November Newsletter 2010

The Terrible Tunnel – Place of Ghosts and Ghouls – From the Seven Towers, Nascadh East Wall residents Fright Night special

So, the Seven Towers Agency was able to ease into October, which is more than can be said about the mixed weather this month!! Our first reading was Wednesday 6th, with Alma Brayden reading from her recently published Prism, and Clair Ni Aonghusa reading from her current work in progress. Our themed reading was, of course, spooks and ghouls and sharing their inner and outer monsters on the night were Pauline Fayne (who likes to mow in the dark!) Ross Hattaway, who comes from a landscape of ghosts – and in spite of himself, sometimes seeks them out too! Eileen Keane honoured us again with a short piece written especially for the night, while Eamonn Lynskey Bernie O’Reilly and Bob Shakeshaft reminded us of the different kinds of ghosts in out lives; Karl Parkinson told us about seeing the ghost of his father, and Oran Ryan finished up, warning us that trees are fighting back!!

The second lunchtime reading was on the 20th October and saw Ross Hattaway reading from his upcoming collection, and Eamonn Lynskey reading from his just published And Suddenly the Sun Again,

And that brings us along to Our Last Wednesday Series Open Mic, on the 27th of October

Declan began by telling the readers that it was a busy night and that they needed to focus on ‘quality people not quantity!’ – and he’s be counting 🙂

The night started off with Jim Rooney, mincing bankers in an industrial mincemeat machine, and coercing grimacing strangers to receive poems as gifts! There was also a bit about bad investments (back to mincing the bankers eh!) and ending with the melodious relationship of Blake Bear and Betty – melodious, that is, until Blake met Melanie at a salmon run, and retuned himself in her harmony! Jim was followed by Aisling Fox, at her first reading in Chaplin’s, Last Wednesday appearance. Padraig was the first reader from the magic bus – the Poetry Bus journal born out of the weekly challenge on Peadair O’Donoghue’s Poetry Bus website which created a whole on-line community and then grew into a magic bus that fits in your pocket – and doesn’t make noise outside the window when you’re reading at an open mic! Padraig read his poems Slaughterer and Precaution. He then read a piece by Aoife Mannix (also from the Poetry Bus – about that volcano in Iceland – which Padraig spelled rather than risk mis-pronouncing! He finished with a reading of Karen Neviski’s poem, also from the Poetry Bus magazine. Ines Dillon followed Padraig to the mic with Cait and painting of Cait and her cat – her entry for the Texaco Children’s Art Competition (in which she won a prize). She then read a poem about the house spider who was her first – and who never gives interviews! After Ines, Phil Lynch took to the mic with Late Night City, when he got scarily stuck alone in the city, Return Journey about a recurring dream/nightmare; Gentle River about man against man and man against nature and finished with The Other Side of the Wall about all the changes after the fall of the Berlin Wall, as we come up to the 21st Anniversary of that momentous event. After Phil it was the turn of Karl Parkinson (during his call for silence, Declan wondered if this was an evening of good company interrupted by poetry! ) Karl reminded us that he had won the Leinster Slam – and intended to win the all Ireland on 30th October (watch this space for updates on that!). Karl read Nothing More to Say and I Have a Dream from his collection a sacrament of song his chapbook from Wurm Press. He finished with a poem to Conor and the Poetry Chicks – I am the Revolution. After Karl, John Piggott took to the mic reading Flat Spin about being a happy couple, and the effect of alcohol dilution on the happiness. After John, it was the turn of Damien Kennerk who read a new poem Elements about a friend of his who died of cancer. Darfur about America’s foreign policy, and then about Tension and Fear – the ingredients before a football match! Damien finished with a new Haiku – just because there are positives out there as well as all the negatives. Next up was Maggie O’Dwyer, making a debut at Lat Wednesday – wondering what a snake could do to entice her out of the garden of Eden with Wallflowers’ she then read Last Time, about the wish you had always just said , , that Last Time; she finished with her poem Waiting which is another of the passengers in the Poetry Bus. Maggie was followed to the mic by Susan Roe, making a return to the open mic, reading from a new, as yet untitled work involving wimpy men and not so wimpy women wielding baseball bats!

After a short break it was the turn of Shabnam Vasisht who read extracts from her works about mother’s life who was brought up as a Christian in British India, a remarkable woman, who got a university education in a country where education of women was not yet common. After Shabnam, Helen Dempsey was warned that she will be up next(!), with a brief advertisement for Census and the new promotion called ‘Best of Read’ . Then Helen was at the mic with, firstly a reply to Declan’s challenge to do investigative and controversial poetry – she first read ‘Us and Them’ about pharmaceutical companies and their impact and effects around the world; her second poem was ‘Dark Horse’ – about the Irish situation. (More about those bankers!) After Helen it was the turn of Bob Shakeshaft at the mic, reading ‘Bubbles belch’; ‘Street’ I about those napples norringes and nunions for sale! After Bob it was Sandra Harris with a seasonal Hallowe’en short story, and being careful what you wished for.

Our antipodean bard, the inimitable Ross Hattaway

After another short break, Ross Hattaway took to the mic, reading from (according to Declan) the other side of the world! – about Irish history with ‘Black and Tanka’, about ‘The Need for Leadership’, from his forthcoming collection; and he finished with a continuation of his spoken songs with Maria Peripatetic from Ed Kueper. After Ross it was the turn of Anne Tanhem reading a fairytale, about a small green village – that grew bigger and bigger – the village of a 1,000 Welcomes (remind you of anything?), a village with a little diamond mine, a village that got rich, (though some richer than others) until one day the mine exploded and no one could be found, and the gold coins on display were actually base metals, and then villagers had to borrow from other villagers and work hard for 1,000 years to pay it all back. Again, remind you of anything?

After Anne, it was Oran Ryan’s turn. He began by inviting us to ‘Dinner with Doctor Mengele’ and ‘A Christmas 1947 Preliminary Design for a Universe Circling Spaceship’. After Oran the next reader was Donal Moloney making a welcome return after a long gap – living in Germany and becoming Daddy to baby Jens. He also wrote some stories! He read from his novella ‘In the Balance’, with a touch of Mendelssohn, and leaving the main character on a lonely road to Dublin!.


Next up was F. Thomas Moore, with a bit of singing a bit of ‘Love Letters in the Sand’ and then reading ‘Postcard’ written to his former wife about holidays they used to go on together. He followed up with a poem remembering meeting girlfriends under the Irish Times Clock, ‘Dublin Clocks’; he finished up with ‘The Writers’ Workshop’, including a profession of love to Judi Dench! After F. Thomas the mic was handed over to Eamonn Lynskey who read ‘Listening to my Elders’, a very different slant on this concept; he followed up with a ‘slightly racist, misogynistic, politically incorrect poem’! He then read a poem he would like to call ‘Domestic Interiors’, but thought that sounded at bit . . . And he finished with six curmudgeonous Haiku! Kate Dempsey was next at the mic – having travelled up on the Poetry Bus, with her angry recession poem. She then read Rachel Fox’s poem from the Poetry Bus, and then her own, ‘Crewe’, the town that you ALWAYS go through no matter where you go to in England. After Kate it was the turn of Liz McSkeane reading an extract from her new novel ‘Slaughter at the Summer School’ leaving us to wonder just what kind of slaughter was in the offing! The last reader for the evening, a man of immense patience, was Colm Keegan, who had an almost impossible time getting here – but thought it was worth it to catch the Poetry Bus. He read his poem ‘Chalks’ from the Poetry Bus magazine, a poem inspired by seeing a homeless man expressing his thoughts with colored chalks on the street. He also read a poem about ‘hard men’ and the consequences of their life.

But the open mic wasn’t the end of our Halloween celebrations, as the very next night, the 28th, we took part in the wonderful East Wall Halloween festival Fright Night.

East Wall, in Dublin’s North Inner City, where the Seven Towers Agency is based, and where we live, is no stranger to the arts and literature, something illustrated by the Sean O’Casey Community Centre in the heart of the area, named after than internationally renowned East Wall resident. And the great tradition continued on Fright Night with native, resident and visiting writers, artists and actors taking part in a fun night of ghost stories and hauntings during the East Wall Halloween festival, organized by local community committees and Nascadh and with direct involvement from local area T.D. Maureen O’Sullivan, with events for children of all ages, from the very young, to the oldest and wisest!
The night began at 6pm with a ghost walk around the East Wall area, stopping off at some local haunting sites, scripted by East Wall’s Joe Mooney and Catriona Ni Chasaide, and narrated by East Wall’s own Vinnie McCabe, the well known film and television actor. Fun was had by over 200 people on the walk – and it looks like we may just have scared up some other visitors too!! Vinnie, Joe and Caitriona were ably helped by Karl Parkinson, Sabrina Kelly, Linda Byrne, Steve Conway, and Eamonn Lynskey.

More scenes from that East Wall Fright night where we had hundreds listening to the ghastly tales performed by VInnie Mc Cabe

After the walk, people of all ages – from the very young to the not so young poured into the Sean O’Casey Theatre on St Mary’s Road for more entertainment. Ross Hattaway read poetry about the ghosts haunting his homeland, Fiachra Byrne who is only 8 read a story he had written about haunted trains (which go by the end of my road, so maybe I’ won’t look out if I hear a whistle tonight!). After Fiachra, Steve Conway told us that he doesn’t believe in ghosts – but it looks as if the ghost on the Ross Revenge may believe in him, even if he is not that impressed by him and his crew mates! After Steve, Ruairi Conneely told us what really goes on in those little model villages in people’s attics, and then Lucy Hattaway (12) read a poem she has written called ‘Ghost’ and written in the ghost’s voice. After Lucy, Eamonn Lynskey read works about personal ghosts that haunt us, and the Linda Byrne read a story by local writer and artist Joe Moran. After Linda, Soren Byrne (11) read his story about mysterious disappearing houses, Karl Parkinson read about his personal ghosts – and then some others that are familiar to Dubliners. Oran Ryan talked and read about the ghosts that haunt his books, and writing, The evening was ended with little Amber Lennon who came up to the open mic tell us what really happens to people who are turned into frogs! The evening ended with the showing of the short file The Ghost of Oliver Plunkett by East Wall film maker Craig Kavanagh.

It was a wonderful reading, with a packed theatre and a wonderful audience – looking forward to doing our next event in East Wall!


Read out the Recession

The Seven Towers Agency is delighted to announce our Read Out the Recession Promotion as part of our ongoing 1,000 Book Challenge. Read Out the Recession will give you the chance to buy our books and recession reduced prices and, in doing so, to support us, the arts through the 1,000 Book Challenge which enables us to publish new titles each year. Under the 1,000 Book Challenge for every 1,000 books we sell we can publish 2-3 further titles. Our first 3 1,000 Book Challenge books are Prism by Alma Brayden, And Suddenly the Sun Again by Eamonn Lynskey and Huncke by Rick Mullin. Under the Read Out the Recession Promotion you will be given the opportunity to buy these and all other Seven Towers books at the special massively reduced price of €7 each or 3 books for €20. This promotional offer will be available at special pre-announced events held by the Seven Towers Agency. More information is also available from

And, 12 Journeys One Destination an anthology of stories about Dublin which includes a short story by Oran Ryan will be launched on 28th November in the Centre for Creative Practices. 12 Journeys is published by the Irish Writers Exchange.

And then CENSUS 3 – which will be published in March 2011, is accepting submissions until 31 Dec 2010 – to be eligible to submit all you have to do is read at last Wednesday events!!

And on that note – only two Last Wednesday Open Mics left in 2010 – one in Dublin in November (no Open mic at Christmas) and one in Brooklyn in December (no Brooklyn open mic in November due to Thanksgiving.

So get reading! And Remember Census is a 1000 Book Challenge Book, so get buying too to enable publication.

As part of the Last Wednesday, we have also introduced our BEST of READ event – whereby there will be a monthly ‘Best of’ posted on our website!

And don’t forget our other upcoming publications in 2011, though there, I have to add that, though it hurts me to say this, Ross Hattaway has won the battle of titles for his up coming book and it will be called Killing My Husband and Other Entertainments. And our other 2011 publications – Grace Notes by Greagoir O Duill, Obscure Classics of Progressive English Rock by Quincy R Lehr


Monday 1st November 8pm, Heather Hotel, The Martello, Bray The First event for a Seven Towers Writer in November is right at the beginning – Alma Brayden is reading from her collection Prism at the Bray Arts Evening in the Martello Hotel on the seafront in Bray.

Wednesday 3rd November, Lunchtime Reading, 1.15 Chapters Bookstore, Parnell St, Dublin 1. Clair Ni Aonghusa and Eamonn Lynskey

Wednesday 10th November, Lunchtime Reading, 1.15 Chapters Bookstore, Parnell St, Dublin 1. Eve of Armistice reading with Neville Keery and Catherine Ann Cullen

Thursday 11th November, Themed Reading, 6.30 pm Chapters Bookstore, Parnell St, Dublin 1. Theme is ;Remember Last Winter. Readers are Steve Conway, Pauline Fayne, Ross Hattaway, Eileen Keane, Eamonn Lynskey, Bernadette O’Reilly, Karl Parkinson, Oran Ryan, Bob Shakeshaft.

Wednesday 17th November. Lunchtime Reading, 1.15 Chapters Bookstore, Parnell St, Dublin 1. with Donal Moloney and Ross Hattaway.

Wednesday 24th November 7.30pm Chaplin’s Bar, Hawkins St, Dublin 2. Last Wednesday Series Reading and Open Mic.

Tuesday 30th November 7pm, Centre for Creative Practices. Launch of Dublin, Twelve Journeys One Destination.with a story by Oran Ryan in it see






ongue 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

Also don’t forget about other events around the country – Limerick;, Cork;, Galway.

Boyne Writer Group open mic in Trim







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