Spring Sky Summer

It’s been a busy Spring and Summer promises more fun to come.

To open 2016, Skylight 47 kindly published my poem “London Trans Port” in Issue 6. As both my first poem in print and first publication in Ireland, am doubly delighted.  Skylight 47’s catchphrase is: “possibly Ireland’s most interesting poetry publication” and it has a rightly deserved excellent reputation. It was brilliant to be included in Issue 6.

Early March saw my first trip to Doolin Writer’s Weekend. A boutique festival,  it offered an astonishing range of events for readers and writers alike.  The poetry workshop, run by Stephen Murray was an absolute eye and door opener.  Drawing on the idea of The Deadly Sins, it created the space to access stuff that’s normally uncomfortable. It also provided plenty of ideas for further poems  and I only wish Stephen did more workshops.




Doolin itself is a wild spot, full of panoramic scenery, close to the Cliffs of Moher. It sits about an hour from Shannon and an hour and a half from Galway city. The time of year means that the various shops are closed and so if you wanted to buy a chocolate bar, you’d have to go into Ennis. The ferries to the Aran Islands are closed as the weather generally doesn’t permit. If you’re on public transport, the timetable is sketchier too.




The rewards are walks like this and a weekend jam packed with the cream of Irish writing talent, in all areas. Plenty of people you’ll have heard of and plenty more you may not, but whose work you ought to know.  Workshops, readings, an open mic, with plenty of live music and craic.  The very well priced weekend ticket includes two lunches and one supper, all good homey food, perfect for the weather, with choices available. Get in early though, as once the Paddywagon tour buses are in, you could be waiting!

Late March saw the publication of a featurette over at Wild Words on my creative process. Another first, it was interesting to have been part of this and made me think more closely about creative process in general.




Early April saw the inclusion of my poem “Myth Wife” in the Beltane 2016 anthology from Three Drops Press.  Another first (inclusion in an anthology), I was absolutely delighted when I saw the cover.  The image “Midsummer Eve” by Edward Hughes, is one of my all time favourite fairytale images.  It felt like a little bit of magic that my poem had found it’s home there.

I’m mentioning firsts a lot. If I’m lucky, there’ll be a few more and then most of the possible firsts of publishing poetry will be done.

Workshop-wise, I did a day workshop at The Poetry School with Mona Arshi. In keeping with Mona’s legal background and thought process, she took us through her well developed arc of creative process, helping us to generate new work and encouraging a mixed level group.

The editing I do for The Bogman’s Cannon continues; I am presently working on two journalism pieces, one of which will be an essay on the treatment of vulnerable adults in Ireland.

The Bogman’s Cannon is breaking new ground, as always, and moving towards video production and live streaming of events and workshops. Keep an eye on the Facebook page or Twitter for more.

For the West Cork Literary Festival this year, I’ve booked to attend Jo Shapcott’s workshop. This seems like an opportunity too good to miss and the festival programme this year looks like another stunner.




At this beginning of 2016, it seems like a good time to round up my publications for 2015.  This year has been a wonderful start.

This is what I’ve had published in 2015:

On Feminism, non-fiction at the Bogman’s Cannon

First poems published, at Black Sheep Journal

First medical non-fiction, “The Bomb” at the Bogman’s Cannon

Interview with Tim O’Leary, of TV3 “Islanders”, for the Bogman’s Cannon

Medical non-fiction at the Bogman’s Cannon

Pick of the Month August 2015 at Ink, Sweat and Tears 

Poem publication at The Screech Owl

A Female Perspective on Art, at the Bogman’s Cannon 

Interview with Bethany W. Pope, for the Bogman’s Cannon

Interview with Derry O’Sullivan, for the Bogman’s Cannon

Interview with Wendy Cope, for the Bogman’s Cannon

Review of Trickster Crow, an IMRAM production, with Réaltán Ní Leannáin, for the Bogman’s Cannon

On Domestic Abuse, at the Bogman’s Cannon

On the NHS, at the Bogman’s Cannon

First Flash Fiction publication at Jellyfish Review

Being invited to be an editor at the Bogman’s Cannon has been great fun and expanded my horizons as a writer, while teaching me to be an editor. It also gives me the chance to showcase other people’s work that I find interesting. Additionally, I was one of the judges for the Bogman’s Cannon Irish People’s Poetry Prize 2015, which showcased the best of current young and radical Irish poetry.

What’s coming up in 2016?

There was an acceptance note in December for my first print poem, and I’m expecting that in January or February.  This is with an Irish publication, so am doubly delighted.

The academic chapter I wrote back in the summer of 2014 “How to Set Up an Obstetric High Dependency Unit” still has not gone to print.  This is a medium sized medical textbook, with multiple contributors and two editors.  There will however, be pictures, once I get a copy in my hands.

Delighted to say that my work as an editor and writer for the Bogman’s Cannon will continue this year.

Thank you to you, my readers, for your continuing interest and support. Happy New Year to you all!

First piece of Flash Fiction

Delighted to say that Jellyfish Review kindly published my first ever piece of flash fiction today.

Writing this was exploring new territory – the brevity of flash fiction and making every word count, appeals to me.  In other ways it’s more straightforward than poetry.

The next thing for me to learn, is differentiating which form works better for a particular piece – poetry or flash.

Thanks to the editor at Jellyfish Review, Christopher James, for this publication.


First Flash Fiction acceptance

It has already been a very lucky year for getting my writing out and about in the world.

Today I received an acceptance for my first piece of flash fiction at Jellyfish Review.

Jellyfish Review is a new website dedicated to flash fiction, using super graphics to showcase the words.

Thanks to Christopher James for accepting the piece.

Bantry Scenes Old Hotels, Canty’s Hotel, c 1890, Pier, and Plaque to Bantry Gang and War of Independence

The house I grew up in. Formerly The Railway Hotel, then Canty’s Hotel, before Dad took it over in the early 1960’s. In the grand scheme, it kind of makes my family blow-ins (though Dad is a Corkman).



Bantry Scenes Old Hotels, Canty’s Hotel, c 1890, Pier, and Plaque to Bantry Gang and War of Independence

Source: Bantry Scenes Old Hotels, Canty’s Hotel, c 1890, Pier, and Plaque to Bantry Gang and War of Independence

Nomination for Pick of the Month at Ink, Sweat and Tears

This week, I got a note saying that Ink, Sweat and Tears run a Pick of the Month thing, and that my name was on the list for August 2015 for the poem “Itch”.

Voting closes at 11pm (UK time) Wednesday 16th September.


Your vote would be very much appreciated if you enjoyed the poem.

Thank you.

Middlesex Hospital Chapel open for London architecture festival

The place I used to go inside the hospital I trained, for a few minutes respite. The door would close with a soft thuck behind you, keeping the world and all it’s demands at bay for a few precious moments.

Fitzrovia News

The chapel that once stood at the heart of the Middlesex Hospital on Mortimer Street is to open to the public this month after undergoing a £2million restoration.

Outside of chapel. Middlesex Hospital Chapel will be on public view for Open House weekend.

Completed in 1929 for the benefit of patients, staff and visitors of the Middlesex Hospital, and closed since 2005 when the hospital was vacated, it has stood shuttered and alone on the site while everything else around it was demolished. Now the Grade II* listed Middlesex Hospital Chapel is to open for the Open House Weekend of 19 and 20 September.

The Chapel will also be transferred into the hands of a charitable trust which will be charged with looking after the building and maintaining it with a £300,000 dowry provided by a s106 agreement as part of the Fitzroy Place commercial and residential development being built by Exemplar.


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Publication at The Screech Owl

Delighted to say that a poem has been published over at The Screech Owl. Unfortunately, The Screech Owl website has had to pack it’s bags since, and so I was very lucky to get an acceptance note before that happened. Thanks to the editor. Here is the poem.
Diving, a lungful

of held breath

slowly exhaled.

As the world is

restored aqueous.


A selkie emerges.

Unconfined by

noise, gravity or

theories of beauty.


The ghosts of

ancestral gills

wish to breathe.

Keep me

under their spell.

Air molecules



Pre 1800 Ancient Main Street, Bantry, West Cork.

West Cork History




Pre 1800 Ancient Main Street, Bantry, West Cork.

Parallel to New Street at the back of the old Vickeries Hotel and Vickeries Hardware store lays the old Min Street of Bantry. It contained numerous businesses including a number of pubs. Its remnants can be seen in the lane behind the present Vickeries Store. That store comprises three former separate businesses including a hardware shop, shoemakers. Vickeries Hotel was burned down during the troubles but a part tot the rear survived as is seen in the enclosed photographs. This property including the former Vickeries garage which was operational until the 1960s was acquired some years ago for re development.

In the photos there is an old window over an arch and the remnants of a cobbled pathway. Before the present New Street was built it was part of Bantry Bay and lighters small flat bottomed boats brought cargo…

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