• Blog,  Features,  Workshops

    What we remember, what we choose to forget

    On Easter Monday 24th April, 1916, a group of some 1,000 Irishmen and women came into Dublin and occupied a series of buildings around the city. Their aim was to overthrow the British Government in Ireland by military force and to proclaim an Irish Republic. Over the next seven days, over 450 people died, 2,000 were wounded and the centre of Dublin largely destroyed by shelling. 15 of the leaders of the uprising were executed; a 16th was executed later that summer. On the same day in April 1916, the second Battalion of the Royal Munster Fusiliers was stationed in France, awaiting orders for the next big push that was…

  • Blog,  Reviews

    Ink Pantry review of Her Father’s Daughter

    Natalie Denny of Ink Pantry has reviewed Her Father’s Daughter for the Poetry Drawer section of the website. ‘My page has been empty for months. Forgive me for filling it.’ Nessa O’Mahony’s ‘My Father’s Daughter’ explores the nature of the imperishable and pronounced bonds between fathers and daughters. We embark upon a poetical journey, combining the autobiographical with the historical through two father-daughter relationships spanning two different periods of Irish history. Nessa’s poetry is a raw and at times a painfully honest depiction of her family life, especially those memories surrounding her father and grandfather. The finished article is a commentary on love and loss including the reconstructive and subjective…

  • Blog,  Features

    Beat up little seagull – old tunes and new in Baltimore and DC

                                                  I’ve been lucky enough to work with some amazing writers and teachers over the past number of years. One of my happiest collaborations has been with the amazing faculty of the Armagh Project, a US-based outfit that brings undergraduate students over to Armagh for the month of July to experience the life, culture and politics of that extraordinary part of our island. Some of the faculty members of the Armagh Project are based at the University of Baltimore, in Maryland, and many of their students participate in…

  • Blog

    From Wales to here

      I spent three of the happiest years of my life living in Wales. I was studying for a PhD at Bangor University and living in a mid-terrace Georgian building, with a bay-window fronting out onto the Menai Straits and the Snowdonia Mountains. I was immersed in books  reading and walking and researching and couldn’t have conceived of a better life. Money was tight, of course, but that was good training for the freelance writing life that was to follow 😉 One of the greatest joys was finding out about Welsh culture and literature. Up to that point, the only taste of it I’d had was a brief exposure to the…

  • Blog,  Workshops

    Early birds catch the creative writing worm at Brewery Lane this Easter

    I’m very excited to be taking part in a three-day writing workshop alongside the fabulous Ferdia MacAnna for the Brewery Lane Writers Weekend this Easter. It takes place from Friday 10th to Sunday 12th April (that’s the weekend after Easter) at the Brewery Lane Theatre, Carrick on Suir, Co. Tipperary. Organiser Margaret O’Brien, one of the powerhouses behind the new Arvon-inspired The Story House writing workshops, tells me that there is an early bird offer of  €160 if paid by Thurs. 12th Feb. (It will be €175 after that date) Ferdia and I will be offering a mix of facilitated workshops and one-to-one sessions and there’ll be opportunities for performance…

  • Blog,  Poems

    Fancy a free download?

    To celebrate the publication of my first audio book, I’ve got a free code to offer to download the book from the Audible website. All you have to do to win the code is to respond to this post, or to the Facebook posting of this link. I’ll enter each name into a hat and email or Facebook the lucky individual – then all you need to do is write a little review telling the world what you think of Bar Talk. Sweet, eh? You can visit the Audible Page for Bar Talk at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bar-Talk-Unabridged/dp/B00R794GI4

  • Blog

    Bar Talk – the Musical

    That caught your attention, didn’t it? Well there’s no actual singing, but lots of lyrics in the new audio book version of my first poetry collection, Bar Talk. I was thrilled when Helen Shaw of Athena Media approached me with the suggestion of turning Bar Talk into an audio book. It hasn’t been in print for years (it was first published in 1999) and although an online version was available through creative commons due to the marvellous guys at Irish Literary Revival, it had disappeared from sight, by and large. And audio is something different; a chance to hear the work as it was intended to be heard. So I…

  • Blog

    Visiting the Creel, Westport Quay, 27th November 2014

    I recently paid a visit to the Creel, Westport Quay, where I read poems from Her Father’s Daughter.  Thanks very much to John McHugh and James O’Doherty for inviting me. While there, I met a lovely man called Oliver Whyte, who filmed this short interview with me, as well as a reading from the book. The interview is here The film of me reading ‘Deserted Village’ is here: Thanks to Oliver for doing that, and for uploading it on Youtube.

  • Blog

    The Family of Things

    I have been enjoying a very creative collaboration with Helen Shaw and her colleagues at Athena Media. They’ve just released a kindle edition to my first book, Bar Talk, long since out of print since it was published in 1999, and we’re currently working on the audio edition with the terrific Amy Miller. Athena produce all sorts of digital content, and are devising a series of podcasts on the theme of The Family of Things, where writers and artists talk about what formed them as creative people. I was delighted when Helen invited me to be the first subject for an interview, and what an interview it proved to be.…