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Thursday, 30 July 2015

A Politicised Evening of Poetry at Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop with Mike Jenkins & Kevin Higgins

Welsh poet Mike Jenkins
Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop presents ‘A Politicised Evening of Poetry’ with prominent Welsh poet Mike Jenkins, and Kevin Higgins. Both poets write poems which comment, often acerbically, on the world as it is. All are welcome to attend, even members of Fine Gael or visiting British tourists who voted for David Cameron. There is no cover charge.

The event will take place at Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop, Middle Street, Galway on Thursday, August 20th, 6.30pm

Mike Jenkins is a retired secondary school teacher who lives in Merthyr Tydfil in south Wales. His first poems were published in the Irish Press newspaper in the 1970s. He is a winner of the Eric Gregory Award, Wales Book of the Year and John Tripp Award for Spoken Poetry. Mike is a former editor of Poetry Wales and co-editor and founder of RED POETS magazine, which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary. He has published novels, short stories and children's books. His latest book is called Shedding Paper Skin, a collection of poetry, is published by Gwasg Carreg Gwalch. One critic said: “Mike Jenkins writes in a unique style that is sometimes raucous and often sardonic, but it can also be tender and plaintive."

Kevin Higgins most recent collection of poems, The Ghost In The Lobby, was launched at the 2014 Cúirt Festival by Mick Wallace TD. His poems also feature in Identity Parade – New British and Irish Poets (Bloodaxe, 2010) and in The Hundred Years’ War: modern war poems (Ed Neil Astley, Bloodaxe May 2014).  Last year his work was the subject of a paper titled ‘The Case of Kevin Higgins: Or The Present State of Irish Poetic Satire’ given by David Wheatley at a symposium at the University of Aberdeen. Mentioning The War, a collection of his essays and reviews, was published by Salmon in April, 2012.  Kevin recently re-joined the British Labour Party, as an overseas member, almost twenty four years after he was shown the door for being a tad too Militant in his socialism. He is currently curating an online project ’21 Poems: 21 Reasons for Choosing Jeremy Corbyn’. 
Kevin Higgins attending launch of the 21s issue of ROPES magazine
All are most welcome to attend. There is no cover charge.

The event will take place at Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop, Middle Street, Galway on Thursday, August 20th, 6.30pm.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

The disgust of Colette Browne

The usually liberal, left of centre journalist Colette Browne of The Irish Independent thinks that this poem includes a "disgusting slur" against Enda Kenny, and is spending time on Twitter being outraged about it. 

Funny thing to be outraged about, tonight of all nights. Liberals, sure where would we be without them. Pretty much where we are actually

"Never sees an enemy coming
without immediately offering them
another piece of the country,
before they’ve even put
the ultimatum in writing;
when he urged the Greek people
to follow his example, geologists say
on an island off the coast of Brittany
Marshal Petain’s willy twitched
awake in its grave and began whispering
to itself in perfect High German,
that the good old days
are here again."

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.