walking, laugh at rain,
slide to grass.

Our bodies trapeze
like laundry
cavorting on lines.

A hand held brings tears.
Such a winding memory,
delicate thread.

We read poems
lifted to light,
sleep when birds sing.

I divert misgivings;
a crack in the sky
is just a small thing.

No need

No need to tell me
that endings are a moment
of transcendence, and all that is solid
melts into air;
no need to remind me of the eyeblink
tales of life:
like furniture, stacked on the lawn,
that vanishes in a lizard-flick.
No need to challenge me to walk
the high wire, or drag me to a party
with all the wrong people,
where short men take up space
with knuckles on hips,
and there’s barely elbow room.
No need to show me I’m in safe hands –
I’ve seen your scar
and know what you’re made of.
No need for you to hold up
a cardboard cut-out sun:
I remember how it looks, how it feels.
Or to suggest that I’m more stone
than heart:
what do you expect?
I’m still half a couple from ark days
pickling memories in a jar.
No need to say that love will return
some day,
like ‘speech after long silence’;
that’s dirty talk.

The poems were first published in my début collection, The Lucky Star of Hidden Things, published by Salmon: http://www.salmonpoetry.com/details.php?ID=260&a=221                                                             

Meanwhile, I’m writing away, and editing poems for my forthcoming collection. What will next week bring?! (Thanks to Emma Jervis for use of the photographs. http://www.emmajervis.com)

‘Tings are quite’ – Scribblers and Slow Art

Afric young poems_17

Sad red cats and weird bed-cars, cloud-soups and monster mice, butterfly-lions, aliens raining beans and timely planets – these are some of the bizarre, delightful apparitions that turned up this week in Scribblers, my Young Writers’ Taster workshops. As one child put it, ‘a magic puffed.’ Really looking forward to the rest of the Programme, which will take place on Fridays from 3.30 – 5.00pm. All children from 8-12 years of age are welcome. The poems created during these workshops will be compiled into a pamphlet, in time for President Michael D. Higgins’s visit in June.

I joined Alison Cronin’s Slow Art Afternoon on World Slow Art Day, where she made us look at individual exhibits for ten whole minutes, without speaking. The effect was amazing. I saw so much more, as time passed, and began to connect with each piece in a profound way. Later we had afternoon tea and exchanged our ideas about the artworks.

Inspired by the experience, for today’s Poem to Go workshop, I took my students to this painting by John Doherty, wonderfully titled ‘Tings are quite’ and got them to study it for a while, before writing an ekphrastic poem in response to it:

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The Tuesday Poem to Go sessions have moved from the art space (which has been taken over for Life Drawing classes) to my studio, a more intimate experience.

This week, I’ve also written a poem in response to Emma Jervis’s beautiful photograph of the moon:

Thank you for 1500 likes

(Thanks also to Emma for the other photos above. Her website is here: http://www.emmajervis.com/) My poem will be showcased at the end of my residency, along with other completed collaborations.

The one-to-one editing surgeries are growing into two hours instead of the promised one hour and 20 minutes! I’m hoping those availing of this service find it good value, at €35 per surgery. For today’s session, we managed to get through nine short poems. Anyone interested in making an appointment can ring me on 086 3633567.

Slow dancing in a flaming building

image

Photograph taken by Emma Jervis. http://www.emmajervis.com/#!/index The ‘beasties’ on the wall are part of an exhibition called ‘Flying Colours’. Pupils from twenty primary schools contributed their work.

I’ve been invited to be Poet in Residence at the exciting new Uillinn Arts Centre in Skibbereen, West Cork, from the 24th March to the 18th May.

Part of the remit is to write a blog, and as I already have this one, I thought I’d hijack it for the eight weeks, to write about my discoveries and writing process during the residency, which will be my first. This is also the centre’s first time having a poet in residence, so we’ll all be learning from the experience. Justine Foster, one of the organisers at the centre, is fantastically open to any ideas I may have, so I’m exploring ways my poetry might respond to the opening season’s exhibition, called Fourth Space. This comprises sculptures and installations by a range of artists: David Beattie, Karl Burke, Rhona Byrne, Maud Cotter, Angela Fulcher, Mark Garry, Caoimhe Kilfeather, Dennis McNulty, and Liam O’Callaghan. As I’ll also be interacting with the wider community, out of my familiar territory  and in a wonderful space, who knows what will happen!

photograph-01-West-Cork-Arts-Centre-at-dusk

The new Uillinn Arts Centre in Skibbereen. Photograph by Celia Bartlett.http://ailecphotography.blogspot.ie/

During the residency, I’ll be offering Poem-to-Go lunchtime workshops on Tuesdays, and one-to to-one editing sessions, as well as collaborating with other artists in residence, such as the fantastic photographer Emma Jervis. I’m also looking forward to   observing aerial dancer and teacher Tara Brandel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpyplVqURqM.

Of course I’ll be reading as well as writing, and will continue to post any wonderful poems I come across.

Anyone interested in doing the workshops or having one-to-one editing sessions should contact the Uillinn Arts Centre: 028 22090 or 0863633567.