Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Age of Glass - My second poetry collection

This is the cover of my second poetry collection, The Age of Glass,  which will be published by Revival Press, Limerick, Ireland in early June 2017. The design and cover image is by Lotte Bender.

The collection contains a total of 63 poems grouped in five sections, the last being "Gerontology".

The Trim launch of the collection has been fixed for 8 June at 8pm in the Castle Arch Hotel, Trim. Nessa O'Mahony, poet and teacher, will officially launch the collection.

Nessa and Iggy McGovern kindly read the collection and offered comments which appear on the back cover - extracts below.

I attended workshops by Nessa and Iggy and poems which developed from each workshop are included in the collection.

Michael Farry is, to use his own phrase, a poet who weaves ‘a web of mystery and belonging based on rough landmarks’. . . his gaze ranges far beyond the parochial; compassion, be it for refugees or the homeless, is a hallmark of his work. . . But he is also a poet of the domestic, and the tenderest poems celebrate family and the joys of grandparenting. The Age of Glass is a work of maturity and of wisdom.   Nessa O’Mahony

A self-professed amateur archeologist - the poet as digger - Michael Farry takes a forensic look at life’s abundance, and never better than when he faces up to his own mortality; physical, then, with a dash of the metaphysical, these poems will give you pause for thought, and leave you the stronger for it!  Iggy McGovern

Revival Press is a community publishing press and is the poetry imprint of The Limerick Writers' Centre. It was founded by managing editor Dominic Taylor in 2007. It has published over thirty poetry titles to date plus three anthologies including I Live in Michael Hartnett. Revival has also helped establish a number of local and national poets by publishing their first collections.

One of the aims of Revival Press is to make writing and publishing both available and accessible to all. It tries as much as possible to represent diverse voices and advocates for increased writing and publishing access to individuals and groups that have not typically had this access.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

A Poem for Mothers Day

For this Mothers Day. This poem will appear in my second poetry collection, due out in May.
Knocknashee is the mountain in south Sligo which appears in the image above. The poem was written as a result of this November climb.

Climbing Knocknashee
(For Margaret and Bab)

We picked the perfect weather.
No sun-tanned tourist jaunt,
but wind-swept, rain-scoured,

mission for memory, pilgrimage
proving our resolve, our ancestry
and gifting us something else,

the feel of wet earth underfoot,
the mark of real clay on hands,
cheeks burning with achievement.


We picked the perfect date,
All Souls. Their misty shapes
crisscrossed the dim patchwork,

moved between landmarks,
their birth and resting places -
cottages, schools, spring wells –

as they made their silent ways
to dances, doctors, chapels,
left by cemetery or railway station.


We picked the perfect place,
Knocknashee’s proud stump
demands attention, stranded

like an upturned ark, pointing
to something better somewhere
else. Crowned with cairns

and the worn-down wreckage
of unknown ages, a becalmed
benediction on life’s complexities.


We stood silent on the summit
wished you were there beside us.

You were there beside us.


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The 12 Poems of Christmas


I'm delighted to end 2017 by having a poem included in "The 12 Poems of Christmas" on the Lagan Online website. Thanks to Lagan Online Editor, Colin Dardis. Congrats to Colin also, his collection is to be published by Eyewear Publishing in the near future.

This poem was written some time ago and I'm pleased that it has found a home at last. It's in very good company. Here is the full list:
Michael Farry ~ Advent
Phillip Crymble ~ Christmas in the Trenches
Angela Carr ~ A Christmas Stuffing
James Meredith ~ A Queen in Repose
David Smylie ~ The ghost of presents past
Laura Madeline Wiseman ~ Holidays
John Caulfield ~ Christmas Day
Glen Wilson ~ The Inn
Nessa O’Mahony ~ First Christmas
Breda Spaight ~ The Dead
Liz Quirke ~ Her Table
Linda McKenna ~ While Shepherds Watched

The collection is available as a free pdf download at the link above. Happy reading!


Monday, November 14, 2016

Rath Chairn Library Art Group Exhibition

On Friday 11 November Rath Chairn Library Art Group launched their "From Tara to Beyond" exhibition in the OPW building, Jonathan Swift Street, Trim. We in Boyne Writers Group were invited to submit poems to the group which the artists used as inspiration for paintings. We were delighted to be involved in this and were delighted to see how the artists interpreted our poems.

The exhibition continues in the OPW building during normal office hours until the end of November. Well worth a visit.


Treasa Uí Mháirtín officially opening the exhibition.


Two painting by Treasa Uí Mháirtín in response to my poem "Dividing Hostas".


Orla Fay reading her "Tara" poem at the opening.


"Ledwidge's Cottage, Slane" by Frank Fagan in response to Sinéad MacDevitt's poem of the same name.


Two paintings by Michi Nagoo Smith in response to Anne Crinion's poem "A Changing Trim".


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Some Recent Publications

I've had poems accepted in some journals and anthologies recently.
Two poems, Cicades at Nages and Secret were published in the Voices Israel Anthology 2016. Poets from all over the world are included in this180 page volume and I'm delighted to be one of two Irish included.

Two poems, Phone Call and We Are All Refugees, were also accepted by Acumen Journal (UK) and published in issue 86, September 2016. They also included one of these poems, We Are All Refugees, as a guest poem on their blog.

Antiphon online journal published my poem Clarification in issue 19 and also included an audio file of my reading of the poem on their blog.

The Honest Ulsterman online journal published my poem, Where I'm From, in their October 2016 issue.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Trim by Anne and Jake Crinion - A new book.


This new book, Trim, by Anne and Jake Crinion, will be launched on Thursday night next, 10 November at 8pm in the Trim Castle Hotel. The book is published by the History Press in their series, Ireland in Old Photographs, and I have been asked to perform the official launch. As a blow-in to Trim (1970), I feel honoured to have been asked.

From the back of the 122-page book: "Founded in the fifth century and nestled on the banks of the Boyne, the historic and picturesque town of Trim has a rich and vibrant history which is uniquely captured in this collection of archive images. Many of the photographs were taken by Anne Crinion, a freelance photographer for many years. Featuring local landmarks, people and snapshots of ordinary daily routines, each accompanied by a detailed caption, they portray the development of the town and show how life here has changed over the years".

Friday, October 28, 2016

The Poet's Quest For God


I'm thrilled to have a poem included in this anthology "The Poet's Quest For God: 21st Century Poems of Faith, Doubt and Wonder" edited by Fr Oliver Brennan and Todd Swift.

The original call for submissions went out in 2012 and there were times since then when it seemed that the anthology might not be published. But thanks to the perseverance of Todd Swift of Eyewear Publishing and the help of many others, it has finally appeared and I got my copy earlier this week.

It's a weighty tome of 457 pages, billed as "21st century poems of faith, doubt and wonder". My poem, "A Present from America", is based on a visit to what could only be described as a Religious Goods Supermarket in Modesta, Califonia and being struck by what was available there and what was not. I did find the CDs of Christian Rap music which my son had asked for.

This major anthology gathers work from renowned contemporary poets from around the world. These include poets from a wide variety of faiths – as well as agnostics and atheists – and the volume is introduced by renowned religious scholar Professor Ewan Fernie.

The anthology includes work by over 300 poets from the UK, Ireland, the US, Canada, India, Australia and beyond. These include Rae Armantrout, Patience Agbabi, Charles Bernstein, Fanny Howe, Andrew Motion, Michael Symmons Roberts and Ruth Padel.

Among the Irish poets whose work is included are Colin Dardis, Rachel Coventry, Barbara Smith, Nessa O'Mahony, John F. Deane, Vona Groarke, Susan Millar Dumars, Kevin Higgins and many more. You can check the full list of contributors and purchase a copy on the Eyewear website.

There are articles on the anthology here, https://www.writeoutloud.net/public/blogentry.php?blogentryid=58379
and on the Irish Catholic newspaper website: http://www.irishcatholic.ie/article/still-small-voices-poetry



Wednesday, October 26, 2016

1916-2016: An Anthology of Reactions


I was delighted to have a piece included in "1916-2016: An Anthology of Reactions" published by The Limerick Writers’ Centre in association with Limerick Ireland 2016 Committee of Limerick City and County Council. The editors are John Liddy and Dominic Taylor and they have compiled a handsome volume which has stories and poems but also articles on aspects of 1916 and on this year's commemorations as well as pieces from relatives on Limerick native Con Colbert.

Group at the launch - Mayor, editors, contributors.

"It is a book of historical and literary reaction, a compilation of articles, essays, poems, stories and illustrations from writers and artists of varying opinion and hue. The book attempts to bring the reader on a journey that begins before the Rising, the events during Easter week and its aftermath".

My piece, "Molly Courage", is a sort of a prose poem in the style of the Molly Bloom soliloquy from "Ulysses" in the voice of the figure of Courage at the base of the O'Connell monument in O'Connell St. Dublin. The figure has a bullet hole in the right breast supposedly inflicted during the rising.
Editors: John Liddy and Dominick Taylor

It was launched on Thursday 20 October by Limerick native, Dr. John O’Callaghan, author of "Con Colbert" in the 16 Lives biography series from O’Brien Press. He lectures in St Angela’s College, Sligo.

I was delighted to attend the launch and chat with many of those included in the volume.

"1916-2016: An Anthology of Reactions" is available to buy online at www.limerickwriterscentre.com and from all usual outlets and good bookshops. For further details contact Dominic Taylor; Tel: 087 2996409; E: limerickwriterscentre@gmail.com

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Fair Acre Press Poetry Pamphlet Competition - Winners

Jonathan Edwards, My Family and Other SuperheroesI'm delighted to have had a poetry pamphlet shortlisted in the Fair Acre Press Poetry Pamphlet Competition, UK. The competition was well run with a section for poets who had a collection published and those who had not. The full results and report are here.

Dates on which shortlisted pamphlets and the winners were to be announced were clearly stated and these were met. This doesn't always happen in such competitions.

The judge was poet, Jonathan Edwards, whose collection My Family and other Superheroes won the Costa Poetry Award in 2014.

His report is full and generous. The winner in the published writers' category was The Quilted Multiverse by Jill Munro. In the unpublished section the winner was Blueprints for a Minefield by Shauna Robertson. Congratulations and well done to both.

The two winners will be reading with judge, Jonathan Edwards at the Wenlock Poetry Festival in April.

Jonathan said some very complimentary things about my pamphlet Under Surveillance: "Among the shortlisted entries, I would especially like to pick out Under Surveillance. This was a consistently strong pamphlet by a writer with formal control and a wide range of subjects. There were affecting poems about fatherhood and subtle and refined approaches to the villanelle and the sonnet. Best of all, in ‘The Gun’ and ‘Ages,’ this writer showed an ability to write truly brilliant poems. The quality of this pamphlet made the task of choosing just one winner in this category particularly difficult."

Thanks to Jonathan and to all at Fair Acre Press.

Monday, February 29, 2016

WOW Awards Win.

I'm honoured and delighted that my poem, Brain Scan, won first prize in the WOW Awards, poetry section, in Galway on Friday evening. Congratulations to all the winners and to the judges, Jane Clarke and Annemarie Neary. A special thank you to the organizers, Ger and Tony.

It was a great evening in the Crane Bar with the launch of Crannog 41 as well. Some great poems and stories read on the night by writers, some of whom who had travelled distances to be there.

The full results are on the WordsOntheWaves website. The anthology which contains all the short listed poems and stories is available for purchase here on the website.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

National Student Poetry Competition 2016

Windows Publications in association with Cavan Arts, Cavan Heritage Office & Cavan Crystal Hotel announce the 24th National Student Poetry Competition 2016. Adjudicated by Heather Brett & Noel Monahan.    €100 1st Prize in each category. Closing Date 16th March 2016.                                                                                
Entry to this competition is free and can be on ANY subject. Entrant details (name, age, school & contact number) MUST be clearly marked on the BACK of each entry if posting work or at the end of the work if sending by email. Poems should NOT have been published before or won a prize in any other competition, and must be the student’s OWN work.

Entries accepted online as well as by post and from individuals as well as entries sent by schools. Class poems and poems written by groups of students are acceptable but there will be only one prize given per winning poem.

Feel free to illustrate your work as we may use it with poetry if publishing.  

Please send entries to: heatherbrett22@hotmail.com or by post to Windows/Cavan Crystal Poetry Competition, Cavan Crystal Hotel, Dublin Rd. Cavan, Co. Cavan, Ireland on or before 16th MARCH  2016, clearly stating the category you are entering.

The award ceremony will be held in Cavan Crystal Hotel on Sunday 22nd May at 3pm. It is a condition of the awards that top prize winners must be present at the ceremony before a prize can be awarded.

Junior Category- Open to all students throughout Ireland and the U.K. in primary or national school education or equivalent. (8-12/13 years).                                                                                                    
Senior Category- Open to all students throughout Ireland and the U.K. in second level education or equivalent. (12-18 years).                                                                                                                            
Irish Language Category - Open to all students between 10–18 years old.  

Special Additional Category to Celebrate the 1916 -2016 Centenary, can be in Irish Language or English. Open to students in County Cavan schools ONLY between ages 10–18 years old. Prizes awarded by the Cavan Heritage Office.

All rules as general Windows Competition rules.                
Enquiries: 0870534737 or heatherbrett22@hotmail.com 
                                         

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

I Am Dublin flash fiction competition.


Deadline approaching for this competition from the Irish Writers Centre: 

I Am Dublin flash fiction
For any flash fiction practitioners out there, the deadline for the 'I Am Dublin' competition is just around the corner: Monday 15 February.

We're looking for your finest fictitious words about our fair city. This is a bilingual competition with submissions in Irish encouraged which will be judged by the wonderful Dermot Bolger and Doireann Ní Ghríofa.

Winners will be invited to read in a showcase alongside some stalwarts of the Dublin literary scene including Gavin Corbett, Paula McGrath and Eilís Ní Dhuibhne.

You don't have to be a Dubliner to enter!

Lots of great events, course and readings at the Centre in spring. Check out the website.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Holocaust Memorial Day Anthology



27 January is the day for everyone to remember the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust, and the millions of people killed by Nazi Persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur. 
27 January marks the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp. 
Poetry NI marked Holocaust Memorial Day 2016 with the release of a free online anthology of work by poets throughout the whole of Ireland, reflecting on issues that remain as poignant and as relevant today as ever.
I'm delighted to have a poem of mine included, When I Returned, from my collection Asking for Directions (Doghouse, 2012).
Other poets appearing in the anthology are: Trevor Conway, Karen J. McDonnell, Paul Jeffcutt, Shane Vaughan, Stephanie Conn, Colin Dardis, Brendan McCormack, Alice Kinsella, Therese Kieran, Michael Conaghan, Ciarán O’Rourke, James Meredith, Geraldine O’Kane, Glen Wilson, Peter O’Neill, Moya Roddy, Emma McKervey, Raisea Dé Murchú and Yvonne Boyle.





Wednesday, January 20, 2016

WOW Awards 2016 Shortlists


I'm delighted to have my poem, Brain Scan, included among the shortlisted poems for this award. Some well-known names there both in the prose and poetry.

Looking forward to the Awards evening and the launch of the 2016 WOW! Anthology on February 26th in Galway.