Looking forward to Strokestown

I'm delighted to have been shortlisted for the Strokestown Poetry Competition and as part of this, I'm been given a 15 minute slot on Saturday to read some of my poetry. I'm going to read from Jewtown and might try out one or two that I don't usually read. My shortlisted poem is called Conception and I wrote it about a year ago after putting away some of Emrys' baby things into the attic. You can read it here. I'm also looking forward to seeing some poetry especially Doireann NíGríofa's interview with Paddy Bushe and I also hope to see James Harpur's talk on the history of poetry.

Flare 02

I'm very much enjoying this "long sheet" of Flare which featured some fantastic poets from Ireland and beyond. 

Poetry Month, Limerick

Have you ever wished you could read a poem while looking in the window of a shop selling blinds?   Thanks so much to Dominic Taylor for allowing me to be part of Limerick's Poetry Month, where poems about Limerick are put up around the city. My poem about Father Creagh, he of the Limerick Pogrom, is up at Russell...

Upcoming Reading: Listeners

I'm delighted to be asked to read at the Listener's session and open mic as one of the two featured readers in March. I will be reading with Adam Wyeth. Thanks to Paul Bregazzi and Daragh Bradish for the kind invitation. The event takes place near Marlay Park in the Eden House. If anyone is around the Dublin Mountains, feel free to drop by. This may be the closest reading I've had to my family house so I might make a night of it!

Tears and Laughter: Esther Morris

I've written on this blog before about my great grandmother, Esther Morris, who was a minor playwright. I mentioned at the Launch of the Representation of Jews in Irish Literature about her to Barry Montgomery, one of the researchers in the project, and lo and behold, a few weeks later, he found a copy of her plays. Below are the first few pages...

Jewtown amongst 4,000 books

Jewish Book Week started last night and I took the chance to get a snap of my book among the 4,000 other books featured in the festival. I also picked up a copy of the Jewish Book Week brochure and had a peek...

Mentoring Session with James Harpur

I never thought I'd travel to Cork for an hour, but last Friday I had booked myself in for a manuscript makeover with James Harpur. This was the second time I've used this mentoring service, which is part of the Cork Spring Poetry Festival and I wanted to see how some of my new work was shaping up. Although I only had an hour, I managed to steal a little bit of time before and after the session. I had lunch in Iyer's, which was really really tasty and when I was trying to find my car after the session, I walked by Sless Carpets, formerly owned by Jewish people from Cork. I was delighted with James' feedback and would recommend this session to any poet, whatever their experience. It's given me a new focus for my poems and I think I have unlocked the key as to why I didn't think some of the poems weren't working. [gallery size="medium"...

Interview: The London Ear

I was interviewed on RTE 2XM's London Ear programme before my reading this weekend at Jewish Book Week. What made the interview a little bit different was I was being interviewed by a long time family friend who hosts this arts show based in London for Irish listeners. In the interview I spoke about how I started writing poetry after a flirtation with Britpop-inspired 4-chord guitar playing and being raised Jewish in Ireland, while Vanessa remembered her first encounters with Chopped Herring. You can hear the interview on Nessy.com's web site: http://nessymon.com/the-london-ear-on-rte-2xm-show-144-simon-lewis-and-the-survival-code/

Shortlisted for Shine/Strong

Apart from having my book published, last week I got the best news. Jewtown has been shortlisted for the Shine/Strong award. This award is for the best first collection of poetry by an Irish poet. There are three Irish poets shortlisted for this award and apart from me, they are Stephanie Conn (also of Doire Press) and Adam Crothers. The awards happen on March 26th.