Paul Kestell reflects on a year of lockdown Speakeasy performances, celebrates the much missed Angela Byrne, and reads his new poem ‘Empty House’ for us.
Rude Judes rings through from Cobh with more saucy fun in verse for this month’s Speakeasy.
Rude Judes (aka Judith Coffey) scribbled ditties for years. From her childhood in Sydney, Australia, to teenage years in Crosshaven, then those impressionable London years in her 20s-30s until she returned home to Ireland for Millenium. Now a resident in the harbour town of Cobh she writes observational witticisms on life – from the perspective of middle age Girls who still want to have fun.
A serial volunteer within the Arts in Cork, she supported her friends at the inaugural “Gab – Mixed Tape Night” at Coughlan’s Bar, June 2016 and by October that year following encouragement to read a few of her own in public for the first time, is now a regular on the Gab Set List. As part of “The Gab” she has taken part in Cork’s Harbour Festival 2019, Life Long Learning Festival, World Story Telling Day and Storytellers of Ireland.
She has hosted the “Crosstown Drift Bus” on behalf of The Good Room for Cork Midsummer Festival 2017-2019, reading her poems to a captive audience between stops. Read live at “Peacock Parlour” on four occasions, three held at The Kino, Cork and a “Disgraceful Cabaret“ remotely. A few past sessions at the “Yarn Spinners” Cork and not forgetting “Speakeasy” sessions in 2019. Whenever she can she reads at “Coliemore The Artists House”, Cobh. In 2019, Rude Judes both performed her own poems and was one of the judges of the first poetry competition at the Cobh Readers and Writers Festival.
Rude Judes is begging for Lockdown to end – so she can get back to observing you all and writing about it.
James Lawless is an Irish poet and novelist. His awards, include the Scintilla Welsh Open Poetry Competition, the WOW award, the Cecil Day Lewis Award, the Sunday Tribune/Hennessy and Willesden Herald award nominations, and he was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize for short stories (2014) and was an award winner in the Colm Tóibín Short Story Awards (2020). He is the author of five novels, a poetry collection, a children’s collection of stories and a study of modern poetry for which he received an Irish arts bursary. He is an experienced workshop facilitator, a member the Irish Writers Union and of Poetry Ireland’s Writers in Schools scheme, and he is a book reviewer for The Irish Examiner and Sunday Independent. His works have been translated into several languages at https://bit.ly/3mB6yVv and are on audio at https://adbl.co/2HeCuOZ or https://adbl.co/3iR0fL9 Born in Dublin, he divides his time between County Kildare and West Cork; https://jameslawless.net
Terry McDonagh, www.terry-mcdonagh.com poet, translator and dramatist has published eleven poetry collections, bilingual letters (German English), drama, prose and writing for children. He taught creative writing at Hamburg University and facilitates in schools, colleges and at literary festivals in Europe, Asia and Australia. His poetry has been published worldwide and translated into German and Indonesian. Recently included in Poetry File on RTE Lyric Fm. A two-part radio documentary, ‘Two Notes for Home’, on Terry McDonagh, the modern bard of Cill Aodáin, compiled by Werner Lewon, has just been released. His most recent poetry collection, ‘Fourth Floor Flat’ – Arlen House 2018. He’s completing a collection, ‘Two Notes for Home’. He returned to live in his native Mayo in 2020.
Una Mannion reads from her debut novel ‘A Crooked Tree’.
Una Mannion was born in Philadelphia and lives in County Sligo. She has won numerous prizes for her work including the Hennessy Emerging Poetry Award and the Doolin, Cúirt, Allingham, and Ambit short-story prizes. She edits The Cormorant, a broadsheet of poetry and prose. Her debut novel A Crooked Tree is published this year by Faber & Faber and HarperCollins.
Victoria Keating is a singer, writer and blogger who digs a good garden and prefers books to shoes. Victoria’s first single is called ‘Little Rooms’ It’s the title track of her debut album, which will be released in September 2021. This song is her first release as a solo artist, and it is very special. It is an uplifting hymn to hope, an antidote to the dark times we find ourselves in. ‘Little Rooms’ refers to the confines of the smaller spaces we now live in, and the hope that we may all “come dancing” again soon.
Victoria has worked with Christy Moore extensively since 2011, providing harmony vocals on five albums. She has toured extensively with Christy and with Declan Sinnott playing sold out venues such as Glastonbury, Vicar Street in Dublin, The Waterfront Hall in Belfast and the Marquee in Cork. She is building a loyal fanbase on her weekly Facebook show ‘Little Rooms, Big Music’ and is recording her first album with Declan Sinnott.
Victoria released ‘The Poor Ground’ with Aine O’Gorman in November 2020. This song was on the RTE Recommends playlist and is still being played on national radio.
Christy Moore says of ‘Little Rooms’ “That’s just gorgeous..your singing is beautiful, well done Vickie!”
Brian Greene of 92.5 Phoenix FM says “Listen number one: immediate reaction, play again. It is lovely, simple, like Scottish folk..Karine Polwart comes to mind..the words are dark and mysterious and keep me thinking.”
Little Rooms: Lyrics and music by Victoria Keating
Vocals: Victoria Keating
Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Organ: Declan Sinnott
Produced mixed and mastered by Declan Sinnott.
Moyra Donaldson is a poet and creative writing facilitator from Co Down. She has published nine collections of poetry, Snakeskin Stilettos, Beneath the Ice, The Horse’s Nest and Miracle Fruit, from Lagan Press, Belfast and an American edition of Snakeskin Stilettos, published in 2002 from CavanKerry Press.
Her Selected Poems and The Goose Tree, were both published by Liberties Press, Dublin.
Moyra has also collaborated with photographer Victoria J Dean, resulting in the art book Dis-ease
and with visual artist Paddy Lennon, resulting in a limited edition book of poetry and paintings, Blood Horses, from Caesura Press. Her latest collection, Carnivorous was published by Doire Press, Spring 2019 and in the same year, Moyra received a Major Artist Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
A new collection, Bone House, is forthcoming from Doire Press in 2021
Colm Scully is a poet and poetry filmmaker from Douglas, Cork. He has previously won the Cúirt New Writing Prize and been selected for Poetry Ireland Introductions. He has been published in Abridged, Cyphers, The Poetry Bus, The Honest Ulsterman and been shortlisted for a number of competitions. His collection “What News, Centurions?” was published by New Binary Press in 2014. He won the smart phone category at the Rabbits Heart Poetry Film Festival, and his poemfilms have been officially selected and shown at festivals around the world. You can see his poetry films at https://vimeo.com/user29903251.
You can download my reading from vimeo at this link.
Mike Gallagher is an Irish writer and editor. His prose, poetry, haiku and songs have been published worldwide. His writing has been translated into Croatian, Japanese, Dutch, German, Italian and Chinese. He won the Michael Hartnett Viva Voce competition in 2010 and 2016, was shortlisted for the Hennessy Award in 2011 and won the Desmond O’Grady International Poetry Contest in 2012 and Westival Slam in 2019. He has been named in the top hundred European Haiku authors in 2019 and 2020. His collection Stick on Stone is published by Revival Press.