Vancouver Writers Fest


I’m delighted to be reading this coming weekend at the Vancouver Writers Fest among many, many fine authors and performers.

I’m performing next Friday at the Literary Cabaret along with Alexander Chee, Anosh Irani, Susan Perly, Iain Reid and Madeleine Thien. We’ll be ably accompanied by Sal Ferreras and his band Poetic Licence, in a truly spontaneous cabaret performance.

Then on Sarurday I’m at the Poetry Bash along with Sharon Olds, Soraya Peerbaye, Roberto Ascalon, Liz Howard and Christopher Merrill.

This is a trip I’m very much looking froward to. My thanks to all at VWF for making this happen and to Culture Ireland for their support.








Post Crash Literature in Hong Kong




A highlight of my trip was reading in the Irish consulate at an evening of poetry, music and whiskey. Here I’m pictured with the consul himself, the legendary Peter Ryan. My thanks to Peter, Caitríona and his team for such a memorable evening.

It was a pleasure to read at last month’s Post-Crash Irish Literature and Culture conference in Hong Kong. This was an event dedicated to exploring the emergence of the new wave of Irish literary culture in the wake of 2008’s economic collapse and subsequent recovery. Though of course this theme proved a mere jumping off point for an exhilarating and free-wheeling debate on Irish culture and society.

It was an honour to participate along side keynote speakers Eugene O’Brien and Anne Mulhall, as well as scholars like Hedwig Schwall, Amy Burnside and Clara Dawson. And of course my fellow poets Trevor Joyce, Dimitris Lyacos, Ailbhe Ni Ghearbhuigh and Nicholas Wong.

The conference’s cross current argument and ideas proved exhilarating and energising. I was surprised and delighted at how easily the ‘creative’ and ‘critical’ readings flowed int one and another over the course of the weekend. Equally impressive was the work being done on the Irish canon in both Hong Kong and mainland China, as exhibited by scholars like Jenny Kwok, Irene Chan and Chen Li.

All participants, I’m sure, returned from Hong Kong filled with inspiration. My thanks to organisers Robert Kiely, Emily Ridge and especially Michael O’Sullivan.


European Literature Nights: London and Edinburgh

It was a privilege to participate in London’s recent European Literature Festival, and at its Edinburgh offshoot. And what a pleasure to journey between those cities in the company of poets from Russia, Turkey, Italy, Cyprus, Scotland and Iceland. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to ‘fly the Irish flag’ amid the 19 other countries involved; my thanks to the organisers of both events and to Culture Ireland for their generous assistance with my travel to these events.



Poets at European Lit Fest Edinburgh


Poets at European Lit Fest London


European Literature Night In Edinburgh


I’m delighted to participate in European Literature Night 2016 on behalf of UNESCO Edinburgh City of Literature. Curated by The Enemies Project, along with Colin Herd and Theodora Danek, it takes place on Friday 13th of May in two venues across that beautiful city:

5pm – 6.30pm at North Edinburgh Arts Centre

8pm-10.30pm at Summerhall – Red Lecture Theatre

Both events are free but pre-booking is advised to catch the following stellar international line-up:

Ásta Fanney Sigurðardóttir (Iceland), Nurduran Duman (Turkey), Billy Ramsell (Ireland), Alessandro Burbank (Italy), Alexander Filyuta (Russia / Germany), Christdoulos Makris (Ireland / Cyprus), Efe Duyan (Turkey),Martin Bakero (France) & Tomica Bajsic (Croatia).

It’s a privilege to be part of this event, and I’m grateful to Culture Ireland for facilitating my involvement.





London’s European Poetry Night


I’m delighted to participate in London’s first ever European Poetry Night as part of European Literature Festival in 2016. Curated by the inimitable, indefatigable SJ Fowler,  the event will feature 20 poets – from Iceland to Turkey, from Ireland to Russia, from France to Slovakia- sharing brand new collaborative poems, premiered on the night and written for the occasion, in pairs, across languages, styles & nations.

It all happens in the Rich Mix Theatre, on Saturday 14th of May at 7.30pm. A must for all London-based literature fans!


Featuring (subject to change)
Vanni Bianconi (Switzerland) & Billy Ramsell (Ireland)
Alessandro Burbank (Italy) & Alexander Filyuta (Russia / Germany)
Ásta Fanney Sigurðardóttir (Iceland) & SJ Fowler (UK)
Ulrike Ulrich (Switzerland) & Jen Calleja (UK / Malta)
Nurduran Duman (Turkey) & Jonathan Morley (UK)
Christodoulos Makris (Ireland / Cyprus) & Martin Bakero (France)
Tomica Bajsic (Croatia) & Colin Herd (Scotland)
Ghareeb Iskander (UK) & Ahsan Akbar (UK)
Ariadne Radi Cor (Italy) & Iris Colomb (France)
Ana Seferovic (Serbia) & Agnieszka Studzinka (Poland)
Rufo Quintavalle (UK / France) & Ian Monk (UK / France)
Niillas Holmberg (Sami) & Peter Sulej (Slovakia)
Efe Duyan (Turkey) & Livia Franchini (Italy)


Leabhar na hAthgabhála / Poems of Repossession


55ca02e4a7f58Published by Bloodaxe Books, Leabhar na hAthgabhála is a major -and majorly comprehensive- critical anthology of modern poetry in Irish with English translations. Ably edited by Louis de Paor, it ranges from Patrick Pearse and  Liam S. Gógan via major figures like  Seán Ó Ríordáin and Máire Mhac an tSaoí to more recent poets like Gearóid Mac Lochlainn and Áine Ní Ghlinn.

The anthology has translations by some of Ireland’s most distinguished poets and translators, including Paul Muldoon, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin,  Maurice Riordan, Peter Sirr, David Wheatley and Mary O’Donoghue, I’m honoured that my own translations of Conleth Ellis have been included.

A response to to Seán Ó Tuama and Thomas Kinsella’s classic anthology,An Duanaire 1600-1900 / Poems of the Dispossessed, this volume is a superb act of cultural recuperation and essential reading fro anyone even remotely interested in contemporary Irish poetry!


Myself with Louis De Paor, Biddy Jenkinson and Colbert kearney at an event celebrating Leabhar na hAthgabhála at Cork City Library