• Reviews

    John O’Donnell reviews Her Father’s Daughter

    Extract from ‘Postcards from the Edge’ by John O’Donnell, Poetry Ireland Review, Issue 117, December 2015 The heart of Nessa O’Mahony’s collection, Her Father’s Daughter, is a poignant and affecting series of reflections on the death of her own father. The book opens with ‘Giving Me Away’, an uneasy father and daughter road-trip which O’Mahony views initially as a sort of atonement by her father – ‘Because you had never walked me down the aisle / you sit 330 miles in the passenger seat, / watching the speed-dial, / miming brakes’ – as they head towards her ‘new start’ in Britain. However the tell-tale signs O’Mahony observes along the way…

  • Workshops

    Horses for courses – 2016 Here I Come

    I’ve discovered that I’m at my happiest in a classroom. There’s nothing nicer than sharing a big room with a large table and lots and lots of like-minded people. As a writer, it’s been one of the great joys of life to be able to work with other writers to develop their voices; it reminds me of all those wonderful teachers who made such a difference to me over the years. Katie Donovan will forever have my gratitude for being the first professional writer to tell me that I had something worth developing – my own voice. I took a course with her at the Irish Writers Centre in 1994 or…

  • 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…

  • Workshops

    Finding the Form – new course begins Irish Writers Centre

    As creative writers, we face two main challenges when starting out. The first is to find a voice that is unique to us, the second is to find a form or shape that best suits our vision. I really enjoy working with students on both levels and am really looking forward to teaching a new course on form in the Spring of 2015. The course I will be facilatating is called Finding the Form. It follows on from my Beginners Finding the Story course at the Irish Writers Centre and it starts on 10th February. It will run for 10 weeks, on Tuesday mornings from 11am to 1pm. Further details,…

  • 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.