Welcome to the North West Words website. North West Words is a monthly reading series in Donegal. Events are on the last Thursday of each month in Florence Food Co. 63 Main Street, Letterkenny. See our Facebook page or News for further details. We also run poetry competitions, a community poetry initiative called Poetry for Spaces, and an online magazine.
Launch of two North West Words poetry competitions 2017 in English and Irish
L to R: Guy Stephenson and Deirdre Hines (North West Words), Breid Lindsay (Donegal Creameries/Aurivo Co-operative Society Ltd), Danielle NicPháidín (Ealaín na Gaeltachta), Ann Marie Gallagher and Nick Griffiths (North West Words)
North West Words has launched two 2017 English and Irish language adult poetry competitions sponsored by Aurivo and Ealaín na Gaeltachta.
The 2017 English poetry competition is now in its sixth year and is open to original and previously unpublished poems in English. The prize is €250 and a perpetual cup also donated by Donegal Creameries/Aurivo. The English poetry competition will be judged by poet Kate Newmann from Summer Palace Press.
This year, we again have a second competition for Irish language poetry. North West Words believes it is important to recognise the wealth of contemporary Irish language poetry in the country. The group, partnered with Ealaín na Gaeltachta (the body responsible for the development of the Arts in the Gaeltacht regions), have combined for a third year to develop an Irish language competition that champions new poetry written in Irish. The competition will have the same format as its English language counterpart with a prize of €250 to be awarded to the entrant who composes the best poem as Gaeilge. The winner will also receive a perpetual trophy sponsored by Aurivo, and it is judged by poet Proinsias Mac a’Bhaird.
North West Words is a non-profit organisation run on voluntary effort. The competition fee of €5 per entry (for up to three poems) goes towards the administrative costs of the competition. Deadlines for entry are 3oth November 2017 for poems in English, and 31st December 2017 for poems in Irish. Payment may be made via Paypal (see below) or by Cheque, Postal Order, Money Order (by post to the address in the rules document)
Download the rules document here in English and in Irish
Entry is €5.00
Payment by Paypal, please click on the link below.
L to R: Poetry competition judges Kate Newmann and Proinsias Mac a’Bhaird
September event – Culture Night 22nd Sept 2017
Join us on Friday 22nd September for our Culture Night event in English and Irish with poet, and regular RTE Radio 1 Sunday Miscellany contributor, Denise Blake, and poet and novelist in Irish, Proinsias Mac a’Bhaird. It’s at 8pm in Florence Food Co. Letterkenny.
Denise Blake’s poetry collections, Take a Deep Breath and How to Spin Without Getting Dizzy, are published by Summer Palace Press. Her third collection will be published soon by Revival Press. Denise is a regular contributor to Sunday Miscellany RTE Radio 1. She facilitates Creative Writing workshops in schools and with Adult groups. Denise is on Poetry Ireland’s Writers in the Schools Directory and the Irish Writers Centre mentor scheme. http://www.deniseblake.com/
Proinsias Mac a’ Bhaird is the author of 10 books in Gaelic including 3 collections of poetry, most recently Bealach na Mine Buí which was published in 2015. He has won the Colonel O’ Neill prize and the Oireachtas na Gaeilge prize for poetry and has been shortlisted twice for the Strokestown Poetry Prize. He has been published widely in various literary journals and has read poetry throughout Ireland from Ballycastle in North Antrim to Cork, and from the Isle of Skye to New York. He founded An Chúirt Filíochta, an annual gathering and celebration of Irish Language poets, which is held in various locations around the country. At present he is putting the finishing touches to his latest novel and will have a book for children published later on this year.
Údar deich leabhar i nGaeilge é Proinsias Mac a’ Bhaird ina measc 3 chnuasach filíochta. Is é ‘Bealach na Mine Buí’ a foilsíodh i 2015 an bailiúchán is déanaí uaidh. Bhuaigh sé duais an Choirnéil Uí Néill agus duais filíochta Oireachtas na Gaeilge agus ainmníodh ar an ghearrliosta faoi dhó é do dhuais idirnáisiúnta Bhéal na mBuillí. Tá a chuid filíochta foilsithe go forleathan in irisí liteartha agus léite aige ar fud na hÉireann agus thar lear. Bhunaigh sé An Chúirt Filíochta, cruinniú agus ceiliúradh bliantúil d’fhilí na Gaeilge a reáchtáltar in áiteanna éagsúla ar fud na tire. Faoi láthair tá úrscéal á chríochnú aige agus foilseofar leabhar do pháistí uaidh níos moille i mbliana.
August event – North West Words 31st August 2017
Join us at the end of August for the second event in our North West Reading Series 2017 with Gerard Beirne and Lorraine Carey. All are welcome, and it’s free entry. Great readings, music from Jack Smeaton, and our monthly Open Mic.
Gerard Beirne is an internationally published author – a novelist, poet and short story writer. North West Words is delighted to showcase his reading in Letterkenny.
Lorraine Carey is a poet and a native of Greenacastle, Co. Donegal. She has recently published her first collection with Revival Press and North West Words is pleased to host her Donegal launch.
North West Words acknowledges the financial support of the Arts Council, Donegal County Council, and Earagail Arts Festival in making this reading series possible. The six events will run one a month in July to December 2017.
Launch of our North West Reading Series
Our July event with Earagail Arts Festival, featuring readers Brian Leyden and Averil Meehan, was also the launch of our funded monthly reading series: North West Reading Series.
We’ve great events planned from July to December 2017 in Florence Food Co. Letterkenny at 8pm. See dates on our poster below.
All readers have a connection with the North West Region: they are from, living in, have lived in, and/or have set work in the North West of Ireland.
North West Words acknowledges the financial support of the Arts Council, Donegal County Council, and Earagail Arts Festival in making this reading series possible. Join us and enjoy. Each event has two featured readers, music and open mic.
July event with Earagail Arts Festival – North West Words Wednesday 12th July 2017
We’re delighted to announce that North West Words is at Earagail Arts Festival 2017 – see the programme at http://www.eaf.ie/…/70576-earagail-arts-festival-2017-low-r…
We’ll be in our usual venue Florence Food Co Letterkenny, at the usual time of 8pm, but this event is in the middle of the month – Wednesday 12th July. The entry fee is €5, and you can book in advance at: http://www.eaf.ie/events/north-west-words/ or pay at the door on the night (advance booking is recommended).
Brian Leyden’s books include the bestselling memoir The Home Place, and the short story collection Sweet Old World: New & Selected Stories. He is a co-writer of the feature film, Black Ice. His most recent publication is the novel Summer of ’63 set during US President John F. Kennedy’s visit to Ireland.
Averil Meehan’s writing has been published in many literary journals and has won international literary competitions. Her poetry collection is Until Stones Blossom (Summer Palace Press) and her radio play A Family Christmas was broadcast by RTE.
North West Words acknowledges the financial support of the Arts Council, Donegal County Council and Earagail Arts Festival in making these readings possible as part of their North West Reading Series. The six events in this series will run, one a month, in July to December 2017.
June event – North West Words 29th June 2017
Join us in Florence Food Co at 8pm Thursday 29th June for the North West Words June Arts Night. Our featured readers are the award-winning Canadian poet, Kelly Norah Drukker, and the writing group, Inch Island Writers.
Kelly Norah Drukker is an award-winning poet born in Montreal, Canada. She grew up in the Laurentian region of Quebec. Her work as an English teacher has brought her to Switzerland, France, and the UK, and she has spent close to a year living in Ireland, on the island of Inis Mór. Kelly’s first collection of poems, Small Fires (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2016), won the A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry, the Concordia University First Book Prize, and was a finalist for the Grand Prix du livre de Montréal. The French-language version of Small Fires, translated by Lori Saint-Martin and Paul Gagné, is forthcoming in 2018. Kelly has been a recipient of a CBC Literary Award, and her poetry has been broadcast on national radio in Canada. She holds a Master’s degree in English and Creative Writing, and is currently pursuing her PhD in Humanities at Concordia University in Montreal.
The Inch Island Writers are a very diverse group hailing from New Zealand, Boston, Nottingham, Amsterdam and London. Founded in 2006, the group met twice a month for nine years. They read at the Inch Island Gathering in the summer of 2007, the International Sheep Shearing Festival, the Earagail Festival in Tullyarvan Mill, Derry Library, and most recently, they launched their new book Breathing in a Different Space at the Buncrana Library in May 2017. Members are Lisa Anderson, Catherine Canning, Mary Connors, Anna Nederveen, Anoeschka Stainsby and James Wood.
May event – North West Words 25th May 2017
Join us in Florence Food Co at 8pm Thursday 25th May for the North West Words May Arts Night. Our featured readers are Una Mannion and the writing group Pen2Paper. We’re looking forward to another great night of readings.
Among her many accolades, Una Mannion is a recent winner of the Hennessy Emerging Poetry award, the Yeats’ Society’s Seamus Heaney Memorial Poetry award, and also, the Doolin and the Cuirt short story competitions, and the Ambit fiction prize.
Pen2Paper writing group meet in Donegal Town and are the featured writing group in issue 7 of North West Words Magazine.
April event – National Poetry Day with North West Words and Poetry Ireland 27th April
Poetry readings from Donegal poets Máire Dinny Wren and Maureen Curran. See our News section for further details or Poetry Ireland website here