Adele Cordner – The Kitchen Sink Chronicles

A descent into the mayhem of a crisis, coming to terms with Covid concerns in The Kitchen Sink Chronicles, looking out for holds of hope, wishing for buds to blossom, to refill what the shelves no longer offer before the bough breaks and it comes down to all but a cradle of wood, no ketchup & only birds who get to see the Savannahs now.

Adele Cordner’s poetry pamphlet, The Kitchen Sink Chronicles, published by The Hedgehog Poetry Press with perfectly fine lines of fragile illustrations by her daughter Florence Cordner, is an unmissable account of a family’s journey as they reshape the landscape of their everyday lives between mid-March and the end of August 2020.


Loo roll shortages, no ketchup in the cupboards and bland beige blobs left behind on supermarket shelves instil these poems with a fear that only yesterday we would have thought was a joke and yet Adele never lets the words drown in despair but moves through familiar settings of front lawns, back gardens, shopping aisles, now fitted out with invisible booby traps, with the resilience a mother needs to hold onto, regardless of the situation in order to protect her family, the falling trees and the baby birds, lost to their position.
Beyond the numbers that eventually came to numb us and the pre-prepared speeches that washed over our skin quicker than any invisible deathly dust, these poems pull us in to the everyday concerns; house bound, bubble bound, the worries that came before Covid; road accidents, crashes, broken dishwashers, children’s illnesses, distance from family members and the gentle release occasionally found in unexpected places; dropping your hand into the soft tide to let things wash away.


This is a brave account of a terrifying time told with compassion, consideration and that resilience that keeps us all breathing. This is an invite to come inside a home and, having been kept away from other homes but our own for so long, how can we refuse not to pull up a chair in this kitchen and listen to the tale of how it all unfolded.

Check out Adele Cordner’s website for more info and to buy the book…

https://www.adelecordner.com

Keep up to date with all things Hedgehog at The Hedgehog Poetry Press

https://www.hedgehogpress.co.uk/

Eat the Storms – The Poetry Podcast – Episode 15 -Season 2

Podcast available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Player FM, Radio Public, OverCast, PocketCast, Podbean and many more platforms.

This episode aired on 8th May 2021 and I was joined by poets Ryan Gibbs, Sue Finch, Mere Leonard, Brian McManus, Sergio A. Ortiz, Ankh Spice and this weekend’s special guest star; Rhona Greene. The links to their websites, blogs or Twitter pages are all listed below…

Ryan Gibbs is an English professor who lives in London, Canada. His forty published poems have appeared in journals and anthologies in Canada, The United States, Malta, and Saint Pierre and Miquelon. His children’s poetry has been included in the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness. Ryan is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RyanGibbsWriter and you can find out more about this writing by visiting the link below…

https://linktr.ee/RyanGibbsWriter

Sue Finch lives with her wife in North Wales (now confirmed bakers). Her first published poem appeared in A New Manchester Alphabet in 2015 whilst studying for her MA with Manchester Metropolitan University. Her work has also appeared in a number of online magazines including: The Interpreter’s House, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Dear Reader and One Hand Clapping. Her debut collection, ‘Magnifying Glass’, was published in October 2020 by Black Eyes Publishing. She is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/soopoftheday and you can find her book at…

https://www.blackeyespublishinguk.co.uk/sue-finch

Mare Leonard is an Associate of the Institute for Writing and Thinking at Bard College. She has published 4 chapbooks. The most recent, The Dark Inside My Hooded Coat, was published at Finishing Line Press in 2018. Her first full-length book, I Always Knew This, should be available at the end of May. She was nominated for a pushcart in 2018 for a poem in The Pickled Body. You can find her poetry collection here…

http://www.finishinglinepress.com/product/the-dark-inside-my-hooded-coat-by-mary-leonard/

Brian McManus played a central role in the international criminal enquiry following the terrorist bombing of a Pan Am jet airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988 with the loss of 270 lives. His collection of poetry, prose and photographs recounting the events of those times was published as Blue Daze, Black Knights The Story of Lockerbie in 1999. Having stepped away from the world of work, Brian spends his time reading and writing poetry reflecting on our increasingly challenging world, and in his own small way holding to account those who abdicate their responsibility for managing it and the lack of support for those who inhabit it. Liar Liar, his last book of poems, looked closely at the government’s management of Covid. Solastalgia, his next pamphlet will be published this summer by The Hedgehog Poetry Press. Brian is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BrianOpenWorld and his website is…

https://www.openworldpoetry.com/

Sergio A. is a retired, Educator, Bilingual-Queer PRican Trans Poet, & Human Rights Activist. Pushcart nominee, Best of the Web, Best of the Net, nominee. He took 2nd place in the 2016 Ramón Ataz annual poetry competition, sponsored by Alaire Publishing House. He workshops his poetry in RatsAssReview workshop. Recent credits include Spanish audio poems in GATO MALO Editing, Maleta Ilegal, Frances House, South Florida Poetry Journal, RatsAssReview, The Maynard, and Spillwords. He is the Founder of Undertow Tanka Poetry Review now La Resaca. Founder of the Online LGBTTQI+ Elderly Virtual Caribbean Artist Public Housing Collective and Publishing Press. You can find Sergio on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Saore and his website is…

https://saore.blogspot.com/

And you can also read Sergio at Spillwords…

Ankh Spice is a sea-obsessed, queer-identified poet from Aotearoa (New Zealand). He writes because he doesn’t have much skin, because the tiniest detail of the world is sentient in ways we overlook – loud and raw and all we’ve got – and because he seems to have a bit of a knack for translating that. His work circles constantly around natural imagery, environmental issues, mental and physical health, living landscape and myth, narratives of queerness, physicality and anti-colonisation, and the persistent briefness of being human. He’s grateful and a bit astonished to have had more than 100 pieces of work published on several continents over the last 2 years and refuses to rate any literary magazine as more important than any other, so doesn’t list them in author bios. Six of his poems have been nominated for Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, or both, and his poem ‘New Cloth’ was selected as joint winner of the Poetry Archive’s World View 2020 competition. He’s a co-editor at Ice Floe Press, a poetry contributing editor at Barren Magazine, and has two secret poetry collections coming later in 2021. You can find him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SeaGoatScreams and for more about his work click the link below…

https://linktr.ee/SeaGoatScreamsPoetry

Rhona Greene is the brightest light of support ever known to any poet and can be spotted on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Rhona_Greene

My Stickleback poetry collection is available to buy here…

Book Shop: Stickleback

My debut collection Eat the Storms is available here…

Book Shop: Eat the Storms

If you have questions, comments, improvements, desires to be a guest poet on the show, then please drop me an email at eatthestorms@yahoo.com

Until next time… Stay Bloody Poetic!

Damien B Donnelly

You can find us on many platforms including Spotify and here is the link…

Eat the Storms – The Poetry Podcast -Poetry Day Ireland – Episode 14 -Season 2

Podcast available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Player FM, Radio Public, OverCast, PocketCast, Podbean and many more platforms.

This episode aired on 29th April 2021, Poetry Day Ireland and I was joined by poets Gaynor Kane, Kevin Higgins, Susan Millar DuMars, Kevin Bateman, Anne Walsh Donnelly, Paul McCarrick, Annraoi de Paor, Eilín de Paor, Eleanor Hooker, Theresa Donnelly, Catherine Ann Cullen, Aisling Keogh, Marty McKenna, Cathy Carson and Ruairí de Barra. The links to their websites, blogs or Twitter pages are all listed below…

Gaynor Kane is a Northern Irish poet from Belfast. She has two poetry pamphlets, and a full collection, from Hedgehog Poetry Press, they are Circling the Sun, Memory Forest, and Venus in Pink Marble (2018, 2019 and September 2020 respectively). She is co-author, along with Karen Mooney, of Penned In a poetry pamphlet written in response to the pandemic (November 2020). Follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/gaynorkane and you can find out more about Gaynor and her collections at her website…

For more information about The Hedgehog Poetry Press click below…

https://www.hedgehogpress.co.uk/

Kevin Higgins (in the photo with his wife Susan Millar DuMars) is co-organiser of Over The Edge literary events in Galway. He has published five full collections of poems: The Boy With No Face (2005), Time Gentlemen, Please (2008), Frightening New Furniture (2010), The Ghost In The Lobby (2014), & Sex and Death at Merlin Park Hospital (2019). His poems also feature in Identity Parade – New British and Irish Poets (Bloodaxe, 2010) and in The Hundred Years’ War: modern war poems (Ed Neil Astley, Bloodaxe May 2014). Kevin was satirist-in-residence with the alternative literature website The Bogman’s Cannon 2015-16. 2016 – The Selected Satires of Kevin Higgins was published by NuaScéalta in 2016. The Minister For Poetry Has Decreed was published by Culture Matters (UK) also in 2016. Song of Songs 2:0 – New & Selected Poems was published by Salmon in Spring 2017. His poems have been praised by, among others, Tony Blair’s biographer John Rentoul, Observer columnist Nick Cohen, writer and activist Eamonn McCann, historian Ruth Dudley Edwards, and Sunday Independent columnist Gene Kerrigan; and have been quoted in The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The Times (London), Hot Press magazine, The Daily Mirror and on The Vincent Browne Show, and read aloud by Ken Loach at a political meeting in London. He has published topical political poems in publications as various as The New European, The Morning Star, Dissent Magazine (USA), Village Magazine (Ireland), & Harry’s Place. The Stinging Fly magazine has described Kevin as “likely the most widely read living poet in Ireland”. One of Kevin’s poems features in A Galway Epiphany, the final instalment of Ken Bruen’s Jack Taylor series of novels which is just published. His work has been broadcast on RTE Radio, Lyric FM, and BBC Radio 4. His book The Colour Yellow & The Number 19: Negative Thoughts That Helped One Man Mostly Retain His Sanity During 2020 is just published by Nuascealta. Kevin’s sixth full poetry collection, Ecstatic, will be published by Salmon Publishing. Kevin is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/KevinHIpoet1967 and you can find out more about Over the Edge at https://twitter.com/OverTheEdgeOpen and for more information about forthcoming events check out the website below…

http://overtheedgeliteraryevents.blogspot.com/

Susan Millar DuMars was born in Philadelphia but has lived in Galway for the past twenty years. Her debut poetry collection, Big Pink Umbrella, was published by Salmon Poetry in 2008. Her next collection, Dreams for Breakfast, appeared in April 2010. Her work features in Landing Places, Dedalus’ 2010 anthology of immigrant poetry written in Ireland; and also in The Best Of Irish Poetry 2010. A fiction writer as well, she published a collection of short stories, American Girls, with Lapwing in 2007. She published a book of short stories in 2010: Lights in the Distance, published by Doire Press, and was the Featured Fiction writer in the American online magazine The Atticus Review. She has been the recipient of two Arts Council Literature Bursaries (2005 & 2020). Susan’s third collection of poetry, The God Thing, was published by Salmon Poetry in 2013; her fourth collection, Bone Fire, was launched at the 2015 Cúirt Festival of International Literature. She lives in Galway, where she and her husband have run the Over the Edge readings series since 2003. Susan edited the anthology Over the Edge – The First Ten years, published by Salmon, which includes work by forty seven writers who have published a first book since they did a reading at an Over The Edge: Open Reading in Galway City Library. Susan’s Naked: New & Selected Poems was published in Spring 2019 by Salmon Poetry. In March 2020 she received a literature bursary from the Arts Council of Ireland to work on her highly anticipated forthcoming collection of short stories.

For more information about Salmon poetry…

https://www.salmonpoetry.com/

Kevin Bateman is a Surrealist poet from Galway currently based in his mind who has created at a variety of Events In Spiritual Places That People Have Forgotten To Visit. He has been short listed for the Saboteur Awards in 2017 and 2019 for his events and his poem have been published in many journals including in The Runt Magazine issue 7, 9 and 10, Beir Bua Journal, Fly on the wall Press, BlueFoot Press. He is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Bate_Kevin and you can watch his poetry events on Youtube by following the link below…

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwmrm_0baN66mAH-02zrmmA?view_as=subscriber

Anne Walsh Donnelly lives in Ireland with two teenagers and works as a Student Services Officer in a third-level college. Her work has been published in several literary outlets including The Irish Times, Crannog, Boyne Berries, The Blue Nib, Cold Coffee Stand, Ariel, Heart and Humanity, Inside the Bell Jar, Please Hear What I’m Not Saying and Star82 Review. Her short stories have been shortlisted in competitions such as the Over The Edge New Writer of the Year Award (2014, 2016), Fish International Prize (2015) and the RTE Radio One Frances Mac Manus competition (2014, 2015). Her poems were highly commended in the Over The Edge New Writer of the Year Award (2017 & 2018). She won the Spring 2018 Blue Nib poetry chapbook competition and also the 2018 Over the Edge Fiction Slam. She was also nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2018. Her debut chapbook A Woman with An Owl Tattoo and her full collection Odd as Fuck are both published by Fly on the Wall Press. Anne is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/AnneWDonnelly and you can read more of her poetry at Poethead…

https://poethead.wordpress.com/2019/11/18/mna-na-heireann-and-other-poems-by-anne-walsh-donnelly/

Anne’s collections are available at Fly on the Wall Press…

https://www.flyonthewallpress.co.uk/product-page/odd-as-f-ck-by-anne-walsh-donnelly

https://www.flyonthewallpress.co.uk/product-page/the-woman-with-an-owl-tattoo-by-anne-walsh-donnelly

Paul McCarrick has been published in CrannógThe Ogham Stone, Honest UlstermanThe Stinging FlyPoetry Ireland Review, and elsewhere. In 2019, he was selected to take part in the 2019 Poetry Ireland Introductions Series. He was also awarded an ArtsBursaries Grant from Westmeath County Council. He lives in the midlands in Ireland where is currently completing his first collection. Paul was one of the featured writers recently at the Cuirt New Writing Showcase and there is a link below to watch the event on You Tube. Paul is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/PaulMcCarrick and you can watch the video of Paul reading his poem Promise of a sunny day at the link below…

The Cuirt Festival New Writing Showcase 2021 hosted by Susan Millar DuMars featuring Paul…

Annraoi de Paor was born in Waterford. He was a Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering, University College Dublin as well as a writer and translator. He is a Irish history, language and folklore enthusiast. In addition to a long career of academic writing and publication, Annraoi de Paor has written four Irish language books, all published by Coiscéim; Buan ar Buairt (1985) le Annraoi de Paor (úrscéal) Dubček faoi cháil is faoi scáil (1997) le Tereza Michalová, arna aistriú ag Annraoi de Paor (bailiúchán d’ailt) Beirt Mhairnéalach (2003) le Alfred Tennyson & Samuel Taylor Coleridge, arna aistriú ag Annraoi de Paor (leaganacha Gaeilge de “Ulysses” Tennyson agus “Ancient Mariner” Coleridge) Duanaire Daonscoile (2014) le Annraoi de Paor (Eagarthóir). In 2013, Tyndall Scientific published Annraoi’s “An Illustrated Collection of Limericks for Engineers & Physicists”, with cartoons by Jane Courtney. Although now out of print, it is available to view online at the following link

http://limericks-depaor.localdem.net/index.html

To buy his latest collection Cuimhní Oisín, Some Lays of the Fianna click below…

https://annraoimdepaor.com/

Eilín de Paor lives in Dublin and works in health and social care, was selected for The Stinging Fly Summer School 2019, her poems have been published by Algebra of OwlsInk, Sweat and Tears, The Bangor Literary Journal, The Stony Thursday Book, Vox Galvia, Abridged and Dreich (upcoming). Eilín is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/edepaor and you can read more of her poems at The Organic Poet at the link below…

https://www.theorganicpoet.com/post/on-howth-head-edepaor

Keep up -to-date with all of Dreich publications here…

https://hybriddreich.co.uk/

Eleanor Hooker’s third collection, Of Ochre and Ash will be published by Dedalus Press and she has two chapbooks due for publication later this year. She is a recipient of the Markievicz Award 2021. Her two other poetry collections with Dedalus Press are: A Tug of Blue (2016); The Shadow Owner’s Companion (2012). Eleanor holds an MPhil (Distinction) in Creative Writing from Trinity College, Dublin, an MA (Hons) in Cultural History from the University of Northumbria, and a BA (Hons 1st) from the Open University, UK. Eleanor is a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London (FLS). She is a helm and Press Officer for Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat. Eleanor is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/EleanorHooker_ and you can find out more about her at…

https://www.eleanorhooker.com

For more information about Eleanor’s collections and Dedalus Press click below…

https://www.dedaluspress.com/authors/hooker-eleanor/

Theresa Donnelly is an Irish/Canadian poet was born and educated in Dublin. She attended the Richemont Cookery School in Luzern, Switzerland; worked in hospitality and culinary management. She is also a qualified Makeup Artist who has dabbled in interior design and antique collecting. Living abroad in a variety of countries enabled her to become socially involved in their communities. These experiences are reflected in her poetry. Her work has been published with Beret Days Press , The Copperfield Review, Verse Fire, Buried Horror, Red Claw Press, The Brooklyn Towncrier, Surfacing Magazine, UCD Library Poems for the Pandemic, The Caterpillar Magazine , Tales from the Forest, Dreich, Black Bough Poetry and she is a regular contributor to Poetry Ireland, Poetry Prompts. She is a founding member of The Brooklin Poetry Society and a member of The Ontario Poetry Society. She is the author of Moon Witch and Reoccurrence of Blue, presently working on the second collection for adults and fairy tale poems for children. Up until the pandemic, she was spending her time equally between Waterville, County Kerry and Brooklin, Ontario. Theresa is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/TheresaWriter and you can find out more about her work at her website…

https://theresadonnelly.com/

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 and you can follow her at her website…

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

Aisling Keogh is a writer who lives in County Galway. She’s had stories and poems published with The Irish Independent, The Honest Ulsterman, Crannog Magazine, Wordlegs, Ropes,  Bangor Literary Journal, A New Ulster, and anthologies in the U.K. and the U.S.A.  Her first published short story, “How to Save a Life,” was shortlisted for the Hennessy Irish Literary Awards 2012, and in 2019 she was shortlisted for the Doolin Writer’s Weekend Short Story Competition. In 2020, she was selected, as one of three emerging writers, to read at the New Writers Showcase, as part of Cuirt International Festival of Literature. In her free time Aisling likes to write, sing, and try to play the guitar. Aisling is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/aislingtkeogh

Marty McKenna is an independent Irish poet born in Tyrone, now living and writing in Belfast. He works for the Belfast Trust and is currently publishing poems to put toward his forthcoming chapbook ‘Silent Stigma, Loud Leaf’. Poems have been published in Vernacularisms, Dreich and Blue Nib, among others; He won the Matrix Poetry Competition in 2017. When not writing poems he is out walking around the hills of Belfast with his daughter, Roisín. You can read Marty’s poem at the wonderful Feral Poetry by clicking the link below…

https://feralpoetry.net/untitled-by-marty-mckenna/

Cathy Carson is a cancer nurse, counsellor and spoken word performer from Co Down in Northern Ireland . She has performed at festivals and for radio and television. She has also featured on podcasts. The subjects in her work have also led to commissions and performances for charity events. She is published in “ The Bramley Anthology “ editions one and two and in “Her other language”, an anthology highlighting domestic violence. Her performances have been described as “ raw, honest and unflinching “ and focus on exploring human connection and condition. This year she has headlined at: Pic n mix, Oooh beehive, Crafty Crows, Fragmented voices, Stamford poetry and Lit up. She will soon headline at Flight of the DragonFly Spoken Word and the link is below. She is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ourweekathy73. For Flight of the DragonFly details click below…

https://flightofthedragonfly.com/next-dragonflies/

Ruairí de Barra is from Co. Mayo and now resides in Co. Cork. He is a sailor, an award-winning military journalist, and a poet. His creative work has featured with TinteánA New UlsterLive Encounters, Bangor Literary Journal, The Ranthology Anthology, Black Bough Poetry, The Boston Globe, Boston Accent, Poetry Jukebox, The Silence Anthology, Eat the Storms Podcast, The Cobh Chronicle. Ruairí is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/r_debarra   and all his work can be read on his blog below…

https://paperneverrefusedink.com/about/

Damien B Donnelly returned to Ireland at the end of 2019 after 23 years in Paris, London and Amsterdam, working as a pattern maker in the fashion industry. His writing focuses on identity, fragility and connection. His daily interests revolve around falling over and learning how to get back up while baking rather delicious cakes, especially carrot cake! His short stories have been featured in the Irish best-selling short story anthology; A Page from My Life/Harper Collins, Body Horror/Gehenna & Hinnom, Coffin Bell & Prismatica. His poetry has appeared online and in print including Black Bough, Barren Magazine, Impspired, Neurological, The Adriatic, Fahmidan Journal, Anti-Heroin Chic, Fevers of the Mind, Bealtaine, 2 Metre Review and coming soon in both The Bangor Literary Journal and Ice Floe Press. His debut poetry pamphlet Eat the Storms was published by The Hedgehog Poetry Press in Sept 2020 and nominated for a Pushcart Prize and was featured on the Poetry Book Society Winter List 2020/21. He followed Storms with his Stickleback, Considering Canvases with Boys (micro collection) in Jan 2021, also from The Hedgehog Poetry Press. He is the producer and host of the poetry podcast Eat The Storms which he created in 2020 as a platform for all poets, at all stages of their careers, published or not, a space to share and shine.

https://www.hedgehogpress.co.uk/

My Stickleback poetry collection is available to buy here…

Book Shop: Stickleback

My debut collection Eat the Storms is available here…

Book Shop: Eat the Storms

If you have questions, comments, improvements, desires to be a guest poet on the show, then please drop me an email at eatthestorms@yahoo.com

Until next time… Stay Bloody Poetic!

Damien B Donnelly

You can find us on many platforms including Spotify and here is the link…

Eat the Storms – The Poetry Podcast – How to Tune In & Stay Bloody Poetic

If you want to tune into Eat the Storms, the Poetry Podcast, there are lots of ways. We are on multiple platforms, as same platforms you possibly listen to the news on or listen to music on or even other podcasts. So head over to your favourite platform and search for Eat the Storms and give us a listen. We are on the following platforms…

Spotify…


Apple Podcasts

https://podcasts.apple.com/ie/podcast/eat-the-storms/id1530096967?fbclid=IwAR3hO2uoPKxBrBc4A3JF0otuxKSJg92Okr_Ckn0rlfHNIcSfUpVmWkP4JDk


Google Podcasts

https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy8zMzFlZWY3OC9wb2RjYXN0L3Jzcw==?fbclid=IwAR3G7z0kJ8dUqceaSH5KserDMyX3BzpakXelR_qvPEvnYml7h2wJFVBYJ2w

Anchor


PlayerFm

https://player.fm/series/eat-the-storms?fbclid=IwAR1GNt04hRvoXtxNgVGPDk1cEPISUtHc_NL7ufvOZp5EHBLPaSYNm2PDvd4


RadioPublic


Podbean

https://www.podbean.com/podcast-detail/fkejv-e8566/Eat-The-Storms-Podcast?fbclid=IwAR3bYcw14zQTJUmM9M-s9vLVOqA8D2XvClevwnu7t1e1XL_j5I7MAGR8YCk


Overcast

https://overcast.fm/itunes1530096967/eat-the-storms?fbclid=IwAR3PpQ6OUB4gOIRDtzQ16IyI0HIR2wu4awi8z_6t7sRtX1BneclmVSFlb-s


Tune in to Stay Bloody Poetic

Eat the Storms – The Poetry Podcast – Episode 13 -Season 2

Podcast available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Player FM, Radio Public, OverCast, PocketCast, Podbean and many more platforms.

This episode aired on 24th April 2021 and I was joined by poets Giovanna MacKenna, David Bleiman, Matthew Haigh, Lee Campbell, Zaina Ghani and Lynn Valentine. The links to their websites, blogs or Twitter pages are all listed below…

Born to an Italian mother and Scottish father, Giovanna MacKenna grew up on Scotland’s west coast where the written word formed a lifeboat that carried her safely through childhood difficulties. After lengthy careers as an actor and a journalist, Giovanna was tasked to write a poem – and found she was full of them. She is now a published and commissioned poet. You can find her recent words in Southchild Lit, Abridged, Bear Creek Gazette, The Speculative Book 2021, Tether’s End, Brag, Wet Grain and Visual Verse. She is currently working with The Museum of Loss and Renewal Publishing on her first full collection. She is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/giovmacpoet and you can find out more about Giovanna at…

https://giovannamackenna.com/

Read more of Giovanna’s poetry at…

David Bleiman writes out of Edinburgh in English, Scots, Spanish, Yiddish and a largely imagined dialect of Scots-Yiddish which won him the Sangschaw  prize in 2020 for The Trebbler’s Tale.  In this first pamphlet The Kilt of Many Colours, published by Dempsey and Windle, he paints a broad canvas, drawing on family heritage and life in Scotland to celebrate the warp and weft of a complex and multilingual identity. He is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BleimanDavid and you can find out more about his debut pamphlet at…

https://www.dempseyandwindle.com/davidbleiman.html

Matthew Haigh’s debut collection, Death Magazine, was published with Salt in 2019 and was nominated for the Polari First Book Prize. His debut pamphlet, Black Jam, was published with Broken Sleep Books. Matthew’s work has been widely published in journals including Magma, The Rialto, Poetry Wales and Poetry London, and highly commended in the Forward Prizes. He is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MattHaighPoetry and you can find out more about him at

https://www.matthewhaigh.net/

You can find his collection Death Magazine at Salt publishing…

You can find his pamphlet Black Jam here at Broken Sleep Books…

https://www.brokensleepbooks.com/product-page/matthew-haigh-black-jam

Z. R. Ghani is a ‘Best of the Net’-nominated poet from North London. She has a BA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University. Zaina’s poems have appeared in Magma PoetryThe Willowherb ReviewSquare Wheel PressBind CollectiveHazel Press, and The Adriatic. She is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/zr_ghani. She is currently the Featured Poet in the Silver Branch series at Black Bough Poetry which you can find at the link below…

https://www.blackboughpoetry.com/z-r-ghani

Dr Lee Campbell describes himself as ‘a Londoner who makes experimental films and performance poetry about being gay and working class using barbaric wit and humour’. He uses poetry and experimental film as a form of autoethnographic storytelling/sharing of personal narratives often raw, often painful but always generous and authentic. He trained in Fine Art at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London in 2005 and received his doctorate in 2016. He has recently performed at LGBT-centred online poetry events including INCITE!, London Queer Writers, POETRYLGBT,DISTURBANCE, London and BBC Radio. His recent films have been selected for many international queer film festivals including Queerbee LGBT Film Festival, The Gilbert Baker Film Festival, Kansas 2020, HOMOGRAPHY, Brussels and STATES OF DESIRE: Tom of Finland in the Queer Imagination, Casa de Duende, Philadelphia, USA. He has been selected for WICKED QUEER 2021 in Boston, USA, one of the oldest and largest LGBT film festivals in the world and will screen one of his recent films at QUEER LIFE, EdgeZones gallery in Miami in May 2021. Recently interviewed by Hamish Downie for TWO GAY GEEKS. Forthcoming performances include Cruising Dystopia curated by Nouvelle Organon. Lee is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/leejjcampbell and on Instagram at @lndnqueerfilmmaker and you can find out more about his work at…

https://filmfreeway.com/LeeCampbell

Lynn Valentine lives on the Black Isle in the Highlands, She is working towards her debut poetry collection which will be published by Cinnamon Press early in 2022, after winning their Literature Award. She will have a Scots language pamphlet A Glimmer O Stars out with Hedgehog Poetry in July 2021, after winning their dialect competition. Lynn was one of five ‘North’ poets to be commissioned by the Scottish Poetry Library as part of their Champions project 2020. She is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/dizzylynn

Keep at eye out at The Hedgehog Poetry Press for her launch…

https://www.hedgehogpress.co.uk/

My Stickleback poetry collection is available to buy here…

Book Shop: Stickleback

My debut collection Eat the Storms is available here…

Book Shop: Eat the Storms

If you have questions, comments, improvements, desires to be a guest poet on the show, then please drop me an email at eatthestorms@yahoo.com

Until next time… Stay Bloody Poetic!

Damien B Donnelly

You can find us on many platforms including Spotify and here is the link…

Eat the Storms – The Poetry Podcast – Episode 12 -Season 2

Podcast available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Player FM, Radio Public, OverCast, PocketCast, Podbean and many more platforms

This episode aired on 17th April 2021 and I was joined by poets Isabelle Kenyon, Lee Potts, Simon Maddrell, Lindz McLeod, Zebib K. A and Karlo Seville. The links to their websites, blogs or Twitter pages are all listed below…

Isabelle Kenyon is a northern poet and the author of This is not a Spectacle, Micro chapbook, The Trees Whispered (Origami Poetry Press) and Digging Holes To Another Continent (Clare Songbirds Publishing House, New York),  Potential (Ghost City Press) and Wild Pressed Books (Short Story ‘The Town Talks’). She is the editor of Fly on the Wall Press, a socially conscious small press for chapbooks and anthologies. In 2020, Indigo Dreams published her chapbook Growing Pains, You can find Isabelle on Twitter at https://twitter.com/kenyon_isabelle and on other social media platforms

https://www.facebook.com/isabellekenyonauthor

https://www.instagram.com/isabellekenyonpoetry/

You can find Fly on the Wall Press at…

https://www.flyonthewallpress.co.uk/

In 2017, Lee Potts returned to writing poetry after a 25-year hiatus. Before that, he earned an M.A. in creative writing from Temple University. He was an editor of the Painted Bride Quarterly in the late 80’s and early 90s and is currently poetry editor at Barren Magazine. He lives just outside of Philadelphia with his wife and youngest kid. His chapbook, And Drought Will Follow, was published by Frosted Fire Press. He is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/LeePottsPoet and you can find his book here…

For more information on Lee’s publications to date check out this link below…

Publications

Simon Maddrell is a queer born Manx man, thriving with HIV. Born on the Isle of Man and brought up in Bolton, Lancashire, he now lives in Brighton and Hove after 20 years in London. His debut pamphlet Throatbone was published by UnCollected Press (2020). Queerfella, his chapbook won the Rialto Pamphlet competition in 2020. He describes Queerfella as a ‘journey from shame to unashamed’. He is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/QueerManxPoet and you can find his chapbook here…

Lindz McLeod is a queer, working-class, Scottish writer who lives in Edinburgh and dabbles in the surreal. Her poetry has been published by perhappened, Allegory Ridge, Hellebore, Grain magazine, and many more. She is represented by Headwater Literary Management. Lindz is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/lindzmcleod and you can find out more about her writing at…

https://lindzmcleod.co.uk/

And at perhappened…

https://www.perhappened.com/photographphonelindzmcleod.html

Zebib K. A. (she/her) is a writer and psychiatrist. She moved from NYC to Scotland to do a Masters in Creative Writing at University of Edinburgh. She has been published in The Rumpus, The Selkie, Counterclock Journal, Nightingale and Sparrow, and more. She is black, queer, and comes from an immigrant background, and explores these identities in her writing. She is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/pegasusunder1 and you can find out more about her on medium.com/@pegasusunder and at Selcouth Station…

https://www.selcouthstation.com/single-post/poetry-connate-the-space-between

Karlo Sevilla writes from Quezon City, Philippines and is the author of three poetry collections: “Metro Manila Mammal” (Soma Publishing, 2018), “You” (Origami Poems Project, 2017), and “Outsourced!…” (Revolt Magazine, 2021). Twice nominated for the Best of the Net Anthology⁠—by Ariel Chart in 2018 and Collective Unrest in 2019⁠⁠—his poems were first published in Philippines Free Press in 1998, then in Pacifiqa and Philippines Graphic in 2015, and since then he has over 200 poems published in various literary magazines, anthologies, and other platforms worldwide. In 2020, he was one of the contributors to “Pandemic: A Community Poem,” which was nominated by Muse-Pie Press for that year’s Pushcart Prize. He belonged to the first batch of students (school year 2018) of the Certificate in Literature and Creative Writing in Filipino program of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, and is a member of the Rat’s Ass Review online poetry workshop.He also coaches wrestling and Brazilian Luta Livre, and won a gold medal in the 2016 ADCC Southeast Asia – Philippine International Submission Fighting Open and in the Greco-Roman wrestling event of the 2011 Philippine National Games. He is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/KarloSevilla2 and you can follow him at his blog…

http://karlosevillaofquezoncity.blogspot.com/2016/10/s-list-of-published-poems-all-with-links.html

Metro Manilla Mammal is available on Amazon…

My Stickleback poetry collection is available to buy here…

My debut collection Eat the Storms is available here…

If you have questions, comments, improvements, desires to be a guest poet on the show, then please drop me an email at eatthestorms@yahoo.com

Until next time… Stay Bloody Poetic!

Damien B Donnelly

You can find us on many platforms including Spotify and here is the link…

Eat the Storms – The Poetry Podcast does Paris – Episode 11 -Season 2

Podcast available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Player FM, Radio Public, OverCast, PocketCast, Podbean and many more platforms

This special Parisian episode aired on 10th April 2021 and I was joined by poets Sue Burge, David Leo Sirois, Mary Cummins and Paul Stephenson. The links to their websites, blogs or Twitter pages are all listed below…

Sue Burge is a freelance creative writing and film studies tutor based in North Norfolk.   Her poems appear in a range of publications including The North, Mslexia, Magma, Under the Radar, Strix, Tears in the Fence, The Interpreter’s House, The Ekphrastic Review, Lighthouse and Poetry News.   She has featured in themed anthologies with poems on science fiction, modern Gothic, illness, Britishness, endangered birds, WWI and the current pandemic.   Her first collection In the Kingdom of Shadows (Live Canon) and debut pamphlet Lumière (Hedgehog Poetry Press) were published in Autumn 2018, followed by her second pamphlet The Saltwater Diaries in 2020.   Her second full collection, Confetti Dancers, is forthcoming with Live Canon. You can find out more about Sue at her website…

http://www.sueburge.uk/

David Leo Sirois is a Canadian-American poet who has had 99 publications in 7 countries (the US, France, England, India, the Czech Republic, Luxembourg & Zimbabwe) in 2 languages.   He lived & performed in Paris for 7 years, & now hosts from his native New Brunswick, Canada, the global open mic Spoken World Online (SpokenWord Paris after the quarantine).   He won Third Prize in Winning Writers’ Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest & his poetry has appeared in journals such as The Bombay Review, The Poetry Village, One Hand Clapping, The Sunday Tribune Online, THE BASTILLE, & Terre à Cièl (which also published his translations from the French of Paul Valéry & two contemporary French poets).   He is currently submitting two manuscripts for publication, & writing five more. He is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/DavidSirois3 and you can follow him at his website…

https://davidsirois.wordpress.com/

Mary Cummins is from Drogheda, in Ireland but has lived and worked in Paris for over 20 as a journalist and is currently a sub editor at Bayard Presse. She has a son Liam and has published a limited edition poetry collection called Chicken Wings and Other Stories. She has read her poetry many times at the famous Au Chat Noir in Paris. She often posts her poetry on Facebook and you can follow her here…

https://www.facebook.com/mairenicuimin

Mary and I back at the end of the 1990’s in Paris…

Paul Stephenson grew up in Cambridge. He was a Jerwood/Arvon mentee and did an MA with the Manchester Writing School.   He has three pamphlets: Those People (Smith/Doorstop, 2015), The Days that Followed Paris (HappenStance, 2016), written while living in Paris during the terrorist attacks of November 2015, and Selfie with Waterlilies (Paper Swans Press, 2017).   He co-edited Magma (issue 70 ‘Europe’) and co-curates the Poetry in Aldeburgh festival. You can follow him on twitter here https://twitter.com/stephenson_pj and on his website here…

https://paulstep.com/

My Stickleback poetry collection is available to buy here…

Book Shop: Stickleback

My debut collection Eat the Storms is available here…

Book Shop: Eat the Storms

If you have questions, comments, improvements, desires to be a guest poet on the show, then please drop me an email at eatthestorms@yahoo.com

Until next time… Stay Bloody Poetic!

Damien B Donnelly

You can find us on many platforms including Spotify and here is the link…

Eat the Storms – The Poetry Podcast – Episode 10 -Season 2

Podcast available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Player FM, Radio Public, OverCast, PocketCast, Podbean and many more platforms

This episode aired on 3rd April 2021 and I was joined by poets Victoria Kennefick, Kiera J Delerue, Raine Geoghegan and David Russell Mosley. The links to their websites, blogs or Twitter pages are all listed below…

Victoria Kennefick is on twitter at https://twitter.com/VKennefick and is a poet, writer and teacher from Co. Cork but now based in Co. Kerry. Her pamphlet, White Whale was published by Southword Editions in 2015 and won the Munster Literature Centre Fool for Poetry Chapbook Competition and the Saboteur Award for Best Poetry Pamphlet. Her first collection Eat or We Both Starve is published by Carcanet Press. Her work has appeared many places including The Poetry Review, PN Review, Poetry Ireland Review, The Stinging Fly, Poetry News, Copper Nickel, The Irish Times, Bath Magg and Banshee. You can find more about her at her website…

https://www.victoriakennefick.com/

You can find her poetry collection at Carnaret Press…

https://www.carcanet.co.uk/cgi-bin/indexer?product=2363

Kiera J Delerue is an autistic lesbian writer who lives in Cornwall, in a caravan with her sidekick dog Sylvia. She is a poet, writer and performance artist and sometime song writer.  She runs the project Letters to the Lost, which is open to anyone to submit to. It’s an open project for people to write to their lost loved ones. A space for grief and space to write. You can find out more Keira and her project and her poetry and her song writing at her website…

https://kjdelerue.tumblr.com/tagged/about

To submit to Letters to the Lost…

https://kjdelerue.tumblr.com/tagged/letterstothelost

You can follow Kiera on Instagram at @kjfdelerue

Raine Geoghegan is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RaineGeoghegan5 and already has two pamphlets published by The Hedgehog Poetry Press; Apple Water: Povel Panni and they lit fires: lenti hatch o yog. Her full collection will be called The Talking Stick: O Pookering Kosh and will be published by Salmon Poetry Press in March 2022. She has been nominated for The Forward Prize, Pushcart Prize (twice) the Best of the Net and Apple Water was chosen as a Selected pamphlet in the Poetry Book Society 2019 List. You can find more about Raine at her website…

https://www.rainegeoghegan.co.uk/

David Russell Mosley is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/elflandletters HIs upcoming collection is called The Green Man and will be published by the Resource Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers. He is a theologian, Roman Catholic, poet, writer and speaker. He has already published two books; On the Edges of Elfland: A Fairy Tale for Grown-Ups and Being Deified: Poetry and Fantasy on the Path to God. You can find out more about him on his website…

https://www.davidrussellmosley.com/

Follow David on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/davidrussellmosleyphd

My Stickleback poetry collection is available to buy here…

My debut collection Eat the Storms is available here…

If you have questions, comments, improvements, desires to be a guest poet on the show, then please drop me an email at eatthestorms@yahoo.com

Until next time… Stay Bloody Poetic!

Damien B Donnelly

You can find us on many platforms including Spotify and here is the link…

Elisabeth Horan- Just to the Right of the Stove

Elisabeth Horan’s latest collection Just to the Right of the Stove opens by the fridge, a cold beginning perhaps to counter the heated conversations that will unfold from our two protagonists, one already doomed and the other trying to decide. The first poem is voiced by both Sylvia Plath and our own Elisabeth, wondering if the only way to make it on the page is to step away from the flesh. Sylvia promises to help and so the timer is set and on we go…

The first half of the collection is entitled Welcome to the Kitchen, the heart of most houses though certainly the place most haunted in one particular Primrose Hill home. Identity, depression and an acceptance of it are key themes here along with an understanding of what it takes to be true to oneself and how that truth can be isolating, discomforting and how quickly you can be removed from society and turned into a Pollack canvas of mixed acrylics that nobody really wants to understand. The kitchen is the heart of the home just as the mind is the control centre of the body and the collection walks barefoot across a razor-sharp, frenzied fear of what happens when control falls away.

The mind and the oven here are inseparable. They both heat, bake and burn, require constant monitoring, tease with thoughts and scorching flames. The question that resides between each carefully chosen, and often fragmented, word is how far one is willing to go to document one’s rises and descents? Following on from Bad Mommy, Stay Mommy and Alcoholic Betty, Just to the Right of the Stove further examines those demands of fame against what it means to be an artist, to have a voice and to be brave enough to share that voice, no matter what comes out.  Between the icon and the eager student are toss ups, teasing’s and taunting’s all bordering on how truthfully we must be when revealing who we are, how we got here, who bent us backward or who we climbed over. ‘She is so bad, she yells at her kids. She ate her own heart…’ this collection devours, destroys and often dismisses the soul while trying to figure out how best to save it when faced with society’s attitude towards strong, demanding, willing, broken, battered, unstoppable women clinging on to either creation, medication or bipolarisation.

Here, Horan walks the line of motherhood, trying to balance crazy and creative, fathers, sons and Freuds, all in kitchens and clinics, alongside children looking for answers to questions our author is trying to break down into edible parts while Plath’s ghost makes its way around the kitchen and its distractions as the timer winds its way down to that ever-important stove.

In the end, we are left to dig out hope from the ashes after their final scurry towards that stove; the broken teeth, the skin that could not hold and the message one left the other, before the future of one or both is enveloped, all just to the right of the stove that Horan has stoked with her own exquisite touch of unequivocable honesty. Riding the fine line between the beast and the better, there is a rawness here to the flow and form that is as addictive as the tick of the timer. This is not a comfortable ride, so I suggest you buckle up, as it’s also a ride you won’t want to miss.

Here we are given the perfect opportunity to examine what we worship, how we worship and how, with time, understanding and self-worth, the student can become the standalone talent and the icon can become human again.

You can find Elisabeth Horan on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ehoranpoet

Just to the Right of the Stove is published by Twist in Time

You can find out more about Elisabeth Horan and her other collections at her website…

https://ehoranpoet.net/

Elisabeth read some poems from this collection and a few others on Eat the Storms, my Poetry Podcast a few weeks ago…

Eat the Storms – The Poetry Podcast – Episode 9 -Season 2

Podcast available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, Player FM, Radio Public, OverCast, PocketCast, Podbean and many more platforms

This episode aired on 27th March 2021 and I was joined by poets Samantha Terrell, Steven J Burke, Mary Ford Neal and Charles K Carter. The links to their websites, blogs or Twitter pages are all listed below…

Samantha Terrell is the author of Vision, and Other Things We Hide From which was published by Potter’s Grove Press. She has been widely published with poems in various publications including Anti-Heroin Chic, Dissident Voice, Fevers of the Mind, In Parentheses, Misfit Magazine, Open Journal of Arts & Letters, Poetry Quarterly and many others. You can find her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/honestypoetry and also here at her website…

http://www.samanthaterrell.com/

You can find her poetry collection at Potter’s Grove Press…

https://pottersgrovepress.com/catalog-2/

Steven J Burke is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Steven_J_Burke and is a historian and a history lecturer and currently completing his PhD thesis. He writes poetry about landscape, environment, nature travel and mental health, while running, walking and taking photographs. He has been published in many journals including The Adriatic and Black Bough’s Deep Time. You can find out more about Steven at his website…

https://sjburkeblog.wordpress.com/

you can read Steven’s poem and my own in The Adriatic Mag here…

https://www.theadriaticmag.co/issue-two-home

Mary Ford Neal, from Glasgow in the United Kingdom, is a writer and academic specializing in medical law and ethics. Her debut collection called Dawning will be out later this year, published by Indigo Dreams. She is the assistant editor of 192 Magazine and Nine Pens Press. She was Pushcart nominated in 2020 and has been published in many journals including Long Poem magazine, Dust poetry press, Icefloe press, Dodging the Rain, Twisting time, Ink Sweat and Tears. She is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/maryfordneal. You can find the links to Mary’s work on Linktree below…

https://linktr.ee/maryfordneal

You can find 192 Magazine at

https://poetsdirectory.co.uk/192

And find out more about Nine Poems Press here…

https://ninepens.co.uk/

Charles K Carter is a queer poet and educator from the American Midwest. He shares his home with his artist husband and their spoiled pets. He enjoys film, yoga, and live music and Melissa Etheridge is his ultimate obsession. He has an MA in creative writing with a poetry concentration from Southern New Hampshire University and an MFA in writing from Lindenwood University. He is the author of the chapbooks Chasing Sunshine  from Lazy Adventurer Publishing, Splinters from Kelsay Books, and Salem Revisited, coming soon from WordTech Editions. Charles is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/CKCpoetry and you can find links for Charles’ work at Linktree…

https://linktr.ee/CharlesKCarter

Click below for Charles’ website with links to his collections…

https://ckcpoetry.com/

My Stickleback poetry collection is available to buy here…

My debut collection Eat the Storms is available here…

If you have questions, comments, improvements, desires to be a guest poet on the show, then please drop me an email at eatthestorms@yahoo.com

Until next time… Stay Bloody Poetic!

Damien B Donnelly

You can find us on many platforms including Spotify and here is the link…

Eat the Storms – The Poetry Podcast – Episode 8 -Season 2

Podcast available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, PocketCast, Podbean and many more platforms

This episode aired on 20th March 2021 and I was joined by poets Stuart McPherson, Anne Casey, Stuart Rawlinson and Anamaria Crowe Serrano. The links to their websites, blogs or Twitter pages are all listed below…

Stuart McPherson is a poet from Leicester in the United Kingdom and his work has appeared in online journals and anthologies, including Beir Bua Journal, After the Pause and Selcouth Station. His debut pamphlet ‘Water Bearer’ will be published in December 2021 by Broken Sleep Books. You can often find him reading his poetry online and he will be appearing soon at the Cheltenham Poetry Festival, May 26th 2021. You can find him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/theeabsentee and also on his website…

To find Broken Sleep Books…

https://www.brokensleepbooks.com/

Anne Casey is an award-winning Sydney-based Irish poet and writer. A journalist, magazine editor, legal author and media communications director. Her work ranks in The Irish Times‘ Most Read, and is widely published internationally. She is author of the critically acclaimed collections, Where the lost things go and Out of emptied cups, which was selected for Best Dressed in 2020 by Sundress Academy for the Arts in the USA (curators of the prestigious Best of the Net awards) and for Books of the Year 2019 by The Lonely Crowd magazine in the UK. Her third collection will be published by Salmon Poetry in 2021. Anne has won poetry awards in Ireland, the UK, the USA, Canada, Hong Kong and Australia. She is currently undertaking a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Technology Sydney, supported by an Australian Government Scholarship.   You can find her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/1annecasey and at her website…

http://www.anne-casey.com/

Stuart Rawlinson is a Brisbane-based writer, focused on poetry and currently writing his debut novel. His debut poetry collection came out in 2015 called Encyclopaedia of Trees, a 19-poem collection on a theme of time and memory and each poem accompanies a piece of original music. Stuart’s poems have appeared in various publications, such as Black Bough Poetry, Adelaide Literary Magazine and Wellington Street Review. Stuart is an established composer and musician, with a back catalogue of five studio albums. You can find him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/mrsturawlinson and on his website…

and for more of his music head over to bandcamp…

https://stuartrawlinson.bandcamp.com/

and for the soundtrack to Deep Time, https://twitter.com/blackboughpoems composed by Stuart check him out on Soundcloud…

Anamaría Crowe Serrano is a poet and translator born in Ireland to an Irish father and a Spanish mother. Languages have always fascinated her to the extent that she has never stopped learning or improving her knowledge of them. She enjoys cross-cultural and cross-genre exchanges with artists and poets. Much of her work is the result of such collaborations. With a B.A. (Hons) in Spanish and French from Trinity College Dublin, Anamaría went on to do an M.A. in Translation Studies at Dublin City University. Since then, she has worked in localization (translating hardware and software from English to Spanish), has been a reader for the blind, and occasionally teaches Spanish. For over 15 years she has translated poetry from Spanish and Italian to English. Anamaría is the recipient of two awards from the Arts Council of Ireland to further her writing as well as funding from Culture Ireland for her attendance at the Poemaria festival in Vigo, Spain, 2018. Her translations have won many prizes abroad and her own poetry has been anthologised in Census (Seven Towers), Landing Places (Dedalus), Pomeriggio (Leconte) and other publications. She is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/CroweSerrano and you can find about more about her books at Turas Press…

https://anamariacs1.wixsite.com/amcs

Her novel In The Dark will be published by Turas Press and below is the link…

2 Meter Review launched its Winter issue on Tuesday 16th March 2021 and you can follow them and find details of buying the Issue on Instagram at…

https://www.instagram.com/2meterreview/

Dai Fri is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/thnargg and his new collection is called Under Photon Crowns, Selected Writings and my review is posted over at Talk About Books here at EatTheStorms and it is published by Black Bough Poetry

https://www.blackboughpoetry.com/under-photon-crowns-dai-fry

Vicky Allen is a poet whose debut collection Broken Things and Other Tales published by The Hedgehog Poetry Press is celebrating its one year anniversary on Tuesday 23rd March. She is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bringonthejoy and below is the Eventbrite link below…

My Stickleback poetry collection is available to buy here…

My debut collection Eat the Storms is available here…

If you have questions, comments, improvements, desires to be a guest poet on the show, then please drop me an email at eatthestorms@yahoo.com

Until next time… Stay Bloody Poetic!

Damien B Donnelly

Under Photon Crowns, Selected Writings of Dai Fry

Under Photon Crowns, Selected Writings of Dai Fry is the first individual chapbook collection published by Black Bough Poetry and is an incredible kaleidoscope of journeys, bright black waves of twisting movements that take us far beyond the glories of ‘Majorelle skies’ and down deep into the ‘wild-green waters’ to ‘the breath of the Kracken’ with the understanding of how all things are connected and yet, equally, as displayed in the opening poem, how we are held like single stars burning in solitude; ‘tears cried alone… in quiet rooms… of a wondrous infinity.’

I have long been a fan of Swansea-born poet Dai Fry since discovering him on Black Bough Poetry’s weekly #TopTweetTuesday, who incredibly only began writing a few years ago and yet, to see his delicately carved poems come together here is quite magical. I say delicately carved but they are not of a delicate nature, they are big, bold, bright adventures which stretch far beyond our tiny claims to this little spec we call home, for a time, within the Universe.

Dai writes with a seer’s knowledge as if he himself had walked this earth and stepped underland to seek out echoes of the ‘dark imaginations’ of Neolithic warriors and hear their dreams and disasters, as if it were possible to be a neutrino and yet understand the essence of everything ‘its presence as absence revealed’, as if he had been beyond the Rapture and time travelled back again with his visions which bring us to the beautiful balance of this book of two parts; the opening section of poetry and the closing section of prose.

The poetry transports us up and out, with all the knowledge Fry has acquired, as if he had swallowed all the stars, all the planets, all the photons hurtling through space and then the prose brings us back to the beginnings of all things; Fry’s youth in Tycoch, in Wales and its tissue-wrapped Angels, bottles of sleep setting ‘Oblivion’, duffel-coated interstellar spaceship troopers and a box of fireworks where he possibly first began to reach out and touch the magic of a star he was able to light himself. This entire prose section is, as Dai himself says, when waking to a dreamy snow-covered morning… ‘a magic Kingdom unspoiled and pure as things always are in the beginning.’

This chapbook of both the extraordinary and the elemental is perfectly woven together with a series of illustrations from French astronomical artist Étienne Léopold Trouvelot, deepening that sense of infinity with eclipses of the sun, the moon and the shimmers of the Milky Way.

Dai says, in the brief introduction, that ‘I am at heart a chaos poet, I seek the underlying pattern…’ and that is indeed what this collection of selected writing achieves; stretching out as far as possible in order to bring it all back in, back home, back down to the pen and the page.

And here we have the impossibility of infinity captured beautifully. Out there, in the universe, the light is dark but here, in the poetry of Dai Fry, the sound is sensational.

You can find Dai Fry on Twitter at https://twitter.com/thnargg

You can find more about Dai’s collection, links to buying it on Amazon and all about Black Bough Poetry here…

https://www.blackboughpoetry.com/under-photon-crowns-dai-fry

Eat the Storms – The Poetry Podcast – Episode 7 -Season 2

Podcast available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, PocketCast, PlayerFM, Overcast, Podbean and many more platforms

This episode aired on 6th March 2021 and I was joined by poets Zoe Brooks, Andy MacGregor and Fiona Perry. The links to their websites, blogs or Twitter pages are all listed below…

Zoe Brooks’ collection “Owl Unbound” was published in October 2020 by Indigo Dreams. She has been widely published in print and online magazines and appeared in the anthology “Grandchildren of Albion”  Her long poem for voices “Fool’s Paradise” received the Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition’s award for best poetry ebook 2013. She is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ZoeBrooks2. You can buy her book here…

https://www.indigodreams.co.uk/zoe-brooks/4595048690

and her blog link is…

https://zoebrooks.blogspot.com/

Andy MacGregor is an ecologist, philosopher, poet and al fresco guitarist and cuttlefish fancier. You can find him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/macgregor_andy and on Instagram at http://instagram.com/macgregor_andy and for his more of his music follow his videos on You Tube at the link below…

http://youtube.com/user/andersmac1


Fiona Perry was born and brought up in Northern Ireland but has lived in England, Australia, and New Zealand. Her short fiction won first prize in the Bath Flash Fiction Award 2020 and was shortlisted for the Australian Morrison Mentoring Prize in 2014 and 2015. Her poetry has been published widely in the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, India and New Zealand. She contributed poetry to the Label Lit project for National Poetry Day (Ireland) 2019. You can follow Fiona on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Fionaperry17 . Her poetry collection Alchemy was published by Turas Press and you can buy it here…

You can read her award winning Short Story here…

For everything you need to know as a poet and a look at my Spotlight interview (and a feast of other featured poets) check out the fantastic Poets’ Directory…

https://poetsdirectory.co.uk/spotlightpoets

To take part in Catherine Ann Cullens Poetry Prompts at part of her Poet in Residence series at Poetry Ireland, you can find all the details on Twitter at https://twitter.com/tarryathome

My Stickleback poetry collection is available to buy here…

My debut collection Eat the Storms is available here…

If you have questions, comments, improvements, desires to be a guest poet on the show, then please drop me an email at eatthestorms@yahoo.com

Until next time… Stay Bloody Poetic!

Damien B Donnelly

Eat the Storms – The Poetry Podcast – Episode 6 -Poetry in Ireland – Season 2

Podcast available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, PocketCast, Podbean and many more platforms

This episode aired on 27th February 2021 and I was joined by poets Róisín Ní Neachtain, Linda McKenna, Luke Morgan, Cathy Carson, Kathy D’Arcy, Mairead Carroll and musical guests Daria and Matthew Shiels. The links to their websites, blogs or Twitter pages are all listed below…

Róisín Ní Neachtain is an Irish Scottish artist, poet and translator who was born in Geneva and can be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/starsandmud and for more information on her poetry and artwork please check out her website…

https://roisinnineachtain.com/

Linda McKenna is an award winning poet and can be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/mckennalinda She was the winner of the Seamus Heaney award and the Red line book festival poetry competition in 2018. Her debut collection In the Museum of Misremembered Things was published by the Doire Press in 2020 and she was the winner of the An Post Awards Listowel Writer’s Week Poem of the Year. You can find her book here…

https://www.doirepress.com/rapidcartpro/index.php?product/page/120/In+the+Museum+of+Misremem-+bered+Things

Luke Morgan is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/LukeMorganPoet and is the author of Honest Walls published by Arlen House in 2016. His poetry has appeared in Poetry Review, Poetry Ireland Review, the Irish Independent, Cyphers, Crannóg and more. His second collection, Beast is forthcoming also from Arlen House. His book is available here…

https://www.bookdepository.com/Honest-Walls-Luke-Morgan/9781851321384

Kathy D’Arcy is currently involved in the Wake Up Irish Poetry a movement which challenges sexual misconduct and other abuses of power in the Irish arts sector. For more on this check out their website  wakeupirishpoetry.ie. She is a poet, workshop facilitator and youth worker who trained originally as a doctor and has a PhD from UCC in creative writing. Her poetry collections are The Wild Pupil published by Bradshaw and Encounter published by Lapwing. She is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/KathyDArcyCork and you can find more about her and her collections at her website…

http://www.kathydarcy.com/

http://www.wakeupirishpoetry.ie/

Cathy Carson is from Northern Ireland and is a front line cancer nurse and a spoken word performer. She is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ourweekathy73 and don’t miss her on Facebook for announcements to see her live. This is the third time we have been graced by Cathy on the podcast.

Mairead Carroll is a mother, poet, fiddle player and psychotherapist who loves writing and dancing around her kitchen table. She is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MauneyCarroll and is on Instagram at Maireadcarroll12

Daria and Matthew Shiels are nutritional experts, mindset navigators and singer/songwriters. They performed their own song today called Under the Crescent Moon and you can find them on Facebook below…

https://www.facebook.com/matthew.shiels.353

https://www.facebook.com/daria.shiels

My Stickleback poetry collection is available to buy here…

My debut collection Eat the Storms is available here…

If you have questions, comments, improvements, desires to be a guest poet on the show, then please drop me an email at eatthestorms@yahoo.com

Until next time… Stay Bloody Poetic!

Damien B Donnelly

Eat the Storms – The Poetry Podcast – Episode 5 -Season 2

Podcast available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, PocketCast, Podbean and many more platforms

This episode aired on 20th February 2021 and I was joined by poets Oz Hardwick, Leena Batchelor, Frances Corkey Thompson, Peter A and Elisabeth Horan The links to their websites, blogs or Twitter pages are all listed below…

Oz Hardwick is a writer, photographer, musician and professor of English at Leeds Trinity University and the author of Wolf Planet, The Lithium Codex (both from The Hedgehog Poetry Press) and his prize-winning chapbook Learning to Have lost (Recent Work Press). He can be found at his website and also at Valley Press, who published two more of his collections; The House of Ghosts of Mirrors and The Ringmaster’s Apprentice…

https://www.valleypressuk.com/author/38/oz__hardwick

Leena Batchelor is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/pixie_dragonfly She has three collections which you can find on her website titled Under the Stones, With Summer by my Side and A Tune with no Name. She is the Worcester Poet Laureate 2020/21. Below is the link to her website…

https://pixiemuse.wordpress.com/

Find out more about Leena and the Worcester Writers at their website…

http://www.worcesterwriters.org.uk/

Frances Corkey Thompson is the winner of the Sentinel Poetry Prize for her collection Watching the Door published by SMP. Her first chapbook was published by HappenStance called The Lobg Acre and her debut collection titled Wild Gooseberries of Hailung was published by Indigo Dreams. She was born in Ireland but now lives in Devon. Below is the link to her collection at SMP…

https://spmpublications.com/shop/watching-the-door-frances-corkey-thompson.html

Peter A was the winner of the Paisley Spree Fringe Poetry Competition in 2016, has been published widely in I am not a Silent Poet, Pandemic, Dreich, Poets against Trump, Surfing (From Federation of Writers, Scotland), Words from Battlefield. His is based in Scotland, an avid consumer and creator of things made of words and will have his debut collection Art of Insomnia published shortly by The Hedgehog Poetry Press. Yo can follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/VeryPerryKelly and find out more about him at his blog here…

https://peterawriter.com/

You can read his poem CV-19: sexual distancing, featured in Pandemic Poetry here…

CV-19: sexual distancing. A poem by Peter A

Elisabeth Horan is a poet, mother, and small press publisher living in the wilds of Vermont. She is the author of numerous poetry chapbooks and collections, and the Editor-In-Chief of Animal Heart Press. Elisabeth is passionate about discovering new voices and mentoring emerging poets. She is also a fierce advocate for those impacted by mental illness. Her latest collection Just to the Right of the Stove is published by Twist in Time. She is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ehoranpoet and you can also find her at her website…

You can buy her new collection here at Twist in Time:

My Stickleback poetry collection is available to buy here…

My debut collection Eat the Storms is available here…

If you have questions, comments, improvements, desires to be a guest poet on the show, then please drop me an email at eatthestorms@yahoo.com

Until next time… Stay Bloody Poetic!

Damien B Donnelly

Eat the Storms – The Poetry Podcast – Episode 4 – LOVE -Season 2

Podcast available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, PocketCast, Podbean and many more platforms

This special episode celebrating all sides of LOVE aired on 13th February 2021, the eve of Valentine’s Day and I was joined by poets Eilín de Paor, Fidel Hogan Walsh, Matt Duggan, Maria Castro Dominguez, Ceinwen Haydon, Gaynor Kane, Amy Barry, Cathy Carson, MANNY, Darren J Beaney, Vic Pickup, and singers Kevin Hynes and AfterGlow Duo Rhiannon Howys and Reese Smith. The links to their websites, blogs or Twitter pages are all listed below…

Eilín de Paor is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/edepaor and has been widely published including Pandemic.ie, Ink, Sweat and Tears, The Organic Poet and Algebra of Owls. She writes micro-poems on Twitter under the hashtag #bitofapoem

The Viral Equinox. A poem by Eilín de Paor

https://www.theorganicpoet.com/post/somehow-edepaor

Fidel Hogan Walsh is the author of two poetry collections; Time, in which she collaborated with photographer Julie Corcoran and her debut collection Living With Love. She is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/dragonslayerma and you can find out more about Fidel at BBCreative hub under the link below and below that is the link to buying her books…

Fidel Hogan Walsh

http://eprint.ie/shop/Living-With-Love?search=living%20with%20love

Bristol born Matt Duggan (who now lives in Wales and will be returning to the podcast in the coming weeks reading more of his poems) and can be found on Twitter here https://twitter.com/mjduggan71 and Maria Castro Dominguez, based in Gran Canaria, are the prize-wining authors of 10 Truths from Wonderland published by The Hedgehog Poetry Press, a bilingual collection in English and Spanish. You can order their book here from Matt’s site where you can also read more of his poetry…

https://lemminkainen.webnode.com/about-me/

Gaynor Kane is the author of Memory Forest, Venus in Pink Marble, a Stickleback and also her most recent collection Penned In, which is a joint collection co-written with Karen Mooney, all published by The Hedgehog Poetry Press. You can find Gaynor on Twitter at https://twitter.com/gaynorkane and find out more about her work and also buy her collection at her website below…

Vic Pickup is a poet, writer and reviewer. Her debut collection, nominated for the Michael Marks award and a Pushcart Prize, is entitled Lost and Found, published by The Hedgehog Poetry Press and she on Twitter at https://twitter.com/VicPickup and you can find more about her work and buy her book at her website below…

https://vicpickup.com/

Amy Barry is based in Athlone, in Ireland and is the Pushcart nominee author of the much-celebrated poetry collection Spearing Dreams. She has been widely published journals including A New Ulster, Live Encounter, Galway Review. She was recipient of the Westmeath County Council Bursary 2017. She took 1st and 2nd prize in the English Poetry at PAU World Poetry Day in 2017 and 2018 and was the recipient of Neruda Award 2017 (Poetry) Crispiano, Italy and Highly Commended in the Francis Ledwidge Award 2019. She was featured in the RTE Radio One Extra in Reverberations Series 2, Nov.2019. She is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/AmyBarry12 where you can DM her for details on buying her collection and you can read more of her poetry here at I am Not A Silent Poet…

https://iamnotasilentpoet.wordpress.com/tag/amy-barry/

Ceinwen E C Haydon is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/CeinwenHaydon and lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. She writes short stories and poetry and has been widely published online and in print anthologies. She was Highly Commended in the Blue Nib Chapbook Competition Spring 2018, won the Hedgehog Press Poetry Competition ‘Songs to Learn and Sing’ August, 2018 and was shortlisted for the Neatly Folded Paper Pamphlet Competition, Hedgehog Press, October 2018. She is a winner in the Nicely Folded Paper Pamphlet Competition (July 2019). Her first Chapbook is due to be published shortly, ‘Cerddi Bach’ (Little Poems), a Stickleback by Hedgehog Press.

Cathy Carson is from Northern Ireland and a front line worker as a cancer nurse and a spoken word performer. She is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ourweekathy73 and don’t miss her on Facebook for announcements of seeing her live. She was already on the podcast this season and will be back again in two weeks for the Poetry in Ireland episode…

https://www.facebook.com/cathy.carson.7161

MANNY is a writer & performer who loves to work on artwork/posters for his written work since he is a visual person. He is from London and a graduate from Roehampton University. He says his work is very imaginative. He loves to take the reader/audience on a journey and writes pieces which people find inspiring and motivating. He runs a creative campaign called #BeTheChange which is a solo campaign he started while at university. He collaborates with other creators/artists, works on projects and film videos for creative work along with live performances around London. He is on Instagram at manny_harmony11. You can find his projects here

https://www.facebook.com/Beauty-Within-The-Cracks-114515693732305/

https://emmanuelcarriere17.wixsite.com/bethechange-creative/work-1

Darren J Beaney is the author of HoneyDew which is his debut collection published by The HedgeHog Poetry Press. He is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/DJ_Be_An and is one of the creators and hosts of Flight of the Dragonfly Spoken Word. You can find out more about him and buy his book at his website…

https://djbeaney.wordpress.com/honey-dew/

and you can find out more about Flight of the Dragonfly Spoken Word here.

Kevin Hynes is an Irish singer, actor and theatrical costume and prop maker. He is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/kevinmhynes and you can also follow him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/kevin.m.hynes.7

AfterGlow Acoustic Duo are the dynamic team of Rhiannon Howys and Reese Smith who were also the musical guest stars on our recent Christmas episode. You can find out more about them both here at their website and check them out on Facebook for live online events.

https://www.afterglowacousticduo.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/afterglowacousticduo

My Stickleback poetry collection is available to buy here…

My debut collection Eat the Storms is available here…

If you have questions, comments, improvements, desires to be a guest poet on the show, then please drop me an email at eatthestorms@yahoo.com

Until next time… Stay Bloody Poetic!

Damien B Donnelly

Thomas McColl – Forever After, Between the Pages

Forever After, Between the Pages of Poetry Collections
A Series of Interviews with poets on how their collections came together & what followed after.

When my debut poetry pamphlet was published by The Hedgehog Poetry Press in September 2020 there were two things I started to reflect on; the journey it had taken me to get to the point of having a group of poems working together as a collection with a publisher and an audience and then, the second thing, which I hadn’t really considered, what to do next!

Over the course of this series we’ll dive behind the pages of our guest’s collections to see how they came about and what happened after. Funny how all fairy tales end with the kiss at the altar, when we all know the real adventure commences after the walk back down the aisle.

Today’s guest is…Thomas McColl

And so, to forever after, let us begin…
Thank you for joining me today, here’s the first question…

1 Tell us a little bit about your last collection; inspirations, directions, wishes and vows.

My last collection, which came out early last year, is Grenade Genie, published by Fly on the Wall Press. Sub-titled 25 brief studies of the Cursed, Coerced, Combative and Corrupted, the book is filled with poems as dramatic as the four C-word headings they’re grouped under – poems with titles such as Shopping With Perseus, Literal Library, Statement by the Pedestrian Liberation Organisation, The Surgery I go to has a Two-headed Doctor and The Greatest Poem (which possibly is my greatest poem, albeit a poem that’s actually about the worst ever poem, and one written by me to boot).

In any event, the poems are more serious than they necessarily sound, and one of the themes, or main points made, in the book is that, ultimately, everyone and everything is expendable, but while that knowledge can generate either a sense of hopelessness or the nothing-to-lose strength to rail against it, one strength of poetry is that even if only the former gets expressed, the latter is automatically achieved.

At any rate, there was a much more deliberate direction taken when compiling this book than there had been with my previous collection, Being With Me Will Help You Learn. That collection, published by Listen Softly London Press in 2016, was a kind of eclectic greatest hits of all my poetry writing over the years since the 90s, and while my poetry has always been, to some degree, engaged with the world around us, the poems in Grenade Genie are definitely much more focussed on issues, both social and political, and I feel fortunate that I found, and was taken on by, the right publisher, Fly on the Wall Press, which, as well as being very much a socially conscious press in terms of the work it publishes, has done a great job in getting my collection into shape, all the way from the accepted manuscript stage to the book then coming out a few months later, in April 2020.

2 How did it feel when you saw your collection in print for the very first time and, perhaps more importantly, how did it feel when you sold your very first book?

It felt great when I saw the collection in print for the very first time, but it was simply relief I felt when I sold the first book, and relief was what I continued to feel as the book continued to sell – for even though I’m extremely proud of the finished item and the poems within, and I believe the book is very much worth people’s money, I never take anything for granted when it comes to achieving sales, and definitely not when attempting to promote my work during lockdown.

3 How did you promote your current collection and what did you learn about yourself and your collection in the days that followed, afterwards, that you hadn’t known before?

Grenade Genie was released right in the midst of the first lockdown, last April. In the months leading up to publication, I’d set about organising various live events and festivals in London and further afield, and with a fair few slots confirmed – included a 60-minute feature slot at the Leamington Poetry Festival in July – I was ready to go on what was effectively my first ever proper tour to promote the book, with featured readings as far afield as Coventry, Birmingham, Rochester and Saltburn – but then, at the end of March, the first lockdown began, and slowly but surely all the dates I’d organised ended up getting cancelled.

Right from the off, however, I was in a position to get straight into the swing of the ‘new normal’, for on the day after the book was published, Winchester Fest (who’d put me on their bill and had decided to go online) facilitated the launch of my book via Zoom with a 60-minute feature – and, with events only able now to go ahead if they went online, opportunities arose which otherwise wouldn’t have happened. For instance, I ended up being a featured poet in the Bridgewater International Poetry Festival, which was based in Virginia and which I’d normally have had to travel to in order to participate in but now could be a part of from the comfort of my bedroom in London. And new opportunities arose regarding radio as well: Shows which, previously, I’d have had to travel to in order to talk in the studio, I was able to, now, be a part of without leaving London, and in this way I ended up being on Rick Sander’s Brum Radio Poets show on Brum Radio and on Hannah Kate’s On the Bookshelf show on Manchester FM, and I managed too to get poems from the book featured on BBC Radio Kent and BBC Radio West Midlands. So, over this past year, it seems to have been a case of ‘what one hand taketh away the other giveth’.

Anyway, one thing I learned from this experience is to simply keep on going, even when everything seems to be going wrong or going against you, and all your best-laid plans have gone to waste – for, despite all the setbacks which have undoubtedly occurred since lockdown began (with all live work cancelled and avenues for publicity curtailed, and a general apathy taking over everything), I’m still very glad the book came out when it did, as it’d been four years since my previous collection had been released, and I really wanted to keep some momentum going, and no matter what obstacles you find in your way, you have to simply try and keep on course, no matter what (even if all you can see ahead are even more rocks than you’ve already managed to navigate through), and we’ll just have to see if the good ship Momentum – with a poet at the helm who’s more Captain Pugwash than Captain Cook – is actually going to make it through these troubled waters intact.

4 What happened after the honeymoon? Writing is rarely about one connection, one love affair, one marriage. Did you feel pressure to start another collection immediately or had you earned time to settle into your new life as an author and have a well-deserved break?

I don’t think I’m at the stage yet to have earned the time to rest on any laurels, and in any way savour and take stock of all that I’ve achieved, as there’s always the danger, if I stop to think too much, of feeling that my modest yet impressive enough achievements are as much as I’ll ever be able to crack, and I don’t want to get to thinking like that, as I think it’s very easy to – especially when you take time to actually look at the situation you’re faced with and, as a result, then see how starkly the odds are stacked against you. So, while I’m able to remain in the state of mind that thinks – in spite of all the signs suggesting otherwise – that I’ve actually got something more to give and enough to reach some higher heights, I’ll continue trying to keep what impetus there might be going, and even as the last collection was coming out, there was already another poetry collection in development, and other forms of writing too, which leads us very nicely on to the next question.

5 Are you exploring other avenues of creativity aside from poetry? Are there other forms of writing or publishing or art that inspires you, that requires time now for exploration and dedication?

Yes – I’ve always written prose in tandem with poetry, and while it might be my downfall that I’ve never solely concentrated on one form or the other, one good thing is that there’s been much cross-pollination, with poems morphing into both flash fiction pieces and short stories, and vice versa. For instance, the first poem in the Combative section of my book, entitled Shopping With Perseus, started out as a piece of prose, a 721-word story that was first published in the urban feminist literary magazine, Geeked, then, edited down to 500 words, won first prize in the Third Annual Stories of SW1 Writing Competition, then, finally, edited a little bit further, ended up as a poem in the book.

I’ve written both a novel and novella, and while neither of these manuscripts have found publishers yet, extracts from them have been published as standalone stories in magazines such as The Ghastling, Sick Lit and Here Comes Everyone. Other short stories of mine have been published in magazines such as Bare Fiction, Smoke: A London Peculiar and Fictive Dream, and, collected into a manuscript, were longlisted in the Mslexia First Drafts Competition in 2017.

6 If you had to pick one piece of your own writing or photograph or artwork that most represents you, at this very moment, knowing we are forever evolving, updating, changing, turning, what would it be and why and would you like to share it with us?

It’s a poem from my book, Grenade Genie, called The Phoney War, that most represents me now. It’s a poem about childhood, and play, and when reality intrudes on play, and though the poem represents me as a child, it also represents me now, as a middle-aged adult, coming to understand much more the significance of how harmless fun in the past wasn’t always such harmless fun for others.

THE PHONEY WAR

Our imaginations at war –
with umbrellas for rifles,
our enemy invisible –
we defended the sofa,
had it pulled out from the wall.

Inside this narrow tunnel –
with seat cushions overhead –
we hid.

With each attack,
we watched each other’s backs.
You saw the Germans
in your mind I could not see,
and I saw mine;
We shot them all too easily.

With the air-strikes, though,
we met our match.
Shells – like steel fists – struck,
and the seat cushions,
punched up into the air,
fell about us.

So, we rose and came out fighting –
shot down five fighters
and three bombers
with two umbrellas,
then finished off the conflict
in close hand-to-hand combat.

By the end,
there were a thousand German casualties
and, without even a scratch between them,
two tired Tommies,
smoking pencils, feeling tough.

And now the war was finished,
and with both of us famished,
we ran from the living room
into the kitchen,
calling for Gran to serve us up our tea,
and found her quietly sobbing at the stove.

7 What are you currently working on? Is there a new pamphlet, a collection, a novel? Where do you want to go next?

I do have enough new poems, just about, to form a new collection, though I’ve, so far, decided to split and submit this material to poetry publishers as two separate pamphlets, as yet without success, but there still remain submissions outstanding – so, who knows, there’s still hope.

If nothing, though, gets through, it may mean that I have to order the poems differently or present them as a collection instead, and, of course, what doesn’t find favour one year may well find favour the next, especially with new publishers continuing to emerge which may be more receptive to what I’m trying to achieve and say with my writing.

Anyway, I also have a horror novel, set in London, out on submission, and there’s a novelette, a collection of short stories, and even a rhyming picture book text, that are all doing the rounds at this moment in time – so watch this space, as they say!

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts, insights and mental workings with us. It’s been a pleasure to dive inside your head from the comfort of our own armchairs.

Before we depart, would you please take a moment to answer the following 9 quickfire questions…

What’s your favourite time of day?
The morning (as long as I’m not having to rush into work, and I’ve got time to do some writing).
What’s your current favourite song?
Slave to the Rhythm – Grace Jones.
What’s your current favourite taste?
My partner’s homemade dahl, with rice.
What’s your current favourite smell?
The smell that emanates from an extra-long match as I watch it burn after lighting the gas stove.
What’s your current favourite colour?
The colour of classic punk – Day-Glo pink.
What’s your current favourite distraction?
Lavishly illustrated books on the Second World War that were published in the 1970s and, in looking at them, take me back to being a child discovering books for the first time.
What’s your current favourite item of clothing?
My comfortable chinos.
What’s your current favourite poem or piece of writing you recently read?
I recently did an interview about the influence of the poet Stevie Smith upon my life and, in preparation, read some of her work again, and one that remains a favourite now, as it was back then when I first got into her in my teens, is a very short but very effective poem, called I Remember.
What’s one of the things you have discovered about yourself through writing?
That I’m patient when it comes to writing – or, at least, I am in the sense that I’m prepared (and able) to play the long-game, and I fully intend to see it through.

Thomas McColl is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ThomasMcColl2 and has been featured on radio, newspaper, multiple journals and is the author of two poetry collections Being With Me Will Help You Learn published by Listen Softly London Press in 2016 and Grenade Genie published by Fly on the Wall Press in 2020, both available to buy on his website…

https://thomasmccoll.wordpress.com/

Thomas was recently a guest on my poetry podcast Eat the Storms and you can here him reading poems from Grenade Genie on the 1st episode of Season 2, below is the Spotify link but the show is also on Apple, Podbean , Google Podcasts, PocketCasts and many more platforms…

Eat the Storms – The Poetry Podcast – Episode 3 -Season 2

Podcast available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, PocketCast, Podbean and many more platforms

This episode aired on 6th February 2021 and I was joined by poets Nathanael O’Reilly, Elisabeth Kelly, Theresa Donnelly, Martin Malone and Anne Osbourn. The links to their websites, blogs or Twitter pages are all listed below…

Nathanael O’Reilly is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/nathanael_o. He is the author of many collections including (Un)Belonging published by Recent Work Press and Blue published by Above/Ground Press and also Associate Poetry Editor at Descant. You can read more of Nathanael’s work on Anthropocene Poetry…

https://www.anthropocenepoetry.org/post/3-poems-by-nathanael-o-reilly

and also here in the Rochford Street Review…

Elisabeth Kelly is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/eekelly22 and her upcoming poetry collection entitled Carbon will be published by The Hedgehog Poetry Press in May 2021. Meanwhile you can keep up-to-date on Elisabeth and her work at her website…

https://elisabethkelly.com/

She was also recently published in the anthology Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité now available on her website

Martin Malone is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/malonepoetry and is the author of many collections including Cur, published by Shoestring, The Waiting Hillside, published by Templar and Larksong Static Selected Poems published by The Hedgehog Poetry Press. You can find him and his books at his website…

https://www.martinmalonepoetry.com/

Keep up to date with Martin’s music and his band Innocents Abroad on Soundcloud

Theresa Donnelly is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/TheresaWriter. She is an Irish/Canadian poet who was born and educated in Dublin. She worked in Hospitality and Culinary Management. Theresa is a member of The Ontario Poetry Society and a founding member of the Brooklin Poetry Society. Her work has been published with Beret Days Press, The Copperfield Review, Verse Afire, Buried Horror, Red Claw Press, The Brooklin Town Crier, Surfacing Magazine, UCD Library Poems for the Pandemic, The Caterpillar Magazine, Tales from the Forest, Dreich, Black Bough Poetry and she is a regular contributor to Poetry Ireland, Poetry Prompts. You can also find Theresa at her website where you can also find her two books Reccurence of Blue and Moon Witch

https://theresadonnelly.com/

Anne Osbourn is a plant scientist and can be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/AnneOsbourn1 and her debut collection Mock Orange was published in Sept 2020 by SPM and won third prize in the Sentinel Poetry Book Prize 2018. You can buy her collection here…

https://spmpublications.com/shop/mock-orange-anne-osbourn.html

My Stickleback poetry collection is available to buy here…

My debut collection Eat the Storms is available here…

If you have questions, comments, improvements, desires to be a guest poet on the show, then please drop me an email at eatthestorms@yahoo.com

Until next time… Stay Bloody Poetic!

Damien B Donnelly

Eat the Storms – The Poetry Podcast – Episode 2 -Season 2

Podcast available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, PocketCast, Podbean and many more platforms

This episode aired on 30th January 2021 and I was joined by poets Phil Vernon, Cathy Carson, Barbara Mercer and A.R. Salandy. The links to their websites, blogs or Twitter pages are all listed below…

Phil Vernon is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/philvernon2. He is the author of A Quieter Shore published by The Hedgehog Poetry Press and Poetry after Auschwitz published by Sentinel Poetry and there is an interview with Phil and Sentinel right here…

Click to access phil-vernon-slq-monday-writer-30-november-2020.pdf

You can buy Poetry After Auschwitz here…

https://spmpublications.com/shop/poetry-after-auschwitz-phil-vernon.html

And you can read more of Phil’s poetry on this website here…

https://philvernon.net/category/poetry/

And on YouTube you can hear Phil’s Daughter, Paksie Vernon, read his poem El Tres de Mayo

Barbara Mercer is one of the organisers of Dragonflies Spoken Word and blogs at WordPress here…

https://wordpress.com/view?site=walnuttreewriting.home.blog

You can follow her writing on Facebook here

https://www.facebook.com/BarbaraMercerWriting

And for Dragonflies SW events check them out on Twitter at https://twitter.com/DragonfliesSW

Cathy Carson is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ourweekathy73 and Cathy will perform next week at Crafty Crows on Feb 3rd 2021 from 19.00 GMT and the link is below…

https://www.facebook.com/events/1626184560905674/

AR Salandy is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/anthony64120 and is the Co-Founder/EIC of Fahmidan Journal @fahmidanjournal (twitter/instagram). Anthony has 1 published chapbook titled ‘The Great Northern Journey’ published by Lazy Adventurer Publishing available here…

https://www.lazyadventurerpublishing.com/shop/the-great-northern-journey

You can find his website here…

Here are the links to the poems Anthony read today…

Oma’ The Daily Drunk 12th July 2020

https://thedailydrunk.com/f/oma?blogcategory=Poetry

‘Stormy Weather’- Clay Literary September 13th 2020 Online

https://www.clayliterary.com/post/raven-issue-nine-09-13-2020

‘Heartland’ Anser Journal October 14th 2020 Online

https://anserjournal.org/arsalandy

‘Subjugation’- jfa Human Rights Journal October 28th 2020 Online

https://www.thejfa.com/read/subjugation

My Stickleback poetry collection is available to buy here…

My debut collection Eat the Storms is available here…

If you have questions, comments, improvements, desires to be a guest poet on the show, then please drop me an email at eatthestorms@yahoo.com

Until next time… Stay Bloody Poetic!

Damien B Donnelly

These Queer Merboys; Serge Neptune

Two weeks ago, I sat in the armchair by the window, a wet Wednesday afternoon and opened Serge Neptune’s debut poetry collection These Queer Merboys published by Broken Sleep Books and an hour later had finished the last page, one of the few books I’ve sat and devoured in just one sitting. As I dived into the pages of this collection I was reminded of Hedwig and the Angry Inch; the big, bold, brash musical of the German boy willing to become a good girl for the American soldier but left broken, later, with only an angry inch, but beneath the bravado there was a darkness and similarly here, in Neptune’s world, we have the sensory mermen swimming in as a choir, seeking comfort, seeking caresses; ‘…expert hands that know what to do…’ seeking kisses; ‘…our tongues laid out like summer…’ but the waves can drag you down, hands that once hugged can hold you under and kisses come from lips that have teeth beyond the seduction of all that is soft.

Very quickly you realise that this is not just a collection of poems, it is a complete queer narrative coming up out of the ocean; ‘…a merman finds a stranded sock, black scab on the shoreskin, feels for the first time the touch of fabric, juggles it from hand to hand then wears it as a glove to give it words…’ and out of the water and onto shore that can leave you drowning, drying, drinking, dissolving, revising, reshaping, evolving. Looking for acceptance, understanding, splitting ourselves open so as to be loved; ‘…men took us in their arms, cuddled us at first, fastened lips to lips, we begged for hands to hold our throats…’ so as to be equal, so as to be able to walk among the others with two feet instead of fins; ‘…the potion they served us, like surgeons, cut through our blood with irons, parted our spine… scales would fall… each step felt like a pig’s heart skewered with nails…’ but the pain better, perhaps, than the scorn of being different.
And yet, even after all that, comes the torture; ‘…the telly blasting SINNERS! SINNERS! You shall not lie with a creature of the sea, for they have no soul…’ the revelations of what we are willing to do for that acceptance; the cutting and folding ourselves into pieces to make us more lovable, more manageable, until finally we become unrecognisable and don’t know how to get back to who it was that we once were; ‘…once the water in my bathtub was all cherry, I tried to stop the flowers of my wrists from blossoming.
But still we rise, upon the next current; current wave, current attraction, current love; ignoring the ‘…Cassandras nobody ever listens to for fear of drowning & what is it to love a man if not to drag him underneath to steal his last breath.’
This is a journey that never falters, that never panders to convention, an unstoppable, unshakable, uncompromising debut of only 20 poems and yet it reads like a fully developed novel and we are left wanting more and thankfully, dear readers, I do believe that more is on the way. Serge Neptune has started something and we rejoice in the fact that it’s not yet finished!

You can find Serge Neptune on Twitter at https://twitter.com/mermanpoet

You can buy These Queer Merboys from Broken Sleep Books

https://www.brokensleepbooks.com/product-page/serge-neptune-these-queer-merboys

Eat the Storms – The Poetry Podcast – Episode 1 -Season 2

Podcast available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, PocketCast, Podbean and many more platforms

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, non conformers and non believers, gender X and gender equals, we are back again for Season 2 of Eat The Storms the Poetry Podcast. Thank you for listening and supporting.

This episode aired on 23rd January 2021 and I was joined by poets Vic Pickup, Thomas McColl, Trish Bennet and Sue Finch. The links to their websites, blogs or Twitter pages are all listed below…

Vic Pickup is the Michael Marks and Pushcart Prize nominated author of Lost and Found published by The Hedgehog Poetry Press, the co-founder of Inkpot Writers Group and is on twitter as @VicPickup https://twitter.com/VicPickup and her website is…

https://vicpickup.com/

Thoms McColl is the author of Grenade Genie published by  Fly on the Wall Press from which he read Security Pass, The Phoney War and Literal Library on this episode. He is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ThomasMcColl2 and his website is…

https://thomasmccoll.wordpress.com/

You can buy Grenade Genie here…

https://www.flyonthewallpress.co.uk/product-page/grenade-genie-by-thomas-mccoll

Sue Finch is the author of Magnifying Glass published by Black Eyes Publishing. She is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/soopoftheday and you can buy her collection here…

https://payhip.com/SueFinch

and details about Sue’s collection can be found here at Black Eyes Publishing…

https://www.blackeyespublishinguk.co.uk/sue-finch

Trish Bennett, twice the winner of the Leitrim Literary Award, is the author of Borderlines, the Stickleback collection published by The Hedgehog Poetry Press. She is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/baabennett and can also be found on her website here…

My Stickleback, micro poetry collection, published by The Hedgehog Poetry Press is available on my website. This is a signed limited edition print…

My debut collection Eat the Storms is available here…

If you have questions, comments, improvements, desires to be a guest poet on the show, then please drop me an email at eatthestorms@yahoo.com

Until next time… Stay Bloody Poetic!

Damien B Donnelly

Eat the Storms – The Poetry Podcast – Season 2 – Saturday 23rd Jan

Podcast available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, PocketCast, Podbean and many more platforms

Eat the Storms, the Poetry Podcast, is back this Saturday 23rd Jan 2021 on your preferred Podcast Platform for Season 2!!! The first episode drops at 5pm GMT on Spotify and then trickles out onto all the other platforms shortly after that. And we have a dazzling line-up of poets joining the show this season, some coming back for a second time and some making their debut…

So see you on the platform and till next time… Stay Bloody Poetic!

Thicker than Water; Jane Dougherty

‘And when I taste the taste of you, it is the layered shell sprinkled-tang of all recorded time.

The quote above is the last line of the 1st poem in Jane Dougherty’s debut collection, a collection that opens straight away into the sea’s water and the air’s rain falling onto the earth with its rough edges of fragility, thick sweetness of honey and shells of echoed songs. And that is exactly what each poem is here; a finely tuned echo of a song once sung.
Nature unravels the truth of its beginnings and the path toward all its endings across these pages; in the great arched sky, the moon and stars, the cry of the owl and the footsteps of the fox. There is a fine line sensuously navigated here balancing the order of life and death, an order reflected in how carefully each poem appears on the page, how it follows the last and makes way for the next. Nature is rampant but not always at peace, like the darting robin and the blackbirds who forget to sing and the lonely whale in the poem Blue Whale Debris- the last witness of the decay, sentinel with nothing left to guard but these endings also bear echoes of the light that sparked joy along the route still shining even if it’s only as bright as laughter in the dark or in the hope that we will drift with the gold of summer sunset in our eyes…as long as it’s together. The acknowledgement is of both love and loss, the burning sun and drowning wave, being alive and knowing death is growing out there, between the blue and the red. Blood, of course, flows through this collection, that which is thicker, or thickest of them all, blue and rich and poisonous, running through the veins of the body, of the Earth, of these poems, all streams, all liquid flowing, floating towards the heavens or roots growing down into the deep, dark dampness of the earth. Blue comes first as a returning colour, not only for the water but also in mourning for all that has passed and then red; for all the suns setting over the land, for all the suns setting fires to all that once roared.
The title of the collection cleverly returns throughout the poems to add further flow, albeit with slight turns and twists, always the same water but never the same droplet, with titles like The Thickness of the Water, lines like water dilutes the thickest blood and thicker than water but not clay and the poem Things that are Thicker than Water which exposes the narrator’s understanding, and perhaps acceptance, of all that is almost too much to bear; the tightening of knots, the squeezing of the heart, the fear of losing, the loneliness, the weight that pulls you down into the ocean and the incarnadine stain left behind in the water. When looked at from a certain angle, life can be unforgivable and yet, there is beauty too in this struggle, in this observation of all we cannot control like the fragility, and perhaps the predestined fate, of Ophelia laying herself and her sorrows, with the help of darkness, into death; Take me to the river, she said, where sunlight dances on golden points… So, he did, and they did, for a moment.

Midway through the collection, we hear the storm is coming on gulls slender wings; the pace here is that of the winter wild, running reckless, whether we are getting closer to heaven or to hell, a dystopian landscape unfolding under the blues growing grey coming towards the ocean of mist; and where will we shelter, you and I, when the sky tears its coping from side to side and then, with a nod to James Joyce, we are swept back to the ancient lands of our ancestors where our tongues taste the breath our mothers breathed, still twisting beneath the soil, whispering of smells from the language of the dead; air and rain and turf and corduroy.
There are cycles here; not just with life and death but in the movement of the water; running, rising, falling, returning, in the scents that come back through new noses, exploring, hunting, gathering, shedding, a realisation that all things have a time to breathe and, later, a time to sleep as if the narrator has sat in the garden of the Earth and watched how the animals go about their business without questioning or worrying or losing time over the why.
As we come to the final poems in the collection, noticeable words rise up that perhaps were not as visible before in the struggle of life; happiness, euphoria, kisses, passion, the singing of blackbirds, desire and the memory of a life lived; when I am old and have no fire’s glow to coax the blood to frozen fingertips I’ll think of those raw days of long ago and how you warmed the magic with your lips. Age brings with it a balance, an acceptance, an admittance of what has been and what must come to an end and with that comes the end of a collection where the reader has been transported, tasted the rain, drowned in the waves, felt beaten, broken and then a breath of air that resuscitated, offered rebirth, brought me back to buoyant. The final poem leaves us perfectly with the Well Water; the red foxes and the horses and a reflection of all that will become stars.
I’ve followed Jane Dougherty since the early days of WordPress, have taken up her poetry challenges, marvelled at her knowledge of poetic forms and styles and loved her time travelling novel The Pathfinders, but this is the first time I have had the chance to read her work as a collection and it is an astounding accomplishment. I note the dedication to her mother Mary and her father John and I think she has listened well to their voices from beyond and they will be proud. A poet who is in full control of her flow and that shines throughout every carefully created line, each vision she has painted and the love and respect of nature that we are invited to witness through the eyes of someone who has been paying very good attention.
Thicker than Water runs deeper than its simple size suggests. It is light to the weight but buy it now and see how the wait for its arrival will deepen the worth of its contents.

You can find Jane’s blog on WordPress below…

https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/

And you can buy her book on Amazon…

The Gull and the Bell Tower – Kari Flickinger

This collection brought me back to jazz nights at Le Duc des Lombards in Paris in the late 90s with its strained light, stifling smoke and those journeys the sounds took me on; joyous, jerking, juvenile, gyrating, discombobulating, dysphoric, destructive, devouring, divine, the mind always running after that next note, never quite able to identify the melody, overthrown by the chorus, broken by the refrain and suddenly raised by an unexpected pause to catch your breath before it dived back down again. The Gull and the Bell Tower by Kari Flickinger is exactly that; an unstoppable, unrelenting and sometimes unforgiving flight into the syncopated jazz beat where words tremble on the page like strings across the double base. Mingus, Davis, Coltrane and even the Duke are already rummaging through their own ashes for ways to transport rough riffs from the dearly departed to accompany this debutant’s outing.
I read it first from beginning to end but I’m not sure that’s even necessary or the best way to do it, each poem stands alone, this is not purely a collection but a collaboration of perfected poetic hits. A triumph of words that, as it says itself, defies the organised poem, being too fat with words, with depth, with flow, with movement that carries emotion in waves, floods of water, drowning, reviving and drowning again and sometimes both, back and forth, up and down, over and in between these flights of fancy, fear, folly, force, all of which we meet in the very opening poem- wings jumping towards the truth even if the feathers cannot be trusted and, right there, we have been forewarned; this is a journey into what will keep us afloat and the lies that will bury us under the weight of a feather that can turn to steel, lips that can turn to other mouths while we swallow words that, not always comfortably, spiral down the oesophagus, like love, like loss, like life, like the very best jazz.

‘Sound can tell you before you are gone how it was you went’ and it’s all here, waiting for us to hear it, be seduced by it, deduce it and then reduce it to nothing so we can catch the next flight out.
An astounding body of work that does not end when you turn the last page, for it is only then that the questions arise and you are compelled to dive back in to uncover the answers. For like jazz, like life, the rhyme is only accessible when you slip beneath the distractions of the flesh. In the guts of The Gull and the Bell Tower the bones have slipped out from the disguise of the skin and are waiting for you to finally see them. This is not just a debut, it is a revelation.

The Gull and the Bell Tower is published by Femme Salvé Books and is available here…

Eat the Storms – A Merry Little Christmas Podcast Episode 15

Podcast available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, PocketCast, Podbean and many more platforms

This episode aired on 12th December 2020 and it was A Merry Little Christmas Episode featuring poetry, short story and festive song. Below are the links to all the Elves and Fairies and Santa’s helpers who joined me to make this final episode of Season 1 Eat the Storms so special. See you all mid January for Season 2…

Matthew M C Smith is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MatthewMCSmith and he is the creator of Black Bough Poetry https://www.blackboughpoetry.com/

Lynn Valentine is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/dizzylynn and will have her debut Scots Language Pamphlet coming from Hedgehog Poetry Press in 2021 and her full Poetry Collection coming from Cinnamon Press in 2020

Merril D Smith is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/merril_mds and can be found on WordPress at https://merrildsmith.com/

Nigel Kent is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/kent_nj and can be found on WordPress at https://nigelkentpoet.wordpress.com/ and his collections are published by Hedgehog Poetry Press https://www.hedgehogpress.co.uk/

Patricia M Osbourne is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/PMOsborneWriter and can be found at her blog here https://whitewingsbooks.com/

AfterGlow Acoustic Duo are made up of Rhiannon Howys and Reese Smith and can be found at https://www.afterglowacousticduo.co.uk/ and also have a Facebook page so you can check out their up-coming Christmas special performance https://www.facebook.com/afterglowacousticduo/

Orla Grant Donoghue is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/OrlaWrites and can be found at her website https://orlawrites.com/

Nathaniel O’Reilly is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/nathanael_o and you can find his books here https://bookshop.org/contributors/nathanael-o-reilly

Sue Finch is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/soopoftheday and you can find out more about her collection Magnifying Glass here https://payhip.com/SueFinch

Fidel Hogan Walsh is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/dragonslayerma and you can find out more about Fidel and her recent collection with photographer Julie Corcoran here http://www.bbcreativehub.com/fidel-hogan-walsh/

Ruairí de Barra is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/r_debarra and can be found at his blog https://paperneverrefusedink.com/

Aisling Keogh is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/aislingtkeogh and is an author represented by The StoryLine Literary Agency

Sarah Connor is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/sacosw and can be found at WordPress on https://fmmewritespoems.wordpress.com/

Rhona Green is the light and support centre of Twitter and can be found here https://twitter.com/Rhona_Greene

Karen S Moore is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/KarenSDavies and can be found at her blog at http://ksmoore.com/

My Name is Damien B. Donnelly and I can be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/deuxiemepeau and my debut collection Eat the Storms is available here https://deuxiemepeaupoetry.com/book-shop-eat-the-storms

A Very Merry Christmas to you all and a huge Thank You for tuning in this year.

Until next year..

Stay Stay Safe and Well and of course; Stay Bloody Poetic!

Eat the Storms – The Podcast – Episode 14 – Poetry in Ireland

Podcast available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, PocketCast, Podbean and many more platforms

This episode aired on 05th December 2020 and I was joined by poets Eilín de Paor, Therese Kieran and Karen S Moore. The links to their websites, blogs or Twitter pages are all listed below…

Eilín de Paor is on Twitter at @edepaor and her poem hashtag is #bitofapoem and you can find some of her poetry on Algebra of Owls and Pandemic.ie.

Therese Kieran is on Twitter at @ThereseKieran and you can read one of her poems on The Blue Nib and the The Honest Ulsterman…

https://humag.co/poetry/in-silence

Therese Kieran lives in Belfast. Her work has featured in: Her Other Language, The Honest Ulsterman, Valley Press Anthology, The Blue Nib, Four X Four, Washing Windows? and many others, including Poetry Jukebox’s 2020 climate change curation in Paris & Belfast. She’s twice been long listed for the Seamus Heaney New Writing award. In 2020 she received an Arts Council award to write her debut poetry pamphlet about 1914 Belgian refugees in Monaghan. Just recently she’s been involved in projects with the 26 Collective including, 26 Wild in support of endangered species and A Common Place, a collaborative venture with the Eames Fine Art Gallery, London.

Karen S Moore is on Twitter at @KarenSDavies and can be found at her website…

Karen’s poem Let Down was first published in Skylight 47 July 2020 from her pamphlet in progress: ‘When seaweed is Medusa’s hair’. Trainspotting was first published by The Honest Ulsterman, 2020. Mermaid Princess was first published by Southword, 2017. Both those last poems are from K. S. Moore’s full collection, ‘Eggshell Flesh’, (currently out on submission).
Karen’s YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoaQi6FmVIrvloO08FX9WgQ

My debut collection Eat the Storms is available here…

Until next time… Stay Bloody Poetic!

Eat the Storms – The Podcast – Episode 13

Podcast available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker and many more platforms

This episode aired on 28th November 2020 and I was joined by poets Merril D. Smith, Serge Neptune, Kari Flickinger, Annick Yerem. The links to their websites, blogs or Twitter pages are all listed below…

Merril D Smith is on Instagram at @merril_mds and you can find Merril on WordPress with linbks to here books here…

https://merrildsmith.com/

Serge Neptune is on Twitter at @mermanpoet and his book is published by Broken Sleep Books and available here…

https://www.brokensleepbooks.com/product-page/serge-neptune-these-queer-merboys

ElisaKari Flickinger is on Twitter at @KariFlickinger and can be found at her website…

And you can find her collection at Femme Salve Books…

Annick Yerem is on Twitter as @missyerem and you can also find her at her blog…

https://missyerem.wordpress.com/

My debut collection Eat the Storms is available here…

Until next time… Stay Bloody Poetic!

The Woman With An Owl Tattoo – Anne Walsh Donnelly

Anne Walsh Donnelly opens her chapbook The Woman with an Owl Tattoo, published by Fly on the Wall Press, with the no-holes barred, blaring, bold Guide to Becoming a Writer, a poem that documents a life in change, in search, in turmoil, in the depths of despair, indivisible from the pen. And we instantly know we don’t want this collection to end.
Death comes early to this collection, by the second poem in fact, limp body floating face down in the pond. The owl, who once watched the wife watch the husband sleeping, didn’t make it. The timer now ticks for that wife to decide her own fate.
What follows is an often comical, always honest account of how we ignore what we don’t yet understand, kiss things to distract us, perfectly documented in the poem History of My Sexual Encounters, speak vows that will only bury us and ignore the thoughts of the therapist until a waitress at the Costa checkout confirms the truth that cannot be concealed any longer, there is only so much support that can be bound within a bra.
These confessional poems, steeped in admissions, revelations to mothers, fathers, sons and daughters, are delivered with a very dry wit and yet we are never unaware of the fear and bravery it takes to speak and write each word but Anne always gives us the right to breathe and laugh with moments like the hilarious response from the daughter in the poem Coming Out to My Daughter that her once married-to-a-man mother now has a girlfriend ‘well, you’ll have company while I’m off at college’. Although the Irish father, traditionally never one for many words or a showing of too much affection, is the one who brings us to tears with his reply in the poem Coming Out to My Father which I will save for the reader to discover themselves. But have a tissue handy.
The poem Being in Love at 50 is rich with its symbolism, that dry desert suddenly flooded with wet vulvas, children re-drawing the images they had of their parents, boring polyester shirts for the ex’s and those liberating lace bras in cerise now worn for the new lover.
Just beyond the midway mark, the poem Ache of Naked Bodies shines in its simplicity, one of the shortest poems in the collection and yet it manages to hit the mark perfectly, just like that vision in the tallboy mirror as bodies are braided but when that tenderness does arrive, also depicted in the poem Someone to Watch Over Me, it is simply beautiful to witness.
There clearly have been so many bold, brave battles on the way to this point which makes the crescendo call of Mná na hÉireann resound in the soul, that final sensual understanding of your own identity and the acceptance of your body and its embrace by another body ‘how could you not want to drag a woman to bed at seven on a Saturday evening?’

The arrival of the tattoo in No More Fairy Tales inks forever into outer flesh the freedom that has been found within; our heroine, no longer tied to former entanglements, saves the princess and off they run for a happily ever-right-now, far away from that pond where the owl once drowned.
The final poem I Have Lived is a perfect example of how to end a collection that began by drawing us into a quest to find the self and culminates with a resounding yelp from the mountain top. An acceptance of who she was, what she did while lying next to his body and what she managed to become that left her licking the maple from another woman’s lips. We are left with the question ‘What is left there to explore?’

and we all shout for more, please, more!

The Woman With An Owl Tattoo is published by Fly on the Wall Press and available here…

https://www.flyonthewallpress.co.uk/product-page/the-woman-with-an-owl-tattoo-by-anne-walsh-donnelly

Eat the Storms – The Podcast – Episode 12

Podcast available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker and many more platforms

This episode aired on 21st November 2020 and I was joined by poets Jude Marr, Darren J Beaney, Elisabeth Horan and Brian McManus. The links to their websites, blogs or Twitter pages are all listed below…

Jude Marr is on Instagram at @JudeMarr1 with a book out now entitled We Know Each Other By Our Wounds published by Animal Heart Press and available here…

https://www.animalheartpress.net/p/purchase-we-know-each-other-by-our.html

and you can find Jude Marr also here…

http://judemarr.com/

Darren J Beaney is on Twitter at @DJ_Be_An and at @DragonfliesSW and his website…

http://djbeaney.wordpress.com

You can find DragonFlies Spoken Word on Facebook here…

https://www.facebook.com/FlightoftheDragonfly/

Darren’s collection Honey Dew will be released on 8th December from The Hedgehog Poetry Press

https://www.hedgehogpress.co.uk/

Elisabeth Horan is on Twitter at @ehoranpoet and can be found at her website…

https://www.ehoranpoet.com/

And you can find Elisabeth here on Amazon…

and Elisabeth’s new collection Just to the Right of the Stove will be published by Twist in Time Lit Mag Press in Feb 2021…

Brian McManus is on Twitter as @BrianMcManus999 and his book Liar, Liar is available to buy at The Hedgehog Poetry Press…

https://www.hedgehogpress.co.uk/product-category/for-sale/books/collections/

My debut collection Eat the Storms is available here…

Until next time… Stay Bloody Poetic!

Eat the Storms – The Podcast – Episode 11

Podcast available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker and many more platforms

This episode aired on 14th November 2020 and I was joined by poets Attracta Fahy, David Ralph Lewis and Glen Wilson. The links to their websites, blogs or Twitter pages are all listed below…

Attracta Fahy is on Instagram at @AttractaFahy and her book Dinner in the Fields is published by Fly on the Wall Press and available here…

https://www.flyonthewallpress.co.uk/product-page/dinner-in-the-fields-by-attracta-fahy

David Ralph Lewis is on Twitter at @davidralphlewis and his website where you can buy Refraction is…

https://www.davidralphlewis.co.uk/

David’s collection Our Voices in the Chaos is published by Selcouth Station and can be purchased here…

https://www.selcouthstation.com/product-page/our-voices-in-the-chaos

Glen Wilson is on Twitter at @glenhswilson and can be found at his website…

https://glenwilsonpoetry.wordpress.com/

Glen’s collection An Experience on the Tongue is published by Doire Press and can be bought here…

https://www.doirepress.com/rapidcartpro/index.php?product/page/108/An+Experience+on+the+Tongue

My debut collection Eat the Storms is available here…

Until next time… Stay Bloody Poetic!

Mamiaith by Ness Owen

‘Begin with fearlessness…’ from the poem How to Begin

Mamiaith by Ness Owen

There is a deep sense of loss in the opening poem to Ness Owen’s Mamiaith (Welsh for Mother Tongue) but it is delicately laid down with a hope for rebirth; a memory planted within the roots so we can look out the window at the end of each day and remember where to blow those goodnight kisses. As we read further and deeper though, we can see that it is not only a hope that has been planted, but an exploration that has begun of the very land where we have our roots, the connection of soil and soul. We start out by opening up to the lessons of the ground beneath us and later, as we near the end, when the birds look down upon us, there is a sense of freedom in their flight.
Simple chores, like mowing the lawn and cooking, become studies in life and how to adapt what we’ve learned and who we’ve learned it from, acknowledging those spirals we move in while trimming off the edges to come closer to the truth. Even the preparation of a simple stew, a rwdan, holds more than just a recipe for making a meal; at the same time as the bones boil on the stove there is a battle brewing between the tradition of silently keeping a lid on everything while we can also hear the stirrings of the next generation’s desire to be bright and brave and bold and empty the contents of a pot of traditions and ask how they came to be and why they have been kept. Interesting to note a poem that follows shortly after this boiling stew is one of a girl, grown into woman, watching her own daughter grow up but again, all is grounded by that soil, never far from those feet, stabilizing the soul as if to say this is how it goes.

The collection cleverly deceives the reader with its light appearance; delicate forms of short poems with few words but that too is its strength, like a language not used enough so that words are forgotten and we must cut to the truth without the fluff and frills. I myself have lived in 4 countries now, two of which I had to learn other languages and eventually found my truth to speaking up was to hold the main words, all else would be understood if the message was clear enough to comprehend.
Every poem is reinforced by the echoes each one carries, repetitions to remind us to ‘write and dance and dance and write’, an invitation to rediscover the former songs that once marched out of tightened throats like the reusing of the words in The Appeal to the Women of the United States of America, a peace petition originally written in 1923 – 24 and how the sharing of these stories and the making of our own new ones is the only way to survive the wave that eats people.
Following on from Dawn Dumont’s quote at the beginning of the poem One Name, Cymru- to be born indigenous is to be born an activist- we realise that the fight is happening here, within the considered calls rising up from these carefully chosen lines, each word perfectly formed into a sense of identity often bashed, often silenced but ever resilient.
I am reminded of the famine walls in Ireland, built during a time of such struggle for the Irish workers, when the British decided that if aid was needed then it was to be earned and so they made starving peasants build boundary walls around farm lands, a task of no importance, in order to give them food in return. The walls still stand, tight rocks beaten into position with blood and tears and a longing to be recognised as equally worthy.
And that is what shines through in this collection; tongues once stolen from mother’s mouths, pulled and pushed into position repeatedly, wanting to break out and be recognised as individual and not just a part of a puzzle someone once decided was too difficult to complete and so tucked away in a box.

Sometimes we don’t always understand the call, the song, the note, the granite, but it is our song as Ness Owen so strikingly tells us and, if we listen carefully to the stories, we will come to realise that ‘the wave is hungry again’ and the time to march is here for ‘silence won’t shape our future.’ So we come and gather and open this collection to learn to listen to the Buzzard because… ‘there is something reassuring in her cry…’

Dal dy dir (stand your ground) Ness says in one poem and this collection is testament to that strength of standing your ground and being heard in a ‘voice that is ours to proclaim a word at a time.’

This collection comes together as a triumph of the soul rising from struggle, a resolute banner call to reclaiming the truth of history and identity of Crymru and I will leave to with a tease of the opening of Female Blackbird Sings

‘Your song isn’t
as loud as his
born knowing you’ll
have to try harder
still you sing not
just with truth but
wings and tail forcing
out your voice like
you’re drowning in
the chorus till you
find the one note
to stop them still…’

Mamiaith is published by Arachne Press and is available to buy here…

Eat the Storms – The Podcast – Episode 10

Podcast available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker and many more platforms

This episode aired on 07th November 2020 and I was joined by poets Eileen Carney Hulme, Karen Mooney, David L O’Nan and Liam Porter. The links to their websites, blogs or Twitter pages are all listed below…

Eileen Carney Hulme is on Twitter at @strokingtheair and her collections include The space between the Rain and Stroking the Air….

https://www.indigodreams.co.uk/ech-tsm/4589983025

Karen Mooney is on Twitter at @1karenmooney and can also be found at @LisburnReads and @northernvisions. Her collection Penned In is available at The Hedgehog Poetry Press…

https://www.hedgehogpress.co.uk/product-category/for-sale/hoglets/karren-mooney/

David L O’Nan is on Twitter at @DavidLONan1. His upcoming collection will be called New Disease Streets and you can find him also at @feversof and also on Fevers of the Mind Poetry here…

https://feversofthemind.wordpress.com/

Find him on Amazon here…

Fevers of the Mind Submission Call from David… I have published a ton of poets in the Fevers books & Avalanches book.  Currently Fevers of the Mind Poetry Digest 2020 is Open for submissions with a deadline of December 15th. Info on guidelines is available on the website page at feversofthemind.wordpress.com and submissions can be made at feversofthemind@gmail.com

Liam Porter is on Twitter at @LiamPort and you can buy Liam’s collection Dance in the rain here…

https://liamporterpoetry.bigcartel.com/product/dance-in-the-rain

My debut collection Eat the Storms is available here…

Until next time… Stay Bloody Poetic!

Eat the Storms – The Podcast – Episode 9

Podcast available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker and many more platforms

This episode aired on 31st October 2020 and I was joined by poets Ness Owen, Lynn Valentine, Roger Hare and Sarah-Jane Crowson. The links to their websites, blogs or Twitter pages are all listed below…

Ness Owen is on Twitter at @ness_owen and her collection Mamiaith is published by Arachne Press…

Lynn Valentine is on Twitter at @dizzylynn and you can read more of her work here…

https://www.highlandlit.com/lynn-valentine

Roger Hare is on Twitter at @RogerHare6 and you can read more of Roger’s work here…

Sarah-Jane Crowson is on Twitter at @sarahjfc and her website is…

http://sarah-janecrowson.com/

Jane Dougherty’s new collection is available from Amazon here…

My debut collection Eat the Storms is available here…

Until next time… Stay Bloody Poetic!

Eat the Storms – The Pride Poetry Podcast Episode 8

Podcast available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker and many more platforms

This episode aired on 24th October 2020, and it was a celebration of voices from the LGBTQ+ community. I was joined on this show by Andreena Leeanne, David Hanlon, Anne Walsh Donnelly, Erin Russell, Katie Proctor, Grace Alice Evans, Ryan Norman and Peach Delphine.

The links to their websites, blogs or Twitter pages are all listed below…

Andreena Leeanne is the creator and host of @PoetryLGBT and her book Charred is published by Team Angelica

http://teamangelica.com/71

David Hanlon is on Twitter as @DavidHanlon13 and his book Spectrum of Flight is published by Animal Heart Press

https://www.animalheartpress.net/p/purchase-spectrum-of-flight.html

Anne Walsh Donnelly is on Twitter as @AnneWDonnelly and her book The Woman with the Owl Tattoo is published by Fly on the Wall Poetry

https://www.flyonthewallpoetry.co.uk/product-page/the-woman-with-an-owl-tattoo-by-anne-walsh-donnelly

Grace Alice Evans is on Twitter as @gracealiceevans and her website is…

https://linktr.ee/gracealiceevans

Erin Russell is on Twitter as @etcall and you can read an interview with her here…

http://trainpoetryjournal.blogspot.com/2019/10/an-interview-with-erin-russell_10.html

Also check out Erin at @PoetryQueer

Ryan Norman is on Twitter at @RyanMGNorman and his website is…

https://linktr.ee/RyanMGNorman

Ryan can also be found as the Silver Branch Poet for October in Black Bough Poetry…

https://www.blackboughpoetry.com/ryan-norman

Katie Proctor is on Twitter at @Katiiewrites and you can find more info about her here…

https://katiiewrites.carrd.co/

and find her book here…

https://www.hedgehogpress.co.uk/product-category/for-sale/hoglets/katieproctor/

Peach Delphine is on Twitter as @PeachDelphine and you can read more of her work at IceFloePress…

and at the Silver Branch Series from Black Bough Poetry…

https://www.blackboughpoetry.com/peach-delphine

My debut collection Eat the Storms is available here…

Until next time… Stay Bloody Proud and Poetic!

Quicksand – Julie Stevens

In the new chapbook Quicksand, by Julie Stevens, published by Hybriddreich, there is a line in the opening poem that reads ‘I’m a factory working hard to produce a mystery, a collection of broken parts awaiting an answer…’ and this is indeed a collection of broken parts but it delivers its message clearly and its truth shines on every line, in every carefully chosen word, in the strength of each poem to be able to stand alone as well as accepting the support of the collection because, of course, what writer is not happy when allowed to sit and ponder and put pen to page. But, when the only option you have is to sit and ponder and put pen to page, then things change. Julie has had MS for 30 years now which means she cannot run or race or climb or dance. But here, in Quicksand, that is what the words do instead and she gives herself over to them completely.

She portrays brave here without any coverup, with lines like ‘a body once complete now waving goodbye,’ ‘an invisible carcass,’ and ‘I want to tear down all the trees, rip up all the grass.’ This is a naked account of daily life; simple, ordinary, but only if you consider ordinary to be the feeling that getting up out of bed is as difficult as climbing Everest and going for a coffee and a smooch around the local shopping mall is something you need a super hero power to do but then you are the only one who thinks the coolest super hero power would be the ability to simply walk.

‘What do you want my brutal friend?’ Julie asks at the end of the poem Relapse, when her ground has once again been shaken and taken from under her but perhaps that is how you deal with disease, maybe this is how you come to terms with the challenge to life and limb; befriend it honestly, acknowledging your body’s position within the quicksand that you can never climb out of.

The final two poems could have been placed there to appease the reader, to offer hope when closing the book so we, at least, can walk away, move on, but the truth is that these two poems are more admissions to the writer herself of her own ability to keep moving forward. They are bold poems telling us that if she can’t do one thing then she’ll find a way to do the other while watching those finish lines move ever further into the horizon. These poems shine like medals at the end of a race, with the acknowledgement that tomorrow another race will start all over again. But each time someone reads this collection it means that one more person will be there to cheer her on.

The beauty that rises from these lines comes from the honesty that is shared and that honesty takes flight because of the beauty they speak of. This is not a collection of shiny happy days but it shines nonetheless because of the energy Julie’s spirit jumps into every day. She is not called Jumping Jules just because of her athletic past but also because of how she is making brave leaps into the future, regardless of whether that requires a chest of drawers, a crutch, a wheelchair or a scooter.

The collection begins with the body as a factory but ends with the mind as the thriving force behind it all. This is an important collection that not only looks at the frailties of the body under MS but also at how it looks at the resilience of a spirit that will not lay down.

So watch out for more from Julie Stevens and listen for her stick tapping into the day.

Julie’s website is…

https://www.jumpingjulespoetry.com/

You can buy Quicksand from Hydrid Press…

Eat the Storms – The Podcast – Episode 7

Podcast available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker and many more platforms

This episode aired on 17th October 2020, the 1st month birthday of my debut collection Eat the Storms published by The Hedgehog Poetry Press and I was joined by poets Anna Saunders, Paul Brookes, Devon Marsh and Matthew M C Smith. The links to their websites, blogs or Twitter pages are all listed below…

To find Anna Saunders…

https://annasaunderswriter.co.uk/poetry/

To purchase books by Anna at Indigo Dreams…

https://www.indigodreams.co.uk/anna-saunders-gfb/4594255832

To find Paul Brookes…

https://thewombwellrainbow.com/

To Find Devon Marsh…

https://devonmarsh.com/

To Find Matthew M C Smith…

https://www.blackboughpoetry.com/matthew-m-c-smith

You can buy Deep Time Vol 1 and Vol 2 on Amazon co.uk/com

My debut collection Eat the Storms is available here…

Until next time… Stay Bloody Poetic!

Eat the Storms – The Podcast – Episode 6

Podcast available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker and many more platforms

This episode aired on 10th October 2020 and we shared poems about flights, dreams, strengths, coming home and dualities. I was joined by Julie Stevens, Steve Denehan, Mari Maxwell and Sharon Larkin. The links to their websites, blogs or Twitter pages are all listed below.

To buy Quicksand by Julie Stevens (@JulesJumping on Twitter) here is the link…

For more information on Steve Denehan (Twitter as @SteverinoD) his website is…

https://stevedenehan.wixsite.com/website

You can find Mari Maxwell on Twitter as @MariMaxwell17 or at The Galway Review…

For more info on Sharon Larkin…

https://sharonlarkinjones.com/

The opening poem I read We’ll always Have, What Exactly? was published by Impspired Magazine and can be found here…

My debut collection Eat the Storms is available here…

Until next time… Stay Bloody Poetic!

Spectrum of Flight – David Hanlon

I can remember, creeping down the stairs, after midnight, my parents sleeping, my heart trying to break out of my ribcage, turning on the tv as the sound of my breath rose beyond control, turning down the volume and clicking on to Channel 4 to watch Derek Jarman’s Sebastiane as nerves stuck like knives in my belly and skin shivered like I’d been dropped in the middle of Antarctica, naked. But all this means I can completely relate to the line in David Hanlon’s debut collection that reads ‘the film held my hand like a parent holds the small child’s at the seaside as they take their first steps into vast unknown waters.’

And that water returns, throughout this collection, ‘I was the slow drip of a leaky sink faucet’ but its flow is not that of a steady stream, for nothing is that easy for anyone that ‘only came out in the dark.’ There are cacophonous waves, both visual and visceral here, that almost drown and others that you hoped would drag you under. Again, I recall those days, after school, after the pushes and shoves and teases and spit-covered jackets on the way home when my run was equally too ‘like a girl’ and then building myself a cage where I was also ‘drowning in the decorated whirlpool of my bedroom’, all the while knowing my ignorant bullies had ‘less words’ than I and less understanding of what it took to survive.

The honesty expressed here rests on a nerve of ‘jagged mountain tops’ but never begs for sympathy. At times there is the question of doubt- ‘did I rattle for decades in this flesh prison of my own making’, questioning who made the cage and who held the key. And then comes ‘the rope I couldn’t climb in PE’ and the wonder of what would happen if they saw you hanging there one day. I can recall myself, sitting in my caged room, on the floor, already lost to prayer, and wondering what would be the reaction if I stopped it all, there and then. When I woke up the following day, a part of me had already learned that there was not going to be a simple way out except for up and over and through. And that is what this collection is, a climb along the edge of a cliff as you hold the edge of each page, as if that will give some form of support to the boy trying to find his way to becoming a man, while not fully fitting in or wanting to accept the pre-formed and outdated mould of masculine.

Sometimes there is a time to shout and roar and scream and cry and wish and hope and yell and other times there is a need for space and stillness and silence and this is what Hanlon achieves so beautifully in Spectrum of Flight; in the layout of every page there is so much said in the open spaces between these words and phrases and confessions and beatings, as if each blank space is a moment to think, recall, breathe, relax, release. At other times, while reading and rereading, I recognised this as a map of complicated footprints that a child whose identity had been bullied, beaten and broken needs to make to get across the cavern, that cliff face, the end of innocence, the journey into the world that is cruel. What David both painfully and poignantly creates here, amid these lines, is a roadmap to a place called freedom and sometimes, like the journey, it will tear you apart, unexpectedly, in the middle of the page and you turn to the next quickly, not sure of what you will find waiting.

We cannot shed all our skin, we are not snakes, even if there are serpents among us, but what we can hope for is that time will take the bruises and turn them into tools, tools that can become strengths giving us the courage to open the cage we closed in around ourselves for protection and find our way to the ocean.

David Hanlon has learned to be a great swimmer. Not by choice. He has also become, possibly also not by choice, but by need, an exceptional poet, a documentary maker with the pen as his camera and a raw, broken, battered, but partially intact vulnerability that raises this collection to a mind-blowing lesson in survival that every school should be lucky to teach to their students who are still trembling and drowning and dying in those often too cold corridors. Vivid, visceral and a voice that has found its victory.

Spectrum of Flight is published by Animal Heart Press…

https://www.animalheartpress.net/p/purchase-spectrum-of-flight.html

Eat the Storms – The Podcast – Episode 5

Podcast available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker and many more platforms

This episode aired on National Poetry Day 2020, 1st October, so a very a happy Poetry Day to everyone listening and reading. This episode was all about journeys, movements, change and time passing. I was joined by poets from all around the world- from New Zealand we had Kay McKenzie Cooke, from Australia, though living in the USA, we had Nathanael O’Reilly, from Ireland we had Maura McDonnell taking us to Leitrim and Dubliner Fidel Hogan Walsh taking us to Cavan to join Julie Corcoran so they could share stories of time and loss from their poetry book journeying through the dark days of lockdown, entitled Time.

Kay McKenzie Cooke

https://kaymckenziecooke.com/

Nathanael O’Reilly

Yuu can find Nathanael on Twitter as @nathanael_o

Fidel Hogan Walsh and Julie Corcoran

You can buy Time at

http://eprint.ie/shop/Time

Maura McDonnell

You can find Maura here

https://www.mauramcdonnell.com/

Until next time… Stay Bloody Poetic!

Eat the Storms – The Podcast – Episode 4

Podcast available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker and many more platforms

The 4th episode was a happy Host of Hoglets as I was accompanied by poets all with collections published by The Hedgehog Poetry Press who published my debut collection, also called Eat the Storms. On the show was Nigel Kent reading poems from his collections Saudade and Psychopthogen, Patricia M Osborne reading from Taxus Baccata, Gaynor Kane reading her from collection Venus in Pink Marble, Katie Proctor reading from Seasons, Brendon Booth-Jones reading from his collection Vertigo to Go, Zoe Sîobhan Howarth-Lowe reading from her collection I Have Grown Two Hearts and Margaret Royall reading from her forthcoming collection Where Flora Sings. In between I read poems from Eat the Storms and three extra poems based on my days living in Amsterdam.

Below is a link to The Hedgehog Poetry Press whee you can find all the poets…

https://www.hedgehogpress.co.uk/

Eat the Storms – The Podcast – Episode 3

Podcast is available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Anchor, Bleaker and Apple Podcasts and many more platforms.

The 3rd podcast on the 19th Sept 2020 was the 1st episode to feature bumper to bumper amazing guest artists from all around the world. From Aotearoa to Cobh in Country Cork, in Ireland, this almost hour-long feature was a delight to put together and listen to. On this show was Ankh Spice, Eilín de Paor, Aisling Keogh Catherine Ann Cullen, Kevin Bateman, Sarah Connor, Ruairí de Barra and Jane Dougherty (all available on Twitter). This was also the launch week for my debut collection Eat the Storms, published by The Hedgehog Poetry Press and I was so fortunate to be surrounded by the poets I love, respect and admire…

My debut pamphlet poetry collection Eat The Storms is available to buy here…

SEASONS – KATIE PROCTOR

Katie Proctor is only 17 and yet already understands her position within the universe and how precarious that is and how it changes, how sometimes you sleep next to the stars and other times you’re left alone hoping that very star is whispering your name on her tongue, in another time and place- ‘you, with your letters stamped and waiting for me, covered in stars and moonlight.’

She knows the feeling of a bed too big for one body- ‘cold with the memory of the night before’ but doesn’t run from it, instead she turns into it and dreams of- ‘better Tuesdays.’  And that is just how this collection flows; with dreams of better days while holding the memory of the ones that have slipped from our lips.

There is a considered acknowledgement here of our insignificance within infinity; that moments are indeed fleeting, an acceptance usually reserved for a much older person but it is here, within the lines; light realisations of how things flit and fade- ‘before temporaries became today’s permanents and we burned kindred spirits, soulmates.’

In the final poem, also entitled Seasons, we find hurt positioned next to a realisation that it is possible to pick the pain ‘out from the fabric of your being with those tender fingers.’

The message is to get up, go out, embrace all that might happen, for tomorrow it will all change again. Love the summer, winter will fall, but there will always be the promise of another spring. This collection unfolds with the best of each season and is made all the more hopeful in the knowledge that someone so young already has learnt how to make the most of a spark before it all flashes out.

This collection is so fresh you literally feel the soothing breeze take you through its twists and turns and struggles and acceptances and you’re left feeling all the better for having read it, like a summer shower after a heatwave. Seasons comes with all sensations and Katie Proctor has them all beautifully bundled up in here.

Seasons is published by The Hedgehog Poetry Press. You can find Katie on Twitter and instagram at @Katiiewrites to buy her collection.

Eat the Storms – The Podcast -Episode 2

Podcast is available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Anchor, Bleaker and Apple Podcasts and many more platforms.

The 2nd episode of Eat the Storms, The Podcast, aired on 11th September and featured my very first guest, Belfast born poet Gaynor Kane who joined me to share poems from her latest collection, Venus in Pink Marble, also published by The Hedgehog poetry Press. During this episode I also share poems from my collection Eat the Storms, read a poem of mine that appeared in the 1st issue of the Fahmidan Journal and read two poems which were inspired by the Cobh Readers and Writers Twitter poetry prompts during Lockdown.

Venus in Pink Marble, the latest collection from Gaynor Kane is available on her website…

Eat the Storms- Damien B. Donnelly

My debut poetry pamphlet collection is called Eat the Storms and was published on the 17th September 2020 by The Hedgehog Poetry Press. In 2019, while still living in Paris, I was one of three winners of the White Label Debut Poetry Pamphlet Collection and this collection is that winning dream come to life.

‘I wanted to draw the sound of the moon on a sun-drenched beach…’ that is the 1st line from the 1st poem in this collection and that is what I was looking for; to capture those impossible moments when the senses are confused as to which one should be working. To stand in a darkened room and still see a spark of light so as to not completely disappear into only sadness. To see fragility as not something weak or wearisome but as something as precious as the marbled perfume of the ocean as its waves wash over you, to witness the length of elastic learning its limits, to see how air can enter the body and sooth the spirit, to be able to confess to capturing colour without being called crazy because I was willing to lean in and lick the honey off a purple petal.

Below are some of the reviews…

Just occasionally you come across a voice on poetry that is distinctive and unique. Damien Donnelly in this first collection ‘Eat the Storms’ is exactly that. Donnelly’s poetry is beautifully written and dense with vivid imagery, sometimes synesthetic and sometimes surreal. It demands to be read aloud and as one does a kaleidoscope of colour illuminates each page, for these are poems that play on the cultural associations of colours, imbuing them with personal significance and resonance. This is a writer of real talent, whose first pamphlet rewards reading, reading again and reading again. Nigel Kent, author of Saudade and Psychopathogen

In a pamphlet saturated in colour, Damien Donnelly takes us on an immersive journey through a landscape of pigments. Written with great lyricism and emotional intensity, these poems contrast darker hues with lighter tones to create a sequence of poems that will linger in the memory. Jessica Traynor, author of Liffey Swim and The Quick

This is a richly suggestive, highly vivid collection of poems, depicting a wide canvas of emotional landscapes with painter-like precision… It’s no surprise that Donnelly is also a painter and designer and repeated references to colour amplify and intensify emotions in rhapsodic waves of word-pictures, provoking intense feelings of joy and grief… This is a striking, powerful collection, which achieves a balance between a personal, expansive and lyric style and the taut control needed to achieve fine poetry. Matthew MC Smith, author Origin: 21 Poems and editor of Black Bough Poetry

Damien Donnelly is the archduke of alliteration and a poet in love with colour and sensuality. The poems in this first collection pop with blinding whites, rich reds and purples, and the yellow of Van Gogh sunflowers. They are jazz riffs on journeys, prisms chasing and catching the light. There is darkness too… Above all, there is a sweeping positive energy, a welcoming of all that the world has to offer, and a certainty that “dark doors open often into hopeful”. Catherine Ann Cullen, author of The Other Now and Poet in Residence at Poetry Ireland

These are beautifully crafted poems taken from an artist’s palette ‘where language is lulled/into a lake of stilled thought’ where we ‘shed red thorns’ and find ‘the peace that dawns with the dust,’. From the surreal ‘Shades of Blue’ to the aching ‘Tattered Brown Trousers’, this collection asks us to catch these moments, to ‘catch the kisses,’ acknowledging that ‘It takes time to swallow the truth’ but arriving at the hope filled conclusion of ‘how much there is to love,/ to let go of, to learn from.’ Ness Owen, author of Mamiaith

Signed copies of my collection are available from my blog…

Eat the Storms – The Podcast – Episode 1

Podcast is available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Anchor, Bleaker and Apple Podcasts and many more platforms.

Launched on the 4th September, Eat the Storms, the Podcast, was originally created to celebrate the launch of my debut collection of poetry Eat the Storms, published by The Hedgehog Poetry Press. The podcast was a way to promote the book during Covid. In this 1st episode I talk about how the collection came to be a dream come true, explain a little about The Hedgehog Poetry Press and read some other poems. This is a solo 1st show with no other guests. Afterwards, I realised I was not the only poet looking to find new ways to share his work and decided to open the show up to other voices and subsequently the show now has featured guests each week.