Thursday, March 31, 2011

April Meeting of the Meath Writer's Circle

Thursday April 7th is the date for the next meeting of the Meath Writer's Circle in the Trim Castle Hotel at 7.30pm.
This notice has already been placed in the Meath Chronicle.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Book Sales

Book Sales

Figures just released by publishers ‘The History Press’ show that 575 copies of ‘Images of Meath were sold for the six months ending in September 2010. This figure does not include copies sold locally in County Meath.

In addition 298 copies of ‘With the Boyne through Trim’ were sold in local outlets during the same period. 159 copies of ‘Counting Stained Glass Windows’

Both ‘Images of Meath’ and ‘Counting Stained Glass Windows’ are currently available on Amazon, W H Smith and Kenny’s Bookshop Galway.

Used copies of these publications are also available on eBay.

Figures for ‘Voices of Trim' during the same period are 7 and ‘Meath Voices’ 15

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Strokestown International Poetry Competition 2011

The poets shortlisted for the Strokestown International Poetry Prizes 2011 are, in alphabetical order:
Mike Barlow, Lancashire, U.K; Matthew Barton, Avon U.K.; Jo Bell, Cheshire, U.K; Isobel Dixon, Cambridgeshire U.K; Susanne Ehrhardt, Oxfordshire, U.K; Ed Frankel, California U.S.A.; Tim O’Leary, London, U.K.; Jane Routh Lancashire, U.K.; Elisabeth Rowe, Devonshire, U.K.; Pat Winslow Oxfordshire, U.K.

No Irish Poet among the ten shortlisted poets for the top prize at Strokestown.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Welsh Poetry Competition 2011

Welsh Poetry Competition 5

Welsh Poetry Competition 2011

The 5th international Welsh Poetry Competition (2011) aims to encourage and reward the abundance of creative writing talent that exists in Wales but finds difficulty getting recognition. If you love writing, love poetry, are passionate and truly care about one of the greatest art forms in the world, the Welsh Poetry Competition want to hear from you!

They are independent and do not use filter judges. All entries are judged anonymously by the judge - Welsh novelist, poet and short fiction writer, and former winner of the competition Sally Spedding.

Prizes: 1st Prize - £300, 2nd Prize - £150 and 3rd Prize - £75.

To enter you need to compose a poem, in English, of less than 50 lines and send to the competition organizers. Entry forms are available by post, can be downloaded from the website or picked up from Wales’ libraries. It costs £3 to enter and the closing date is Sunday 29th May 2011.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Published here is poem number four in a series of one hundred poems. Deceased received a Certificate of Merit in the 'Chapter and Verse' competition. It was also published in the Syllables Anthology.
The poem revolves around the word 'Again' which merits a line of its own and is pivotal, highlighting the fact that the gap that was there before birth is now there Again


Rather, it is the thought that

You have ceased to exist that haunts me

Stalks my waking hours

Infiltrates my dreams

That you are not here nor there

Nor yonder

That you have diminished

Down the corridors of time

To become a gap in the crowd



Even by your absence

The milky way at noon

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Boyne Readings

Noel King all the way from Kerry will be the featured reader at Thursday's (24th March)poetry readings. in the Knightsbridge Longwood Road Trim. It is hoped that all members of the award winning Meath Writer's Circle will be there to listen to Noel's poetry and maybe read a poem or two of their own at the open mike which follows. The event starts at 8pm and there will be light refreshments and all for just 5 euro

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tonight's Readers


very successful reading by members of the Navan Junior Writer's Group for the Navan
Shamrock festival took place tonight (Tuesday)
before a large crowd in the County Library

Our picture shows some of tonight's Young readers with Poet Tommy Murray
Pictures by courtesy of Mick( the sheriff) Sheils
Also from top,Sarah McShane Meadhbh Tiernan, Clara Harlin and Amy Curtis

Below Amy Curtis reading

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Memories of Writer's Week in Listowel

This is the third of over two hundred poems which I intend to post on this website over the coming months. They come from my collections 'Something Beginning with Spring' -- 'Tales from the Echo Gate'--'The Boyne' and my latest 'Counting Stained Glass Windows' I wrote this poem while on a visit to Writer's Week some years back.

On Reading Two Poems at Writer’s Week

To Listowel I came to savour

That Brigadoon of pubs and pints

Pathways lined with waving quills

Climb perhaps

The odd creative hill


Just hoping

To stroll along some quiet shore

Listen to the ebb and flow

Maybe hear the distant breakers roar


Between the twin peaks

Of Brian and John B

I stood upon a mountain top

And gazed across the sea

And later in the harbour

In view of everyone

I walked lightly on the water

Out into the sun

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

To the Memory of a friend recently departed

Morning up in East Ham

Morning up in east Ham

Peering through wet panes

Imprisoned by September’s

Saturating chains, tapping out

The rhythm of the London bound trains

Window bound in East Ham

Deciphering the scene

Rows of ageing red brick

Where dappled pigeons preen

Toppling cricket stumps

On a threadbare green

Gazing over East Ham

Counting tower blocks

Barren window boxes

Limp white shirts and socks

Manipulating cranes

Over by the docks

Morning up in East Ham

Waiting for the sun

To crown the factory wall

Where night work’s almost done

With skywriting jets

And silhouettes that stun

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Stella's Cottage

Stella’s cottage

Smothered in autumn now

Its shrunken walls still fighting off the fields

As youngsters we used to sack potatoes there

On damp days under the tinder dry thatch

Hunkered and cramped

As we rummaged among the gaunt growths

For pinks and banners

And the odd golden wonder

Rubbing shoulders with the riff raff

And where’tis said

Forbidden fruit once flourished

And angels strayed in from the straight and narrow

We slung poreens through the rough door

Without as much as a thought for the ghost

That stood on the step

Stella’s cottage

Struggling with September

What ghost stands there now?

My sack is full, youth

A crumpled pile in the corner

The thatch has given way

To bramble, sprig and sky

And by the rough door wild potatoes pose

For puzzled passers by

So what ghost stands there now?

What spirit lurks

In this skipful of briars by the roadside

Above is a poem that I wrote about the famous cottage belonging to Stella ( Esther ) Johnson

A frequent visitor to the cottage Dean Jonathon Swift was a friend of Miss Johnson

After an unsuccessful attempt to restore the cottage in the 1960s it was then allowed to become a ruin.

Stella lived there around 1710 only vacating it when she bought a larger house in the nearby town of Trim

I Include these notes and poem in response to a request from Trim Paddy Byrne.

The poem itself was a prize winner in The Allingham Arts competition

Further information on Sella's Cottage may be found in a book of that name which i wrote some years ago and is now available in the libraries