Culture Night, The Bray Literary Festival & My Poems Appear In The Bray Arts Journal!

 

From the 22nd-24th of September I went to some great events with Culture Night and the Bray Literary Festival. Would have being lovely to have got to even more but sure you can’t get to everything. This post is about the events I was lucky enough to get to.

 

22nd

Outside Mermaid in the Civic Space, the Bray Concert Band were brilliant with tunes ranging from Louis Armstrong’s When The Saints Go Marching In to the Lion King’s I Wanna Be Like You. Me and my Mum were there and we enjoyed it very much. A very talented band. There was also art to enjoy while we listened.

And then it was on to the Town Hall for Poetry, Music and Fighting Words where the winners of the Bray Literary Festival poetry and short story competitions were announced. Results were as follows:

Flash Fiction Competition:

1st Prize – Ronan Keenan

Runner-Up – Niamh MacCabe

Poetry Competition:

1st Prize – A.M. Cousins

Runner-up – Simon Lewis

The short stories were judged by Catherine Dunne while the poetry was judged by Breda Wall Ryan. Brian Kirk also helped whittle down the entries.

Flash Fiction Shortlist

Carol Caffrey – The sea that has cost them.
Ronan Keenan – Granda
Niamh McCabe  – House
Averil Meehan – Exiled
Kevin Hora – Envoi
Chris Connolly – It is Isn’t it Yes it is

Poetry Shortlist

A.M. Cousins – Brooch
A.M. Cousins  – Phone Box
A.M. Cousins –  The Royal Hospital, Gloucester
Eilish Fisher – Domestic
Simon Lewis – An Irish Girl Meets Melody Hobson in the Foyer of the Kimpton Hotel, Chicago
Simon Lewis – Supermarket Line

 

Here is the LONGLIST of the Bray Literary Festival FLASH fiction competition.

The Sea That Has Cost Them
After Dinner
From Scratch
Falling Man
Granda
The Nightingale is a Brown Bird
Look Towards Sky
Genus Pan
House
Halves
Twenty-five
Exiled
Find Me
Envoi
For I am fearfully and wonderfully made
Masaje! Masaje!
The Walk
Lotus
Reunion
Summer Rain
It Is Isn’t It Yes It Is

Here is the LONGLIST of the Bray Literary Festival POETRY competition.

Another Quiet Evening at Home
At Sea
Saving Turf
Brooch
November
A Boy Standing on a Terrace
The Royal Hospital, Gloucester, 1953
Running Roar
Tillage
An Irish Girl Meets Mellody Hobson in the Foyer of the Kimpton Hotel, Chicago
There was no Funeral
Supermarket Line
Phone Box
Autumn Day
Macha
Songline
Sailing in the Florida Keys
Domestic

Well done to the winners, all mentioned and everyone who entered. We’ll get there someday! 🙂

It was very enjoyable listening to the excellent entries. This was followed by poetry from Breda Wall Ryan and Kate Dempsey and poetry from Fighting Words introduced by Mark Davidson. There was also music by Rachel Duffy. Me, my Mum and my sister had a lovely night at it.

Poet Kate Dempsey

23rd

Poet Siobhan Campbell

 

I was up bright and early the next morning to head to the writing workshop, Writing From Life: Memoir & Poetry From Lived Experience with Siobhan Campbell in Colaiste Raithin. This was a great workshop. Siobhan and all the people there was very nice and I learned a lot. It was my first writing workshop and I read a short piece (inspired by my Dad but I wrote it as a fictional piece) and had a character I used throughout called Violet (based on me with my grandmother’s name). It was wonderful hearing everyone else’s work. There is definitely a lot of talented writers in Bray.

That night me and the sis headed to The Royal for Saturday’s Grand Finale: Bray Arts Journal launch, Writing groups: Abraxis & Little Bray, and GIANT Open Mic with BeRn. I had three poems in the journal so I was happy about that. It was a great night with a song from BeRun and writers braver than myself getting up to read their work. Maybe in the future …

To read the Bray Arts Journal go to:

http://www.brayarts.net/Library/Journals/September%202017.pdf

24th

Poet Breda Wall Ryan

Up bright and early again I was off to my second ever writing workshop Kickstart Your Writing with Breda Wall Ryan once again in Colaiste Raithin. Again Breda was lovely and there was a lovely group of talented writers. I read a poem about a box of chocolates as a metaphor for loved ones. I learned a lot and like the other workshop I very much enjoyed it.

Finally I was down at The Harbour Bar for the Free Panel Discussion and Q&A with my sister. I found it interesting but I have to admit that as a blogger I disagreed with a lot of it. I quite like that writing is now took out of the hands of just journalists in papers but it was interesting nonetheless.

So that concluded my culture weekend. As a little writing nerd, there isn’t always events like this nearby to go to so it was amazing. Thanks to all the organisers. I was on a culture high all weekend and it was great. 🙂

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Bray Arts December Show Takes Place With Launch Of New Journal. (And my story features in it!:-))

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On Monday the 7th of December the Bray Arts show took place in The Martello. My sister and I were at the event and it was a very special night because the Bray Arts journal’s launch for its first issue following its hiatus took place and my story At Last was one of the pieces included in the issue.

The journal was launched by writer Catherine Brophy, Artist James Devlin and the new editor of the journal Michael O’Reilly. Following the launch, entertainment was provided by painter and sculptor Paul Flynn, quartet The 4 Piece Suite and fiddle player Ger Doyle. A raffle took place in aid of the charity The Five Loaves and there was also Christmas stands with items such as jewelry and home skincare available to buy. Also everyone got a complimentary mulled wine for the Christmas period.

It was a great night and an honour to have my story published in a journal which has a long, prestigious history in Bray.

Bray Churches Together 18th Annual Art Exhibition!

I was recently at a great art exhibition in Bray with my sister. It was held in the Cornerstone Church of the Well in Bray and was the 18th annual art exhibition by Bray Churches Together. Organised by one of the artists whose work was on display Peter Growney, the exhibition displayed a host of stunning pieces showing the immense talent there is via numerous wonderfully crafted pieces such as the acrylic beauty of Stripes, The Boxer and Colours of Autumn by Avril Stanley, the fun of It’s Magic, Disappearing Magic and Magic Stars by Ann Hardigan, the realism and colour of Ray Cranley’s Bray Seafront 1950s, In The Dargle and The Turkish Baths Bray and the originality of Peter Growney’s Scene From Kilcoole to Wicklow, Candy Kiosks and Bray Bandstand. Further highlights included Paul Carroll’s work with Blue Eyed Girl and The Fisherman’s First Love, David Walsh’s Dunlaoghaire Yacht 1, 2 and 3 on print, David Fitzgerald’s Chris’s Chalice and Taylor Swift, Jean Poutch’s Powerscourt River Walk, Grafton Street and London Side Street and Meave Spotswood’s Blue Jug, Badgers and Resting. These were the highlights for me but to be honest you couldn’t look anywhere without seeing stunning work and been really happy that there is so much amazing creativity and talent out there. There was no bad paintings. Brilliant exhibition.

Art & Photography By Holly Norval!

Leicester’s Holly Norval has created some lovely photography and art, some of which I’ve put up below as well as links to see more of her work. I noticed while I was getting the pictures together (and cooing over Noggin) that there is quite a few talented artists and photographers out there that maybe I hadn’t heard of before so over time I hope to feature a few of them as well. 🙂

Noggin. Aw. So cute! :-)

Noggin. Aw. So cute! 🙂

Links To See More Of Holly Norval’s Work

http://s642.photobucket.com/user/earthboundarts/library/art%20by%20Holly%20Norval?sort=6&page=1

https://www.flickr.com/photos/hollystar47/

https://twitter.com/Earthboundarts

Carmel Benson: How to be a Child? at Bray’s Mermaid!

Recently artist Carmel Benson’s art exhibition entitled, “How to be a Child?” ran at The Mermaid in Bray, Wicklow from the 18th of July to the 7th of September. I was lucky enough to get to see it in it’s duration. Me and my sister went to see it.

Benson is originally from Wexford but in 1999 the artist, who graduated from University College Dublin (UCD) and later majored in painting and printmaking in Dun Laoghaire College of Art and Design, moved to Roundwood in Wicklow.

Benson’s latest pieces deal with a recurring theme in her work, that of childhood. This particular exhibition centres around the 1950s in Ireland when the “Catechism” was a vital book in Catholic childrens’ lives. A book that brought fear and oppression to the child if they were sensitive to it. There is also many male words in the collection which represent the inequality between men and women. In Benson’s collection these males are restraining the threatening women while Benson’s Sheela-na-Gig motif is her reaction to the world that shaped her. A world which was dominated by the Church and filled fear and remorse in its people. I love the concept of the collection but I found that the collection fell somewhere in-between. Some of I loved, like Crouching Sheelagh and my sis loved that one too, but there was others I wasn’t as crazy about.

But for it’s message and concept and in terms of pictures especially the Crouching Sheelagh it is an exhibition that needs to be seen so if you get a chance at some stage in the future somewhere else I would advise you to check it out! 🙂

Patrick Scott Dies. May He Rest In Peace.

Patrick Scott Rest In Peace.

Patrick Scott Rest In Peace.

Patrick with his husband Eric on the day of their wedding.

Patrick with his husband Eric on the day of their wedding.

A hero of mine Cork artist Patrick Scott died aged 93. May he rest in peace.

The artist who was an amazing talent and produced a wealth of amazing pieces throughout his life was a shining beacon for displaying Irish artistic talent and his work was set to be honoured a day after his death with a huge and deserved retrospective on his life is set to take place at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Carlow. With the blessing of his husband Eric Pearse and the rest of his family, the ‘Patrick Scott: Image Space Light’ took place with IMMA presenting the first part of the retrospective up to 1970 and VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art bringing it up to now.

IMMA said of his passing: “Patrick Scott has been a defining figure of Irish art for over 70 years and the retrospective exhibition due to open tomorrow is testament to his extraordinary career, life and achievements as an artist. He will be sorely missed by the arts community and IMMA is honoured to pay tribute to one of Ireland’s most important artists with this major exhibition on which Patrick Scott worked closely with the curator Christina Kennedy, Head of Collections, IMMA.”

My condolences are with his husband Eric and all his other loved ones at this sad time.