Looking forward to reading at Boston College on March 21, and to visiting Prof. Jim Smith’s READING IRISH CHILDHOOD class. (I’m honored and humbled to have my poetry collection LITTLE WITNESS on the syllabus.)
March 21, 4:30 PM, Connolly House, Boston College FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Drop by if you’re in that neck of the woods. Would love to see you!
“Home is a place where you feel safe and secure, a refuge from the chaos. Home is a stake you put in the ground at nine years old and declare, this is where I’m going to flourish, and nobody is going to take it from me.”
2016 is off to a great start, between the Shine/Strong Award shortlisting and now this bit of wonderful news: The trustees of the estate of Katherine Kavanagh have awarded me a Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship Award worth 8,000 euros.
Fellow recipients include Nell Regan, Fred Johnston, Nicholas McLachlan and Dairena Ní Chinnéide. The awards are made in recognition of a number of factors, balancing the criteria of need, commitment to the literary life, achievement so far and promise for the future.
I am thrilled with the news that Little Witness has been shortlisted for the Shine/Strong Poetry Award. The Shine/Strong Poetry Award is presented annually to the author of the best first collection of poems published in English or Irish by an Irish poet in the previous year. Recent winners of the Award include Caoilinn Hughes, Tara Bergin, Michelle O’Sullivan, Grace Wells and Peadar Ó hUallaigh. This year’s award is judged by Kevin Barry and the recipient will receive €1,000. The award will be announced on Sunday 13th March 2016 at the Mountains to Sea dlr Book Festival, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin.
Little Witness had a rousing launch at the Listowel Writers’ Week Festival on May 29th, hosted by the inimitable Billy Keane. The poet Matt Mooney launched his collection Earth to Earth alongside me. It was a very special day. My first book launch. I made a wish.
My New York launch was held at The Cell Theatre in NYC, on July 12th. Hosted by Artists Without Walls co-founders, Charles R. Hale and Niamh Hyland, this was another day I’ll not soon forget. Charles emceed; Niamh, with that amazing voice of hers, sang. Fellow AWoW members Annette Homann (violinist), Liv Mammone (poet) and I.S. Jones (poet) showcased their respective talents. The theatre was packed to the rafters. A fabulous afternoon of music, poetry and song. And laughter. And wine. The highlight for me was my 11-year-old son, Aedan, reading one of my poems, “Maisie’s Farm”. I am so proud of my little man.
I was honored and delighted to be a featured poet at the 39th Annual National Conference of the American Irish Teachers Association’s Well Versed: A Celebration of Poetry from Ireland and America, on Saturday, November 8th, 2014 at the Liederkranz Building, NYC, hosted by AITA’s president Doris Marie Meyer. Participating with me on the day were poets Terence Winch and Sean Nevin and arts journalist Earle Hitchner. And I once again had the pleasure of collaborating with the extraordinary uilleann piper Jerry O’Sullivan and the fabulous singer/songwriter, and Artists Without Walls co-founder, Niamh Hyland.
Special guests included, visiting from Ireland, the Minister for the Diaspora, Jimmy Deenihan and the Consul General of New York, Barbara Jones.
Click here to see some photos of our marvelous day of Irish poetry and music.
Maureen Curran, editor of North West Words Magazine, Donegal, invited myself and a few other writers to share our thoughts on entering and winning writing competitions. Click here to read my contribution; the full article can be found here.