Strong/ Shine Award 2015

I’m really excited to be nominated for this year’s Strong/ Shine Award for a first collection. It’s an incredibly strong shortlist, and I’m delighted to have my work considered in such good company. The winner isn’t announced until the 22nd March at the Mountains to Sea Festival, so it’ll be a tense wait until then!

Each of the shortlisted poets will read on the day, so mark it down in your calendar as one of your festival must-sees.

Here’s the shortlist and a link to the Mountains to Sea website

Graham Allen The one that got awayGraham Allen Graham Allen was born in Barking, Essex, and studied at St Davids University, Lampeter, Wales. He completed his M.A. and his Ph.D at theUniversity of Sheffield. His first academic post was at the University of Dundee, Scotland. Graham moved to Cork in 1995 and is currently Professor in the School of English, University College Cork. He is the author of a number of critical works, including Intertextuality (first published in 2000) and Mary Shelley (2008). His first poetry collection, The One That Got Away, was shortlisted for The Crashaw Prize in 2013 and its title poem was winner of the Listowel Single Poem Prize in 2010. The One That Got Away was published by New Binary Press in 2014. Graham Allen’s on-going epoem is also published by New Binary Press.

caoilinnHughes Gathering Evidence final coverCaoilinn Hughes‘ first collection, Gathering Evidence, was published by Carcanet Press and Victoria University Press in 2014. Poems from the collection won the 2012 Patrick Kavanagh Award, the 2013 Cúirt New Writing Prize and Trócaire / Poetry Ireland Competition. Born in Galway, she studied at Queen’s University of Belfast and moved to New Zealand in 2007, where she worked for Google, ran a small business, and finally wrote a Ph.D. at Victoria University of Wellington (50% of which was a novel). She recently moved to The Netherlands, where she holds a position as “Distinguished Visiting Writer” at Maastricht University. She is writing her second poetry collection and a new novel.

Jean Kavanagh 1Jean Kavanagh Other PlacesJean Kavanagh is an Irish poet living in Oslo, Norway. She studied Irish Folklore and English Literature in UCD, Dublin. She has been shortlisted twice, in2010 and 2011, for Galway’s Over The Edge New Writer of the Year, and in 2012 was shortlisted for the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award. Her work has been published in journals, showcase anthologies for the Galway Arts Centre, and in Dogs Singing: A Tribute Anthology (Salmon Poetry, 2011).  Other Places is her debut collection.

Jessica TraynorJessica Traynor Liffey SwimJessica Traynor was born in Dublin in 1984.  Literary Reader at the Abbey Theatre and a creative writing teacher, she has published poems in a variety of magazines and journals and her work is included in a number of anthologies including If Ever You Go: A Map of Dublin in Poetry and Song (Dublin’s One City One Book, 2014) and The New Planet Cabaret Anthology. She won the 2011 Listowel Poetry Prize and the Hennessy New Irish Writer of the Year Award in 2013. She was awarded the Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary in 2014 . Liffey Swim is her debut collection of poems.

New Poetry Writing Course at The Big Smoke Writing Factory

Here’s an update about a poetry course I’m teaching this April alongside Dave Lordan at Big Smoke Writing Factory. Really looking forward to it.

The Bogman’s Cannon

Poetry – reading it, writing it, editing it.

SATURDAYS, starting 11th April 2015, 11am-1pm, 8 weeks, 200 euro.

A course for those who enjoy reading and writing poetry and want to take their practice to the next level. All aspects of poetry – reading it, writing it, editing it – will be touched on and the emphasis will be on assisting workshop participants to finish a strong portfolio of new poems.

The workshop will be led by Jessica Traynor and Dave Lordan, both published poets with an excellent teaching record.


  • Week 1: Finding inspiration and gathering material
  • Week 2: The poet’s library and reading list – negotiating the canon
  • Week 3: Metaphor and simile
  • Week 4: Sound and rhythm
  • Week 5: Drafting and re-drafting
  • Week 6: The poem out loud – public reading and poetry for stage and radio
  • Week 7: The poetry journal and poetry publishing world
  • Week…

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Double Shot – A grassroots Poetry Initiative of The Bogman’s Cannon, Jessica Traynor and Philip Coleman

Here’s some information on Double Shot, the pilot series of poetry readings I’ll be helping to run in the exciting new Books Upstairs venue on D’Olier Street. We kick off on the 25th Feb – watch this space!

The Bogman’s Cannon

DOUBLE SHOT @ Books Upstairs

A grassroots poetry initiative of The Bogman’s Cannon, Jessica Traynor and Philip Coleman

Double Shot is a series of poetry readings at the new Books Upstairs Premises on D’Olier Street, which seeks to pair an emerging poet with a more established peer and to provide reading opportunities for poets who don’t often get to read in Dublin. We charge a minimal entry fee of €5 to cover overheads and writer travel costs.

We invite all grassroots poetry supporters in the Dublin to attend. Double Shot is completely independent and run by volunteers. We thank our partners in Books Upstairs, Ireland’s No 1 Poetry Book stockists for supporting us.


Our line-up for the pilot reading is as follows:


Jessica Traynor and Graham Allen

Wed 25th February @ Books Upstairs, 7pm

Tickets at

The Bogman’s Cannon will feature articles and interviews with Graham Allen and Jessica Traynor…

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