The closest I’ll get to Michael Longley

One of my dreams when I got my publishing deal for Jewtown was to see my book on the shelf of a proper bookshop. Over the weekend that dream came true. Here is my book in Books Upstairs. 20160702_144906

Wexford Reading kicks off a Weekend of Crazy

I had the busiest weekend I think I've had for a long time. It kicked off in the Fusion Café in Wexford Town. The fantastic monthly poetry event run by Denis Collins has been going for a few years and every month, there's an open mic and featured poet that reads their work. This month I was asked to read from Jewtown and I shared the night with a really interesting poet from Gyan (now living in Wales) called Maggie Harris. It was a great night but a late one. [gallery size="medium" ids="1591,1596,1597"] The weekend continued in the same vain on the next day when I went up to Dublin to see Faithless in Kilmainham. Rozz and I had a great day and evening meeting up with friends. I must admit I wasn't much of a fan when they were out (with the exception of Insomnia) but I really enjoyed the gig and must start going to more if I can. There's...

I’ll Drop You a Line

I'll Drop you a Line is a memoir about David Marcus, one of Cork's most famous Jewish people with roots in Jewtown. The memoir is written by his wife Ita Daly and costs €14.99 from Londubh books.

The Level Crossing

I've been looking through Pat Boran's first issue of The Level Crossing, which I bought a couple of weeks ago. I'm about a quarter way through it and finding it very interesting. I was amazed to see that over 900 people had submitted a poem to the first issue of the magazine (including myself). It's surely a huge endorsement of this project and I wish it the very best for the future. I look forward to reading future issues of this magazine.

Where most of the reaserch came from

Any time I've been interviewed, I'm always asked where did I get my research on the people who lived in Jewtown. There was very little there but one of the sources came from a really good book if one is interested in the history of the Jewish people in Ireland. Dermot Keogh's History of the Jews of 20th Century Ireland is a fascinating read. It mainly centres on the Dublin Jewish community and a lot about the politics during the Second World War but there were two pages dedicated to Jewtown. The two pages consist of a map of Jewtown and a summary of the census records from 1901 and 1911. There are a few links to other texts and some autobiographies, which made things a little bit more interesting. From these snippets, I tried to reimagine the lives of some of these residents and how they must have felt. In the larger image, you should be...

Hey from Hay!

I had a great time at the Hay Festival in Kells last weekend. It has to be the most friendly festival I've ever been to. The organisers couldn't do enough to make one feel like they were a superstar! There was even a green room with all the coffee, food and treats that you could ever want. I also got a goodie bag with a t-shirt and I even got lunch and dinner. [caption id="attachment_1575" align="alignnone" width="225"] Second billing to Peter Fallon. Not bad![/caption] My reading was at 5pm, which, unfortunately (for me) was at the same time as Francis Brennan who pulled in about 400 people. There were two other well known writers on at the time too. As well as that, Northern Ireland were playing Wales in the Euros. Poetry rarely draws in huge crowds so I wasn't expecting anyone to show up except for these two below. Thankfully...

Looking forward to Hay…

I'm delighted to be reading at the Hay Festival in Kells on the 25th June. The festival looks absolutely brilliant and well worth a look on their web site: Hay Festival Kells. I have a whole hour to myself. I'm under no illusions that reading poetry for an hour would be torture for anyone so I'm going to combine the poetry reading with some stories about Jewtown in Cork as well as introducing people to some of the more famous people who have come from Jewtown, namely Gerald Goldberg and David Marcus. It's only €4 to come to the reading and I promise I will give my money's...

In the Nationalist

I was delighted to have my launch featured in the Carlow Nationalist. Text is below the photograph A BOOK of poetry about a generation of Jews who emigrated to Ireland from Lithuania during the late 19th century was the inspiration behind a new book of poetry by Simon Lewis. Simon, who founded and is the principal of the Educate Together school in Carlow, launched the collection Jewtown in Carlow town library last week. “It’s been five years in the making so it was a privilege to see it in paper form,” Simon told The Nationalist. The title of the book comes from an area in Cork city, Jewtown, so called because of the Jewish people who settled there. Simon was prompted to use his own religious background as a source of material after it was suggested to him by Derek Coyle, the director of the Carlow Writers’ Co-operative, of...

Belfast Book Festival

I had a great time in Belfast for the Belfast Book Festival where I read with Michael J Whelan and Stephanie Conn as part of a special Doire Press Poetry evening. We were introduced by the very talented Stephen Connolly and there were about 25 people in the audience. A special treat for me was the appearance of my Uncle Eon and Auntie Maria who were over from Toronto. I've nabbed a few photos from Michael's blog and hope you enjoy them. [gallery size="medium" ids="1552,1553,1554,1555,1556" orderby="rand"]