Poetry Month: keeping on keeping on

There’s quite a post waiting to be written about ‘The Year of the Book’.

This time last year, I had just submitted the final MS of This Little World to Doire Press, and was waiting for the first editor/writer discussion. It was an exciting time, and everything was so new. Well, it was my first book, after all!

And the new experiences continue … 

The new year was barely a week old when I received some invitations to take part in readings during the year ahead. In a way, it’s hard to believe that it’s April already.

This week I got news that I’ve been awarded a writer’s residency, I was invited to participate in the Wild Voices Writers Salon readings at Listowel Writers Week, and I was invited to be a part of the special Take Heart edition of spontaneity.com The edition links up with the Take Heart Pop Up Exhibition which takes place in Dublin on 10 May. More details of that here.  Images and signed books will be auctioned, with all proceeds going to the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre. Congrats to Ruth, Angela, and all the organisers of this great event.

For such good news, my thanks go to Co. Offaly Arts Office, Annemarie Ní Churreáin, and Ruth McKee.

Finally – It’s Poetry Month! April 26th is Ireland’s Poetry Day.

On Thursday the 26th, at 4 pm, in Ennis Educational Centre we will announce the winners of the Every Child A Poet Competition – organised and judged by the Poetry Collective. I helped draw up the shortlist, so I’m looking forward to hearing the children read their work. We had an increase in entries from last year. It’s fantastic that the kids engage with poetry, and to see the support that’s given to the competition by their teachers and parents.

Before all that fun, I’ll be reading at the DeValera Library with other members of the Poetry Collective at 11 am. The theme this year is Poetry Without Borders: we will read poems by non-Irish poets, and works we’ve written about places & people encountered abroad.  The lovely people in the Library will supply morning coffee/tea, and everyone is welcome. What we REALLY would like is if you would also bring along a favourite poem to read.

Poets and librarians don’t bite – generally! You would be so welcome.

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The Western Skyline Podcast – 07 April 2018

Tonii Kelly of Guaire Magazine joined me in studio today with an update on their children’s writing competition, and deadlines. Workshops have taken place during the winter and the closing date for the competition is 20 April. Full details and entry forms at guaire.org

Also on the show – news of ballet, theatre, gigs and concerts around Galway and Ennis, with more info on exhibitions in Kinvara.

Plus music from The Black-eyed Peas, Robert Palmer, Aimee Mann, The Script, The Beautiful South, Roxy Music, Rufus Wainwright, and Rickie Lee Jones.
Thanks for listening!

 

The Western Skyline Podcast – 24 March 2018

 

The Western Skyline – slightly shorter than usual! The panic when the playlist didn’t open. But still, we got there in the end!

Arts news – Anne Korff at the Courthouse Gallery, a concert for Easter, audio of Robert Kennedy: Martin Luther King’s 50th anniversary is April 4th – we remember the event.
Also, music by the Rolling Stones, The Waterboys, U2, Tracy Chapman, The Pogues, Stevie Wonder, and Ms. Lauryn Hill
Hope everyone had a great Easter.

 

The Western Skyline Podcast – 10 March 2018

This Western Skyline is all about The Mammy. Four poems this week, by Irish poets. And we play your requests for your mum. Plus some arts news, and wonderful classical music; instrumental and vocal.

The playlist includes Vivaldi, JS Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Elgar and Satie.
Enjoy. Hope you spoiled The Mammy!

 

#Poetry AND #Chocolate for Easter!

Loveens! Are you well?

And poetry lovers – did you have a nice World Poetry Day?

I’ve just been updating d’aul Writer’s CV. It never ends, the administration!

This time last year, I was working like mad on the final drafts of This Little WorldIt’s hard to believe that a year has gone by. And what a wonderful, creative, engaging year it has been!        I’ll write a bit more about that soon.

Sold another book today – always a nice event. There are just ten books remaining here in my literary HQ.  Doire Press have a couple, and there are also copies at the Ennis Bookshop.    Easter is coming up. What could be better than chocolate for Easter?   Poetry AND chocolate! Jus’ sayin’.

So, I’m still scribbling away.  I’ve put up a few reading events on the website; if you can get to any of them, it would be lovely to see you. I’m reading with the Poetry Collective at the DeValera Library in Ennis, next Thursday.  (The Library’s hosting lunchtime readings once a month.)

So, if you’re in Ennis doing the shopping, or just want a break from the office, why not come along and hear a variety of work at 1.00pm on 29 March.

If we don’t see you there – Happy Easter.

Remember … Poetry & Chocolate, Chocolate & Poetry!

‘This Little World’ – Made by the Blarney Chocolate Factory, Blarney, Co. Cork.

 

Putting myself on the Writer’s Block

I was delighted to be interviewed by Sophie Grenham of The Gloss Magazine. The result appeared online this week, and I’ve put up the link below.

It’s lovely to be asked questions about one’s writing. Answering them is another matter! As I said to Sophie, I hope I avoided being a git and actually made some sense. Questions are good, though; like the students in NUI Galway, they made me think a bit more about what I do, and why.

The most daunting question is, What’s Next?

I hope you enjoy the interview.

http://thegloss.ie/writers-block-with-karen-j-mcdonnell/

Cover for This Little World
© Karen J McDonnell & Doire Press

The Western Skyline Podcast – 10 February 2018

Hi!  Below is a link to the latest from The Western Skyline, on Kinvara FM.com .                               The radio station has applied for its 70-day licence, and we hope to be broadcasting live on air again soon. Roll on 92.4fm! In the meantime, you can always catch the shows at weekends from 12-8pm. And the podcasts, of course.

On The Western Skyline, tracks from various American songbooks – featuring Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, Billy Joel, Suzanne Vega, The Carpenters, and Carole King. Also music from Britain, home, and the Antipodes.
Arts news includes theatre, shows, a writing workshop for children, and a local art project – The Witches Knickers. To find out more about that, go to the Russell Gallery in New Quay next Saturday!

Highfalutin’ in Capital City

Just booked my train tickets to Capital City – and I’m high as a highfalutin’ gal can be!

SO looking forward to joining the rest of the gang for the gig  tomorrow at the Liquor Rooms on Wellington Quay.  It’s organised by the amazing Anne Tannam, so we know that it’s going to be fantastic. Still haven’t finalised what poems I’ll read from This Little World.  There’ll be a few copies for sale, by the way.   The fun kicks off at 7.30pm – so bigí linn!

Now, where did I put my ‘good’ handbag …

 

The Western Skyline Podcast – 27 January 2018

The Bothy Band. That’s all there is to say!

This week on Kinvara FM, The Western Skyline looks at film, theatre and festival news. There’s a poem, and the music is traditional and folk from some of Ireland’s greatest performers – including Stockton’s Wing, Martin Hayes, Denis Cahill, The Chieftains, Seamus Ennis, Shaun Davey, Rita Connolly, The Bothy Band, and Liam Og O’Flynn. A special treat is the 11 minutes 36 seconds track: ‘Lord Baker’, sung by Sinead O’Connor & Christy Moore.
Enjoy the show.

Ennis Book Club Festival – Launching!

Tomorrow, I’m heading into Ennis to help launch this year’s Ennis Book Club Festival.

Not too long to go now, and the excitement is mounting!

If you’re around the town, drop in to the Temple Gate Hotel at 12.30pm to get the party started. If you can’t join us tomorrow, you can find out all you need to know about the Festival by clicking here.

Time to get some of the work by authors who are visiting Ennis in March, so I’ll also be dropping in to the Ennis Bookshop to spend my Christmas book token. They also have a few copies of my book, This Little World in stock. Ahem.

Cover for This Little World
© Karen J McDonnell & Doire Press