The Elysian: Creative Responses



I’m delighted to report that The Elysian: Creative Responses, edited by myself and Professor Graham Allen is now available from its publisher New Binary Press. This anthology, which meditates on Cork (and Ireland’s) tallest building features some very gifted contributors:

Included are poems, stories and essays by Paul Casey, Patrick Cotter,  James Cummins, Madeleine D’Arcy, Cal Doyle, Julie Field, Fergal Gaynor, Matthew Geden, Kevin Griffin, Sarah Hayden, Paul Hegarty, Danielle McLaughlin, Doireann Ní Ghríofa, Mary Noonan and Rachel Warriner among others.


It was a privilege to work on this project with Graham Allen and to launch it this month along with his new book Holes: Decade 1 in Cork’s Granary Theatre. Special thanks, too, to New Binary Editor James O’Sullivan




Hennessy Portrait Prize 2017


I’m delighted that this portrait of me, taken by the very gifted David Creedon, has been shortlisted for the Hennessy Portrait Prize 2017. It will hang, among nineteen other extraordinary  works, in the National Gallery until 25th of February 2018. The winner of the prize will be announced tomorrow evening and will receive a prize of €15,000. The winning artist will also be awarded a commission worth €5,000 to produce a portrait for inclusion in the National Portrait Collection.

Brushstokes of Poetry at Books Upstairs



I’m delighted to be reading for the first time in Dublin’s Books Upstairs Wednesday11th of October at 7pm. All the more so as it’s an event organised by the irreplaceable Dalkey Archive Press, at which fine American poet Jacob Miller will read from his new collection.

Here’s what’s in store:

Dive into two of the best-kept secrets from the world of poetry and join Dalkey Archive press for a reading with Billy Ramsell and Jacob Miller at Books Upstairs, Dublin on the 11th of October at 7 p.m.

The American poet Jacob Miller will read from his collection Lines From A Canvass that explores experiences of love and loss, isolation and separation as well as mortality, while building bridges between classical and modern traditions.

The Irish poet Billy Ramsell will share some of his poems on the border between the personal and the political, delicately combining lyrical meditations on love, art and memory with the pressures, uncertainties and alienation of a globalised world.

Get your tickets here!


iYeats Competition Results 2017

The 2017 winner of the iYeats International Poetry Competition is poet Tammy Armstrong, of Nova Scotia, Canada, for her poem ‘The Varying Hare’. As judges Jessica Traynor and I put it in our brief citation: ‘This is a special poem, one that manages to combine depth of ambition with deftness in execution, rendering, with enviable clarity, a crepuscular, fog-tinted milieu. Its uncanny, depopulated landscape is one readers are unlikely to forget as it leaves us ‘wrong edged’ and ‘thicket-blind’, lingering, despite ourselves, in the ‘animal time’ it so vividly conjures’.


Tammy Armstrong’s publications include four poetry collections and two novels. She has been nominated for Pushcart Prizes, short-listed for the CBC Literary Prize, and the Governor General’s Award for Poetry. She also holds a PhD in English literature and Critical Animal Studies from the University of New Brunswick, and served as a 2011-2012 Canada-U.S. Fulbright Scholar. She now lives in a lobster fishing village, on the south shore of Nova Scotia.

The emerging winner for poets of 16-25 years of age is Cynthia Miller, Birmingham U.K. with her work ‘The Last Hour on the Flight Deck’. In our citation Jessica and I declared how “this stood out for us as an ambitious poem full of surprising and well-rendered details. From the air stewardesses who ‘arch their feet inside boxy heels’ to the dusk which ‘siphons lavender shadows across the room’, this is a poem which explores distance and dislocation through vivid, intimate imagery.”


Cynthia Miller is a Malaysian-American poet and brand strategist living in Birmingham, U.K. She has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, and her poetry has been published in Primers Volume 2, The Emma Press Anthology of Love and Under the Radar magazine. She is also Co-Director of Verve, Birmingham’s inaugural poetry and spoken word festival, and part of Room 204, Writing West Midlands’ development programme for emerging writers.

It was a pleasure to judge this competition with Jessica. The standard was high and competition intense… My heartiest congratulations to the winners!





Phonica: Six at Smock Alley Theatre on 17th of July

Phonica 6_Webpage PORTRAIT_with text
Phonica, curated since early 2016 by Christodoulos Makris and Olesya Zdorovetska, is a poetry and music series with an emphasis on multiformity and the experimental.  This is a series that explores compositional and performative ideas, encouraging a melting pot of audiences and artists from across various artforms.

I’m delighted to feature in the sixth iteration of the event, which takes place next Monday at 7.30pm in Dublin’s Smock Alley Theatre.

Phonica: Six will feature performances from a host of trailblazing and award-winning Irish and international writers, musicians and artists working in the realms of new and electroacoustic music, contemporary poetry, installation and audio-visual composition,

Also appearing on the night will be:

Flautist Lina Andonovska who has collaborated and performed with Crash Ensemble (Ireland), Australian Chamber Orchestra, Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond), s t a r g a z e, Southern Cross Soloists (Aus) and eighth blackbird (USA). Critically acclaimed for her interpretation of new music, Rolling Stone Magazine hailed her performance at Bang on a Can Summer Festival as “superbly played”.

Jessica Foley who works as a writer, dramaturge and audio-visual artist and whose  work is often generated collaboratively and performed through improvisation, choreography and audio-visual compositions and staging.  

The IRIDE PROJECT, who  investigate nondeterministic electroacoustic music and soundemphasis poetry making use of conventional and unconventional instruments, piezoelectric transducers, field recordings, electronics, and spoken word.

Claire Potter, an artist writer from Merseyside, works with live, published and recorded text, installation and performance. 

Nazgul Shukaeva was born in Kazakhstan, and is a vocalist and performer of contemporary classical, jazz and improvised music, combining the ancient technique of throat singing “kai” with modern elements, creating something previously inaudible and invisible.

Tickets for this unique event are available here!

Judging the iYeats Competition


There’s still time to enter this year’s iYeats competition, which I’m delighted to be judging with Jessica Traynor.

The competition is open to all those who are sixteen years of age and upwards. There is an award of €500 for the winner of the General Category and €300 is awarded to the winner of the Emerging Category for those aged between 16-25 years of age. The awards will be presented in a ceremony at the Hawk’s Well Theatre, Sligo, during the Yeats Summer School.

The closing date for entries is Friday the 30th June, at 5pm. Entries can be uploaded here.