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Sunday, 21 June 2015

Poem in Saturday's Morning Star

Happy to hear that my poem 'Austerity Mantra' was re-published in Saturday's edition of the British left wing daily newspaper The Morning Star which was on sale on Saturday's London and Glasgow anti-austerity demonstrations. 
The poem is from my 2014 collection The Ghost In The Lobby (Salmon Poetry). 

Thursday, 4 June 2015

My review of Máire T. Robinson's novel in today's Galway Advertiser

My review of Máire T. Robinson's novel Skin Paper Stone is in today's Galway Advertiser.

Sixteen years ago today my first ever review - of a book of essays by Kerry poet Gabriel Fitzmaurice - appeared in the same paper. 

Monday, 1 June 2015

To Denis O’Brien On Announcement of His Plan To Donate Own Corpse To Museum of Himself



Maltese based Irish entrepreneur, and friend of Bill and Hillary, Mr Denis O'Brien, has lately been the subject of a lot of entirely unjustified criticism from the usual commie/Provo fascists who most of the time exist only in the darker parts of Eoghan Harris's mind but who lately, all across Ireland, have taken on actual physical form.
Actual physical form
In this hour of his need, it's time for decent men and women of all persuasions and none to step forward and defend Mr O'Brien who, after all, has an Honorary Doctorate from U.C.D. and, as everyone knows, no one with an Honorary Doctorate from U.C.D. could ever be capable of doing evil.

Irish Independent 'journalist' and former O'Brien assistant, Sarah Carey, was thinking of writing an article defending Denis. 
Sarah Carey
But it was generally agreed that that would just be tearing the arse out of it

So, in Ms Carey's absence, I decided yesterday that it was time I stepped up and wrote a tribute poem for Mr O'Brien.


Feel free to re-publish it on blogs, or indeed to go about the place shouting it out of megaphones at effete lyric poets who think all this could be solved by proper ethics legislation.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Making Love To John Prescott - 'Blair's Advice' - poem written at suggestion of Danny Morrison

A couple of days after the recent U.K. General Election I posted this Tweet.

It prompted the following response from Danny Morrison.

A tall order indeed!

The resulting poem 'Blair's Advice' is published on The Bogman's Cannon and on the UK based political blog Socialist Unity, which is edited by Andy Newman who was the Labour candidate for the Chippenham constituency on May 7th. 

Cliff Cocker, the Arts Editor of The Morning Star newspaper, emailed me yesterday to say he'd read the poem on Socialist Unity and would like to re-publish it in The Morning Star. It is republished in today's issue of the paper. 

UPDATE 22/5/14 The Irish Times have also republished the poem today on their website.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Innovative poetry competition in which there are only two poems-your votes and opinions required

Yesterday evening I attended a local street meeting, the subject of which was how to organise against the installation of water meters in our area.
Last night I shared this photo of the event, not taken by me, on Facebook and also shared some lines from, and a link to, my poem 'Kelly', which is my tribute to the great work Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly has been doing lately on the issue. You can read the poem here.  

This provoked a poem in response to mine by former Labour member of Westport Town Council, and water charges enthusiast, Mr Keith Martin
Former Labour Councillor and aspiring poet Mr Keith Martin
Mr Martin posted his poem on Facebook. It goes as follows
 
“There was a Man called Higgins,
Who told Irish Water 'no.'
He didn't want his meter put in.
Irish Water said oh!
But in it must go this is Ireland not Russia
Who do you think you are?
Vladimir Putin?” 


This immediately prompted a comment from former Labour Lord Mayor of Dublin, and distinguished literary critic, Mr Dermot Lacey, who had this to say:

"Far better poem than the first one posted here Keith."

Former Councillor Martin was, until now, best known for calling Mick Wallace TD "a moron". 

I am delighted, though, to accept Keith Martin's poetry challenge and am now asking you, the plain people of Ireland, and indeed the world, to decide amongst yourselves which of these two poems is the better. Mine, or Former Councillor Martin's? 

I look forward to your verdict. 

If you decide that Keith Martin's is the better poem, he will receive a free place on my next online poetry workshop, which starts in September. (The current term just started today). I can say no fairer than that. Let the voting, and opinion giving, begin. 

Saturday, 2 May 2015

145 writers have signed petition protesting the PEN America decision to give award to Charlie Hebdo


145 writers have signed this petition protesting against the PEN America decision to give an award to Charlie Hebdo magazine. The signatories include one U.S. based poet with whom I share a publisher. I should warn readers in advance that this petition contains what Gore Vidal once described as “The three most dispiriting words in the English language: Joyce, Carol, and Oates”. 
 
Here is something I wrote about the Charlie Hebdo issue at the time of the massacre, the article was also re-posted on the U.K. based political blog Harry’s Place and on the U.S. based left wing website We KnowWhat’s Up.