Carlow Writers' Co-Operative member, Doreena Jennings, is representing Ireland at the International Fringe Festival in Tranås, Sweden. Doreena has been taking part in workshops, giving readings of her work, giving talks and presentations, attending artistic performances and having an all round good time in the company of the Swedes. We know you are having a ball, Doreena - may your time in Sweden be creative and productive. ... See MoreSee Less
Our thanks, as always, to Angela Carr for compiling this list of journals and poetry competitions that are currently open for submissions. After the lawn is mowed, the hydrangeas watered and the hedge trimmed, consider sending off your poems, folks... ... See MoreSee Less
Longstanding Carlow Writers' Co-Operative member Derek Coyle had his first poetry volume reviewed in this Saturday's 'The Irish Times'. The poems in Derek's 'Reading John Ashbery in Costa Coffee, Carlow' were described by the Times' John McAuliffe as 'funny, slight and quick on their feet', possessing something 'of Paul Durcan's desire to say what has not been said before.' ... See MoreSee Less
A number of Carlow Writers' Co-Operative members are enjoying Darren Donohue's The Writing Room workshops this summer. Darren is currently the Carlow writer-in-residence. We are delighted to see two of his poems published in this Saturday's 'The Irish Times'. Well done, Darren. ... See MoreSee Less
Here you go. I've compiled all of your mad/alternative/surreal poetry thoughts.
The Alternative Poetry Disco Prompt
1. I catch snowflakes on my tongue. 2. I love to dye eggs in my spare time; I'll only eat pink eggs. 3. I bounced my balloon in the swimming pool. 4. My canary wore a three piece suit to the wedding. 5. I ate all the plastic grapes in the window display. 6. Yeats materialized beside me in Powers and gave me the tip. 7. The crow flew down and advised me how to build the shed. 8. Though Ferd had been everywhere from Timbuktu to Tucumcari, he had never seen a bird with a penis. 9. The more she struggled to concentrate on the exam paper, the larger the Chestnut tree grew from her right ear. 10. And Santa sang ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ in Mozartian fashion to a baroque orchestra conducted by Tom Waits. 11. 'I think work is overrated', said the pigeon to the Traffic Warden, as he contemplated Existentialism from his perch on the traffic light. 12. I found a hedgehog nesting in the freezer. 13. Naked, as the day he was born, or that one time in Tesco. 14. He climbed into the frozen food fridge naked in a protest against global warming... and left, storing his nuts for winter. 15. The banana sighed at the sight of the expense reports. 16. The swallows are back from Africa, they walked and swam a year to get here. 17. Jesus, the silence was deafening, the flies were doing Riverdance on the mirror again, the ants the fandango on the washbasin... 18. I watch the green door float down the river…I want to use it to enter another sky... 19. I burn bridges with my retractable five colour ballpoint pen. 20. The sprint across the custard filled swimming pool. 21. The raindrops keep falling on my feet. 22. Bob's my uncle but he's a horse. 23. The donkey put too many apostrophes in his trailer. 24. A drop of the crater asked the chap on top of Mount Vesuvius. 25. Let the sea boil in a can of Coke. 26. Dali was kissing Monet on the Opera stage. They weren’t monkeys… 27. The horse was sucked into the jet engine. 28. A flock of cheddar answered the phone. 29. I go up and down in a horizontal town. 30. The stale lasagne was used as a brick filler. 31. A trail of orange togs was in her wake. 32. I have packed the sink with strawberries. 33. ‘Eat your greens.' Said Mrs Green. Whilst Mrs Parsnip complained about discrimination. 34. Will someone answer the lobster telephone…whilst I switch off the Pineapple television? 35. There are rectangles in my tomato machine. ... See MoreSee Less
Who or what were your musical influences growing up and why?
I was the youngest of five. I’d often sneak into the crypt of my elder brothers’ room and rifle through their records. The sleeves had as big an impact as the musical content. Thin Lizzy’s Jailbreak and Live & Dangerous, Horslips’ The Tain, Led Zeppelin’s The Song Remains the Same, Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here. I’d wonder: who are these freaks? They look… unsavoury.
Weirdly enough, I also remember messing around with side 2 of Bowie’s Heroes, the ambient side. I’d play it at the wrong speed and record myself speaking over the top into an old Sony tape recorder, a sort of early template for the spoken word/music recordings I’d do with the Revelator Orchestra.What are your earliest musical memories? From years one through ten: an old orange mono record player in the living room on which my mother would play Count John McCormack albums. The Dubliners’ cr… ... See MoreSee Less
Members of the Co-Op wished outgoing Director, Derek Coyle, the best on his retirement from that position. Derek has directed the Co-Operative for eleven years and is making way for new leadership next year. In customary fashion, he recieved a handcarved clock - a very approrpiate gift on retirement!!! The crack was had as Derek noted the fun times that have been had over the years and he wishes the future leadership of the Co-Operative the very best in all that they will do going forward. ... See MoreSee Less
A good friend of the Carlow Writers' Co-Operative, Mel Perry, has written a really beautiful tribute poem to another great friend of the Co-Operative Denis Collins. Sadly, Denis passed away recently. The poem is super and Denis would be very proud of it. Denis was instrumental in linking us with the Welsh bard Mel Perry - and the rest is history. Carlow writers have been to Wales and Welsh writers and symphonic band members have been to Carlow. The Welsh connection was vital in linking us to Sweden; and several members have been to Sweden now. Carlow - Wexford - Wales - Sweden - Abú!!! In honour of our dear friend and his red shoes - here's Mel's poem.
(i.m. Denis Collins)
From the coffee shop on Mallin Street to sunset in the elusive west everything was one colour that day
A plastic tablecloth in Scandinavian style white hearts in squares, running stitch in cotton thread hearts on white mugs raspberry jam sponge tomatoes in the salad knitted, buttoned tea cosies and minestrone soup sweet spice in Chai Latte a chicken’s comb- the painted iron kettle my pencil top too
Lampshades above the counter a chocolate powder dredger for the cappuccinos you will never drink blackboard chalked menu headings film themes playing Amelie and Moulin Rouge bottles of wine hearts in greetings on messenger, doors of the arts centre, geraniums, begonias for the town in bloom, a ladybird on the pavement
my polka dot shirt and canvas shoes a woman’s handbag a man’s blush an extravagant goldfish painting on the wall at Green Acres
your line mid-poem about this town Deirdre’s lips her dolly pumps Roachey’s trouser patches the vape of an artist who’s cutting down a lighter for the one who won’t the hose reel, hydrant, extinguisher and tool box strawberries in a punnet the music stand and spot lights on the band the port signal at Rosslare Guillemot’s shadow shifted to Kilmore Quay drum beat rhythms palm-slapped applause fire in our voices passion in our words tears we cried for snowflakes, the banjo man, Moon River and Wild Montain Thyme salt-encrusted eyelids a choke in my throat for peace at last
the X- shaped void we try to heal with a hug your flag for integrity, inclusion, hardwork your sandals paint-spattered life-scuffed and stained polish-rubbed rest in final display in your Creative Hub.
Folks, we are looking for mad and insane suggestions for a poetry prompt we are working on.
The idea is to make links between things that are not obvious; the more far out the better. Something like:
1. I catch snowflakes on my tongue; 2. I love to dye eggs in my spare time; I'll only eat pink eggs. 3. I bounced my balloon in the swimming pool; 4. My canary wore a three piece suit to the wedding; 5. I ate the plastic grapes from the window display; 6. Yeats materialized beside me in Powers and gave me the tip; 7. The crow flew down and advised me how to build the shed; 8. ... 9. ... 10. ... ... See MoreSee Less
A very considered short essay on what is involved on the journey to strong writing - from our friend in the Hibernian Writers' group in Dublin, Brian Kirk. Lots of solid advice and insight here... ... See MoreSee Less
Carlow Writers' Co-Operative member, Derek Coyle, will make an appearance on Carlow Television (CWLTV) on Wednesday - he'll be talking about his new book, with great footage from the launch night. And some words of wisdom from the Wexford Professor, Peter 'Cursed' Murphy.
Carlow Writers' Co-Operative member, Pauline Flynn, will be in Narrative 4 in Limerick this coming Thursday 30th reading poetry written in response to objects in the Limerick and Hunt Museums as part of the Visible Reminders of Invisible Light Project. Have a blast, Pauline - enjoy! ... See MoreSee Less
Two Carlow Writers' Co-Operative members, Simon Lewis and Derek Coyle, read last night in Hogan's Bar in Dublin as part of the annual Lithuanian Spring Poetry Festival. This is a big festival in Lithuania dating back to the 1950s and it gets to travel around the world to countries where there is a significant Lithuanian community present. It was a lovely occasion that brought contemporary poets from Lithuania to Ireland to read and to meet Irish poets. ... See MoreSee Less