Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The one that missed the boat

When my latest collection 'Swimming with Dolphins' is published I will be just that little bit sad that one of my favourite poems will have to be left out.  It is an observation on one of my favourite artists Henry John Yeend King.  Still I have little doubt that the poem will get it's day in the sun at some stage in the future.  It is published here

  Henry John Yeend King

Your days roll out
Like a carpet patterned
With milk maids and snow white geese

And who’s the pretty maiden
With the coal scuttle bonnet
Flirting with the ferryman

And how’s the fishing boys
And aren’t the roses looking good
Charlotte or is it Emily.

Would that I could dwell
From dawn ‘till dusk, immerse myself
In hues and tints

Eavesdrop on those liaisons
Listen to laughter of the gander
In the morning

The chuckle of the moorhen
In the rushes, loiter aimlessly
By rustic bridges

Pondering dragonflies
And mayflies and subtle conspiracies, but
For the moment

Let’s just stroll along
The fern edged path gathering snapdragons
And marigolds as we go.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Memorable Meath Views 1988
(A collection of old photographs of Meath)

One thousand copies sold in the first six months

Something Beginning with Spring 1989
(A first collection of Poems) with an introduction by John B. Keane

Where Was Wellington Born 1990
(Resolving the question of Wellington's birthplace)

Stella's Cottage (Trymme Press) 1991
(The story of Esther Johnson and her cottage)

Once on Tara's Plain 1994
(Second Collection of poems)

The Boyne 1997 (Chap Book)

Trim , Looking Back  (By far the most popular book to date)

Voices of Trim (Tempus/ Nonsuch )2005
More than 200 copies sold at the launch)

Meath Voices (Tempus/ Nonsuch) 2006
(Still selling at book shops throughout Meath and beyond)

Images of Meath ( Nonsuch/ The History Press ) 2008
(Brilliant reviews for this Popular book)

Counting Stained Glass Windows. (Lapwing Belfast) 2009

'With the Boyne Through Trim'   (The History Press)  2010
A nostalgic stroll through 20th century Trim

"Famine Trilogy" 2011 (Varsity)
Based on the long poem of the same name

A decision whether to launch my forthcoming collection 'Swimming with dolphins'
or just  let it go will have to be made soon.  Of the thirteen books so far only seven of them
have been launched.  'Trim Looking Back' wasn't launched yet it ran to a third print  and it is 
still being requested, in fact nearly three hundred copies  were ordered before the book appeared.
However, seeing that this is poetry and that it is being published by a reputable publisher 
it might seem fair to have a launch. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Swimming with Dolphins

'Swimming with Dolphins'  is the title of my new collection of 44 poems which has been accepted by the publisher Lapwing.    I would have hoped to have it ready for my day with Poetry Ireland in Dublin on 16th February but I think that would be asking too much.  At the moment I don't know what format the collection will take or even the price but I am accepting orders.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Active Writing in Ireland

Published here is a list of the societies and groups who have sent submissions to this years Ropes NUI Galway publication.  It will give some idea of the number of writers in Ireland and indeed abroad trying to get published

 Achill Creative Writers' Group ; Ballycastle Writers' Group ; Birmingham City University: MA in Writing ; Boyne Writer's Group ; Cambridge ; Cardiff University ; Carnegie Melon MA in Professional Writing ; The Creative Writers' Workshop ; DePaul MA in Writing and Publishing ; Durham University ; Galway Arts Centre ; Galway Writers' Workshop ; Irish Writers' Centre ; John Hopkins MA in Writing: Nonfiction ; John Hopkins MA in Writing: Poetry ; John Hopkins University MA in Writing: Fiction ; Kevin Higgins' poetry workshop ; Kiltimagh Writers' Group ; Kingston University: MA in Creative Writing ; Kinvara Writers' Group ; The Knibs Writers' Group ; Lucan Creative Writers' Group ; The Meath Writers' Circle ; NUI Maynooth ; NUIG ; NUIG MA in Writing ; Oxford ; Oxford M.St. in Creative Writing ; Poetry Ireland ; Portland State University MFA in Creative Writing ; Rathmines Writers' Workshop ; Roosky Writers' Group ; Sapphire Writers' Group ; Screen Writing Course Pulse College ; Skylight Poets ; Tallow Writers' Group ; TCD ; TCD MA in Creative Writing ; TCD MA in Irish Writing ; Tulsk Writers' Group ; UCC ; UCD English Literary Society ; UCD MA in Creative Writing ; UL MA in English ; University of Aberdeen ; University of Alberta ; University of Birmingham ; University of Bristol ; University of Canterbury ; University of Edinburgh ; University of Glasgow ; University of Kent ; University of Ottawa ; Western Writers' Group ; Writers'Group Society (NUIG)

Some old friends in this list

Sent: Thursday, December 22, 2011 1:02 PM
Subject: ROPES 2012 Deadline Extended!


Monday, January 16, 2012

Book Launch

Christy O'Donnell and John Carew, are two people who  have worked so hard on a new book of poems, entitled 'Poetic Humour', in aid of the Cliona Ring Foundation. They would like to invite you to attend the White House Bar in O'Connell Street, Limerick, Jan 18, and/or the Honey Fitz Theatre in Lough Gur, Co. Limerick, Feb 3, to celebrate the book's official launch. Christy and John are long-time stalwarts of the White House poetry scene in Limerick, to which they have brought much humour in their verse. They understand that laughter is always needed, and respect it at all levels of poetic ability. For these reasons this book is very important. The fact it is in support of such a worthy endeavour as that of the Cliona Ring Foundation of course multiplies that importance.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Picking a Title

Picking a title for a collection of poems is just about one of the most difficult things that any poet will have to do.  For two years now I have been selecting poems for a new collection, yet with each new poem the title becomes harder to nail down.  There will always be one or two poems that just don't fit in, causing the whole collection to be less cohesive upsetting the narrow theme, too self explanatory or too vague.  I can safely say that I have spent as much time in picking titles as i have writing a collection.   I am well aware that my title will have to be above all imaginative,  creative, original, unique and I will have too be one hundred per cent happy with it. and that is only the beginning.

Friday, January 6, 2012

A Poem for after Christmas

Published here is a poem that I wrote during the festive season.  Last evening it was published on the Writing4all website my fourth poem to be published so far this year.

Christmas 2011

We arranged baubles
Tinkered with lights

Gift wrapped socks, boxes
Until our green plastic tree positively glowed

We puzzled over streamers
Paper angels, snow

Sagging decorations
Shopping days to go

We choose greeting cards
With Santa’s and sleighs

And gnarls of lacquered holly
And when the star appeared

We wondered even more
Tried to find a place for it all
In the real Christmas story

1 Comment so far from the writing4all website
Lovely Tommy, great atmosphere of Christmas in this poem


And on

Facebook    Janette Laffan Spot on.3 hours ago ·

Janette wrote: "You captured the pre Christmas day mood there."

thumbs up

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Winter Evening

When Gerry Wills, a teacher in St. Patrick's Classical school  from Navan was a member of the Meath Writer's Circle  He wrote some wonderful poems.  He was also winner of the Golden Pen Competition.
Posted here is one of his poems,  'Winter Evening'

Winter Evening

A wind from the graveyard blew death
Down the hill along the river
Hands in pockets sank
In gathering wells of cold
Turned up collars caught it
The shapes of things grew bigger
As the night released their forms
Beneath the cutting rain the people shrank
And hurried home

Gerry Wills Navan