gorse, the journal of the innovative, the exploratory and the under-appreciated, opens submissions for new issues

gorse, the literary journal launched in Dublin a year ago, has opened a month-long window for submissions for its fourth and fifth editions, which will be published this coming September and February 2016 respectively.

Categorised into essays, fiction and poetry, gorse, at first glance, might appear formulaic, but only until you look under the hood. It will never do anything less than surprise, and it will challenge and provoke and maybe even infuriate too.

Edited and published by the esteemed Susan Tomaselli, gorse features “longform narrative essays, original fiction and interviews … is an exploration of the art of words … is interested in the potential of literature, in literature where lines between fiction, memoir and history blur, in the unconventional and the under recognised.”

Continue reading “gorse, the journal of the innovative, the exploratory and the under-appreciated, opens submissions for new issues”

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Almost 50 years after its inception, New Irish Writing finds a new home and fresh energy in the Irish Times

New Irish Writing will make a welcome return to the national newsstands next weekend, when it makes its debut in the pages of the Irish Times.

The newspaper reported the development on Saturday morning in a comprehensive history of the New Irish Writing concept by its editor of a quarter of a century, Ciaran Carty.

The development marks the latest “transfer” of New Irish Writing, which was founded as a weekly page in the Irish Press by David Marcus in the late 1960s before spending 23 years in the Sunday Tribune stable before that paper’s demise in 2011. After an unconvincing stint in the Irish Independent, it has now moved to the Irish Times, where the first selections will appear in next Saturday’s weekend edition.

Hennessy remains the title sponsor, having been associated with New Irish Writing since backing the first New Irish Writing awards ceremony in 1971.

The list of Irish writers who have seen early (or often their first) stories and poems appear in print thanks to New Irish Writing is almost all-encompassing – Joseph O’Connor, Colum McCann, Dermot Healy, Michael Harding, Patrick McCabe, Deirdre Madden, Sebastian Barry, John Boyne, Frank McGuinness, Desmond Hogan, Neil Jordan, Anne Enright and Mary Costello are among those whose fledgling careers were given impetus by publication in New Irish Writing pages.

It is anticipated that the Irish Times will be a particularly fruitful home – the Saturday edition of the paper is probably the most culturally significant edition of any Irish media outlet, and is certain to mark a major improvement on the format in the Irish Independent, where New Irish Writing was jaded and peripheral, suffering from sloppy subediting and an unattractive midweek supplement format that undoubtedly limited its reach.

The new page will appear in the Irish Times on the last Saturday of each month and submissions are welcome from novice or emerging Irish writers, or writers living in ireland. With no fee required, it will be no easy task for Carty to sift through the volume of submissions he’s sure to receive each month, but such inclusiveness is to be admired.

All pieces selected for publication will receive €130 for prose and €65 for poetry, and published authors will also then be eligible for the annual Hennessy New Irish Writing Awards at year-end, in which prizes will be presented in three categories: First Fiction, for writers publishing their first story; Emerging Fiction, for writers who have yet to publish a book; and Emerging Poetry, for first-time poets or poets still awaiting the publication of their first collection.

More details, including where to send your submissions, are available from the Irish Times website here

Perfect three-minute literature: The rise and rise of Sara Baume

Sara Baume

Sara Baume (Pic: The Stinging Fly).

Choppy seas throw up a crop of bones in winter. I’m no good at anatomy. I can tell fish from birds but mammal skeletons are harder to differentiate once broken down and scoured clean by salt and sand and water

Thus begins Sara Baume’s compelling, intensely moving spoken word essay aired on RTE Radio 1’s Arena this week.

The concept of the perfect three-minute pop song is well-documented, but Baume’s reflection on life and art and legacy was perfect three-minute literature in aural form. Continue reading “Perfect three-minute literature: The rise and rise of Sara Baume”

Poet Peter Sirr on the poem as sonic event

Peter Sirr (Pic via gallerypress.com)

Renowned Irish poet Peter Sirr was an interesting guest with Sean Rocks on RTE Radio 1’s Arena earlier this week.

More than three decades after his debut book, Peter was talking about his ninth collection of poetry, The Rooms, which was published recently by The Gallery Press.

And he had some interesting things to say about poetry technique, in which he suggests that rhythm is the most important thing. Continue reading “Poet Peter Sirr on the poem as sonic event”