Every year around this time I compile a roundup of what I’ve done from a writing point of view during the old year. This year started out being all about the novel but ended up being grounded in poetry. This is also the first year in a long time when I haven’t published a single short story. I have written a few recently so hopefully that will change soon.
I’m still on the look out for a publisher for my Novel Fair 2022 winning novel Riverrun, and I intend to continue to work on that in 2023. But, as I say, the year has been all about poetry. My workshop group, The Hibernians, began to meet again in person in The Teacher’s Club in September and it’s been great to be able to engage face to face with friends and fellow poets again.
So, here’s a quick round up of how 2022 looked from a publication point of view.
My sonnet sequence Nightbrooding 3, 4 & 5 were featured in the World Poetry Tree anthology in January 2022.
My poem Sun was published in Crannóg Issue 56, Spring 2022.
My poem Sour was published in Drawn To The Light Issue 5.
My poems Hydra and Cat and Mouse were published in Vox Galvia in the Galway Advertiser in February 2022.
My poem Kingdom was shortlisted in the Shelbourne/Irish Times poetry competition and published in the Irish Times.
My poems Staying Up, No Birds Sing and Metaxu were published in Live Encounters Poetry & Writing.
My poem Exile was published in Abridged 0 – 87 Not At Home.
My poem My First Infatuation was published in the Bangor Literary Journal Issue 17 in July 2022.
My poem Absence was published in the Black Nore Review in July 2022.
My poem The Last Days of Pompeii was published in Issue 137 of Poetry Ireland Review, edited by Gerald Dawe in August 2022.
My sonnet Belturbet Under Frost was featured in the anthology Romance Options: Love Poems for Today, edited by Leeanne Quinn and Joseph Woods, published by Dedalus Press.
My poem Hard Swallows was published in Issue 7 of Drawn to the Light Journal in October 2022.
My poems Everything, Shade and The Facts of Life were published in Live Encounters Poetry Nov/Dec 2022.
My poem Workshop was published in The Stony Thursday Book, No 18 Winter Issue, edited by Annemarie Ní Churreáin in December 2022 (see cover image above).
In 2023 I hope to have news on my next poetry collection and also I’ll be chasing down a publisher for my novel Riverrun. I’ve started work on a new novel set in London in the 1980s, but it’s early days still on that. I want to write more short stories also next year with a view to publishing a collection of the best of them in the near future.
I read a lot of fiction and poetry this year too. The highlights in terms of fiction were Herzog by Saul Bellow, Lucia Berlin’s A Manual for Cleaning Women, Pale Fire by Nabokov, A Provincial Death by Eoghan Smith and The Deadwood Encore by Kathleen Murray. Kevin Power’s essay collection The Written World was very entertaining and informative, as was his Stinging Fly guest lecture delivered at the final Bray Literary Festival in September.
Poetry collections I read and admired included The Wrong Heroes by Eamon McGuinness, Depositions by Anton Floyd, The Last Spring of the World by Maureen Boyle and Phantom Gang by Ciarán O’Rourke.
I look forward to an exciting year of reading and writing and attending readings and launches in the real world, hopefully.
In the meantime I leave you with my poem The Last Days of Pompeii which was featured in Poetry Ireland Review, Issue 137, in the summer. Of all the poems I published this year it’s the one that I’m happiest with, in terms of ambition, range and tone. I hope you enjoy it!
Best wishes for a happy Christmas and a peaceful and fruitful new year!
21st December 2022