Seven Towers special Themed Reading Heroes and Super Heroes


The notion of a hero speaks of someone who is admired or even idolized for courage or truly exceptionally noble qualities in the face of extraordinary adversity. This Thursday 11th July in the Irish Writers Center, Parnell Square four writers/poets will expound on their own inimitable interpretations and understandings of the state of heroism in the twenty first century.

Barbara Smith is a poet and teacher who lives in County Louth, Ireland. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from Queen’s University, Belfast. RecSample Imageent achievements include being shortlisted for the UK Smith/Doorstop Poetry Pamphlet competition 2009, a prizewinner at Scotland’s 2009 Wigtown Poetry Competition, and recipient of the Annie Deeny 2009/10 bursary awarded by the Tyrone Guthrie Centre for Artists and Writers, Ireland. Her first collection, Kairos, was published by Doghouse Books in 2007.

Catherine Ann Cullen was born in Drogheda, Co Louth. She is a graduate of the M.Phil in Creative Writing at Trinity College Dublin. Her work has been published in The Doghouse Book of Ballad Poems, two Sunday Miscellany collections, The Stinging Fly, College Green and The Sunday Tribune. She is a regular contributor to RTÉ Radio One’s Sunday Miscellany and A Living Word, and has presented work at the Kilkenny Arts Festival, the Brendan Kennelly Summer School, the Poetry Ireland Introductions Series, the Between the Lines Festival, and Belfast Young at Arts. Two verse-stories for children, The Magical, Mystical, Marvelous Coat (2001) and Thirsty Baby (2003) have been published by Little, Brown in the US. They first won a gold award for Poetry and Folklore from the American Parents Association. Her animation work includes a bawdy verse-script for Rowlandson Rides Again (Moving Still, 2006), an adult short on the 18th Century artist Thomas Rowlandson. She has made documentaries and a series about food for RTÉ Radio 1 and produced current affairs, arts and features. She lives with her partner Harry and daughter Stella in Kimmage, Dublin. A Bone in My Throat (Doghouse) is her first collection of poetry.

Published in The Stinging Fly and The Scaldy Detail, Maggie Breen has been writing since as far back as she can remember. Compelled to write as a form of speaking out, she draws inspiration from the familiar at home, childhood memories, her extensive travels and vivid dreams. Originally from Monageer, Co. Wexford, she divides her time between Sallins, Co. Kildare, and Dingle, Co. Kerry.
“Maggie Breen digs deep into personal memory to unearth a vivid picture of a rural childhood, to reclaim that childhood in language, and to reinhabit with power and grace the landscape of those early years. She shines light into the darkest reaches of community and family life and celebrates the tenacity and endurance of the child self. She gives us poems rich in promise: even as she unpacks the complex baggage of a young Irishwoman determined to take the world on her own terms, she succeeds in celebrating the very blessings of that difficult path. These poems bring to mind Kavanagh’s beautiful phrase —
To look on is enough / In the business of love.” Paula Meehan

Ruairi Conneely is a writer born in France and grew up in London. Published in Census and with an extensive interest in graphic novels, Ruairi now works as a journalist for the local newspaper News 4

First Tuesday Reading with John Kearns – 2-7-2013


By Sarah Lundberg

So blogging live from the exciting First Tuesday event with visiting author, New Yorker and Irish American writer, John Kearns, fresh from his high flying media life-style, after an interview with Myles Dungan on the Pat Kenny show! First up, John Kearns met his Irish mirror – the other John Kearns. Having been brought up in Philadephia – where his novel The World is set – a novel where there one character who is many people- including youth, artist . . . based on the idea where when a character goes through a major change in their life they gain a name change. Eamonn Lynskey, interviewing John, was conscious of Joycean influence in the work, the stream of consciousness style and the influence of the Irish background, a heritage that the character discovers as the book develops.

Eamonn asked John about his interest in the Molly Maguires, which came from reading a book at school and which kind of grew itself and keeps re-visiting itself on him, making him an accidental historian – and John invested his knowledge into a play Sons of Molly Maguire.

Eamonn invited John to read from ‘Backstage’ one of his short stories, written about a young student

who is involved in some one act plays.

Eamonn talked about the story ‘Athletics’ and how it and other characters of John’s set themselves standards they have to live up to. Eamonn read a paragraph from the story – which reminded him of Frank O’Hara’s lunchtime poems.

After the talk there was a Q&A where Ruairi asked about writing short stories, which he doesn’t write so much any more – concentrating on novels and plays.

Oran Ryan asked about his artistic sensibility – whether John is more influenced by Irish or American literature – and John explained how and why his influence is Irish literature, which he studied at Graduate School also.

John read a bit about the Irish identity part in The World, a kind of naïve history section, when the character is ‘the youth’.