“Maeve’s Version” and other poems have gone trasna / across the wide Atlantic

Delighted to have my poems – and video of Maeve’s Version – published in “Trasna”, an online journal out of Lowell, Massachusetts edited by Christine O’Connor, Margaret O’Brien and Jeannie Judge.

“the border between us”: a creativity up-skilling programme

Excellent opportunity for anyone in the Leitrim / Fermanagh region who wants to learn the skills of visual storytelling, while exploring the political, personal, real, imagined and socially-distanced borders that impact on our lives.

This 12 week series of free, online workshops is hosted by the Glens Centre/Across the Lines, and facilitated by writer Monica Corish and visual artist Rachel Webb. Full details, including how to book, at http://www.facebook.com/events/414642819525558

Nolan+LACUNA+03

Image Credit https://www.katenolan.ie/pettigo

Just Write – Online Workshops – Autumn 2020

Series 1 – Tuesdays – Sept 22, Oct 6 and 20, Nov 3 and 17, Dec 1FULL

Series 2 – Tuesdays – Sept 29, Oct 13 and 27, Nov 10 and 24, Dec 8CANCELLED

2888979463_7d12d71a4c

Writing Together in the Zoom Room – the pros and the cons

These innovative creative writing workshops will be led by Monica Corish, a trained and experienced Amherst Method facilitator (see below for more about the Amherst Method).

Find details about the workshop here.

Writing Together in the Zoom Room – the pros and the cons

images

I’ve been leading Amherst Method writing groups since 2008 – in arts venues, in community centres, in my local library, and from the sitting room of my house in north Leitrim. In late March 2020, shortly after lockdown was announced, we left my sitting-room and entered into the Zoom-room.

The first few sessions were challenging. Together we learned a new and unfamiliar technology; we learned how to function as a group in a virtual space; we learned how to be spontaneous, while also being respectful of each other’s voices.

Some things stayed the same. As before, people gathered once a fortnight to write together in a safe and inspiring environment, based on the Amherst Method guidelines. At each session I offered a prompt and invited the group to write in response. Silence fell as words poured onto the page, for 10, 20, 30 minutes. If someone got stuck I met them one-to-one in a private “breakout room”, to help them find their flow again.

As before, I invited people to read what they had written; the group practised the skill of “close listening” – a vital skill for every writer; and those who chose to read received positive feedback that helped them develop their voices. People wrote about everything under the sun in these sessions, including the minuscule virus that had upended their lives. One person wrote the first chapter of a witty Zoom-room murder mystery…

Sometimes a video connection broke down, sometimes the audio was glitchy – in rural Ireland strong broadband is a gift, not a given. The disadvantages of writing together online are obvious: you don’t get to meet your fellow participants in the flesh; you can’t read their body language or hear their small gasps of admiration as you read your work; you don’t get to chat one-to-one during the break.

But there are advantages. You can join in from anywhere in the world. And you don’t have to get into your car on a dark, blustery winter’s night to drive to my sitting-room in north Leitrim.

Writing prompt for the Crossing Borders Open-Mic: Interiors and Edges

The endlessly inventive and productive people at Across the Lines (IFI) / Open Mic Manor / The Thing Itself are inviting video or audio contributions for their next Crossing Borders Open Mic Online (IFI). The theme for this event is “Way-points and Markers” – the places, journeys and signposts that have marked our individual and collective transitions over the last three months.  They invited me to come up with a prompt to spark contributions. Here it is:

Hestia is the Greek goddess of interiors, of contemplative time and space. She is the hearth-fire that makes a house into a home.

Hermes is the trickster god of travel, trade, computers, protector of doorways and boundaries, the messenger and mover, the communicator.

In her books “Goddesses in Everywoman” and “Gods in Everyman”, Jean Shinoda Bolen tells how these two very different archetypes  are related. In Greek households the “herm” – a pillar symbolizing Hermes – stood just outside the front door, in a distinct but intimate connection with Hestia’s hearth-fire at the centre .

I invite you to see in your mind’s eye a place that represents the containment of “lockdown”; and a place that represents the process of “unlocking”. These places may be in the geography of your home, your county, your country, the world; or virtual places; or the space inside the arms of someone you love – a hug you are grateful to have received during lockdown, or a hug you are still yearning towards.

Whatever spaces come to you, feel them through your senses, through smell, and sight and touch and sound. And then write about these two spaces, placing them in relationship each with the other.

Image by Varun Kulkarni from Pixabay crop

Photo credits:

 

Episode 2: Imbolc

snowdrops and snowTune in to the Glens Centre YouTube channel on Friday, June 12 at 8 PM, to hear poems, stories and songs inspired by Imbolc, by Spring, and by Brigid, Goddess and Saint. This episode will feature writing from:

  • Monica Corish,
  • Shane Leavy,
  • Dermot Lahiff,
  • Paula Lahiff,
  • Tara Baoth Mooney,
  • Margaret Timoney
  • Tom Sigafoos.

This event is a fundraiser for North West STOP Suicide Prevention, which provides counselling support for people at risk of suicide. Donations can be made through their website, or through Facebook.

Poetry and Story inspired by Landscape and Myth – Glens Centre YouTube channel

100474907_2343722685730463_2436211952595238912_n Tune in to the Glens Centre YouTube channel on Friday, June 5, 12, 19 and 26 at 8 PM, to hear poems, stories and songs inspired by the myths and legends, landscapes and festivals of the North West. Featuring work from:

  • Monica Corish,
  • Shane Leavy,
  • Dermot Lahiff,
  • Paula Lahiff,
  • Maggie Kilcoyne,
  • Tara Baoth Mooney,
  • Margaret Timoney
  • Tom Sigafoos.

You can hear more about these broadcasts in Brendan Murray’s interview with Monica Corish on Ocean FM’s Arts North West, on Thursday, June 4 at 9:30 PM (repeat Sunday, June 7 at 8 PM).

This event is a fundraiser for North West STOP Suicide Prevention, which provides counselling support for people at risk of suicide. Donations can be made through their website, or through Facebook.

Writing Prompts from the Cocoon, May 19

image from the new art of memory

Write a flash memoir. Start from the memory of a sound, a smell, a taste, a touch. Set yourself a 500-word limit – for me this is the equivalent of two handwritten A4 pages.
Before you begin consider the following advice from True Stories Well Told.
Flash Memoir tends to be:
  • Free of preambles—They start at the flashpoint—the moment when conflict ignites tangible action that drives the story forward.
  • Scene-based—They frequently take place in one run of time, without jumping around.
  • Observant—They tend to feature not the “I” but the “eye.”
  • Insightful—Like a flashlight illuminating a dark corner, they explore something that provoked an insight.
  • Specific—They stick with concrete, observable events and actions rather than abstract concepts.
  • True—As a subgenre of creative nonfiction, Flash Memoir must uphold the nonfiction contract that what is reported actually happened.
More advice from The Writer Mag :
  • At its most basic, a micro-memoir is written in sentences, drawn from personal experience, and strives to create a world in as few words as possible.
  • A true hybrid, the micro-memoir strives to combine the extreme abbreviation of poetry, the narrative tension of fiction, and the truth-telling of creative nonfiction…
  • What they’re not: fragments. Micro-memoirs aren’t slivers of a bigger creation. They’re designed to stand alone…
  • Forget about the big memories, like meeting your beloved or witnessing a tragedy.
  • Consider memories that you retain without understanding why.
And here are links to places where you might publish your flash memoir:

 

Image from page 80 of “The new art of memory, founded upon the principles taught by M. Gregor von Feinaigle: and applied to chronology, history, geography, languages, systematic tables, poetry, prose, and arithmetic.”

Image from page 80 of "The new art of memory, founded upon the principles taught by M. Gregor von Feinaigle: and applied to chronology, history, geography, languages, systematic tables, poetry, prose, and arithmetic. To which is added, some account of the

Writing Prompts from the Cocoon, May 6

Royalty-free HD Phase photos | Pikrepo“It was the day the dandelions turned into clocks.” — Sherrie Scott, member of the original Scratching Hens.

You might use this quote as a regular prompt, or you might use it to create an acrostic poem — definition and examples here and here. Here’s a sample start:

 

it was the day i got lost in

the

woods…

a

s

t

h

e

d

a

y

t

h

e

d

a

n

d

e

l

i

o

n

s

t

u

r

n

e

d

i

n

t

o

c

l

o

c

k

s

 

Writing Prompts from the Cocoon, April 29

John_Tenniel_-_Illustration_from_The_Nursery_Alice_(1890)_-_c06543_03 Not a writing prompt this week, rather a signpost to online resources that will help you develop your craft.

If you have time on your hands, the renowned Iowa Writers Workshop offers FREE online courses in poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction.

And if you have time and money to spare, the excellent Arvon Foundation and Faber Academy offer a variety of options.

These range from a two hour Arvon Masterclass in Plot and Narrative Structure, (April 30 at 11 AM, cost £35); to Faber’s flagship eight-month course, Writing a Novel Online (application date August 19, cost £2500).

Happy writing – stay well, stay smart, stay kind.

Writing Prompts from the Cocoon – April 21

Four Horses – Photo by David WhyteThis week’s prompt was given to me by Eva O’Callaghan, another Amherst Method creative writing facilitator.

Start by reading “Four Horses”. Eva says: “I like the structure of this poem by David Whyte as a prompt for reflecting on and writing about any happening and its impact. I found it helpful to me to reflect on what is going on in our world at the moment.” She suggests that you write a response that is anchored by these phrases from Whyte’s poem:

  • On XXXday…
  • Since then…
  • Since then…
  • Each morning…
  • I spend my whole day…
  • I find myself wanting to…
  • I find myself wanting to…
  • I hear…
  • I feel…

And if you come up with a poem that you want to publish, be sure to credit its source: after Four Horses by David White

Photo credit David Whyte

 

Writing Prompts from the Cocoon – April 14

John_Tenniel_-_Illustration_from_The_Nursery_Alice_(1890)_-_c06543_03 Write a poem or a flash fiction that includes all these words, offered by the All-Weather Writers: Pencil – Oily – Diamond – Invoice – Pester – Muddy – Cacophony. Be as serious or as silly as you like. And if this writing prompt appeals, consider following the weekly Ó Bhéal Five Words International Poetry Competition

Flow Writing

If you get stuck, with this or any other prompt – staring at the blank page, waiting for inspiration to strike – you might consider the excellent Natalie Goldberg‘s excellent advice on flow writing, summarised here.

Writing Prompts from the Cocoon – April 7

Martin-Gale--Over-and-Above--oil-on-canvas--110-x-60-cm_670Today’s writing prompt is an invitation to Ekphrasis – defined by The Ekphrastic Review as “writing inspired by visual art”. Two famous examples of ekphrastic literature are WH Auden’s In the Musée des Beaux Arts, and Tracy Chevalier’s novel (later a movie) Girl with a Pearl Earring.

Today’s Ekphrastic inspiration is the painting “Over and Above by Irish artist Martin Gale. You can learn more about the painting and the artist on the National Gallery of Ireland website.

And if you are happy with what you write, you might consider submitting it to The Ekphrastic Review.

Writing Prompts from the Cocoon – March 31

John_Tenniel_-_Illustration_from_The_Nursery_Alice_(1890)_-_c06543_03For the duration of the duration, I will be posting occasional writing prompts in my blog, on Facebook and on Twitter. First up – given that we are all now hyper-aware of how we stand in relation to each other – is “A Snap Quiz in Body Language”, by David Wagoner:

Click here to read a prose poem I wrote in answer to David Wagoner’s poem, at the first virtual gathering of the wonderful All-Weather Writers. I posted it on the Allingham Festival Facebook page, as a contribution to their  #CreativityAgainstCorona challenge – you might want to do the same.

Stay well, stay safe – Monica

“The Air is Alive with Fear and Care” @AllinghamArts #CreativityAgainstCorona

The Air is Alive with Fear and Careriver and tree

When people greet in South Sudan, they hold hands for many minutes – half an hour if the warmth is strong, the bond of kin or friendship. How is your mother? Your aunt? Your son? And your herd of cattle – thriving? Did the speckled cow survive the difficult birth?

Now the air crackles between us, friend or stranger, in every nation. Two metres. Six feet, the length and depth of a coffin. I walk a narrow path in the woods, meet a man with an unleashed terrier. Will he step to his side, mirror my care? He does.

We smile, we breathe a sigh. The air is alive with fear and care.

On the lake the Swans continue their slow courtship. I am learning the songs of the residents – Blackbird, Robin, Song Thrush, Wren – while they have the forest to themselves.

The evenings are longer by the day. There is no call to quarantine the birds. Larks exhilarate, Starlings murmurate, dark swirls against a clouded sky.

Soon the explorers will arrive from Africa – Cuckoo and Swallow, the creaking Corncrake, not yet extinct. Our small island will levitate with their cacophony, their mating joy. They will tell again their noisy stories, how they navigate by star maps and the magnets in their eyes.

Leave us our green walks, I pray.

O makers of the rules of wise restraint, let me be close to the wisdom of Hazel, let me watch her leaves unfurl out of the cell of winter.

I can do this, I tell myself. Cocoon. Lock-down. Self-isolate.

And if they say I cannot walk between the trees, there is still my garden, small and unruly, in need of love.

I can do this, however long it takes.

If every day I can rinse my heart clean of fear. If I can fill my lungs with God’s green air.

ghamArts #CreativityAgainstCorona

Poetry and Story, Landscape and Myth – Imbolc writing workshop February 2nd

At this workshop, based on the Amherst Method, we will write in response to prompts inspired by Imbolc / Lá Fhéile Bríde.

Imbolc is associated with the birth of lambs, the spring sowing, the return of the long days and the fire of the sun. It is a time of new beginnings, green shoots, the unploughed field, the blank page. Imbolc is also known as Brigid’s Day – Lá Fhéile Bríde. Brigid, honoured both as a pre-Christian goddess and as a Christian saint, is linked with blessing and fertility, inspiration, midwifery and birth.

No previous knowledge of myth or experience of writing is necessary to participate in this writing workshop – all you need bring with you is a notebook, a pen, and a willingness to be surprised by your own unique voice.

“What brings me back time and again is the surprise of not knowing what will emerge…”

Just Write

Kinlough, Co Leitrim; Fortnightly on Wednesdays, January 15 – May 20;  7 – 9:30 PM.

2888979463_7d12d71a4cYou like to write, but you don’t know where to start? You used to write, but you can’t remember how you made it happen? You are a writer, but your words feel stale on the page?

Then this Amherst method workshop is for you. Full details at monicacorish.ie/workshops, or contact monicacorishwriting@gmail.com / 087-641 4185.

 

Image credit: amystrachan https://www.flickr.com/photos/30802789@N02/

Writing Workshops, Kinlough, Co Leitrim, Spring 2020

Details, Dates, PayPal links: monicacorish.ie/workshops/

Writing: the Art and the Craft – – Fortnightly on Tuesdays typewriter-28701_960_720

Writing and manuscript response for those who are working toward publication. Develop your skills through tailored exercises and guidance on craft, and receive constructive critique and insightful feedback from other writers. 

Just Write – – Fortnightly on Wednesdays      2888979463_7d12d71a4c

Creative writing time for everyone: beginners & experienced writers, women & men, anyone over the age of 18. Whether you are completely new to creative writing or an experienced writer who wants to generate new work and experiment with different genres and styles, this Amherst method workshop is for you.

Image credit: amystrachan https://www.flickr.com/photos/30802789@N02/

Poetry Workshop: Early Bird Ends Midnight November 17

early bird, by joe hfPoetry: the Art and the Craft – Places still available

Saturday 23 November 2019, 11 am – 5 pm, Clanchy Court, Kinlough, Co Leitrim. Cost: €60 / Early bird: €50 before November 17.

Email to receive a PayPal button, for payments with credit card / debit card / PayPal, or post a cheque. Places limited, advance booking essential.

One Day Poetry Workshop, November 23

Poetry: the Art and the Craft

Saturday 23 November 2019, 11 am – 5 pm, Clanchy Court, Kinlough, Co Leitrim. 

A day of reading, writing and revising poetry. All you need bring with you is your notebook and a curious mind. If you have a poem – max 20 lines – you’d like to receive feedback on, bring 10 copies to the workshop. 

Cost: €60 / Early bird: €50 before November 17.

Email me to receive a PayPal button, for payments with credit card / debit card / PayPal, or post me a cheque. Places limited, advance booking essential.

 

Space still available

Poetry and Story, Landscape and Myth: Samhain 2019

The Glens Centre, Manorhamilton, Sunday, November 3, 10:30 – 16:30.     €30, booking through https://glenscentre.ticketsolve.com/shows/873607199 or phone the Glens: (071) 9855833.       Led by Monica Corish, award-winning writer and AWA certified writing workshop leader.

limnal trapeze

The Liminal Space: Andrea Cambridge-Gonzales, Liminal Space & Instructional Design on Pinterest

Poetry and Story, Landscape and Myth: Samhain 2019

The Glens Centre, Manorhamilton, Sunday, November 3, 10:30 – 16:30.     €30, booking through https://glenscentre.ticketsolve.com/shows/873607199 or phone the Glens: (071) 9855833.       Led by Monica Corish, award-winning writer and AWA certified writing workshop leader.

autumn-mood-3830084_1280At this workshop we will write in response to prompts inspired by Samhain.

The festival of Samhain is associated with borders, boundaries and liminal spaces – between life and death, sleep and waking, the world of the everyday and the world of the sídhe. It is the time of summer’s end and the beginning of winter and the Celtic year, a time when the veil between worlds is thinned. Our writing may be inspired by any realm – by mythical borders or by political limits and lines on the map. No previous experience of writing is necessary – all you need bring with you is a notebook, a pen, and a willingness to be surprised by your own words.

Poetry: The Art and the Craft – Kinlough Co Leitrim – Autumn 2019

Fortnightly on Thursdays 7 – 10 PM

If you’re iGutenberg Pressnterested in developing your skills as a poet, this is the workshop for you. You will spend time reading and learning from established poets, writing new work, and revising your poems through constructive critique and insightful feedback. 

Thursday, Sep 12 & 26; Oct 10 & 24; Nov 7 & 21; Dec 5. Min 6 / Max 9 participants Cost for 7 sessions: €130. Early bird before Sept 2: €110.

Enquiries to monicacorishwriting@gmail.com. Payment by PayPal button or by cheque

Women’s Writing Group, Kinlough Co Leitrim – Autumn 2019

Women Writing Together – – Fortnightly, Wednesdays, 7 – 9:30 PM

64-roman-terentia-ou-terenzia-gold-hairnet-imperial-period-pompeii-from-wikimedia-commonsExplore your creativity and develop confidence in your voice by writing with other women in a warm and encouraging environment. If you are new to creative writing,  or if you want to use the workshop time to explore your voice, experiment with different genres and styles and write new work, then this Amherst method workshop is for you.

Wednesdays, Sep 11 & 25; Oct 9 & 23; Nov 6 & 20; Dec 4.  Min 6 / Max 11 participants.  Cost for 7 sessions: €110 Early bird before Sept 2 : €95

Enquiries to monicacorishwriting@gmail.com. Payment by PayPal button or by cheque

2019 Allingham Competitions Open – Poetry and Flash Fiction

Tom Sigafoos

aa Allingham_Festival_Logo

The 2019 ALLINGHAM POETRY AND FLASH FICTION COMPETITIONS are now open.

Deadline: 26 September 2019

Details: €300 prizes for winners in Poetry and Flash Fiction competitions. €5 entry fee. Prizes awarded at 2019 Allingham Festival Literary Lunch on Saturday, 8 November in Ballyshannon, Co Donegal. Rules and on-line entry forms at http://www.allinghamfestival.com/fiction-poetry-competitions

This year’s Allingham Festival will feature journalist Eamonn McCann, poet Annemarie Ní Churreáin, documentary filmmaker Garry Keane,  illustrator and former Children’s Laureate PJ Lynch, and a tribute to playwright Frank McGuinness.

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Lughnasa Creative Writing August 11

This Lughnasa-inspired workshop, led by Monica Corish, will take place in Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim on Sunday August 11, 10:00 – 18:00, only €30.

The day will begin with a short writing exercise in the Glens Centre.  Weather permitting, we will then go on a car-pooling, wheelchair-accessible, mystery field trip, where we will glean further inspiration, before returning to the Glens Centre in the afternoon. And if it is a day of torrential rain, as is entirely possible, a Plan B will be hatched. More details closer to the time…

You can book directly through the Glens Centre website, or by phone/email: (071) 985583 / info@theglenscentre.com

 

Image credits: Lugh by Brian Froude, Wheat Bees Design mightyskins.com, Tailltiu by Jim Fitzpatrick.

You can learn more about this series of workshops, “Poetry and Story, Landscape and Myth”, from Ocean FM Arts House (the interview between Harry Keaney and Monica Corish begins about 16 minutes into the podcast).

Places still available on Manorhamilton Writing Workshop, May 26 – Book Now

Only €30. This Bealtaine-inspired workshop, led by Monica Corish, will take place on Sunday May 26, 10:30 – 4:30. You can book directly through the Glens Centre website, or by phone/email: (071) 985583/info@theglenscentre.com

Learn more about the workshop from my earlier blog, and from this Ocean FM Arts House podcast. The interview between Harry Keaney and Monica Corish begins about 16 minutes into the podcast.

 

Bealtaine Writing Workshop: Interview on Arts House, Ocean FM Sunday May 19

maeve close upMy interview with Harry Keaney for Ocean FM’s Art House will be broadcast Sunday, May 19 between 8 and 9 p.m. (about half way through the program, Harry tells me). During the interview we talked about my upcoming Bealtaine Creative Writing Workshop at the Glens Centre, Manorhamilton. and also about the writing life, writing workshops and the Amherst Method.

You can book for the Bealtaine workshop (Sunday May 26, 10:30 – 4:30) directly through the Glens Centre website.

Bealtaine Creative Writing May 26

To book, contact the Glens Centre Manorhamilton directly:  (071) 985583 / info@theglenscentre.com. Sunday, May 26, 10:30 – 16:30. Cost: €30. Places limited, advance booking required.

In the month of May the Cailleach of Winter transforms into the blossoming Goddess of Summer. Bealtaine is associated with the fertility of nature and the imagination; with flowering hawthorn; and the need-fire of purification and blessing. The Tuatha De Danann are strongly linked with Bealtaine. According to the Book of Invasions, the golden people of the goddess Danu landed at Sliabh an Iarainn (Iron Mountain, on the shores of Lough Allen, Co Leitrim) during the Bealtaine festival. Many years later they went through the same mountain into the Otherworld and became the daoine sídhe.

Slieve Anierin mountainviews.ie crop

At this workshop we will draw on the stories of Bealtaine to spark new writing in any form – poetry, story, memoir, opinion, reflection. The workshops will be led by award-winning writer and AWA-trained writing group leader Monica Corish monicacorish.ie. They are suitable for both novice writers and experienced writers, anyone over the age of eighteen. No previous knowledge of folklore or myth is needed.

This is the first in a series of workshops on the theme of “Poetry and Story, Landscape and Myth”, supported by the Glens Centre, the Arts Council and Leitrim County Council. Photo credit Slieve Anierin mountainviews.ie

CORRECTION: May 26, Poetry and Story, Landscape and Myth: Glens Centre, Manorhamilton

Prince Connells Grave KiltyclogherBe inspired to write by the landscapes and borders, mythologies and megaliths of Leitrim and the North West. Four one day workshops at the Glens Centre, Manorhamilton, led by Monica Corish. €30 / single workshop; €100 / 4 workshops

  • Bealtaine: Sun May 26 2019, 10:30 – 16:30
  • Lunasa: Sun, Aug 11 2019, 10:00 – 18:00
  • Samhain: Sun, Nov 3 2019, 10:30 – 16:30
  • Imbolc: Sun, Feb 2 2020, 10:30 – 16:30

 

An Cailleach Bhéara Rob Hurson Flickr

 

Places limited, advance booking required.

To book, contact info@theglenscentre.com / (071) 9855833.

Supported by the Glens Centre, the Arts Council and Leitrim County Council.

 

 

New Year’s Resolution: Do more of what you love

writing handYou’d like to be a better writer? Or a better poet? You write a little, but you’d like to write more? Or you haven’t written since school, but you’d like to give it a try? 

This term I’ll be leading three fortnightly workshops in Kinlough, Co Leitrim. Not sure which is for you? Read more at monicacorish.ie/workshops, or contact me.

  • Tuesday evenings: ‘Writing: the Art and the Craft’, for writers of fiction, memoir and creative non-fiction
  • Wednesday evenings:  ‘Women Writing Together’, for beginners, and for women who want to explore their writing voice.
  • Thursday evenings: ‘Poetry: the Art and the Craft’

Early bird concession available until Jan 7. Workshops start Tues 15 / Wed 16 / Thurs 17 January. Places limited, so advance booking is advised.

New! Poetry workshop in Kinlough, and more…

Spring 2019, Kinlough, Co Leitrim: This term I’m offering:

  • a new series of workshops on Thursday evenings: ‘Poetry: the Art and the Craft’
  • my regular Tuesday workshops: ‘Writing: the Art and the Craft’, for writers of fiction, memoir and creative non-fiction
  • plus my regular ‘Women Writing Together’ workshops on Wednesdays

Full details at monicacorish.ie/workshops. Places are limited, so advance booking is advised.

Makes me write instead of thinking about writing.” – J O’C

 

“When we neglect the artist in ourselves, there is a kind of mourning that goes on under the surface of our busy lives.”

Pat Schneider, founder of the Amherst Method, in ‘Writing Alone and with Others’, OUP.

Women Writing Together, Kinlough, Co Leitrim, Autumn 2018: Explore your creativity, develop confidence in your voice by writing with other women in a warm and encouraging environment. The workshops will be led by award-winning writer and Amherst trained writing group leader Monica Corish. For more info go to www.monicacorish.ie/workshops / contact monicacorishwriting@gmail.com / 087-6414185.

 

Autumn Writing Workshops, Kinlough

Writing: The Art and the Craft – Tuesdays – Kinlough, Co Leitrim

typewriter-vintage-old-vintage-typewriter-163084Develop your writing skills through free-writing and craft exercises, constructive critique and insightful feedback. Seven x 3 hours: Tuesdays, 7 – 10 pm, Sept 11 & 25, Oct 9 & 23, Nov 6 & 20, Dec 4 2018. Cost: €125, early bird concession €100, before Tues Sept 4.

Numbers limited, advance booking essential. For more info and payment options go to www.monicacorish/workshops

Women Writing Together – Wednesdays – Kinlough, Co Leitrim

my labyrinth smallExplore your creativity  and develop confidence in your voice by writing with other women in a warm and encouraging environment. Seven x 2.5 hours: Wednesdays7 – 9:30 pm, Sept 12 & 26, Oct 10 & 24, Nov 7 & 21, Dec 5 2018. Cost: €105, early bird concession €90, before Tues Sept 4.

Numbers limited, advance booking essential. For more info and payment options go to www.monicacorish/workshops

Writing: The Art and the Craft

Writing: The Art and the Craft – Tuesdays – Kinlough, Co Leitrim

typewriter-vintage-old-vintage-typewriter-163084Six Tuesday evenings: 7 – 9:30 pm, Apr 10, Apr 24, May 1, May 8, May 22, Jun 5. Cost: €90, early bird concession €75, before Tues Apr 3.  For more infomonicacorishwriting@gmail.com 087-6414185. Numbers limited, advance booking essential. Develop your writing skills through constructive critique, feedback and tailored craft exercises.

  €90

Women Writing Together – Wednesdays – Kinlough, Co Leitrim

my labyrinth smallSix Wednesday evenings: 7 – 9:30 pm, Apr 11, Apr 25, May 2, May 9, May 23, Jun 6. Cost: €90, early bird concession €75, before Tues Apr 3.  For more infomonicacorishwriting@gmail.com 087-6414185. Numbers limited, advance booking essential. Develop confidence in your voice by writing with other women in a warm and encouraging environment.

  €90

Sligo, November 25: Poetry and Story Inspired by Myth: The Cailleach

A workshop to generate new writing, inspired by the myths of the Cailleach, of Samhain and Winter, the dark of the year… The workshop will take place in the Sligo Park Hotel on Pearse Road, halfway between Queen Maeve’s Cairn on Knocknarea and the Cailleach a Bherra’s House in the Ballygawley Hills, in the heart of Sligo’s ritual landscape. What better place to meet your mythic muse?

When? Saturday, November 25, 10:30 – 5:30. Where? Hazelwood Suite, Sligo Park Hotel. Cost? €80. Numbers limited, advance booking essential. For more info contact 087-6414185, monicacorishwriting@gmail.com To pay, go to www.monicacorish.ie/workshops/

 

This is the second in a series of “Poetry and Story Inspired by Myth” workshops led by award-winning writer and AWA certified writing group leader Monica Corish.

Poetry and Story Inspired by Myth: The Cailleach

Saturday, November 25, 10:30 – 5:30, Hazelwood Suite, Sligo Park Hotel. Cost €80 / €70 if payment received by November 19. To book, go to monicacorish.ie/workshops/, for more info contact monicacorishwriting@gmail.com

CailleachShe is the Hag of Winter, both female and male, the end and the beginning, the gateway to the ancestors, she is the dark before birth and the dark we fear. And, in her wild and withered dryness, she is the juicy source of our best writing…

This is the second in a series of “Poetry and Story Inspired by Myth” workshops led by award-winning writer and AWA certified writing group leader Monica Corish.

The workshop will take place in the Sligo Park Hotel on Pearse Road, halfway between Queen Maeve’s Cairn on Knocknarea and the Cailleach a Bherra’s House in the Ballygawley Hills, in the heart of Sligo’s ritual landscape. What better place to meet your mythic muse?

 

Literary Highlights of the Allingham Festival 2017

Poetry Masterclass; Fighting Words; The Art of Awareness; Literary Lunch; Wild Atlantic Writers; and lots, lots more… Book all events through Eventbrite. More info at www.allinghamfestival.com

Allingham 2017 logo

  • Friday, 10:30 – 11:30 Fighting Words Information Session, with Sean Love – for anyone interested in learning about Fighting Words, the free creative writing programme for students of all ages in Ireland.
  • Friday, 11:30 – 12:30: Fighting Words Volunteer Training, for those who have already completed the application process – if you are interested in applying in time for this training, please email donegal@fightingwords.ie
  • Friday, 13:30 – 15:30: The Art of Awareness: A Creativity Workshop for Adults, with Olive Travers
  • Friday, 16:00 – 17:30: Wild Atlantic Writers, with Mick Delap, Winifred McNulty, Monica Corish and Enda McGloin.
  • Saturday, 9:00 – 12:00: Poetry Workshop with Moya Cannon: “Stitching the Inner and the Outer World Together”. This workshop is aimed at those who have been writing poetry for some time – places limited to 10. Participants are asked to send two pieces of work to allinghamfest@gmail.com before October 31st.
  • Saturday 12:30 – 15:00: Literary Lunch in Nirvana: Splendid Food; Jim Keane Flash Fiction Award; Allingham Poetry Award; launch of “Grace” by Paul Lynch
  • Saturday 15:30 – 17:00: Mike McCormack, author of “Solar Bones”, in conversation with Sinead Crowley, RTE Arts and Media Correspondent.
  • Saturday 19:00 – 20:00: History Ireland Hedge School: William Allingham – “An Irish poet but not a national poet”? Moderated by Tommy Graham, editor of History Ireland.

Do you have what it takes to be a Fighting Words volunteer?

Fighting Words is coming to South Donegal/North Leitrim/North Sligo/West Fermanagh, and we are looking for volunteers!  Have you got what it takes? Have a browse on the Fighting Words website: www.fightingwords.ie/volunteer to learn more, or come along to an information session at Bundoran Library on Monday, October 9 from 12 till 1.

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From the website:

What kind of people volunteer at Fighting Words?

Everyone! All tutoring at Fighting Words is free and delivered by teams of volunteer writing tutors.  We have over 400 volunteer tutors – people from all walks of life – including third level students (from all disciplines!), retired people, writers (both professional and aspiring), teachers, journalists, visual artists, musicians and filmmakers – just to name a few.

What kind of skills do I need to volunteer at Fighting Words?

Anyone who enjoys working in a creative environment with the individuals and groups that come to our centres – and is a good listener –  is welcome to volunteer. You don’t need to be a writer or a teacher to be a Fighting Words volunteer writing tutor.

What kind of commitment to I have to give?

Volunteering with Fighting Words is totally flexible because your time is a valuable resource.  Tutors choose the days and times they come in using our online calendar for Dublin, Glencree and Cork.  You simply click on the day you’d like to come in and sign up. For example, we have tutors who choose to come in on the same day every week on the same day, tutors who come in for a week or two in the summer and tutors who come in a few times a year for evening workshops. In Mayo, the local volunteer co-ordinator will contact you by email about our monthly workshops.

There is no minimum time commitment – and we mean that!

Deadline Extended for Allingham Flash Fiction and Poetry Competitions

Dig out your best work, there is still time to enter. Up to 5 poems, max 40 lines; up to 5 flash fiction pieces, max 800 words.  Moya Cannon will judge the poetry competition, Paul Lynch the flash fiction, and Monica Corish will be the filter judge for both competitions. Read all about it at http://www.allinghamfestival.com/fiction-poetry-competitions/

And keep an eye on the Allingham website for news of lots of splendid writerly events, including a poetry masterclass from Moya, a book launch from Paul, and readings from all three judges.

 

In ár gcroíthe go deo / In our hearts forever: An art project to honour lives lost to Covid-19

A stunning art project, based in Carrick on Suir, described here by Margaret O’Brien, one of my Amherst Method writing colleagues. Heartbreaking and inspiring.

“I don’t know if I can take another Irish funeral,” whispered my English-born and -reared cousin, Nicholas… It was 2005… Now it’s 2020… How are you supposed to deal with the death of someone you love, someone you have cared for, in a time of a global pandemic, a period of national lockdown, with so many restrictions in place that the usual supports are kicked away from underneath you?”

Artist Tony Oakey, right, holding the original legacy art piece, with the late Mary Wells’ daughter Geraldine and family, and niece Martina. Geraldine is holding a copy of the print.

DOBHAR CHÚ CROSSES THE ATLANTIC

Nice work, Tom Sigafoos!

Tom Sigafoos

My creative-nonfiction piece Dobhar Chúhas been published in Trasna, a literary journal / blog originating from Lowell, Massachusetts. Many thanks to Margaret O’Brien for offering me the opportunity to submit work to Trasna, and to Jeannie Judge for writing a wonderful introduction.

Edited by Christine O’Connor, Jeannie Judge and Margaret O’Brien, Trasna explores the well-traveled route between Lowell and Ireland, introducing Irish writers to an American readership. All pieces will have a bio and links to the writers’ works. Trasna will be seeking and promoting new, emerging, and established Irish writers. There will also be a focus on Irish traditions and customs that have been lost to time or to an ocean crossing.

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Please tell your American friends – they can, and should, vote now

Tom Sigafoos

If, like me, you’re worried about the future of democracy in the US, please encourage your American friends overseas to vote with Federal Write-in Absentee Ballots. It’s a positive action that we can all take.

I’ve been making phone calls on behalf of the Democrats Abroad organisation, urging Americans who live around the world to vote in the 2020 General Election. Some nine million US citizens live outside the country, and six-and-a-half million are registered voters. In 2016, however, only one million of us voted.

Because many countries have slow, overloaded postal systems, overseas voters can use a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot that can be downloaded from www.votefromabroad.org/fwab. Now that the US postal system has also been slowed down and overloaded, we’re urging overseas voters to download their ballots now, write in their choices and post their votes as soon as possible.

Please don’t sit this one out, and…

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2020 Allingham Poetry & Flash Fiction Competitions Open

Tom Sigafoos

Allingham Festival

The 2020 Allingham Flash Fiction and Poetry Competitions are open for entries. Top prizes are €300 for winners in each category; entry fees are €5 per poem or FF story. Details are found on-line at https://www.allinghamfestival.com/fiction-poetry-competitions

The deadline for entries is Sept 28. Denise Blake, poet and frequent contributor to Sunday Miscellany, will manage this year’s competitions.

Broadcast as a series of virtual events between Nov 4-8, the 2020 Allingham Festival will include readings by the winners of the Poetry and Flash Fiction Competitions, a concert, and an interview with actor Adrian Dunbar (Line of Duty). Details of the developing schedule can be found on the Allingham Festival website https://www.allinghamfestival.com

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Raw Material

Yup – even a pandemic…

Tom Sigafoos

“A writer — and, I believe, generally all persons — must think that whatever happens to him or her is a resource. All things have been given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely. All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art.”  — Jorge Luis Borges, quoted in Twenty-Four Conversations with Borges by Roberto Alifano

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