Podcast available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Player FM, Radio Public, OverCast, PocketCast, CastBox, ITunes, Podbean and many more platforms.
This Halloween special episode aired first on Saturday 30th October 2021. The guests were Arden Hunter, Polly Oliver, Catherine Ann Cullen, Gaynor Kane, Matthew Haigh, Merril D Smith, Sarah Connor, Jane Dougherty, Jessica Drake-Thomas, Moyra Donaldson, Melody Wang, Robert Frede Kenter and Sarah Wragg. Produced and hosted by Damien B. Donnelly. Below are details and links to all the guest stars…
Arden Hunter is originally from the UK but currently lives in Indonesia. They are an aroace agender writer, artist and performer. With an eclectic range of interests from the horrific to the whimsical, the theme tying all of their work together is an inexplicable and unconditional love of the ridiculous beast that is called ‘human’. They write poetry, flash fiction, short stories and are currently working on their first novel, ‘Wilde Haven.’ Arden also likes to mess around with form, experimenting with erasure poetry, audio poetry, collage, found and digital visual poetry. Arden is entirely self-taught.
Arden is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/HunterArden
Follow Arden at their website ardenhunter.com
Polly Oliver is a Broadcast Journalist and Communications freelancer from Wales. She has two children for whom she finds herself both mother and PA, and a needy cat. She writes poetry in the rare between spaces, when inspiration and time come together. Polly only started writing poetry in the last few years when her voice began to fledge and when she was inspired by the atmosphere and quality of work at local open mic nights in Swansea. She has been published online by Black Bough Poetry, The Tide Rises, Falls, Wombwell Rainbow and Spillwords, and is pushcart nominated. Most recently she was the featured writer in the “Silver Branch” series by Black Bough Poems.
Follow Polly on Twitter at https://twitter.com/PollyOl83109005
Read Shipwrecked by Polly at The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls https://www.thetiderises.org/read/shipwrecked
Read Polly’s work as featured Silver Branch artist at Black Bough https://www.blackboughpoetry.com/polly-oliver
Catherine Ann Cullen
Catherine Ann Cullen is the inaugural Poet in Residence at Poetry Ireland and an award-winning poet, songwriter and children’s writer. She has published three collections: A Bone in My Throat (Doghouse 2007), Strange Familiar (Doghouse 2013) and The Other Now (Dedalus Press, 2016). Two of her children’s books, The Magical, Mystical, Marvelous Coat (2001) and Thirsty Baby (2003), were published by Little, Brown in the US, the former winning a gold award for Poetry and Folklore. Her latest children’s book, All Better! Poems on Illness and Recovery (Little Island, 2019), was reimagined from Latvian. Catherine Ann Cullen has twice won the Francis Ledwidge Poetry Award, was joint first in the JoyceCycle Poetry Competition 2019 and has been shortlisted for many prizes including the Listowel Writers Week Irish Poem of the Year 2020. She has a PhD in Creative Writing from Middlesex University. She has presented at international conferences on ballads and on children’s literature, and published several chapters on broadside ballads. In 2020, Catherine Ann Cullen organised “Living Ghosts: A Tribute to Frank Harte in Poetry and Song” and curated Irish participation in the Irish Spanish Latin American Literary Festival. Her “Behind the Lines” series of videos, recorded during lockdown, has Irish poets discussing their own or favourite poems on the Leaving Certificate. Another lockdown project is a crowd-sourced rhyming alphabet of Dublin. She was awarded a Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship 2018 and has received bursaries from the Arts Council of Ireland and Irish Writers Centre. Her work as A&L Goodbody Writer in Residence in East Wall won her the nationwide B2A award of Best Use of Creativity in the Community 2017. She works on the Trinity Access Programmes and is a former producer for RTÉ Radio 1.
Catherine Ann is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/tarryathome
Follow her at her website at https://catherineanncullen.wordpress.com/
At Poetry Ireland you can follow her blog http://www.poetryireland.ie/poetinresidence/blog
And on YouTube you can find her videos https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2RobusuSC2jxg-5aLkOIqQ
Gaynor Kane is from Northern Ireland. She came to writing late, after finishing a degree with a creative writing module. Her full collection, ‘Venus in Pink Marble’ was released on her 50th birthday in 2020, published by the Hedgehog Poetry Press. She has three other publications, from that press: a micro collection, ‘Circling the Sun’ (2018), about the early aviatrixes, a chapbook, ‘Memory Forest’ (2019), about burial rituals and last wishes, and a co-authored chapbook of pandemic poetry ‘Penned In’ (2020).Her forthcoming chapbook of love poems ‘Eight Types of Love’ is due to be published in February 2022. Her poems have earned places in several competitions. She has been guest editor of the Bangor Literary journal and has also performed at several festivals, including the Belfast Book Festival, Stendhal Music and Arts Festival and Cheltenham Poetry Festival.
Gaynor is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/gaynorkane & Instagram at @gaynorkanepoet
Follow Gaynor at her website https://gaynorkane.com/
Matthew Haigh is the author of Death Magazine (Salt, 2019) and Black Jam (Broken Sleep Books, 2019). He is the co-editor of Hit Points: an anthology of video game poetry (Broken Sleep Books, 2021). Death Magazine was longlisted for the Polari first book prize in 2020. His work has been highly commended in the Forward prizes, commended in the Winchester Poetry Prize, and published in journals including Poetry Wales, The Rialto, Magma, Fourteen Poems, The Guardian and Poetry London. Further work has featured in anthologies from The Emma Press, Bad Betty Press and Sidekick Books. He has performed at a number of festivals including Cheltenham and Gloucester Poetry Festivals, Swansea Fringe and the European Poetry Festival. In 2021 he was a judge for the Poetry Wales Pamphlet Competition and interviewed for Edge Magazine on the relationship between poetry and video games. A new pamphlet, Vampires, is published with Bad Betty Press in 2021.
Matthew is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MattHaighPoetry
Follow Matthew and find more about his collections at his website https://www.matthewhaigh.net/
Merril D Smith
Merril D. Smith lives in New Jersey, near Philadelphia, with her high school sweetheart husband, a retired high school math teacher. They have two grown daughters. She is an independent scholar with a Ph.D. in American history. Her most recent work has focused on women, sexuality, and sexual violence. She also works as a freelance test writer for TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication). For the past few years, she has become more interested and immersed in poetry. Some of her poetry has been published, and she is working to publish a collection. Her blog is mainly a poetry blog and her musings about this and that: nothing stays in one drawer of her inner file cabinet—thoughts and words fall out, get misfiled, and cross genres. She likes to write on a laptop in her kitchen—coffee and cats nearby–while she gazes out the window to watch the birds and ponder about life.
Merril is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/merril_mds
Read more about Merril and her musings at her blog https://merrildsmith.wordpress.com/
Sarah Connor lives in North Devon, England, surrounded by mud and apple trees. Age and experience have taught her that having fun is more important than being cool. She swims all year round, tends her orchard and reads far too much. Her poems have been published by a number of presses, including Black Bough and Irisi magazine, and most recently Hencroft Hub and Spelt Magazine.
Sarah is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/sacosw
Find out more about Sarah her website https://fmmewritespoems.wordpress.com/
She is a regular host of dVerse https://dversepoets.com/
Jane Dougherty lives and works in rural southwest France. Her home is surrounded by fields and woodland and their discreet populations, and she is unhappy anywhere else. Her poems and stories have been published in magazines and journals including Ogham Stone, Hedgerow Journal, Tuck Magazine, ink sweat and tears, Eye to the Telescope, the Drabble and Ekphrastic Review. She is the author of the poetry collections Thicker than Water and Birds and Other Feathers. She is also the author of the Pathfinders, a fictional trilogy of novels about apocalyptic time travels through worm holes.
Jane is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MJDougherty33
Follow Jane at her website https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/
Check out more titles from Jane on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Jane-Dougherty/e/B00FMR7Y0U%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share
Jessica Drake-Thomas is an American poet, fiction writer and book reviewer. She’s the author of Burials, a gothic horror poetry collection published by Clash Books, and she’s a poetry editor at Coffin Bell Journal.
Find Jessica on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bad_witchery
Follow Jessica on her website at https://jessicadrakethomas.com/
Moyra Donaldson is a poet and creative writing facilitator from Co Down. She has published nine collections of poetry, Snakeskin Stilettos, Beneath the Ice, The Horse’s Nest and Miracle Fruit, from Lagan Press, Belfast and an American edition of Snakeskin Stilettos, published in 2002 from CavanKerry Press. Her Selected Poems and The Goose Tree, were both published by Liberties Press, Dublin. Moyra has also collaborated with photographer Victoria J Dean, resulting in the art book Dis-ease and with visual artist Paddy Lennon, resulting in a limited edition book of poetry and paintings, Blood Horses, from Caesura Press. Her latest collection, Carnivorous was published by Doire Press, Spring 2019. Her poetry has received many awards and in 2019, Moyra received a Major Artist Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Her new collection, Bone House, was published by Doire Press in April 2021 and she is currently working on a new commission with artist Jasper McKinney MBE.
Moyra is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/DonaldsonMoyra
Follow Moyra on her website is https://moyradonaldson.com/
Melody Wang currently resides in sunny Southern California with her dear husband and wishes it were autumn all year ‘round. She is a reader for Sledgehammer Lit. She is published in various journals and anthologies including Neologism Poetry Journal, Trouvaille Review, West Trestle Review, Eclectica Magazine, Hobart After Dark, The Wild Word, and One Art Poetry Journal. Two of her poems have been nominated for Best of the Net 2021. In her free time, she enjoys reading, tinkering on the piano, hiking, baking, and playing with her dogs. Her debut collection of poems, Night-blooming Cereus, is coming out on December 17th, 2021 with Alien Buddha Press.
Find Melody on Twitter at https://twitter.com/melodyofmusings
Follow Melody on very soon her website at https://melodyofmusings.com/
Robert Frede Kenter
Robert Frede Kenter is a writer, editor, visual artist, performer and the EIC/Publisher of Toronto & Alabama-based, Ice Floe Press. A new VISPO collection, EDEN, is now available from Floodlight Editions. A Pushcart nominee and multiple-grant recipient, Robert has published work in a wide variety of print and on-line journals, most recently: Scissors and Spackle, Anthropocene, Fevers Of, Talking About Strawberries, Black Bough, Cough, The Failure Baler & Watch Your Head. Robert was a feature reader at the U.K. Cheltenham Poetry Festival in 2020, and has read at many venues including Knife/Fork/Book in Toronto and The Knitting Factory in New York City.
Robert is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/frede_kenter
Find Icefloepress at https://icefloepress.net/
Sarah Wragg has had a love of words all her life and is fascinated by how putting a bunch of straight and/or curvaceous black marks in front of a load of others can pull you into a wonderful new world with fully fledged characters, landscapes, actions and emotions. So it’s unsurprising she ended up as a poet as well as a writer of stories of all shapes and sizes. She’s even been dipping her toe into playwriting of late, which resulted in a place in the finals of the Write Here! Write Now! playwriting festival with her black comedy Delira. In poetry terms, she’s only been writing for ten years (barring a few teenage fumblings in that direction). Thanks to various writing groups and festivals, she is now surrounded by an amazing and varied assortment of creative people who are hugely supportive and encouraging, as well as willing to give feedback and suggestions to finesse (and sometimes change) poems to give them a much better chance of making it onto the printed page. For which she is extremely grateful, especially as it’s resulted in getting lots of her precious word-babies out into the world, in anthologies by Beautiful Dragons Press (My Dear Watson; Not A Drop; A Bee’s Breakfast; Noble Dissent; Watch The Birdie; Well, Dam!; Bloody Amazing!; and the soon to be launched Lighting Out) and Indigo Dreams (Mystery). Her first collection is Ghost Walk (Hedgehog Press), a collection of poems about ghosts ‘living’ in the modern world, but inspired by good old fashioned Victorian ghost stories. It was published after being voted for by members of the Cult of the Spiny Hog, and their faith in her work has gone a long way in the fight to banish ‘imposter syndrome’, bringing her closer to feeling like a proper ‘grown up’ poet.
Sarah is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/WraggWriting
Damien B Donnelly, Producer, Host and Poet
Damien B Donnelly returned to Ireland in 2019 after 23 years in Paris, London and Amsterdam, working in the fashion industry as a pattern maker for various brands including Calvin Klein, & Other Stories, Pepe Jeans, Reiss and G-Star. His writing focuses on identity, fragility and connection. His interests revolve around falling over and learning how to get back up while baking delicious cakes. His work had been published in numerous journals online and in print including Black Bough Poetry, Barren Magazine, Anti Hereon Chic, Icefloe Press and The Bangor Literary Journal. His debut poetry pamphlet Eat the Storms, which was featured on the Poetry Book Society Winter List 2020/21 and his Stickleback micro collection Considering Canvases with Boys were both published by The Hedgehog Poetry Press. His next collection with be a conversation pamphlet he co-wrote with fellow Irish poet Eilín de Paor called In the Jitterfritz of Neon. He is currently finishing his first full collection documenting his love affair with Paris called Enough!
He is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/deuxiemepeau and instagram at @damiboy
You can follow him and buy his Eat the Storms debut pamphlet and his Stickleback micro collection at is website https://deuxiemepeaupoetry.com/
All backing music for Eat the Storms is from the wonderful Purple Planet Royalty Free Music, with thanks…
You can find us on many platforms including Spotify and here is the link…