Viva Los Gatos!

I had a great time in California over the last week with a trip supported by Culture Ireland to the Los Gatos Irish Literary Festival. I spend 4 and a half days in sunny California hanging out with some of Ireland's best writers. I was involved in two events: the representation of Jews in Irish literature, and New Irish Poets. I attended lots of the events but did get a chance to sneak into San Francisco to the famous City Lights bookstore, where I filled my bag up with loads and loads of Beat books. [gallery columns="4" ids="2096,2097,2098,2099,2100,2101,2102,2103,2104,2105,2106"]

Sunflower Sessions Reading

I was the featured reader at the Sunflower Sessions in Capel Street, Dublin on the 27th September, my first reading of the new year, nicely sandwiched between Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur. The venue is probably the most hipster place I've ever read in and the crowd were way cooler than me! I took a few photos to get a feel for the atmosphere. The night kicked off with a spoken word poet so I thought I was going to be in trouble but as the night went on, it was great to see lots of different types of work being read; from epics to satire to good old traditional lyric poetry! Thanks to Declan for having me on. I'll definitely be back to hear some more. [gallery columns="6" ids="2087,2088,2089,2090,2091,2092"]

O’Bhéal reading 

I had a great night at the O'Bhéal series last night. I read with Stephanie Conn. Thanks to Paul Casey for inviting...

Strokestown Poetry Festival 

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...

Shine/Strong Award 2017

It was incredible to be shortlisted for the Shine/Strong award this year and a massive congratulations to Adam Crothers who went away with the big prize. I bought Adam's book when I saw the shortlist a while back and started reading it. Two poems in, I knew that this was one of the most exciting and interesting poetry books I had ever read. I'm a big fan of rhyme and form and Adam's book has it all but so so clever. There are references in the poems to everything from classical Greek to 21st century pop icons. They work so well - they're funny but they're also self-deprecating.  It was lovely to be on stage with Adam and Stephanie Conn, my fellow Doire Press poet. It was also great to have John and Lisa from Doire there to support us both. [gallery ids="1982,1983,1984,1985,1986"]

Write Up in Waterford News and Star

Thanks to Barry Montgomery of Ulster University for sharing this newspaper artivle from the Waterford News and Star on the launch of the Representations of Jews in Irish Literature. It was a really good exhibition and I had a great time at the launch.

Reading: Jewish Book Week

Reading at Jewish Book Week has to go down as a highlight of my Jewtown experience. Ten years ago, I never thought that I would ever write a poem, never mind be asked to read at a major book festival in the UK. Not only that, the event was completely sold out two weeks before the event. The event took place in Kings Place and I was being interviewed by Jonathan Self, who is based in Ireland. Jonathan was interviewing both me and Ruth Gilligan, author of the fantastic novel, Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan. This was the first time that the event was not a reading, as such, it was a full hour talking about the Jews of Ireland through both of our books. It was a really interesting interview covering everything from how it felt being a minority in Ireland to how we felt Irish people treated minorities today as opposed to when our books were set....

Launch of Representations of Jews in Irish Literature

I had a fantastic evening in Waterford IT where I launched the exhibition of Representations of Jews in Irish Literature, which is touring Ireland and beyond. This was the first time I've done a poetry event without doing a reading, as such. I was asked to give a presentation on how I came to write Jewtown. I spoke about my own Jewish background and how I started writing. I also spoke about my research and how I moved from Jewtown being an historically accurate account to a fictionalised account rooted in Cork City. The exhibition is going to be in Waterford IT for the month of February and is well worth a...

Reading at Staccato

I had a fantastic night at Staccato in Toner's of Baggot Street in Dublin hosted by David Butler. Staccato is now in its second year and always draws in big names and this time they had the poet Siobhán Campbell and comedian Paul Tylak, (who is probably most famous for his appearances in Father Ted). Also on the bill were Kerrie O'Brien, Liz McSkeane, Niall McArdle and Ruth McKee (music). It was a really entertaining night and I particularly enjoyed Niall McArdle's story about a son coming home to his mother's wake and finding out she had campaigned vigorously for the marriage equality campaign despite almost disowning him a few years previously. Liz McSkeane's story was another highlight for me about a Catholic girl learning about Protestants. I also enjoyed Paul Tylak's detective short story, which was very funny. However, that's not to take...

Irish Jewish Museum Reading

I had a lovely visit to the Irish Jewish Museum to read from Jewtown. I was accompanied by other poets and musicians for the two hour celebration of Irish Jewish poetry and music. Thanks to the museum for the opportunity. [gallery ids="1818,1819,1820,1821,1822,1823,1824,1825,1826"]