Category Archives: Reading

2019 Brewery Lane Writers’ Weekend – Bursary news!!

*Bursary News for Writers*

The 2019 Brewery Lane Writers’ Weekend, with writers Angela Carr and Enda Wyley, will take place from Fri. 26th to Sun. 28th April. Thanks to the generous support of Tipperary County Council we are delighted to now offer two (2) full bursaries, worth €175 each. NB These bursaries are only open to writers who have not previously had their work published.

This annual writers’ weekend takes place in Carrick-on-Suir, in an intimate theatre setting, and is unique in its focus on writers and writing. We believe that a lot can be learned from craft techniques across writing genres, so we keep it non-genre specific. Every year 12 participants get the opportunity to work with two professional writers over 3 days – to date the writers teaching on the weekend have included poets, novelists, screenwriters, memoirists and sometimes a mix of all genres in the one person!

If this appeals to you and you wish to apply for a 2019 bursary please do the following:

  • In a statement of not more than 250 words, outline how participating in the Writers’ Weekend would benefit you and your writing and state that you have not previously had your writing published. You might usefully include in your statement
    • your experience of writing
    • any financial/personal obstacles you experience in accessing professional development as a writer
  • email your statement, with Bursary Application in the subject line, as a .docx attachment to brewerylanetheatre@gmail.com
  • final submission date is midnight on Wednesday, 9th Jan 2019
  • submissions will not be considered after that date.
  • all submissions will be anonymously assessed by an independent adjudicator.

If you do not qualify to apply for a bursary (i.e. you’re already published) but would like to book a place on this weekend you are very welcome to get in touch with me through the Contact page for booking details. The early bird offer of €160 is open until Jan. 31st and there are still places available. After that date the full fee of €175 will apply.

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Summer Writing: Sun. 29th July 2018

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Manyweathers Studio

Dear Writers,

I am delighted to reveal that I will be holding a one-day summer writing workshop on the slopes of fabled Sliabh na mBan, in Co. Tipperary, on Sunday, 29th July, (maybe it should be re-named ‘Scríobh na mBan’ for the day).

The venue is Manyweathers Studio, close to the village of Kilcash, a working artist’s space full of creative energy and with views that will inspire you and fuel your writing. This will be a day where we will slow down, pay attention to place, to our senses and allow our pens to reveal the details, to offer surprises.

As always my approach to writers and writing is informed by the wisdom and work of Pat Schneider and Amherst Writers and Artists, I am an affiliate of AWA and Pat’s book, Writing Alone and With Others, will give those interested an insight into the way I facilitate workshops, and why, and is available in libraries and bookshops. This workshop method always generates creative surprises for both novice and more experienced writers and is based on a trust and belief in the inherent creativity of people. One of my roles as facilitator is to hold a space where we listen to each other and connect with what we hear and, for me, this is a great pleasure and privilege. I just love to do this.

The workshop will be limited to 10 participants. To book please get in touch with me through the Contact Page. All you will need is a pen, a notebook and a desire to write.

Where: Manyweathers Studio, Kilcash, Co. Tipperary (approx 20 mins drive from both Clonmel & Carrick-on-Suir)

When: Sunday, 29th July 2018

Time: 10am to 4.30pm

Fee: €75 (incl teas/coffees, snacks but not lunch. Suggest bringing a packed lunch)

Suitable for: anyone beginning or beginning again to write

 

Poetry Plus in Brewery Lane – Fri. 21st November 2014

Is it just me or did we not just have the October Poetry Plus night? Tempus is fugiting … The November Poetry Plus night is on Friday next, 21st at 8.15pm in Brewery Lane Theatre, Carrick-on-Suir. There will be the usual extravagant prizes for those who take up the challenge and recite from the heart.We’ve had some stunning performances and I’m looking forward to more.

I find Ted Hughes’ explanation for the decline of learning by heart and the rise of rote learning over so many dismal decades in school very interesting. He links it to the rise of Puritanism with its attempts to eradicate imagery from all aspects of life, not only in churches and the forbidding of drama, but also the use of imagery as a memory technique. The deadening, stultifying learning by rote then became the norm. You can read the complete version of this in his introduction to ‘By Heart:101 Poems to Remember‘.

The theme for this month’s event is ‘Music’. You can read / recite in any form that appeals to you. There is a limit of two poems or short(ish) pieces of prose. If you have a song let’s hear it!

I’m tempted to read from Lavinia Greenlaw’s memoir, ‘The Importance of Music to Girls’. Now what to pair it with?

Poetry Plus – October 31st

Poetry Plus returns on Friday, 31st October, Halloween night as it happens, so you might set free your inner spook!

This is a night of words where anyone can read either two poems or short(ish) pieces of prose. It’s informal and a bit of fun. There will be a lucky dip prize for anyone who recites by heart, from the heart. More and more people are taking up this challenge, but no pressure!

Venue: Brewery Lane Theatre, Carrick-on-Suir

Date: Friday, 31st October 2014

Time: 8.15pm

‘The release of playful imagination … releases energy’ the poet Ted Hughes said in his introduction to the book By Heart: 101 poems to remember, and that is what always happens at this event.

By Heart

Culture Night 2014 in Carrick-on-Suir, Friday, 19th September

There is a terrific line-up of events planned for Culture Night in Carrick-on-Suir – see details below. If you’re in the area set the date, Friday, 19th September and take part in as many of these FREE events as you can. If you want to participate in my writing workshop on that day please contact me directly to book a place.

Culture Night COS 2014

An Open Letter to President Higgins

President Higgins

Dear President Higgins,

You are about to start a historic visit to the United Kingdom and I have no doubt that the schedule planned for you and Mrs. Higgins during this trip is interesting and full.

In a recent article in The Irish Times you raised some interesting questions. “What is necessary to human flourishing? What human capabilities does Irish society encourage, genuinely enable, or block?” I suggest that you may find some answers to those questions if you include in your visit a meeting with John Moat and a visit to any of the four Arvon houses in the UK. What is The Arvon Foundation? In its own words “Arvon is a charity that works to ensure anyone can benefit from the transformative power of writing.” Don’t you find that wonderful? That anyone can benefit? John Moat, with the late John Fairfax, founded what became Arvon over 40 years ago in Devon. To date there is nothing comparable in Ireland that offers a residential experience to anyone who wishes to write, away from everyday distractions, responsibilities and habits and that also actively engages with schools and many underserved communities. Nor one with the simple apprenticeship model of Arvon, each 5 day residential course led by two experienced writers.

Instead in Ireland there is an ad hoc provision of writing courses, writing centres and writers augmenting their income through teaching. Indeed I offer some of these courses myself. Arts officers here strive to support all the creative arts within increasing budgetary constraints and a public discourse that veers between questioning the relevance of the arts and attempts to yoke the arts to an economic project. The support available to a writer too frequently depends on the area in which they live. The writers I have worked with over the past few years have shown me again and again the value of the process of writing, how the sudden discovery as the pen leaks words onto the page changes lives in a myriad of minute ways. It’s about writing but it’s always about more than writing. When I lectured in Adult Literacy Studies in the past, particularly in the area of Family Literacy, the class always came alive when I introduced them to creative writing, to story, using the method developed by Pat Schneider, founder of Amherst Writers and Artists. Pat has written that “Art is the creative expression of the human spirit, and it cannot – it must not, for the sake of the human community – be limited to those few who achieve critical acclaim or financial reward.” I think you appreciate better than most that if appropriate conditions are put in place then creativity, and people, can flourish. For example, it is likely that there will be an increase in the numbers of writers emerging from north Dublin because of the existence there of Fighting Words and the work of Sean Love and Roddy Doyle. There will consequently also be many, many more young people in that area growing into adulthood with increased confidence in their own voice and their ability to express themselves. As Gianni Rodari said:

“Every possible use of words should be made available to every single person … not because everyone should be an artist but because no one should be a slave.”

There is quite a list of Irish writers who have taught on Arvon courses, from the late Seamus Heaney through Paul Durcan, Anne Enright, Carlo Gebler, Hugo Hamilton, Patrick McCabe, Shane Connaughton, Medbh McGuckian, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Thomas McCarthy, Colm Tóibín and others to Leanne O’Sullivan and Julian Gough, yet none seem to have brought back the spirit, the idea of Arvon to Ireland. I find this very puzzling. Seamus Heaney judged, with Ted Hughes, the very first Arvon poetry competition and was a patron of Arvon until he died. An essay of his is included in a book called ‘The Gist: A Celebration of the Imagination’, recently published in acknowledgment of the work of John Moat. Also included as an appendix in this book is Ted Hughes’ ‘Arvon and Education’ in which he says that “we have to acknowledge what is perhaps not much acknowledged – that far-reaching inner changes, creative revelations of our inner self, the only part of us with any value, are usually triggered in the smallest fraction of time.” If there is to be one piece of writing that I would press on you to read in relation to the importance of developing a residential writing centre here, modelled on Arvon, it is this essay by Ted Hughes.

In ‘Renewing the Republic’ you wrote that “Unlike the characters in a play, we can change the script of our lives. We can reflect on the choice of selves, societies, masks and fictions. If we lock the arts away for an occasion, for an evening, for an indulgence, we lose out on much of their potential for the future, and for their revelatory and pleasurable potential now.”

Now to return to your recent questions: “What is necessary to human flourishing? What human capabilities does Irish society encourage, genuinely enable, or block?” Establishing a residential national writing centre in Ireland would serve as the tangible symbol of a belief in the importance of writing as a vital part of the creative arts and also provide real support for developing writers of all ages. There would also be opportunities for cultural tourism. It would provide a focus for the development of a community of writers, teaching opportunities for writers, and also “ensure anyone can benefit from the transformative power of writing”. It is my belief that many people in Ireland, indeed Irish society as a whole, would benefit and flourish from such a development.

Kind regards,

Margaret O’Brien

 

 

 

 

 

 

11th to 13th April – Ireland’s Most Intimate Writers’ Weekend

2014 Brewery Lane Writers’ Weekend

Think small, think perfect – this is Ireland’s most intimate writers’ weekend.

Photo Montage

There will be poetry, (including a showing of the film Poetry), flash fiction with the writer and passionate advocate of creativity Dave Lordan, and the artist Shem Caulfield will persuade everyone that The Epic is in the Detail. Check here to see how we celebrated last year’s opening event.

For enquiries and booking information email brewerylanepoetry@gmail.com or use the contact page here

Poetry Plus

The monthly Poetry Night in Brewery Lane Theatre has been running since January 2011 and it’s about to expand. Friday, 21st March 2014 will mark the start of Poetry Plus. What’s Poetry Plus? It means that in addition to poetry if you wish to read prose, tell a story or anything else related to words feel free to do that. Just keep it reasonably short! For anyone who recites a poem from memory there will be a ‘lucky dip’ prize 😉 So you might like to start memorizing your lines!

Time: 8.15pm

Venue: Brewery Lane Theatre, off Castle St., Carrick-on-Suir

Fee: None, but we do appreciate a Euro or two towards refreshments, heating & lighting

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The theme for the night is ‘BATH’

BATH

What else? Tea, biscuits, chat …

Writing dates and details for 2014

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They are all gone now aren’t they?

We’ve well and truly crossed into 2014 – decorations are down, chocs are history – and now here are dates and details that should be of interest to all you writers in or around the south-east:

On Sat. 1st February I will be starting my spring series of creative writing workshops in Brewery Lane Theatre. These will run over 8 Saturday mornings, from 10.30am to 1pm. Each week you are guaranteed to make personal writing discoveries and to learn about the craft of writing while in the stimulating company of other writers. Do get in touch with me asap through the contact page here if you would like to be part of this group, booking is essential.
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The monthly poetry nights in Brewery Lane Theatre resume on Friday, 31st January at 8.15pm. This event is open to anyone who wants to enjoy the pleasures of poetry – just turn up on the night, it’s a friendly group. The theme for January is, appropriately, ‘New’. And well done to all the writers who contributed to the 2013 poetry pamphlet, ‘Tidings’, with proceeds going to Carrick River Rescue.
Tidings
And plans are well advanced for the (now) annual Brewery Lane Writers’ Weekend. This year’s event will take place over the weekend of April 11th, 12th, 13th and will include workshops with Dave Lordan on Flash Fiction, a seminar with Shem Caulfield called ‘The Epic is in the Detail’ and, of course, the 2014 Brewery Lane Poetry Competition, which will again have a special category for emerging writers. This year’s competition will be judged by Richard Hayes, Head of the School of Humanities, Waterford Institute of Technology. I will be posting further details of the Writers’ Weekend when booking opens.

And if all of that doesn’t give you the urge to crack open your notebook straightaway and grab a pen I don’t know what would!

Read ‘Crash!’ Julian Gough’s new novel

Julian Gough

Read Julian Gough’s splendid new novel ‘Crash! How I lost a Hundred Billion and Found True Love’ if you

  • live in Ireland / Europe / rest of the world
  • would like to be introduced to a hen called ‘Enda’
  • are tired of listening to ‘newspeak’
  • know that economics is not that complicated
  • have walked in Ballyhea
  • want a novel to reduce you first to laughter then tears
  • have a ghost estate in your Irish town / village
  • are on an ever-lengthening waiting list for a health procedure anywhere
  • your adult children are in Canada / Australia / New Zealand / Hoboken
  • appreciate darned good writing
  • ditto masterful satire
  • can afford to spend less than €2 on same
  • know that the truth is to be found in fiction

Click on the link above, download the book then go on to spread the word. (Julian Gough is also responsible for ‘The Great Hargeisa Goat Bubble’)

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