Some exciting news - at least for me - Doire Press will publish my second collection in late 2019! Jewtown will have a new sibling, which has been brewing for the last few years and is nearly ready to unleash. My aim is to make the poems I've written a lot better, yank out the clichés and sentimentality, and unmix my metaphors. I also have to get better at talking about it without sounding silly.
I was delighted to be one of the winning entries to the Troubadour Poetry Prize this year. I won a 2-year subscription to the Manhattan Review so I am looking forward to that. The poem I entered is a relatively new one, Man Talk. I have only recently changed the title and this was the first competition I entered with the new name. Before that, the poem has gotten nowhere. It's interesting to see how the title of a poem can be so important. The poem is one of a series that I'm working on where I'm playing around with trying to understand the psyche of 21st century males. This is the first one that has been accepted for publication. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to make it to the ceremony due to work so I don't feature in the photo above. Congratulations to the other prizewinners!
Tonight, I headed to Kilkenny for the first of the Doire Press Reading Events with David Butler and Annemarie NíCurrain. It took place in the lovely Stone House Bookshop. After buying and reading Annemarie's poems, it was great to get a further insight to the poems and she told us the background to some that she read. [gallery size="medium" ids="2115,2116,2117"]
I went to Dublin to see Brian Kirk, Emma McKervey and Amanda Bell read from their respective first collections. Lisa Frank from Doire Press interviewed the three poets and each read a couple of poems from their collections. I also took a visit to Books Upstairs and bought three more books. [gallery columns="2" size="medium" ids="2110,2111"]
I have been asked to be one of the 16 Irish writers to travel to Los Gatos in California for the 2017 Irish Writers' Festival. I will be taking part in two readings/discussions. The first is centred around the touring of the Representation of Jews in Irish Literature, which will be exhibited. The second is a reading for New Irish Poets. As one could imagine, I am very excited about this!
I was very grateful to be sent a copy of my great grandmother's book, Tears of Laughter. Esther Morris (née Cristol) was born in Cork and published three short plays. I mentioned this fact at the launch of the Representations of Jews in Irish Literature exhibition in Waterford to Barry Montgomery, one of the lead researchers. Lo and behold, he managed to find a copy of the book and sent it to me. Here are a few screenshots of the book, which I will treasure. [gallery columns="2" size="medium" ids="2045,2046,2047,2048"]
I received my copy of Poetry Ireland Review today and was pleased to see a poem by Thomas McCarthy about the closing of the Cork Synagogue. I was also happy to see the review of Jewtown by Dawn Woods, which was very complimentary.
I'll be reading in Cork on Bank Holiday Monday as part of the Ó'Bhéal series. I'm looking forward to reading with Stephanie Conn again and taking part in the various parts of the night. It sounds like a fun evening.
I was delighted to be interviewed on Southside Radio in Dundrum recently on their religious affairs programme, Vision. Their programme was focused loosely on the Passover festival but I was in to read some of my poems from Jewtown and discuss what it was like to be raised Jewish in Ireland. I read 3 poems from Jewtown. I also was asked to pick 3 songs that meant something to my life. When I was asked, I hadn't realised that the programme was a religious affairs one so I just picked 3 songs that I liked. As Jarvis Cocker and Common People was much more of an influence on my life than the doctrine of schools, I'm happy with my choices! Click on the link below to download/listen to the...
I had a fantastic time at the Strokestown International Poetry Festival this year where my poem, Conception, was shortlisted in their competition. I didn't realise what a huge prize was up for grabs when I entered for whatever reason so not realising that I was in with a chance to win €2000 was good as they don't tell you who wins until the very end of the festival after everyone reads their poem. They used to do a countdown to the winner, which they've changed now, thankfully. Part of being shortlisted means that you become part of the festival programme and you get to do a reading. Mine was on the Saturday morning and I think it was well received. The weird thing though is that in the audience are really really big names in the world of poetry, some of who appeared in my Leaving Cert! I got to see two interviews. The first was with...