Author Archives: admin

Irish PEN Remembers Poet And Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney 1939-2013

Seamus Heaney 1939-2013

 

In a short tribute on behalf of the Committee of Irish PEN Fr.Tony Gaughan writes:

Members of Irish PEN are saddened by the loss  of Seamus Heaney, a true friend, former member and recipient of the Irish PEN Award in 2005. Irish PEN members were thrilled in 1995 when he was presented with the Nobel Prize for Literature. It is no secret that the Irish PEN Centre had for some time been presenting his  name for that prestigious honour.

Among his many qualities, Irish PEN members will remember his friendliness and unassuming attitude to the many honours showered upon him.

‘Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I’ll dig with it. ‘

Seamus Heaney 1939-2013

.The Glamoured

Brightening brightness, alone on the road, she appears,
Crystalline crystal and sparkle of blue in green eyes,
Sweetness of sweetness in her unembittered young voice
And a high colour dawning behind the pearl of her face.

Ringlets and ringlets, a curl in every tress
Of her fair hair trailing and brushing the dew on the grass;
And a gem from her birthplace far in the high universe
Outglittering glass and gracing the groove of her breasts.

News that was secret she whispered to soothe her aloneness,
News of one due to return and reclaim his true place,
News of the ruin of those who had cast him in darkness,
News that was awesome, too awesome to utter in verse.

My head got lighter and lighter but still I approached her,
Enthralled by her thraldom, helplessly held and bewildered,
Choking and calling Christ’s name: then she fled in a shimmer
To Luachra Fort where only the glamoured can enter.

I hurtled and hurled myself madly following after
Over keshes and marshes and mosses and treacherous moors
And arrived at that stronghold unsure about how I had got there,
That earthwork of earth the orders of magic once reared.

A gang of thick louts were shouting loud insults and jeering
And a curly-haired coven in fits of sniggers and sneers:
Next thing I was taken and cruelly shackled in fetters
As the breasts of the maiden were groped by a thick-witted boor.

I tried then as hard as I could to make her hear truth,
How wrong she was to be linked to that lazarous swine
When the pride of the pure Scottish stock, a prince of the blood,
Was ardent and eager to wed her and make her his bride.

When she heard me, she started to weep, but pride was the cause
Of those tears that came wetting her cheeks and shone in her eyes;
Then she sent me a guard to guide me out of the fortress,
Who’d appeared to me, lone on the road, a brightening brightness.

Calamity, shock, collapse, heartbreak and grief
To think of her sweetness, her beauty, her mildness, her life
Defiled at the hands of a hornmaster sprung from riff-raff,
And no hope of redress till the lions ride back on the wave.

.
Aodhgan O’Rathaille, translated by Seamus Heaney

Published by Index On Censorship 30/08/2013:  Index on censorship 30/08/2013

Irish PEN 2013 Summer Newsletter

Page 1
Irish PEN’s summer 2013 newsletter
  • o New Members & Members’ News
  • o PEN/NEW VOICES Competition
  • o AGM 2013
  • o Irish PEN Award Dinner
  • o Irish PEN and Blasphemy
  • o Irish PEN co-sponsors Free Author Media
  • Training Day – held June 15th
  • o Upcoming Festivals
  • o PEN’s 45th International Writers Meeting
  • o Mary Russell: a talk on Writing & Travel in Syria
New Members

We extend a  warm welcome  to PEN’s  newest members: Morag Prunty, also known as Kate Kerrigan, will be known to many as a New York Times  bestselling author;  her latest release City of Hope, the second part  of  Ellie’s  trilogy, was published by Harper Collins in the U.S. on June 26th

 

Deirdre Conroy is responsible for the blog called Diary of  a  Dublin Landlady,  as  well as  many art  and architectural  reviews  in journals, and has  written chapters  of  published books, Painting Ireland and Great Irish Houses. Deirdre has just finished her first novel. http://dublinlandlady.blogspot.ie/

 

Rosemarie Rowley was born in Dublin. To date she has published five books of poetry, and has four times won the  Epic  award  in the  Scottish  International Poetry Competition. Her most  recent  books  are  Hot  Cinquefoil  Star (2002)  and In Memory  of  Her (2004) and (2008); see more at www.rosemarierowley.ie.

 

Padraig Hanratty has published one short story collection A Blanket of Blues,  in eformat and hardcopy,  as  well  as  a  novella  Dimestore Avenue Blues.  Pádraig has  also been published in Judas! Music magazine, Hot Press and Electric Acorn website.

 

Margaret  Scott is  an author,  blogger and guest blogger with Easons.  The Irish Independent reviewed her  novel Between  You and Me, as  “a  stylish, effervescent  page-turner, which is  sure  to strike  a chord with readers and propel Scott’s wry wit into the limelight”.  Margaret  has  also been published in the Irish Independent,  Irish Daily Mail and Woman’s Weekly.

 

Mayo native Elizabeth Reapy is  the  founding editor of Wordlegs, an online creative writing journal which has  spawned  numerous ebooks, a  short fiction collection (30 under 30), and as of 2012, a brand new festival: The Shore Writers Festival. Elizabeth was the Tyrone  Guthrie  Exchange  Irish Writer  in Varuna  for 2012,  she  is  a  pushcart  nominee and this  year,  the Arts  Council  awarded  her  a  Literature  Bursary to complete her debut short story collection. Elizabeth was Irish PEN’s nominated entry to the PEN/NEW VOICES AWARD 2013.  The Award is open to writers  of  short stories,  creative non-fiction, journalism and poetry who are  aged 18-30, and are put  forward by PEN Centres.  The  Award  aims to encourage  new writing worldwide,  to promote translation – especially into English,  French and Spanish – and to help emerging writers by providing advice  on how  best  to work  towards  a  career  as  a writer.  The  distinguished panel  of  judges  includes Carole Blake, who represents Irish PEN’s 2012 Award recipient Joseph O’Connor, and all of the judges will give feedback  to the  six  long-listed  competition finalists. The closing date for entries was on June 20th

 

Among our newest Associate Members, we welcome Joseph McCloskey,  Karen Ryan,  Paul  McNulty, Carolann Copland, Diane  Ward, Mark Edmund Hutcheson, and Colleen Nelligan Connolly.

 

Members’ News
We  were  delighted to hear Cyril McHale’s wonderfully written  piece about  his  grandfather,  titled  ‘Past Projections’,  broadcast on Sunday Miscellany on June 16th  You can listen back to the broadcast online by clicking on this link, or visit http://www.rte.ie/radio1/sunday-miscellany/.
.
One  of  the  highlights  of  the  June  2013 celebrations of James Joyce’s Bloomsday was the launch by Joyce biographer, Peter Costello, of Brendan Lynch’s latest book, CITY OF WRITERS. The  Lives  and Homes  of  Dublin Authors. The launch was attended by seventyguests,  including Robert  Nicholson,  curator  of  the Writers Museum, and Guy St John Williams, grandson of novelist Oliver St John Gogarty.

Page 2
Irish PEN AGM 2013

 

We are happy to announce that following elections at Irish PEN’s AGM on June 7th

 

The Irish PEN Executive Committee  for  2013-14 is  as  follows: Kay Boland, Chairperson; Vanessa O’Loughlin,  Vice  Chairperson and PRO; Timmy Conway,  Treasurer; Brenda O’Hanlon, Correspondence Secretary; Máire Moriarty, Minutes Secretary; Emer Liston, Newsletter Editor  and Writers  in Prison Committee Secretary; Tony Gaughan, Honorary Committee Member.

 

We will  sorely miss the  huge  talent of our Social Media Co-ordinator, Chris Murray, who is no longer able to work in this capacity on PEN’s committee due to writing and editing commitments. As  well as having her work performed at last year’s Béal Festival, Chris is  a member of  the International PEN Women Writer’s Committee, and manages a successful Poetry Blog called Poethead’.

 

.
Along with the loss of our Social Media Co-ordinator,  Irish  PEN  is also  urgently in need of a Membership Secretary, and an Email Correspondence  Secretary. Please  get  in touch if  you would like  to know  more about the essential (and never dull..!) roles mentioned here. 
.

 

Irish PEN Award Dinner  2013

 

The  2013 Irish PEN Award for  Outstanding Achievement in Irish Literature was awarded to John Banville,  the  novelist  and playwright  whose  most
impressive  works  include The  Sea and The  Book  of Evidence.  The  ceremony took  place  on the  22nd February  at  the  Royal  St.  George  Yacht  Club,  Dun Laoghaire. At the ceremony, the presenter of the award, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan described  the  recipient  as “a  writer  of  innumerable gifts,  of immense talent, of  superb  reputation in Ireland and abroad”.  Accepting the  award,  Banville expressed pleasure at receiving recognition in his own country, adding: “PEN is a splendid organization…that has done  great  work” and described his  first experience of PEN while working in Eastern Europe in the early 1980s. John Banville’s previous honours include the Booker Prize for his 2005 novel The Sea and the Franz Kafka prize in 2011. The Irish PEN award has been presented by Irish PEN since  1999; previous  winners  include Seamus  Heaney and Edna  O’Brien,  and the Award’s trophy was sponsored by www.writing.ie.
.
Also, PEN warmly congratulates Maria Duffy on the launch and success of her third novel, The Letter (published by  Hachette Books Ireland).

Page 3
Irish PEN & Blasphemy

 

“The Executive Committee of Irish PEN, the Irish Centre  for  PEN  International,  campaigns  for  the offence  of  blasphemy to be removed from the Irish Constitution in 2013.  Human rights  attach to  individuals,  not to  states, organised groups or ideas. When governments seek to limit the rights of individuals to criticise, they  are  not  seeking,  as  they claim,  to  protect  faith  or belief. Rather, they are seeking increased power over their  citizens.  It  is  essential  to  maintain freedom  of  expression, ensuring writers are free to criticise. Irish PEN  calls  upon the  Government  to  restore  our reputation for free speech without delay”. Available to read in full at constitution.ie.
Two years ago, Irish PEN undertook to campaign for a referendum on Blasphemy and the Irish Constitution. Currently,  the  Government’s  policy is  that the Convention on the Constitution, a forum made up of 100 people with  an independent  Chairperson,  will convene to consider and make recommendations on certain topics as possible future amendments to the Constitution.  The Convention is to complete its work within 12 months,  and has  received  Irish PEN’s submission  on Blasphemy and the  importance  of removing it from the  Constitution without  further delay.  You can read Irish PEN’s submission here, and visit constitution.ie for further information.

 

Dublin City of Literature/ Irish PEN Free Author  Media Training Day
June  15th saw a  very special day-long event, sponsored by Dublin City of  Literature  and Irish PEN,  and run in conjunction with  Writing.ie and the  National  Emerging Writer progamme. Over  40 new and established writers who attended  this workshop found out  exactly how  to approach the media, how to win at radio and TV interviews and how to deliver  a  first  class  reading.  MTV  VJ and now corporate trainer Emma Ledden (pictured) and author Declan Hughes kept the audience busy making frantic notes in the morning, while in the afternoon, internet entrepreneur and Business Woman of the Year Darina Loakman,  explained  the  importance  having a  well thought  out  blog or  website,  of  understanding your target market and having a social media strategy that looks for quality over quantity. Participants,  many of  whom had had that  all- important  author  photo taken by professional photographer Paul Sherwood at a special rate, left the day significantly better prepared for the challenges of book promotion.  Describing it  as  ‘brilliant’  and ‘fantastic’, both the calibre of the presenters and the insights they offered were highly praised. PEN members  may book author  photographs separately to the event, at Paul Sherwood’s studio in Blackrock,  Co.  Dublin – contact  Paul  directly at www.sherwood.ie or by mobile 087 230 9096.

 

FESTIVAL FEVER

 

There  are  many exciting festivals  coming up for writers and book lovers in the autumn; the Mountains to Sea Festival again promises to be a feast, with an especially interesting programme  on Sunday September 8th in Dún Laoghaire; visit mountainstosea.ie for more details. Also, among the UNESCO Dublin City of Literature events coming up, one of the most exciting promises to be the Dublin Festival of  History which takes  place  between  27 th September and 10th October.

 

2013 is the year of the Gathering and the year when we mark  the  100th  anniversary of  momentous historical events in the city of Dublin. The upheaval of the  Dublin Lockout  and the  formation of  James Connolly’s Irish Citizen Army are but two of a series of historical topics  which will  be  explored  in the  new Dublin Festival of History. More information will be made available  at www.cityofliterature.ie – always a space worth watching. Last year the Dublin Book Festival 2012 presented a packed programme of events, almost entirely free of charge  with  readings,  interviews, debates,  book launches  and workshops for adults,  children  and schools.

 

The  festival  found a  new home  in Smock Alley theatre,  Temple Bar,  and there  it  will return in 2013. The Dublin Book Festival team was  kind enough to lend support to Irish

Page 4
PEN and Front  Line  Defenders’ event  to mark November  15th,  which is  the  Day  of  the  Imprisoned Writer – a date marked by PEN Centres  around the world,  to recognize  and support  writers  who resist repression of  the basic human right to freedom of expression. Last  year’s event featured support and readings  from Brian Keenan, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill  and Justine McCarthy, and some  highlights  can be  viewed here, uploaded to YouTube at this link; we hope to work again with both Front Line Defenders and the Dublin Book Festival in 2013.
Pen’s 45th International Writers Meeting was held at Bled from May 8th to 12th 2013. Delegates representing 34 centres from across  the  world attended, welcomed by Dr Uros Grilc, the Slovenian Minister  for  Culture. Subsequently  they were entertained  by a presentation of  the  culture and literary traditions of the central region of Slovenia. The first theme discussed was ‘Literary Creation, from the Periphery to the Centre’; it was recognised that in terms  of  ideology this was  a  basic  dynamic in society. Each Periphery gradually draws nearer to the Centre,  eventually replacing it  and prompting the process to repeat itself.
The second topic was the writer as a traveller creating peace.  This  resonated  with the delegates.  Clearly travel  enables  people  to get beyond viewing other peoples in terms of their stereotypes. It also provides an opportunity to appreciate the  cultural  roots  and riches  of  those  residing in different  parts  of  the world. The result is a genuine respect and regard for the  otherness  in peoples. There  was  unanimity that extending boundaries in this way is a creator of peace both within and without. The  PEN Declaration on Digital  Freedom, passed  at the  International  Congress  in Gyeongju,  Korea,  in 2012 was discussed.
Four articles were appended to it  to clarify  how  it would affect  the  Targeting of Individuals, Censorship, Surveillance and Business and Human Rights.
.
October  2013: Mary Russell,  writing  and  travelling in Syria
Mary Russell is well-known for The Blessings of a Good Thick  Skirt,  her  book  about  women  travellers  and explorers throughout the ages. In her latest book, My Home  is  Your Home:  A Journey  round Syria,  she employs the survival strategies of the solo traveller, seasoning a devil-may-care  attitude  with  a pinch  of common sense when taking on everything that comes her  way in Syria – be it a  pack of  feral  dogs, an important  host  or  a  chain-smoking Sufi  sheik. Essentially a  cultural  travel book,  appended  to it is a postscript which offers both a background and an update to the  present  political situation which readers will find useful. Join Irish PEN October 10th to hear riveting stories  and insights  from successful and admired travel writer, Mary Russell. www.maryrussell.info
Become a member of Irish PEN, or rejoin – it’s  quick, easy and hugely beneficial.  Simply  click on this link, or visit www.irishpen.com.
.

Letter from Bled, Report on Pen’s 45th International Writers Meeting

 

Report on Pen’s 45th International Writers Meeting

Pen’s 45th International Writers Meeting was held at Bled from 8 to 12 May 2013. Delegates representing 34 centres from across the world attended.  The delegates were welcomed by Dr Uros Grilc, the Slovenian minister for culture.  Subsequently they were entertained by a presentation of the culture and literary traditions of the central region of Slovenia.

The first theme discussed was ‘Literary Creation, from the Periphery to the Centre’. It was recognised that in terms of ideology this was a basic dynamic in society.  Each Periphery gradually draws nearer to the Centre, eventually replacing it and prompting the process to repeat itself. 

The second topic was the writer as a traveller creating peace. This resonated with the delegates. Clearly travel enables people to get beyond viewing other peoples in terms of their stereotypes.  It also provides an opportunity to appreciate the cultural roots and riches of those residing in different parts of the world.  The result is a genuine respect and regard for the otherness in peoples.There was unanimity that extending boundaries in this way is a creator of peace both within and without.

The Pen Declaration on Digital Freedom passed at the International Congress in Gyeongju, Korea, in 2012 was discussed.  Four articles were appended to it to clarify how it would affect the Targeting of individuals, Censorship, Surveillance and Business and Human Rights.

The agenda of the General Assembly of the Writers for Peace Committee of International Pen included: Situation in Asia (China) (a) Tibet and (b) Uyghars; Peace in the Middle East and the Mediterranean (a) Israelo-Palestinian Relations, (b) Turkey (c) Question of Kurds.  Reports indicated the complex issues inherent in the troubles in those areas.  It was surprising how little attention was given to the extraordinary role of Israel and its ally the US in the continuing difficulties in the Middle East.  The interference of outside powers and the Anglo-American propaganda which fomented and maintains the tragic civil war in Syria also received little attention.

The Pen International Women Writers Committee reported that in some parts of the world there had been progress towards women achieving their full human rights but that a long road in that direction had yet to be travelled by the Sisters.

J. Anthony Gaughan

Timothy Conway

Presenting to Sell: Making the Most of the Media – For Newly Published Authors

Presenting to Sell: Making the Most of the Media – for newly published authors

As a continuation of the National Emerging Writer Programme, UNESCO Dublin City of Literature and Irish PEN are hosting a FREE one day event for authors, Saturday June 15th 10.30-4.00pm showing them how to make the most of public and media appearances, both traditional and online

For Authors

Identify angles in order to pitch your message to the media, find out how to look and sound good on TV, how to present your ideas on radio and how to hold an audience at a reading. Find out how to deliver your message to the biggest possible audience using social media.

All authors need a great author photo for press and PR. Professional photographer Paul Sherwood is offering a special rate of €30 for authors to get their photograph taken on the day, during the lunch break (must be pre-booked when you book your place, cash payment on the day).

Authors can also avail of this great rate by visiting his studio in Blackrock, County Dublin by contacting him at at: www.sherwood.ie Mobile: 087 230 9096 e-mail: paul@sherwood.ie

Television Appearances

MTVs Emma Ledden, a specialist in corporate communications, will coach participants on how to appear on TV, how to communicate your message effectively, how to sit and what to wear. How do you relax in front of the cameras? How do you make sure your book is mentioned?

Making the Most of Radio

Radio offers wide opportunities for authors, from local to national stations all looking for content. How do you get yourself onto radio? Should you settle for a phone interview or go into studio? What notes should you bring, how much preparation should you do?

Public Readings

Author Declan Hughes has extensive experience in theatre and knows how to deliver a reading. Declan will be covering what to read, how to read it and how to hold an audience at a public reading, demonstrating what works and what doesn’t.

The Power of the Internet

The internet is a free tool that can launch careers. Find out from independent technology consultant, trainer and internet marketer Darina Loakman how best to use Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to generate traffic to your blog or website and how best to maximise your website’s potential.

Make the most of every opportunity to develop your author profile!

To book contact  cityofliterature@dublincity.ie or Tel: 01 6744862

 

Facilitator biographies

Emma Ledden

Emma is a Master Trainer and has one of the most notable Presentation and Media CV’s in this country.  Straight out of school at the age of 17 Emma began working with RTE on The Den. She presented and produced her own slot for two and a half years, eventually presenting the daily 3 hour show.

Following this, Emma was chosen from thousands to be a VJ for MTV UK. This involved being in front of a television camera 5 days a week. Within 6 months Emma landed another very high profile television position. She was chosen to present BBC’s flagship programme Live and Kicking.

After this Emma turned her attention to radio. First she worked on a weekend magazine style show for Spin 1038 and then progressed to producing and presenting the breakfast programme on Dublin’s Q102. Emma still contributes to the media regularly and is a recurring panelist on TV3’s Midday show.

In 2003 Emma became a senior consultant with Carr Communications. She trained individuals and companies at all levels specialising in Presentation and Media Skills. Her ability to help a client overcome all the issues that arise with public communication is incomparable. In 2007 Emma set up Emma Ledden Communications and developed “Presenting to Sell”. Presenting to Sell is about taking the fear and confusion out of presentations. It will motivate, challenge and educate individuals to prepare and deliver inspiring presentations that engage, inspire and get results.

Declan Hughes

Declan Hughes is the author of the Ed Loy PI series: The Wrong Kind of Blood; The Colour of Blood; The Dying Breed (US: The Price of Blood); All The Dead Voices; and City of Lost Girls. His books have been nominated for the Edgar, CWA New Blood Dagger, Shamus and Macavity awards, and The Wrong Kind of Blood won the Shamus for Best First PI Novel. Declan is also an award-winning playwright and screenwriter, and the co-founder of Dublin’s Rough Magic Theatre Company.

Darina Loakman

Darina Is an independent technology consultant, trainer and internet marketer helping small independent business owners plan social media and digital strategies.

She’s a former Key Account Manager with a major travel GDS (Global Distribution Service), working in the non-travel division providing wide area networks and telecommunications to all types of business.  She was Chief Technology Officer of ICS-Skills being responsible for technology, internal networks and online strategies within the organisation. She built her first website in 1996 and has been online ever since!

Darina was the 2006 Female Entrepreneur of the Year at the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Enterprise Awards. Her real enthusiasm is for showing others how to use technology, the internet and social media to make business life easier, in easy-to-understand non-technical language.

 

 

 

 

Getting Non-Fiction Published: Fergal Tobin, author and commissioning editor at Gill & MacMillan.

Getting Non-Fiction Published: Fergal Tobin,

author and commissioning editor at Gill & MacMillan.

Thursday 9th May 8pm United Arts Club, Dublin 2.

On May 9th at the UAC, Fergal Tobin, author and publishing director of Gill & Macmillan, discusses the essential elements of a great non-fiction book.   

How to submit, what to submit and how to get published: What are the key ingredients needed to write and sell non-fiction? In a market where non-fiction will always have a healthy share, how do you take your first step? Join us on May 9th and learn about the structures of non-fiction publishing and how the process differs from fiction.


Fergal Tobin has been publishing director of Gill & Macmillan since 1994. Among the books he has published are the monumental Encyclopaedia of Ireland; David McWilliams’ The Pope’s Children; Frank McDonald’s ground-breaking manifesto The Destruction of Dublin, a book that one reviewer said was “the best book published in Ireland since the Book of Kells”; Fintan O’Toole’s Irish Times Book of the Century; and, last autumn, Mary O’Rourke’s best-selling memoir Just Mary, which will appear in paperback later this month. In the course of his career, he has published almost 2,000 books. As an author, he writes popular history most often under the pseudonym Richard Killeen. The pseudonym is now being retired and his next book, The Irish Revolution 1912-25: an illustrated history, will appear next October under his own name, as will all future books.

Fergal was President of CLE/Publishing Ireland from 2002 to 2004 and was President of the Federation of European Publishers, based in Brussels, from 2010 to 2012.

 

Publishing Non-Fiction will address the following principal issues:

o       How is it different from publishing fiction?

o       It’s about horses for courses: publishers specialise in certain areas exclusively

o       The role of literary agents

o       How a prospective author should prepare a good proposal

o       How to identify a likely publisher

o       Some things you should not do

o       The dynamic of a non-fiction publishing house

o       The pressure on publishers to build their lists

o       Copyright and contracts

o       Moral rights and editing

o       Marketing, publicity and promotion


Join us on May 9th for an evening that is guaranteed to be of interest to all writers, editors and aficionados of history, memoir, travel and the wide and often profitable realm of non-fiction publishing.  Booking is advisable and you can avoid disappointment by booking your ticket here.

http://IrishPENFergalTobin.eventbrite.ie