A Weekend of Words 2016

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In July 2016 Stanzas held our 2nd Festival of Writing: A Weekend of Words – #WoW

Here  was the line-up as it stood, and we will see you next year for Year Three! In the meantime, make sure to keep abreast of what we’re doing by seeing: Upcoming.





Stanzas acknowledges the Arts Council of Ireland and their generous grant which is going into our festival. Check out the Arts Council for more information on who they are, what they do, and how they help.




July 14th – Thursday


Festival Launch

Savoy Hotel – Library Room – 19:00

Poet / musician (poetician?) Orlagh de Bhaldraithe and Limerick group Paper Pawns will open the festival at the atmospheric Library room in the glamorous Savoy Hotel.

Savoy_Tag_RGB.jpg   Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 14.16.28.png

Orlagh.jpgOrlagh de Bhaldraithe, whether performing to thousands as a bawdy street singing incantress with legendary street theatre company Macnas, or howlin’ Janis blues at the low moon Sunday evening crossroads hoedown, she is a powerful performer with a unique voice.


As musical Director for Macnas Theatre Company she has written the musical narrative for nine outdoor street spectacle shows, including the opening of the Dublin Absolute Fringe Festival 2001/2012. She was a founding member of Galway’s notorious cow-punk misfits The Timbertramps. As a solo artist she has toured extensively. She has recently begun to venture into the arena of performance poetry and was a finalist at the Cuirt poetry grand slam 2015.


Following this will be the official launch of our Year Two Anthology of New Irish Writing, a collection of the best and the brightest published in our chapbooks throughout the year


July 15th – Friday



The Limerick Writers’ Centre – 11:00

Leanne O’Sullivan gives the first of two poetry workshops for emerging writers on how to develop their craft.

Bloodaxe.jpgLeanne O’Sullivan comes from the Beara peninsula in West Cork and has published three collections with Bloodaxe Books: Waiting for My Clothes (2004), Cailleach: The Hag of Beara (2009), winner of the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature in 2010, and The Mining Road (2013). She was given the Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary Award in 2009 and the Lawrence O’Shaughnessy Award for Irish Poetry in 2011, and received a UCC Alumni Award in 2012.

She currently teaches on the MA in Creative Writing at UCC

Limited Places, so make sure to book your slot by emailing stanzas.limerick@gmail.com or text 086-158-6229

Cost: 30 euro total (15 euro per class)


Words On the Street

Lucky Lane: 13:00

Limerick PRIDE and Stanzas team up to showcase the vibrant and diverse scene in Limerick with a closed session of poets showing their work on the busy Catherin Street area.

Yes, we will have a box for you to stand on, because what good public speaker doesn’t need a pulpit for platitudes?

If you want to get involved with Words on the Street, email us a selection of your poems and what links you to the LGBT movement.

Email: stanzas.limerick@gmail.com



The Open Mic Extravaganza

Hook & Ladder: 19:00


Leanne O’Sullivan, our workshop coordinator, shows us how to poet, along with prose by Pat O’Connor, and theatricals by The Choke Collective with their piece, Tumbling Birds.

Pats headPat O’Connor has won the Sean O’Faolain and the Glimmertrain Best Start short story prizes, and been shortlisted for the Francis McManus, Fish, Hennessy and other prizes. His stories have been published in Southword, Revival, Crannog, The Penny Dreadful, Irish Independent, Irish Times, broadcast on RTE, and he has been anthologized by Munster Literature Centre, and in Hennessy New Irish Writing 2005-2015. His radio play This Time It’s Different was broadcast on 95FM. In 2014, he was a writer in residence in Tianjin, China.



FolloWebsite Onewing this will be our VERY BIG open mic. It’s Stanzas as you’ve come to know it, but with a few perks: Bertha McCoullagh of Cuisle Festival and our very own Caleb Brennan will be giving spot prizes for a variety of quirky and fun competitions.


Please note, Best Impersonation of Caleb’s Laugh is definitely prize-worthy.


July 16th – Saturday



LWC – 11:00

Leanne O’Sullivan gives the second of two poetry workshops for emerging writers on how to develop their craft. Leanne teaches at UCC on the Creative Writing Masters Course and is a renowned poet in her own right.

Limited Places, so make sure to book your slot by emailing stanzas.limerick@gmail.com or text 086-158-6229

Cost: 30 euro total (15 euro per class)


Discussion Time

Hunt Museum – 13:00

This year we’re trying something a little different by holding a poetic discussion, a debate of sorts, themed on Slam and the Internet. We’ve invited three guest slam artists (NB: Not Scam Artists, that’s very different) down to Limerick to tell us what it’s like in this very modern age. We’re expecting some interesting chats!


Stanzas Saturday Night Take-Out

Hook & Ladder – 19:00

Doireann ni Ghriofa and Louis Mulcahy give dual-language readings, because we don’t just like English words, we like all them mad words!

DOIREANN b+w.jpgDoireann Ní Ghríofa is a bilingual writer whose work has appeared in The Irish Times, The Stinging Fly, Poetry, and elsewhere. Among her awards are the Ireland Chair of Poetry bursary. Her most recent book is Clasp (Dedalus Press, 2015), shortlisted for the 2016 Irish Times Poetry Award. She writes “with tenderness and unflinching curiosity” (Poetry Magazine, Chicago).

Louis MulLouis Mulcahy, born in Wexford in 1941, is an award winning potter who writes poetry. His work has been accepted for publication in Poetry Ireland Review, The Stinging Fly, The Shop, Stony Thursday, Southward etc., and read on RTE1, Lyric Radio and Radio na Gaeltachta.

In 2012 he was invited to read at the Spring Poetry Festival in Cork, Féile na Gréine in Waterville and at The Fermoy Poetry Festival. In 2015 he read at Cuisle Festival in Limerick. This year he read by invitation at Féile na Bealtaine in Dingle, KFest in Killorglin and at venues in Galway, Listowel, Wexford and Dublin.

His full collection in Irish, Dhá Chlog ag Bualadh, was published by An Sagart Publishing in 2012 and his first full collection in English, The Clogher Quartet, Book One, by An Sagart in March 2014. The Clogher Quartet, Book Two, was launched at Listowel Writers’ Week 2015. He is currently working on the third book of the Quartet and on a separate collection based on the craft of ceramics.                                    

He was Founder and Director of the poetry festival An Fhéile Bheag Filíochta from 2007 to 2014. In the past he has served as Chairman of the Crafts Council of Ireland and of Samhlaíocht Chiarraí (Kerry Arts), and was a member of the Government Task Force on Small Business. In 2004 he received an Honorary Doctorate from the National University of Ireland for his artistry and contribution to his community.

He is married to the tapestry artist Lisbeth Mulcahy. They have three children and eight grandchildren.

Following this, Erin Fornoff, Clara Rose Thornton and Stephen James Smith, three incredibly talented slam artists, fresh off their Hunt Museum discussion, will present their work for us and amaze us with their ways!


Erin Face.jpgA native of the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina, Erin Fornoff is an American poet based long-term in Dublin. Called “a story-telling poet,” “as close to music as poetry gets,” and “deliciously exotic”, she has performed her poems at major music festivals across the UK and Ireland such Glastonbury, Electric Picnic, Cheltenham, StAnza, and dozens of others. Her work is regularly featured on national radio in Ireland and has made an appearance on RTE Playback, Ireland’s most widely-listened recap of the best of the week.

Erin has been featured at many spoken word nights, including Farmleigh House’s New Voices alongside Grammy Nominated artist Hozier, Tongue Fu at Cuirt Festival, Culture Vultures, Brownbread Mixtape, Over the Edge, and many others across the country, including a national Irish tour with Hollie McNish. A poem was recently chosen for the inaugural “Best New British and Irish Poets 2016.”  of Her essays have been published in The Irish Times, and her poetry in The Stinging Fly, Cyphers, New Planet Cabaret, and many others. She recently released a chapbook of spoken word poems, Folk Heroes, from Stewed Rhubarb Press, reviewed as “a poetry of powerful intimacy.”

Awards include First Prize for Poetry in The Cellar Door, First Prize in the StAnza Digital Slam, Third Prize in Strokestown International Poetry Award, and Highly Commended for the Over the Edge New Writer of the Year,  She was selected for the 2014 Poetry Ireland Introductions Series. In 2015 she attended Breadloaf Writer’s Conference and was awarded an Arts Council Literature Bursary for fiction. She is Co-Director for Lingo, Ireland’s first spoken word festival, which has sold out annually. She has an M.Phil (Distinction) in Creative Writing from Trinity College Dublin.

12901417_10154130817340712_8750318505452767195_oClara Rose Thornton is a spoken word artist, culture journalist, event organizer, and radio and television broadcaster. Her work focuses on the arts and their intersection with social justice, history, and place. In Ireland she is a film critic for “Arena” on RTÉ Radio 1, and discusses film, race, and culture on the likes of “The Ryan Tubridy Show” on RTÉ Radio 1 and TV’s “Morning Edition” on RTÉ 1. She’s the 2014/15/16 Leinster Slam Poetry Champion, and recently won third in the All-Ireland Poetry Slam in Belfast. She performs her provocative spoken word at festivals and venues across Europe. Her arts and culture criticism is published internationally, including in the Irish Independent and Irish Times. She is Chicago-born, New-York-simmered, Dublin-dwelling.

13396644_10209270535297090_983022537_o.jpgStephen James Smith is a Dublin poet and playwright central to the rise of the vibrant spoken word genre in Ireland today. Stephen is a co-founder of LINGO Festival (inaugural festival in 2014), Ireland’s only spoken word festival, and poetry curator of the annual First Fortnight Festival. The recent video for his poem Dublin You Are which was commissioned by DCC went viral receiving 250,000 views in 3 days. His ABSOLUTE Dublin Fringe play Three Men Talking About Things They Kinda Know About (2011), co-written with Colm Keegan and Kalle Ryan, was shortlisted for the Bewley’s Little Gem Award. Arise and Go!, his debut album with musician Enda Reilly, was selected by Hot Press as one of the best albums of 2011. His awards include Winner of the Cúirt International Literary Festival Poetry Grand Slam (2010). Stephen founded The Glór Sessions in 2009. This weekly poetry and music event ran for three years and is considered instrumental in establishing Ireland’s spoken word movement.

Stephen has performed at Irish festivals including Dublin Writers’ Festival, Cúirt International Literary Festival, The Electric Picnic, Dublin Fringe Festival, Festival of World Cultures and Spirit of Folk; and across the globe in New York, Chicago, Iowa, Montreal, Ottawa, Paris, Glastonbury, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Utrecht, Ljubljana and Warsaw. He was invited to perform for the Irish Olympic team in London 2012. His work has been translated into Irish, Spanish, Slovenian, Polish, Dutch and Italian. His poetry videos have also been screened at film festivals at home and around the world, and he has featured in programmes and documentaries for television such as RTÉ’s IFTA Award Winning documentary WB Yeats: No Country for Old Men; The Works (RTÉ); News Today (RTÉ); and Like A Virgin (RTÉ). Stephen’s poetry is included on the syllabus at Western Connecticut State University and he conducts poetry workshops in secondary schools around Ireland.


Website: http://stephenjamessmith.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SJSwords/

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/MrStephenJamesSmith

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sjsWORDS

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stephenjamessmith/

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/arise-and-go!/id575042730

Soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/stephenjamessmith

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mrstephenjamessmith

Google + https://plus.google.com/u/0/+StephenJamesSmith


July 17th – Sunday


BubbleTea Paradise – 14:00


Afric McGlinchey and Michael Ray perform their tantalising and sonorous poetry alongside the talented Emma Langford accompanying with music, all in the serene setting of BubbleTea Paradise, a beautiful vegan and vegetarian cafe, because nothing says HipsterFest like veganism and poetry
bio pic 2Afric McGlinchey’s awards include the Hennessy Poetry award, Northern Liberties Prize (USA) and Poets Meet Politics prize. A Pushcart prize nominee, she has been selected by Poetry Ireland Review as one of Ireland’s rising poets. Her début collection, The lucky star of hidden things (Salmon Poetry, 2012) was translated into Italian and published by l’Arcolaio. Her second collection, Ghost of the Fisher Cat (2016) has been nominated for the Forward Prize for Best Collection. Afric lives in West Cork.



Michael Ray.jpeg
Michael Ray 
is a visual artist liing in West Cork. His poems have appeared in journals in Ireland and abroad, including The Moth, The Irish Independent, The Shop, Cyphers, Abridged, Ayris, Ambit, Magma and One. In 2012 he was shortlisted for the Cúirt New Writing Poetry Prize, and won second prize in the Fish poetry competition. In 2013 he was shortlisted for the Hennessy award.


emmass1 - CopyEmma Langford is a young genre-bending singer-songwriter, and guitarist from Limerick city.
Shortly after graduating in 2013 from the Irish World Academy of music and dance, Emma disappeared for a while to play troubadour throughout the US and South America. She harnessed the sounds she was exposed to on her travels to create her powerful signature vocal and musical style blending elements of an Irish lilt with Latin beat, jazz and folk; sparse guitar work complements a profound natural sense of melody; Her capacity for story-telling through wry and insightful lyrics and a uniquely cheerful on-stage demeanour combine to create Emma Langford’s engaging presence, both on-stage and off.


Since entering the live music scene in 2013 she has gigged extensively, and has massively enjoyed sharing a stage with internationally recognised artists such as Ron Sexsmith, Hermitage Green, and John Smith, to name but a few.


Having received international acclaim in early 2016 for her home-recorded single Tug O’ War, Emma is now working on her debut EP due for release in June 2016, and is appearing in venues throughout the country to share and promote her music. Keep an eye on her Facebook page to find out where she’ll be popping up next!
“…we all fell in love with her. Her voice is strong yet sweet and her stage presence is wonderfully vulnerable.”
– Mick Dolan, Dolans pub, Limerick
“…engaging and disarming, putting the audience at ease and they followed where she lead. Her voice is true to her roots and has a very Irish sparkle, yet her singing and songs manage to be contemporary, relevant and fresh.”
– Kenneth Kenny, The White Horse Sessions, Kennys, Lahinch, Co Clare

Chill out and wind down from the festival antics, allow your mind to wander, and wonder how will we top all this next year…