2016 ended on a huge high for me when my Christmas villanelle When We Were Small was published on the front page of the Irish Times on Christmas Eve. It doesn’t get any better than this! Huge thanks to IT Poetry Editor Gerard Smyth for accepting the poem.
Most of the year was about The Rising Son, my 1916 related novel for kids, which I took out and about to schools and libraries throughout the year. This was a great experience for me, meeting young readers who showed a huge appetite for the story and whose close reading provoked some great questions which I hope I was able to answer. I also brought the book to Over The Edge in Galway and to the Belfast Book Festival in June.
Next year I look forward to the publication of my first collection of poetry with Salmon Poetry. This is really important to me as its something I’ve been working on for years now. I will post more news about the publication as soon as it becomes available.
In the meantime here’s a brief run down of prizes and publications for 2016. Not a bad year at all. Thanks to all the journals, editors and competition judges. Rejections are a part of life as a writer, so these acceptances are much appreciated!
- In January my story The Prize was shortlisted for a WOW Award. and was published in the WOW Anthology 2016.
- My poem Persephone was published in Abridged – Floodland in February.
- In February my poem Birthday won the Galway Rape Crisis Centre Poetry Competition.
- In April my poem Unlucky in Love was shortlisted in the Phizzfest Poetry Competition.
- In May my poems Night Bus and A Libation For The Dead were published in The Cafe Review special Irish Edition.
- My four poem sequence Cursed was published in Live Encounters Poetry June 2016 Issue.
- In June my poems Sleep and Funeral appeared in Issue 48 of the Ofi Press.
- In August my poem The Death Of Idealism was published in Issue 23 of Bare Hands Poetry.
- In September my poem In My Day was published in Boyne Berries Issue 20.
- In September my poem New Year appeared in Issue 7 of Skylight 47.
- In October my essay Vanity of Vanites – Kerouac, Writing and Notoriety was published in The Honest Ulsterman.
- My short flash fiction piece Land Locked was published in “Sunset Drinking the Black Ocean” an anthology sold to raise money for Long Story Short Journal.
- My poetry film Red Line Haiku was shortlisted for the 2016 Ó Bhéal Poetry-Film Competition.
- My novel for 10 -14 year olds, The Rising Son, was shortlisted for the Carousel Aware Prize for Independent Authors in the Young Adult category.
- In November my three poem sequence Gifts was published in Live Encounters Poetry Gathering December 2016 Issue.
- My poem When We Were Small was published on the front page of The Irish Times on 24th December 2016.