So, here we are in September, heading for October with summer over an heading into the real new year (even if the calendar doesn’t agree) with school, colleges, clubs and everything back on, and new year resolutions to join clubs, attend courses, hand assignments in on time, and join a gym for the winter on everyone’s September to do list – alongside the ‘go to the Seven Towers’ last Wednesday Series open mic event – more about that later. First, back to the calendar – think we have to lobby the government to put an extra day onto September – I mean the busiest month, and one of the shorter ones. What’s that about? And, before you think it’s just a day – well we all know what a difference a day makes!! (sorry, in the context, it had to be said!) And second, talking about the end of the summer, didn’t that happen all of a sudden – no sooner did we turn the corner into September than temperatures plummeted, winds rose and rains fell, instant winter, bit of a shock tote system. Hope the continuous nature of Seven Towers events helped some people ease into the changes of season. Anyhoo, enough rambling on from me – after all this is aforementioned (implicitly) last day of the month, and well gotta get going before we’re into October and I’m late again! 🙂
So, September. Another full month, opened on the very first day (I know month’s usually do, but I mean for Seven Towers’ business!)with our lunchtime reading in Chapters Bookstore with a reading from Ross Hattaway (returning to the mic after a long absence due to circumstances beyond . . . (you know the ritual – though in fairness, we did accept the excuses, along with a letter from his doctor), Pauline Fayne and Eamonn Lynskey. Ross read one or two from The Gentle Art of Rotting and a number from the forth coming new book, Pretending to be Dead which should be hitting the shelves in spring 2011, complete with new poems from Ross, and artwork from Ross’ brother, Australia-based artist Paul Hattaway; Pauline also read from previous publications (Killer of Fishes, I’m Fine Really) and her upcoming new and selected which is being published by Revival in Limerick. Eamonn read from his still fresh And Suddenly the Sun Again and also gave sneak preview of future collections with some new work. The next reading of the month was also in Chapters Bookstore and was our regular themed reading, the theme this month being Coming Home, twinned with our Setting out Theme which opened the summer. This reading was on the 9th, which turned out to be a busy day all around, with Eamonn Lynskey having to head off to the launch of the Lucan Arts Festival straight after his reading and Karl Parkinson also having another star turn after his reading. As usual the theme turned up many different interpretations on concept of home as well as many different feelings on and reasons for leaving and coming back. As well as Eamonn and Karl, readers were Helen Dempsey, Liz McSkeane, Steve Conway, Jarlath Gregory, Ross Hattaway, Eileen Keane and Oran Ryan. And the following week saw Anamaria Crowe Serrano giving us an interesting look at different voices from different cultures at the September 15th lunchtime reading in Chapters as she read, in addition to her own work, translations of work from the poets Elsa Cross, Daniela Raimondi and Lucetta Frisa. Anamaria was joined in the reading by Eamonn Lynskey, a hero to the last, stepping into the fray in a last minute change to the advertised bill.
I already mentioned the Lucan Arts Festival, which took place the following week – a revival of a previous festival by an innovative, dedicated and energetic crew – deserving much congratulations and support. Eamonn Lynskey and Niamh Bagnell hosted an enjoyable reading at the festival on 22 September, with a mix of local and ‘foreign’(!) readers. The venue was the Douglas Newman Good building which also hosted an art exhibition with artwork from local artists. Eamonn mc’d and readers were Lucan writer (and writer’s group member) David Mohan to the mic, to serenade us with love poems (to his beloved, and the local Chinese restaurant!); Ross Hattaway reading a combination of old and new work, including the harrowing ‘Songs’ from his recent trip to Normandy; Niamh Bagnell working hard to persuade us not to take our creatures to inappropriate places; Alma Brayden reading from her recently published collection Prism: Louise Phillips reading a selection of poetry; Triona Walsh also reading a selection of poetry; Steve Conway who read from Shiprocked, Life on the Waves with Radio Caroline and new work – on the sex life of air flight(!); Oran Ryan who, being a novelist, also read a selection of poetry; and the evening was closed by Raven performing a selection of his work. And all to a packed house – in spite of torrential rain, thunder and lightening! Well done readers, Eamonn and Niamh and Lucan Festival. Looking forward to working with you guys next year!
After the Lucan Arts Festival, a little break for you all from Seven Towers, as we went along to the launch of Tom Conaty’s collection An Exultation of Starlings published by Doghouse Books in Tralee. Tom’s book was launched with aplomb by fellow poet Seamus Cashman in an event hosted by Poetry Ireland, Then, after a brief trip though the action packed Culture Night, Saturday 25th September saw us welcome Galway poets and organisers of the Over the Edge events (and competitions) Kevin Higgins and Susan Millar DuMars to Dublin to celebrate the launch of their two books, published recently by Salmon Kevin’s Frightening New Furniture and Susan’s Dreams for Breakfast At a very enjoyable event introduced and hosted by Seven Towers’ Oran Ryan the books were launched by Patrick Chapman, who shared a trip to Athens with Susan and Kevin and each of them have a poem
from this trip in their new collections (all from Salmon), Kevin and Susan’s just launched and Patrick’s for early next year. Susan began her reading with her Athens poem, and also read Vacant Building, Outside the Crane Bar and I dream of Stephen Fry (and she did!) from the new book. Kevin also read his Athens poem, and then confessing that he, as a political poet, he was abysmally bad at predicting political events – which frequently happen after he has decided they won’t – he read about himself as the house guest from hell in House Guest, Ourselves Again, Clear Out, and Book Shop Romance.
Which brings us along to the open mic! And we had a full house and lots of new faces;
Everything started with Declan being a teacher calling for silence and complaining to the sound man (novelist Oran Ryan!) about lack of amplification – and then announced the rules (no heckling (except for Declan, of course, who said we can complain about husbands wives etc, anything to make us feel better, he would take it. Ah, St Declan.) (of course, as another aside, Declan decided to give Oran and Helen Dempsey a break and pick on Anne Tannam for this event.
First up – Sandra Harris reading, in her usual enjoyable animated manner, a short story Reunion about a young man meeting for the first time the woman the adoption agency has said was his mother. Next up was writer and cyclist Anne Tannam, who Declan felt should be give full consideration as an endangered species on Irish roads poem ‘ No Linguistic Gymnastics please’, ‘Compare yourself to no-one’ and a little ditty about when a piece of art or music really gets you – ‘Lucy’, ( who, I thing may spend some time in the Sky with Diamonds,) ‘Diminished’ – routine operation! After Anne, Hugh Doolan made his Last Wednesday Series in fact his baptism of fire, as he said, for he has never read poetry aloud before, poems –The Lions Den’, ‘OK’, Buddha Busted’, ‘one starting with My Dorsal Fin, complete with whale speak! inspired by John O’Donoghue’s Echoes of Memory and ‘In the coming times Anew monstrous afloat’, ‘Part Man’. After Hugh, Steve Conway took to the pl;ace where he is most comfortable – behind the mic, worried that Declan’s long intro would cut into his time – wonderful though it was!! Steve’s piece opened with the line ‘Casanova, my father called me’! and ended with ‘Oh my God. I think I’m a slut! After the short break (which, as it was pointed out to Declan, was longer than usual! He felt we were having too much fun and so didn’t want to interrupt! But what could be more fun than listening to the readers!) Raven took to the mic (the mic, Declan, continued to complain about!!) Raven read about ‘High John The Conqueror’ a hero figure to African American. After some public service announcements (about the I-phone App) Ross Hattaway made a welcome return after months of unavoidable absence – and he complained about the lights!! He read, for the ladies in the audience, the first two parts of his long poem ‘Killing my Husband’, He also read ‘Lip Reading, his guide to . . . which he hadn’t read for a while – and still did ok, even after missing months of training, with only one s-lip of the tongue!! His gift was a song from Max Merrit – a one-eyed rhythm and blues musician, the song ‘Slipping Away’. After Ross (who according to Declan has lips that serve poetry!) it was the turn of Roger Hudson. Roger read ‘Infectious’, ‘Cartoon Fear’ (about a child’s nightmare of a cartoon crocodile), ‘School Days, How You Say It’,about speaking ‘correctly’ as according to the locale of the specific school; Travels – Colours of New York, ‘What’s it for’. After Roger, Declan pointed out, as it occurred to him, that in all the time he has been mcing he had hardly ever heard a mobile phone ringing! A testament to the readers and listeners. After this Dave Rock, visiting from Galway, took to the mic, with a poem stilling on still fairground rides, also ‘You, I and Shakespeare’ and ‘Canon’ *The Buddhist Goddess of Mercy). Next up was Ines Dillon who read some haiku – about a cob swan, a grey horse,the moon and Naas harbour by night, low branch on an apple tree, and a can rolling along ridged concrete. After Ines it was the turn of Jim Rooney who started with ‘Shadow of the Hawk’ about a mouse waiting, waiting, knowing the hawk was there, ‘Import; about an immigrant to Ireland, and ;November’ (nothing about November –sets a mood!) after Jim, it was the turn of Oran Ryan, (and Declan’s reminiscing of Oran;s launch with the smell of pee in Doyle’s Bar!!) a man, also according to Declan, defined by the uselessness of art (and he means that in a good way! Oran read a short story called,’The Summary of All Love Poems read by me this summer. In introducing the writers from Fingal and Bob Shakeshaft as a member of the Fingal Literary Mafia! Bob read ‘Why’ about Dr Neary scandal in Drogheda, ‘Safenest’ inspired by a message from one of Neary’s victims, and ‘Arrival;’ about the birth of a child. Bob’s gift was a translation called ‘Leopard’ After Bob,Declan set one of his challenges – to look at investigative literary endeavour, maybe an investigative poem, investigative literature! it was the turn of Helen Dempsey (another member of the Fingal mafia!)., Helen read ‘Pigs Cheek’, with a maelstrom of memories ‘Mismatch. After Helen Paul Hendricks took to the mic and read an extract from a book he’s writing about a 21 year old who has moved to Amsterdam and run into trouble – passage about how their differences in taste reflect their ages, and then a short poem ‘Welcome to Number 23, Gorgeous Living. It was Paul’s first reading at Last Wednesday. The briefly Declan lost count of his sessions, But pulled it together! After another short break it was the turn of Eamonn Lynskey who read "a poem set in Hang Shao in China, near a lake with exotic names, reminding him of the Catholic litany, the poem is called “On the West Lake Hang Shao where poetry is gained in translation’ Then it was the turn of Ruairi Conneely, making his Last Wednesday, and reading debut. Ruairi read a short short story called about magic mushroom and a city dweller in the country! After Ruairi, it was the turn of Phil Lynch who read ‘Reading Between the Lines’ about poems on the DART and coming home to Dublin after living abroad, also ‘The Smile’, ‘Howth 7am’, After Phil John Piggott took to the ,mic with a poem about the love affair of R2D2, Superman’s car’ and ‘Scheduled Obsolescence. called the ‘Six Million Dollar Man’. Casablanca (for everyone who has ever been unfortunate enough to have to do the right thing) and a love poem called 2001. After John Vincent Manda took to the mic with ‘Vincent Edward Manda’ and a poem written in a Blues Bar’. After a very very brief break
Damien Kennerk started off the hard core final part of the evening, reading from his play about fighting oppression. The main characters in the scene were two bricklayers. He also read a poem called ‘Kilkenny Fragments of Home about a house where his mother was born and raised that is now in ruins in Kilkenny After Damien it was the turn of Diarmuid Brophy debuting at Last Wednesday with ‘A Day in the Life of a Park Bench’, watching New York City from a park bench near the Hudson River. Alexander Cole doing his second reading and his first Last Wednesday. he read ‘From a Word’, then ‘Visiting Hours, a poem in four parts. After Alex, Karl Parkinson closed the night with City Saga, with the ghost of bang bang paying a visit too. and a new poem, that he had been trying to write for many years – still a work in progress. about being ‘down here’
Which brought us right to the edge, close to midnight on the second last day of the month.
And we are also delighted to welcome Seven Towers Writer (who will be appearing in an upcoming Stinging Fly Anthology) Donal Moloney back to Ireland from foreign parts! He’ll be celebrating his return with a lunchtime reading!
Other news is the imminent launch of the Seven Towers I-phone app – brainchild of Ruairi – which is currently being developed. And as part of this we are launching our ‘Best of Read’ Competition, where an independent party will select an item read at the open mic each month for posting on our website initially, and the circulating on the app. All readers have to do is submit some or all of the work read at the open mic to email@example.com, with ‘Best of Read’ and the date of the open mic (and location – Dublin or Brooklyn) in question, by5pm on the Sunday night following the open mic. The judge will not be known to the readers, and their decision will be final. Winners of each ‘Best of Read’ will not be eligible for the immediately following ‘Best of Read’ competition.
The Last Wednesday Series continues in the upstairs room in Chaplin’s Bar in Hawkins St for the foreseeable future, and we are working on bribing the bronze usher in the square outside the Screen Cinema to direct people our way if they have any difficulty locating us. Upstairs is a nice intimate setting, complete with open fireplace (maybe for the winter?) So do come and visit us in our new home! And, for a bit of background about Chaplin’s. Our cosy new home got its name from a mispelling! It back onto what is now a hostel and what used to be a Church and religious community house in D’Olier St. Given the location it was thought that ‘Chaplain’s’ would be a good name for the pub. BUT, when the signage was completed, the name was spelt wrong and it was ‘Chaplin’s. However, one can’t help but wonder if something other than an error was at work in the mis-spelling, as the famous Theatre Royal, which used to be located on t`he site overlooked by the pub, once had its boards crossed by a little known English Comedian – a Mr Charles Chaplin! So maybe the current title really was the one intended for the building! And, to balance all, they have the Bishop’s corner downstairs, and performing writers upstairs!!
As for Steve Conway – our intrepid author, journalist, adventurer, and broadcaster, continues to be heard in Dublin (and on the internet) on Phantom 105.2FM, in the UK and internationally on Sky channel 0199 on Radio Caroline (online at www.radiocaroline.com) and in Holland, the UK and Tenerife on Radio Seagull (on line on www.radioseagull.com) He is on Seagull on Saturday, Phantom on Sunday and Caroline on Monday. More details shortly on www.seventowers.ie.
And remember the 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. The offer prices are listed with the books at the end of this mail. You can check the 1000 Book Challenge out on its page in Facebook, and also look there for more news about upcoming Christmas offers (yeh I know – but you know what, it’ll be here before you know it, less than 90 shopping days yet, and Christmas parties being booked as I speak!)
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.
The three books, , Huncke by Rick Mullin, And Suddenly the Sun Again by Eamonn Lynskey and Prism by Alma Brayden are part of the 1000 book challenge – which you can check out on www.seventowers.ie and on FaceBook, and below. They are, in fact the first 3 1000 Book Challenge books that we have published, and we look forward to selling these to enable us to publish the next three titles, which include work from Greagoir O Duill as well and new work from Quincy R Lehr and Ross Hattaway.
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 –
Since the Last Wednesday in April 2009, The Last Wednesday Series Reading and Open Mike is running simultaneously Chaplin’s Bar, Hawkins 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 email@example.com in advance of the event and their details will be circulated with event publicity notices.
Each venue, Chaplins 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 Rocky Sullivan’s also have great pizzas! We encourage all patrons to drink sensibly.
Wednesday 6th October 2010 Chapters Bookstore, 1.15pm with Alma Brayden, Clair Ni Aonghusa and Raven check it out at [insert link]
Thursday 14th October Chapters and Verse Reading 6.30pm Chapters Bookstore, Parnell St, Dublin 1 reading with on the theme ‘Spooks and Ghouls’ with Steve Conway, Pauline Fayne, , Ross Hattaway, Eileen Keane, Eamonn Lynskey, Bernie O’ Reilly, Karl Parkinson, Oran Ryan, Bob Shakeshaft [insert link]
Wednesday 20th October: Chapters and Verse Lunchtime Reading 1.15 Chapters Bookstore, Parnell St, Dublin 1 Donal Moloney, Ross Hattaway and Raven
Thursday 28th October Sean O’Casey Community Centre, St Mary’s Road East Wall – Scary night – for Children of all ages with Ghosts and Ghouls as part of the East wall Hallowe’en festival – with readers to include Oran Ryan, Steve Conway, Ross Hattaway, , Eamonn Lynskey, Joe Moran, Raven12 year old Lucy Hattaway and it will be followed by an open mic where everyone can tell their ghost stories!
Wednesday 27th October Last Wednesday Series DUBLIN Reading and Open Mic 7.30pm in Chaplains Bar, Hawkins St, Dublin 2
Wednesday 27th October Last Wednesday Series BROOKLYN Reading and Open Mic 7pm in Rocky Sullivan’s Red Hook Brooklyn with Lisa McLaughlin
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.
The Caca Milis cabaret in Wexford www.cacamilis.org
Boyne Writer Group open mic in Trim
5. LOOKING FORWARD
Advance Notice for:
Themed reading ‘’Remember Last Winter’ in November.
Charity event in aid of Cats Aid
Upcoming releases –
Grace Notes by Greagoir O Duill
Pretending to be Dead by Ross Hattaway, with artwork by Paul Hattaway
Obscure Classics of English Progressive Rock by Quincy R Lehr
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Census Submission’ in the subject field.
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!
Census, The First Seven Towers Anthology is available for sale and €1 from each book will be donated to AWARE. Submissions to 2nd Census will be accepted from Open mic in March 2009.
The Origami Crow, Journey into Japan. World Cup Summer 2002 by Eamon Carr
"I can’t praise it enough” John Waters
"It’s a gem" Stuart Clarke, Hot Press
"witty and very readable." Eugene Masterson, The Sunday World
Across the Grid of Streets by Quincy R Lehr
"intellectually rigorous and displaying a serious engagement with poetic form" Michael O’Loughlin
"a wonderfully strong and powerful collection." John W Sexton
"One of the finest poets I have had the pleasure of knowing". Liam Aungier
"[Quincy’s] long, busy poems demonstrate much energy and narrative talent."
Fiona Sampson, The Irish Times.
" the poems display Lehr’s unflinching intelligence and sharp-edged wit". David Yezzi
Scattering Day: 21 Sonnets and Other Poems by Noel Ó Briain.
"We are lucky today to have such a collection of work at our disposal" Gerard Mannix Flynn
The Death of Finn by Oran Ryan
"Oran is a new and powerful voice in Irish literature . . .the fine detail of the writing, and the clarity and simplicity of expression and phraseology . . . a serious and entertaining and perceptive novel of relationships and ideas and a book which will hold readers enthralled and awakened as they journey through it". Seamus Cashman
"Ryan brings a self-assured tone to this his debut novel" Sunday Tribune
"The Death of Finn succeeds well as a study of the search for faith and the inner workings of monasticism as seen from the Irish Catholic viewpoint, while also addressing the question of honesty with self and with others" Book View Ireland, Irish Emigrant (www.emigrant.ie).
Ten Short Novels by Arthur Kruger by Oran Ryan
“a stimulating, enjoyable and challenging novel that made me chuckle with its wry Beckett-like humour.” Frank Kelly
The Gentle Art of Rotting by Ross Hattaway
"An exciting new collection of poetry" Sunday Independent
Shiprocked, Life on the Waves with Radio Caroline
By Steve Conway (Liberties Press 2009) €12.99
Gareth O’Callaghan, also a former Caroline DJ praises Steve’s “wonderful ability to tell stories and create pictures” and said “no movie script can ever better or overshadow the story that you tell so finely and so passionately”.
“he writes with a contagious sense of wonderment . . . reads like the radio obsessive version of Nick Hornby’s Fever Pitch”,
The Bell By Ray Pospisil
Stark and haunting first collection by the late New York poet.
Old Men Forget by Doog Wood
Disturbing humorous, poignant and definitely unique first collection by North Carolina poet Doog Wood.
Living Streets Anthology of the Ranelagh Arts Festival
A collection of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and visual art works from the annual Ranelagh Arts festival
1000 Book Challenge Prices:
Books bought directly from the Publisher only
Across the Grid of Streets by Quincy R Lehr PB €9.99 (RRP €14.99), HB €14.99, RRP €19.99
Highly acclaimed first collection by New York based Oklahoman poet, Quincy R Lehr.
The Bell by Ray Pospisil PB €9.99 (RRP €12.99)
Posthumous first collection from New York poet and journalist.
Census, The First Seven Towers Anthology PB €10.99 (RRP €14.99)
Anthology drawn from work read at Seven Towers spoken word events.
The Death Of Finn by Oran Ryan PB €5.99 (RRP 9.99) HB €12.99 (RRP €19.95)
Debut novel by Dublin novelist, playwright and screen writer, tells of love life and death in a fictional religious order.
The Gentle Art of Rotting by Ross Hattaway PB €9.99 (RRP €14.99) HB €14.99 (RRP €19.99)
First collection of High Country poetry by New Zealand born Irish poet, Ross Hattaway.
Living Streets Anthology of the Ranelagh Arts Festival €12.99
Old Men Forget by Doog Wood PB €9.99 (RRP €12.99)
Debut collection from North Carolina poet and classicist
The Origami Crow, Journey Into Japan, World Cup Summer 2002 by Eamon Carr €9.99 (RRP €14.99) HB €14.99 (RRP €19.99)
First book by Meath poet, musician, journalist and broadcaster.
Scattering Day, 21 Sonnets and Other Poems by Noel Ó Briain PB €9.99 (RRP €14.99) HB €14.99 (RRP €19.99)
Debut Collection by Wexford based producer, director, actor and poet.
Ten Short Novels by Arthur Kruger by Oran Ryan PB €5.99 (RRP 9.99) HB €12.99 (RRP €19.95)
Critically acclaimed second novel by Dublin novelist, playwright and screenwriter.
Huncke by Rick Mullin
And Suddenly the Sun Again by Eamonn Lynskey
Prism by Alma Brayden