Songwriters & Open-Mic Music Session on May 8

downloadLimerick Writers’ Centre presents a Songwriters & Open-Mic Music Session at 9pm at JP’s Bar (formerly Riddlers) on Sarsfield Street tomorrow (Thursday May 8).

The session, hosted by Sean MacLeod, takes place every second Thursday at 9pm and welcomes musicians and singers to perform either their own original material or their favourite songs.

Special guest this week is Paula Ryan. The singer-songwriter was born and bred in Tipperary and whose insightful songs “are inspired by the lyricism and musical passion of her Irish Gaelic roots & driven by the funky rhythmic influences and ‘wacky’ instruments of music from other cultures”.

To accompany her songs, Paula plays marimba/tongue drum, guitar and a variety of percussion instruments including bodhrán, djembe and darabuka.

The event welcome a wide variety of musical styles, from folk to alternative to spoken word. So if you want to take part, you can come along early and sign up for the open-mic. If you wish to play contact Dominic Taylor at to book a spot or simply turn up on the night.

All are welcome, to perform or just listen. Admission is free.

Munster poetry slam winners

I thoroughly enjoyed the Munster heat of the All Ireland Poetry Slam at The Loft last Tuesday (Sept 11). I was kindly asked to be a judge for it by Limerick Writers’ Centre, which was quite a nerve-wracking experience in itself!

We were marking on the content, the performance of the poet and the audience reaction. I’m happy to say the standard was very high and the packed room was collectively enthusiastic. Nine poets travelled from Cork alone and the two winners happened to be from there.

Myself and the other judges eventually whittled it down to two poets—Fergus Costello and Cathal Holden—who will represent the province at the finals in Cork on November 30. Congratulations to all the participants. It takes guts to stand up on stage and lay your work bare like that.

I found some audio/video samples online to give readers an idea of the material that these two talented gentlemen will bring to the table at the final. Best of luck to them.

Fergus Costello performing ‘Tell me lies’ at the International Bar, Dublin.

Cathal Holden’s entry for a rapping competition.

Limk Writers’ Centre On the Nail/Poetry Slam heat

The Limerick Writers’ Centre monthly On The Nail event will take place tonight (Tuesday September 4) from 8pm at The Loft @ The Locke Bar.

The featured readers include Limerick’s own, John Liddy, who is on a visit from his home in Madrid. The others are: Irish-Canadian writer, Celest Auge and Padraig Mac Fhearghusa, a west Cork poet who writes largely as Gaeilge.

Gabhar Theatre Company is back with another 10 minute play with cast: Grace Cronin, Shane Vaughan and Hugh O’Brien.

Everyone is invited to take part in the open-mic after the main event, poets, storytellers, musicians and writers. Even if you don’t write you are welcome to bring something along to read.

Next Tuesday (September 11), the same venue will host the Munster heat of the All Ireland Poetry Slam at 8.30pm. Performance poets and spoken word artists from Limerick, Cork, Kerry, Clare, Tipperary and Waterford will battle it out at the ‘slam’.

“For those of you who haven’t experienced one, a slam is a performance poetry competition in which poets perform for not more than three minutes. The winner will be chosen by an appointed panel of judges. The prize on offer to the winner is the honour of representing Munster in the 6th All Ireland Poetry Slam to be held during November in Cork,” the LWC blurb read.

Poets wishing to enter the slam on the night need two, three-minute poems, ideally performed without a script. If you want to participate, all you have to do is arrive on the night to The Loft venue and give your name to the MC or you can email your name to the requesting inclusion.

The Limerick Writers’ Centre run various classes and workshops as well as running literary events and selling books (mostly by local/Irish writers) online so the website is worth a look.

On the Nail literary event on tomorrow, Tuesday January 10

Tomorrow night, TuesdayJanuary 10, the first ‘On the Nail’ literary evening of 2012 will take place inFoley’s Bar from 8pm.

This month will feature the Clare Three Legged Stool Poets including Arthur Watson, Peter Kay,Patrick Stack and Brian Mooney. Clare Three-Legged Stool was founded in 2003 to celebrate the poetic work ofmen and women from North, South, and East—the so-called three “halves” of Clare.There are at present around 16 members in the group which, to date, hasproduced two anthologies, a broadsheet, and Hidden Burren, a photographic essayon North Clare by Ilsa Thielen, accompanied by verse.

Everyone is invited to take part in the open-micafter the main event, poets, storytellers, musicians and writers. Even if youdon’t write you are welcome to bring something along to read. Admission isfree. The Limerick Writers’ Centre special authors book table will again be inoperation, so if you want your book, CDs etc represented on the table, contactDominic Taylor at 087-2996409.

Upcoming LWC Courses 
LWCis also having two courses in the next few weeks. One is titled Releasing The Poet Within-A Creative Writing Coursein Poetry, Lyrics and Versification with Fiona Clark Echlin starting fromJanuary 25. The course is 7-9pm one night a week over six weeks. It is “designedto inspire writers to discover/extend their poetic voice. Existing poets andlyricists may explore new directions while those seeking to write poetry forthe first time will find a springboard for their ideas and style”. See www.limerickwriterscentre.comfor more information.
There will also be a film ‘Script Doctor’ workshop onSaturday February 4 from 1-5pm. This is an intensive one day‘advanced’ film script workshop for people who already have their scriptscompleted and want to get them ready to submit for funding or to a productioncompany. Participants will send in a one paged synopsis of their idea (250words) and either a full short film script (10-15 pages) or the first 15 pagesof a feature script.  These need to be emailed a week in advance of thecourse. The workshop will entail: script format, treatments, pitching andthe finishing touches that are needed to get your script ‘funding’ ready! Places must be paid for in advance. The coursefee is €50; concession €45. Booking is essential; contact Dominic on 087-2996409 or email for further details.

On the Nail Xmas literary bash/LWC Flash Fiction Slam Final

Limerick Writers’ Centre will present the Christmas ‘On The Nail’ Literary Bash tomorrow(Tuesday, Dec 6) at 8pm, Upstairs@Foley’s Bar.The event will incorporate the 2011 LWC Flash Fiction Slam Final.
The blurb promises“a festive feast of fiction, poetry and a merry miscellany of all sorts ofliterary guff”. In the 2011 LWC Flash Fiction Slam, the field is narrowed downto just 10 stories. Audience members will get the opportunity to vote for theirfavourite. The theme was ‘2011’ and the shortlist ranges from the saccharine tothe bizarre. The 10 short-listed writers will read their pieces, short andattention-grabbing at just 500 words.

A crack team of judges has been assembled, including Bob Burke (Bisto awardwinner for The Third Pig Detective Agency), Roisin Meaney (Love in the Making),William Ryan (The Holy Thief), Anthony Galvin (Baby Steps) and Helena Close (TheClever One). This is the second year that the competition has been run and the organisersreport that “the standard of entries was very high”.

Following the award of the judges’ prize there will be a 10 Minute Play fromGabhar Theatre Company called Good Fences by Sheila Fitzpatrick O’Donnell PLUSan open mic where anyone and everyone can bring poetry and prose to the party. Peopleare welcome to bring along something you’ve written or a piece that moves youand share it with the audience.

More info on this and upcoming events/courses at