April and May Update from Seven Towers
















1.   UPDATE:

So, kind of up to date and with the June Newsletter right at the end of May, just as it should be!  And another busy few months.


But to start here where we ended before!

Steve Conway having spent a week off-shore, complete with music, tenders, sunrise, ferries and a force 8 gale (though no bloody mayonnaise and running aground this time!) he found himself and his love affair with radio so vitalised that he has now become a radio slut!! Curious?  More about this then under news below!  And you can also all the details of live with the seagull at http://steveconway.wordpress.com/seagull/

With Steve back home on dry ground, we launched into our next reading in Chapters, our themed reading on Thursday 13th May, on the theme of ‘Setting Out’, Readers were Oran Ryan, Bob Shakeshaft, Eileen Keane, , Anamaria Crowe Serrano, Karl Parkinson, Eamonn Lynskey and Stephen James Smith, who runs the Monday Night Gloir sessions at the international came in for guest spot.  With a theme like ‘setting out’ at the beginning of the summer, I expected everyone to be reading poems about packing for holidays or going for long trips, whereas most of the poems were about adventures of life – with children setting out – or death – which I guess us a trip of sorts – just not the one I was expecting.  A reading that was a good mix of fun and thoughtfulness, with all sorts of setting outs!!  The next reading was in Chapters  again, at lunchtime and the readers were Karl Parkinson, Anamaria Crowe Serrano and Eamonn Lynskey, an interesting reading  that literally (literaturally?) brought us across lands and planets from the general to the personal and heavenly to earthly. Eamonn Lynskey opened with political morale, pondering on sudden violent death as occurs too often in society now.  His  thought provoking reading going from such earthly realities and ending in the heavens set the wide ranging tone for the set. A plan to embarrass an unusually(for him) late Karl Parkinson by calling him to the mic as soon as he arrived backfired as he gave a calm and collected performance, full of laughs and a little self adoration – though having recently seen Walt Whitman in a video store, I guess that’s understandable.  A nice counterpoint to Anamaria’s colourful word pictures which gave the reading a nicely interwoven theme  (oooops mixing metaphors!  Oh well!!)

Filling the remaining days of this week with pacing and waiting and putting the final touches to the launch of Prism by Alma Brayde the following week – a busy week.  Poetry related things started with the launch of Hugh O’Donnell’s latest collection No Place Like It (Doghouse 2010) one of a series of Doghouse releases in a busy few days (including An Exhalation of Starlings by Tome Conaty who reads at Chapters and Verse readings and who appeared in Census, the First Seven Towers Anthology and Living Streets, Anthology of the Ranelagh Arts Festival). 

The following day saw our own launch – of the first 1000 Book Challenge book,  Prism  by Dalkey artist and poet Alma Brayden.  A very moving launch with the kind and enthusiastic launch speech by chairman of the Dalkey Writers Workshop, Billy Hutchinson, and the moving evidence of the esteem in which Alma is held as the room stood as one to give her a standing ovation after her book was launched!  And the book itself is a handsome production, with one of Alma’s own artworks as the cover illustration.  Prism is available from the usual outlets including Read Ireland for Seven Towers, Amazon, Chapters, The Exchange Bookshop in Dalkey and the gift shop in Dalkey Castle and Heritage Centre.  A wonderful launch and a great first book for Seven Towers in 2010.

Barely time to recover from Alma’s launch and it was back to the printer with And Suddenly the Sun Again by Eamonn Lynskey and Hencke by Rick Mullin. But more about these later!


Our finale event in May was the Last Wednesday Series open mic, here and in Brooklyn.  Awaiting a report from our American correspondent (!) I will update now on the Irish side of the Atlantic!! And we gathered, as always, in the basement of Cassidy’s Bar.  Karl Parkinson was first up – a busy night for Karl who started off at the Last Wednesday and then headed up for his next performance to Raven’s Tongue Box in the Cobblestone, which was on the last Wednesday for the month of May. Karl brought us a Bukowski moment and followed up by celebrating the ghost of Bang Bang in a city serenade, ended with work in progress ‘This Poem’.

Oran Ryan followed Karl to the mic, reading from The Death of Finn, about killing Jesus, ‘but give him three days’.  He followed up with a gift poem from a book about gifted children, a poem by a very smart 8 year old! After Oran Martin Swords made his debut at a Last Wednesday Series, first time to the Seven Towers event starting out wishing Happy Birthday to Bob Dylan with his poem Bob Dylan and Me; then reading about walking in the wood (in Tig Linn Wicklow) with Robert  Frost and his two dogs; he read a piece called Broadcast, looking at the meanings of the word in radio/TV and scattering seeds and ended ip with a poem about the Celtic Tiger from the view of a ‘Dalkey Fox!  After Martin, we had another debut, from Maggie Gleeson Maggie suggested a drastic solution to healthcare costs for the over 70s in a challenging poem – just one pill and 70s are over!  Maggie also read about a Napoleonic soldier, using a little 2 inch highsoldier prop, and finished up with a poingnant poem about her childhood.  After Maggie, Noel O’Briain, lured by the sun and long evenings, made a welcome return after an absence.  He brought with him a new monologue version of Ainle and Ardan are already dead and, returning to his roots, wowed the audience with his performance.

Noel was followed to the mic by Ross Hattaway, who continued with his commitment to insulting everyone, this time reaching to Bob Dylan and his lyrics!!  Anyhoo . . . he read from the reworked middle section of ‘Killing my Husband’ from his upcoming Pretending to be Dead and also read ‘Lip Reading’.  Then, having insulted Bob Dylan, he moved on to his gift, continuing with his challenge to himself to read lyrics as a gift.  This month in read a Maori song from 1912, a song popular among Maori soldiers and sung also by Kiri Te Kanawa.

After Ross Alma Brayden made her debut at the open mic, reading from her just published book Prism. Alma read Early Walking, a memory of going for walk with father when very young; ‘Peacock on the Hill of Doon’ -another walk many year s later in Oughterard, Hill of Doon – meeting Peacock who barred her way, strange arrogant and out of place; Carravagio’s Cat as a request! And ‘First born’ – to her son, a small astronaut.


Alma, we had another Last Wednesday debut with Breda Wall Ryan reading‘The Woman who Toasted the Owl’, from a time of dark mood, ‘Dumbstruck’,  about clerical abuse witheven language having failed us and sanctuary violated; and ‘Homecoming’ – driving home with mushrooms.  Breda was followed by another first timer Frank G Moore, who read a poem from his father’s hardware shop – names of colours of paints – ‘Colour cards’ (a bit of singing too).  He also used to work in the National Museum  and read a poem about the  Derrynaflan chalice – the chalice speaking;  After that he told us  – with more singing – about Dublin clocks and his level of sophistication when he used to meet girls under the IT Clock! In a night of debut performances, next up was Tony Gilmore, who well known from the Ranelagh Arts Festival and a contributor to Living Streets, Anthology of the Ranelagh Arts Festival  Tony read about all of his vices – cars (including a Triumph as a lampshade on wheels!) and ‘At the Bar’ about at the bar in a pub in Mayo, ending with ‘Eternity in a lifetime, with mention of cigarettes and black coffee (is that two vices!!)  After Tony, After Tony, Last Wednesday regular Anne Tannam came to the mic, reading about her bike as her chariot with a warrior helmet on her head!  Her second poem was ‘Transmutation’ – about a mid-week mitch from it’s all too much!  Then she read ‘Circumnavigation’ – using 3 pairs of hands, cooking, baking, preparing for tomorrow.  Her last poem was childhood illness, and was dedicated to her mother who had come along to listen!

Anne was followed to the mic by another regular Ines Dillon who read ‘Rough Charm’ when a neighbour who dotes on her dog challenged her to write about the dog, the poem was written by ‘Pedro’ the Yorkshire Terrier; she also read ‘Dance’ – a conduit to new experience; and about a driver sleeping in his car – rudely(!) – in ‘Oblivion’.  After Ines after MC Declan McLoughlin briefly forgot how to count again, and had to be retrained by attendees!  This little crisis averted, we got back to business with Helen Dempsey at the mic.  Helen read ‘Planting a pear tree’  from a memory of visit to Ulster Folk Museum;  she also read ‘Missed Kiss’ – about all that can be missed through MP3 players – and traffic! And then, she finished up reading about her special place in ‘I go to the Mountain’.  After Helen, Eamonn Lynskey took the mic and, after Declan’s big build up to the imminent publication of his book, decided not to read anything from the book!! He read a poem from recent events ‘Bread’ about a man murdered delivering bread;  and then, referring to the high dramatic poetry from Noel and Tony Gilmore, he contrasted this with what he described as his long tedious cliché filled poem before launching into the hilarious ‘Sports Interview’ in which  players have great legs and the manager is confident that they will use them next week! ‘It’s not the wrinkles’ followed and saw him continuing with his teasing of Ross Hattaway, dedicating the poem to Ross  and his bad hearing as admitted by Ross in his introduction to Lip Reading!!  Eamonn’s gift was reading a poem by Alma (he almost forgot the book and then Alma’s name, which fitted into his own final poem – it’s really not the wrinkles but . . . ).  He read her poems about colour – ‘Blue’ and ‘Yellow’

After Eamonn the next reader was Brendan Nolan, well known from Ballyfermot Local Radio.  Brendan told was what he assured us was a true story – the truth about the Naked Monster of the Liffey near Lucan!  This and other ‘true’ stories are found in his book Barking Mad, tales of bankers lawyers, layabouts and loonies.  After Brendan, Phil Lynch made a return to the open mic and read seasonal works with ‘Winter Sports’ – a love poem, ‘Summer’, summertime has come at last .  He also read ‘If Patrick Could See Us Now’ – about the state of the Nation as it is now with Paedophile priests and other scandals as real consciousness changers!  ‘Her parting tear’, goodbye poem was the final poem of his set.  After Phil, Eileen Keane brought the evening to a close – and managed to get one over on me.  Frequently, I record here how Eileen has tortured us by reading only part of a story adn leaving us to wait for the rest.  Whwn she took to the mic this time with just one page, I was about to complain even more – when it turned out that the one page contained a complete story, about dragging adn then losing – or being freed from – baggage!!  Another string to Ms Keane’s bow!

 2. NEWS:

News, of course, is the launches and there are three books – one just launched inMay and one for June ad one for July.  On 19th May we launched the wonderful, and beautiful Prism by Alma Brayden with Billy Hutchinson of the Dalkey Writers’ Workshop and on 2nd June And Suddenly the Sun Again by Eamonn Lynskey will be launched by Karl Parkinson with a further celebration on June 9th introduced by Niamh Bagnall – more details under events.  Huncke by Rick Mullin will be launched in July in NYC.  And these books are 1000 Book Challenge titles.


And, in other news – about Steve Conway becoming a slut – a radio slut!!  Having increased his enthusiasm for radio (if such an increase is actually possible under the laws of physics as we currently know them . . . ) Mr Conway has extended his reach so his dulcet tones will be able to be picked up on waves and virtually from just about anywhere and at many different times!!  Steve has followed up his off-shore adventure with Radio Seagull with a permanent harbour there!  (see how I tied that in nicely – think of it as an apology for the earlier mixed metaphor.)  He will be hosting a show in their new schedule, that will go out twice every Saturday – just as you are getting up, and just as you are getting ready to go out – perfect listening time.  Exact details are in the new schedule on www.radioseagull.com.  And, as if that was not enough,  Steve who can be heard  Sunday afternoons in Dublin on Phantom 105.2FM www.phantom.ie  where he broadcasts while watching the ships go by past the studio, has also landed a stint on the legendary Radio Caroline, now safely broadcasting on dry land and available on Sky Channel 0199 and www.radiocaroline.co.uk.  Full details of his timeslot there will be announced soon. 


All of the stations are also available online, you can check on the websites.


And you know what – I think we’re going to start a ‘Listen to Steve’ Campaign – Maybe a ‘Listen to Steve’ Facebook page!!  Remember you read it here first.


And btw the way, all of this is while he is writing his second book, and continuing to do publicity for the first one, Shiprocked, Life on the Waves with Radio Caroline and occasionally posing for naked photo shoots!.  Busy man!!


Talking about Facebook pages we just were  – we are going to open a Last Wednesday Facebook page before the next newsletter – so that will be something to look forward to – and to connect on !!


In other news, we are, of course, continuing with our  1000 Book Challenge. This is a challenge we have set ourselves and you in support of independent publishing in general – and this independent publishing house specifically.  Many independent publishing houses publish, as we do, books that can be only described as necessary, usually poetry, short stories and literary fiction.  First runs can be relatively small and overheads are usually kept to a minimum so money is spent mostly on producing the books.  Most small independent publishing houses can sustain future publications by selling a few thousand books a year, and to highlight this, we have initiated this 1000 Book Challenge to see how long it will take us to sell 1000 books.  And, in order to thank you for your help in participating in this challenge, we are offering reduced rates to all who buy book directly from Seven Towers – at any of our non-store events, from our website or by contacting us on 1000bookchallenge@seventowers.ie.  The offer prices are listed with the books at the end of this mail. 


AND REMEMBER – for every 1000 Books we sell we can publish 2-3 more titles, and all future titles will be 1000 Book challenge titles. 

For the rest of the year the 1000 book Challenge will be coming to a place near you – and will be coming to Chapters Bookstore in Parnell St, so keep watching!!


And – As Always –


From the Last Wednesday in April 2009, The Last Wednesday Series Reading and Open Mike will run simultaneously in Cassidy’s Bar, Westmoreland St, Dublin 2 and Rocky Sullivan’s, Red Hook, Brooklyn, New York City on the last Wednesday of every month. We believe this exciting event will help to establish an ongoing sharing and twinning relationship between the vibrant writing scenes in both communities and also provide an established space in Dublin for writers visiting from America and in New York for Irish writers visiting there. We would like to thank Fáilte Ireland for their help and encouragement in this venture.


Details are available at www.seventowers.ie


Any visiting writers wishing to attend and/or writers wishing to publicise their books at either event can contact Seven Towers at lastwednesday@seventowers.ie in advance of the event and their details will be circulated with event publicity notices.


Each venue, Cassidy’s Bar and Rocky Sullivan’s give their space free of charge to this event, so we encourage you to support them.  There is a full bar, including soft drinks and tea/coffee available and each venue also have good food menus.  We encourage all patrons to drink sensibly.


2.    EVENTS


So, we have admitted a little cheat in including our first October event as though it had been September, but we know we’ll be forgiven when you see the October events.


Wednesday 2nd June 6pm: Launch of And Suddenly the Sun Again, by Eamonn Lynskey, Cassidy’s Bar, Westmoreland St, Dublin 1, Details t [insert link]


Tursday 10th June: Chapters and Verse Themed Reading 6.30pm Chapters Bookstore, Parnell St, Dublin 1  reading with on the theme ‘Dublin’ for the month that’s init with Ross Hattaway, Eamonn Lynskey, Eileen Keane, Neville Keery, Bernit O’Reilly, Karl Parkinson, Oran Ryan, Bob Shakeshaft.  More details at [insert link]


Friday 11th June Chapters and Verse Lunchtime Reading  1.15 With  Noel King celebrating the launch of his collection Prophesying the Past More details at [insert link]


Wednesday 16th June: Chapters and Verse Lunchtime Reading  1.15 Alma Brayden, Pauline Fayne and Tony GIlmore. Chapters Bookstore, Parnell St, Dublin 1   Details at [insert link]


Friday 18th June: 8pm Quincy R Lehr erading at the Over The Edge Reading in Galway – hosted by Kevin Higgins  and  Susan Millar DuMars.


Saturday 19 June, 3pm Chapters Bookstore, Parnell St, Dublin 1  ,  WRITERS FOR GAY PRIDE with Oran Ryan, Raven, Mike Igoe, Orla Martin and Fintan o’Higgins reading as part of the Dublin Pride 2010 Festival.  Details at [insert link]


Wednesday 23th June Chapters and Verse Lunchtime 1.15pm With Quincy R Lehr back in Dublin – for a limited period only!! Details at [insert link]

Monday 28th June 8pm Cork, Quincy R Lehr featuring at O’Bheal  reading and open mic in cork, hosted by  Paul Casey. 


Wednesday 30th June

Last Wednesday Series DUBLIN Reading and Open Mic 7.30pm in Cassidy’s Bar, Westmoreland St Cassidy’s Bar, Westmoreland St, Dublin 2, Our regular reading and open mic with Steve Conway, Ross Hattaway, Eamon Lynskey, Noel O Briain, Oran Ryan among others!




Wednesday 28th October last Wednesday Series BROOKLYN Reading and Open Mic 7pm in Rocky Sullivan’s Red Hook Brooklyn with Quincy R Lehr, and Doog Wood

4. Other Events and Info to Note


Tongue Box performance poetry event with Raven, with, Harry Moschops and Angie McLaughlin.   Always a wonderful event, with jazz, blues, poetry, atmosphere! – Cobblestone in Smithfield last Tuesday of each month


And Glóir Sessions every Monday night at 9pm in the International Bar in Dublin; and Mike Igoe’s open mic event in Feile every Second Wednesday. 



Also don’t forget about other events around the country – www.whitehousepoets.ie Limerick; www.obheal.ie, Cork; overtheedgeliteraryevents.blogspot.com,   Galway.

Boyne Writer Group open mic in Trim





Advance Notice for:




Launch of Huncke by Rick Mullin


and readings with Anne Morgan, Pauline fayne, Alma Brayden, Eileen Keane and Oran Ryan among others.


Other Publications News:


General submissions for Census The Third Seven Towers Anthology are now open. 


All you need to do is read at a Seven Towers event to be eligible to submit your work for consideration.


Submissions are open until September 2010, when decisions will be given.

Please note that submissions will be accepted by email and should be mailed to submissions@seventowers.ie with ‘Census Submission’ in the subject field. 


And Grace Notes by Greagoir O Duill, due in October


And remember to support Irish publishing and writing – Buy an Irish Book today!!


Remember that all of our publications depend on the success of the 1000 Book challenge and for every 1000 books we sell we can publish 2 – 3 further titles!


6. BOOKS: