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.

Poetry, f**k yeah!

There are a number of interesting poetry events on over the coming week. Also, I’ve outlined the details of two competitions below.

Firstly, tonight (Tues Sept 11), the Loft @ The Locke Bar 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’. Two poets from the province will go through to this year’s final in Cork on November 12—which will see eight poets compete to be crowned All Ireland Champion.

Tomorrow night (Wed Sept 12), the weekly White House Poetry Revival is on at 9pm. The guest poet is Cal Doyle. He will read and then others can read their work at the open mic.

The noted Limerick poet, John Liddy, will read from his published work in the Common Room, Millstream Courtyard in the University of Limerick on Thursday September 13 at 6.30pm (wine reception from 6pm). Mr Liddy, based in Madrid, has published many poetry collections and is the founding editor, together with Jim Burke, of The Stony Thursday Book—one of Ireland’s longest running literary reviews. This reading is part of the Millstream Common Room Writers Series organised by with Campus Life Services. Parking is available in the car park adjacent to the Concert Hall building. For more info on attending, contact Linda Stevens on 061-202433 or


The Desmond O’Grady Poetry Competition is seeking entries. One of the organisers, Barney Sheehan, said: “I have always maintained that Desmond’s poetry is accessible to everyone, both the ordinary man or woman in the street, who just loves poetry for poetry sake, and to the high-brow academic, who looks much deeper into the technical working of the poem. It is with these sentiments that I am confident that the entries for this competition will come from poets of many different backgrounds.” For more info on entering, see

The CUISLE International Poetry Festival will take place in Limerick from October 10-13 and the title of the CUISLE Young Poet of the Year will be awarded during the event. There are three age categories: 8-12 years; 12-15 years and 15-18 years and all entries must be in by September 24.

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.