- Poet, Children's Writer
- Reading and Q&A, Discussion with Writer, Creative Writing Workshop, Master Class
- Age Group
- 7 - 10, 11-15, 16 - 18
- Primary, Post Primary
- Works in English ONLY
- Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Publications/Repertoire/Productions & Background Experience
Snow Negatives (The Dedalus Press, 2007)
Map of the Last (The Dedalus Press, 2013)
Work included in the following anthologies:
If Ever You Go – A Map of Dublin in Poetry and Song, edited by Pat Boran and Gerard Smyth (The Dedalus Press, 2014).
Airborne – Poetry from Ireland, edited by Pat Boran (The Dedalus Press/Apple IBooks Platform for iPad 2012).
Shine On – Irish Writers for Shine, edited by Pat Boran (The Dedalus Press, 2011).
The Bee-Loud Glade – A Living Anthology of Irish Poetry, edited by Pat Boran (The Dedalus Press, 2011).
The Quiet Quarter – Ten Years of Great Irish Writing, edited by Máire Nic Gearailt (New Island Books, 2009).
Thornfield – Poems by Thornfield Poets, edited by Andrew Carpenter (Salmon Poetry, 2008).
The Echoing Years – An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry and Translation from Canada and Ireland, edited by John Ennis, Randall Maggs and Stephanie McKenzie. School of Humanities Publications, Centre for Newfoundland and Labrador Studies. (Waterford Institute of Technology, 2007).
Sunday Miscellany – a Selection from 2004 -2006, edited by Clíodhna Ní Anluain (New Island Books, 2006).
Published widely in print and online journals and magazines in Ireland and abroad, my work also features frequently on RTE Radio 1 and Lyric FM. Broadcasts include: Sunday Miscellany; A Living Word; The Francis MacManus Radio Short Stories; The Poetry Programme; The Enchanted Way; The Quiet Quarter; Rattlebag. My work has also featured in Poet’s Corner – Poetry on the Dart.
In 2014, as part of the Kilkenny Arts Festival, I was Guest Editor of the Kilkenny Poetry Broadsheet. I hold an MA (Dist.) in English, Creative Writing, from the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s University, Belfast. A tutor of creative writing with Fingal VEC (2003 -2005), I have facilitated many writing workshops.
Prizes include: The Patrick Kavanagh Award (2006).
Shortlisted/Nominations include: The Francis MacManus Award for Short Stories, Hennessy Literary Awards
I started writing when I was very young and believe that writing should be an inclusive, enjoyable activity for every child. Developing creative writing skills in an encouraging atmosphere gives a child a respect and regard for the written word. It is also invaluable in broadening that child’s world-view and enlarging his or her vocabulary. For young children, I like the session to be highly inter-active and fun. I engage the children in decisions about language, imagery, rhyme, and narrative and use group work as a way of getting the children involved fully in every stage of the poem or story being created in the classroom as part of the session. We discuss ideas for writing, where they come from, and where they might lead. As well as reading from my own work, I like to read from other writers’ work in order to introduce the children to literature that they might not as yet have encountered. I speak about the importance of reading, how it will feed into their school work and writing, and how it will always be something fun and interesting to do. If there is time left, I encourage the children to take part in a quick, funny, writing exercise. I always finish each session with questions and answers.
For older children, I involve the class by showing them how I have developed a piece of writing by working through every stage from initial idea onwards. I read from my own work but also like to read from other writers in order to illustrate how important reading and writing are to each other. I also like to explore the ways in which literature relates to other arts, in particular music. I talk about how writing, on the page, on a stage, a cinema screen, or on the television, is all part of the same process of finding a word, putting it in the right place and then following it with another word. My aim is to dissolve any preconceptions they might have about writing being something only ever done by ‘other people’, hopefully showing them how opening up to writing, as part of an overall awareness of the importance of every creative activity, will stand to them for the rest of their schooldays and into their lives as adults. In a workshop situation, I encourage the pupils to read from their own work and then facilitate a friendly, non-threatening, constructive discussion about that work. I also like to involve them in a writing exercise, perhaps introducing them to something they might not have attempted before, such as Haiku. I like to finish each session with questions and answers.