“The gun” short story& my one minute to convince you to read it vlog

I love “The gun” by Mark Haddon, have a watch and see if you might like it too!

You can listen to the podcast here where Mark chats to Granta about his story and the writing process at http://granta.com/Granta-Audio-Mark-Haddon/


You can also download a pdf of it to save to your tablet/kindle or print it out here https://web1.asl.org/jambalaya/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Mark-Haddon-The-Gun.pdf

My one minute vlog is up on youtube and it is my first try! See it here.



Long trips to home in Mayo and the New Yorker podcast

I am originally from a small village in the West of Ireland. It takes us about 5-6 hours to get from my home in Carlow to my Mum’s house! so, Simon and I listen to New Yorker Fiction and Poetry Podcasts as there are hundreds of them available for free.


A well-known author reads a short story from another well-known author previously published in the New Yorker Magazine. For book lovers, each podcast is an hour of bliss. The New Yorker Fiction editor, Deborah Treisman is the Editor of the New Yorker Fiction magazine and is a brilliant interviewer. She always comes across as really serious and sometimes as if she doesn’t understand the short stories that are being read out! Obviously, being who she is, this is her way of getting to the nub of the story and pulling some good stuff out of the writer she is interviewing.

On the way down, we listened to David Means’ short story, the Spot being read by Jonathan Franzen. It is a most excellent story and we enjoyed the poetic rhythm and messed up characters and general naughtiness. On the way back, we listened to short story-hero of mine, Kevin Barry read Brian Friel’s, Saucer of Larks. Kevin is always very entertaining and his readings of stories are the best. He had Deborah giggling and laughing away.

You can hear Kevin read here at http://www.newyorker.com/podcast/fiction/kevin-barry-reads-brian-friel

and Jonathan read David Mean at http://www.newyorker.com/podcast/fiction/jonathan-franzen-reads-david-means

I use a free app called Podcast addict which downloads all the NY Fiction and poetry podcasts for me and has them ready for long, long, long roadtrips. Enjoy.

The Multimedia Revolution in Poetry, new online essay by Dave Lordan in The Stinging Fly

The Multimedia Revolution in Poetry, new online essay by Dave Lordan in The Stinging Fly

The good folks at The Stinging Fly have put the full text of my essay The Multimedia Revolution in Poetry online. The essay argues that, led by young and often politicised practitioners, poetry is going through a major transformation and has changed over from primarily a text only art form, to primarily a multimedia (inc performance) art form – will be of interest to all curious about the changing landscape of contemporary poetry – extract below – read the rest at link – comments welcome etc. Shares and forwards appreciated as usual.



” That state-entwined networks overseeing and regulating poetry have, aside from occasional tokenistic or face-saving gestures, set about ignoring the digital and performance revolution is perhaps the best piece of circumstantial evidence for it. For it is in the nature of revolutions that they take place outside of and in contradiction to the institutions and networks with a vested interest in the continuation of the old ways of doing things. Thus, with few exceptions, the revolution of poetry has also been a revolution of autonomy, of proving that twenty-first century poets require neither the support nor the regulation of the state, nor the patronage of vested interests within the literary world to make original and impactful work that reaches a wide audience. Digital and performance mediums have therefore offered a much needed path of independence from the neo-liberal state and state-regulated arts bureacracy to many poets.”

iPad app for Joyce’s short story “The Dead”

Here is something really cool and hip for you Apple and James Joyce fans! It’s an iPad app for the short story, The Dead, Joyce’s most famous short story from his collection, Dubliners. The Dead, the final story of the collection will be 100 years old this year and now we have an app to celebrate it.

The Dead is a story where not much happens, as all good short stories and it demonstrates Joyce’s genius in inventing what he dubbed “the epiphany”. An epiphany in a short story can be a small shift, change in the characters or events that almost provides the reader and the narrator with a freeze frame.

It’s about two sisters, Kate and Julia Morkan who are holding a big Christmas party, back in the day. It’s January 6th, the feast of the Epiphany and the official last night of Christmas. They have many guests but we focus in on Gabriel and Greta Conroy. Greta hears a song at the party called The Lass of Aughrim and she starts to think back to her past and a certain young man who sang that song to her one wintry night. It ends with Gabriel, her husband making an awful discovery or having an epiphany on the Feast of the Epiphany(see what he did there) about his marriage and his life. Big questions and big issues.

UCD thought up the idea and Athena Media and Vermillion Design constructed the app. I worked with Lisa from Athena Design when I was involved with An Opera for Carlow project a few years back so I’m very excited to hear of this connection, they are innovative and lovely people to work with.

The app gives us the audio and the text, music and photos from the time and a couple of podcast commentaries. It is available to download completely free from iTunes and you really have no excuse.

What do you mean you don’t own an iPad? Tut, tut.

Social media and literature:Lit stuff on the net

Even though I love reading and real books, I also love my kindle, ipad and samsung note! I’ve been blogging for a few years now and have built up some connections with other lit bloggers, readers and writers. If you want to know who you must follow on twitter, befriend on facebook or subscribe to their blog, then you might want to read my list!

What makes a good lit blogger?

These 5 bloggers from Two Hour Blogger will give you a great introduction to the world of literature, reading and writing in Ireland and sometimes, abroad. Connect with them and you will connect with others. A good blog needs to be able to form a dialogue with their readers and update frequently and relevantly on its content. I’m only including my favourites under those criteria. No wafflers and no 3 updates a year for me, I’m afraid!

1.Nuala Ni Chonchuir has the original and the most well-known Irish literary blog. She has a dedicated following and her posts are always well and cleanly written with useful information about anything that is happening in the literary or her world.

nualaShe also has an author blog/website here. I love finding out about other writers and Nuala shares personal information but never in a “TMI” kind of way. She could tell you about her many travels abroad, she always seems to be going somewhere exotic! She could tell you about an author that she loves that you have never heard of. But, she is always current and helpful. You must subscribe to her blog at womenrulewriter.com

Image to the left is from www.nualanichonchuir.com

2. My next brilliant blog to follow is of the very, very, very busy Paul Mc Veigh. He blogs about everything connected with the short story, interviews, journals and competitions. He has a constant stream of competitions for any aspiring writer to enter so don’t say that there are not enough chances out there! I really don’t know how this man sleeps if he does. He is at every event and is now getting his own writing published! Sometimes, he could update ten times in a minute! Well, that is what it seems like to me!

PaulMcVeighHe also is Deputy Editor of Word Factory and has written for theatre. He is going to be reading at the upcoming 13th International Short Story Conference in Austria. I think he needs to take a couple of days rest but thanks, Paul! He is a male version of Miriam O Callaghan! You can find him at his blog here and on twitter at @paul_mc_veigh. Image to the left is taken from shortstoryconference.org

3. The wonderful world of Dave Lordan, writer, poet and rouser can be found on his blog here. Dave is a poet and a writer but I think he gets his most enjoyment from teaching and helping other people find their voice and begin to write. He too is a busy man like Paul Mc Veigh. Dave runs loads of writing courses and he is infectious as a facilitator of learning. His blog is updated frequently and with relevant and quirky information and photos.

4. Everyone knows writing.ie but their twitter feed is most excellent too. Information is shared out for all, the blog was shortlisted for “Best Arts and Culture” blog. It also has some nice guest posts and blogs. It is the first place you should go if you like the idea of writing!

5. The Irish Lit Time basically gives you all the latest news on Irish literature and up-to-date coverage of Irish literary news and events in a magazine format via articles available online. Image taken from  www.gerardbeirne.com. You can also follow IrishLitTimes on twitter and facebook or http://www.scoop.it/t/irish-literature.gerardbeirne