Poetrybeat |2| Feat: How to Get Your Performer’s Pass to Electric Picnic

This month there’s so much poetry happening that you won’t even know how to handle it. I can barely handle it myself. I’ve changed this beat way too many times. My poor little heart is way too fickle. It wants all the poets. After much deliberation, and late chocolate fuelled nights, this is a teensy little taster of things you could potentially make some time for, this month, in the big bad world of poetry.

The Literary Festival of Endless Delights (not its actual title, but it should be)



Cúirt International Literary Festival is a BIG DEAL on the literary calendar. A literary calendar is an essential accessory for all poetry lovers. I don’t have one, but as soon as I get myself together – this is going straight in there. It takes place in Galway and the poetry section is full to the brim with exciting readings, workshops and even a Grand Slam. It’s not all poetry, they have some of those *sniff* novelists and miscellaneous writers too. Take a peek here, to see what’s up.

Perform Your ACTUAL Poetry on the ACTUAL Electric Picnic Word Stage


electric picnic

Slams are funny animals and anything, literally ANYTHING, might win on the night. Those that do win (all three of them) get a performer’s pass to Electric Picnic. Which is pretty swish! You can enter by sending a poem in text format (max 3 minutes in length to perform) to  [email protected] titled “Grand Slam”. They will then choose who performs at the Grand Slam. So you might end up with a) a performance at Cúirt International Literary Festival and b) some tickets to Electric Picnic. You’d be silly not to.

Poets Launching Their Words on the World in Pretty Books


Dedalus make books that are bloody gorgeous. I mean they are really very lovely and I can’t stress how lovely. This month, they are releasing FOUR books, on the same night. So you know – go for the poetry and stay for the poetry. With readings from Doireann Ní Ghríofa, Gerry Murphy, Aidan Murphy and Leland Bardwell. It’s sure to be a night of loveliness. All the details are at this link.

A Home for Your Poems


The Boheymth is probably one of my favourite online journals in Ireland. It’s full of arresting and contemporary poetry (and prose). Just take a look at last month’s issue. They’ve got their finger on the pulse, with work from all kinds of contemporary poets. I am surprised by something in each issue. So have a read (because it’s fabulous) and then submit (because if you get accepted you will be, by default, fabulous too). They are open for submissions in April and you can check out the last issue here.  

Holy Mother of First Collection Prize Things

logo_melitaHume1There’s some pretty swanky prizes for new poets out there. This one is particularly impressive. If you happen to be under 35 and sitting on the next greatest poetry collection – you might want to submit here. The prize is not only the publication of your own book (and we all want one of those babies), but there’s real-life cash too (something most poets have only heard rumours about). So dust off that collection, polish it to within an inch of its commas and send it to these folk. Click here for details.

A Book to Sit in a Corner and Escape With

imaginary menagerieThere is just too much happening and it’s all very exciting. If you do, somehow, find a night to yourself… this is a poetry collection I am obsessed with. Ailbhe D’arcy is magic. There are no other words for it. My craze started with this poem, click and read (you will not be sorry),  which I read way more times than is healthy. I kept reading it for a whole year and then, last month, I got the collection. Which I’ve been reading since and can’t say enough good things about. Here’s a place that stocks it.


And I think that’s quite enough poetry to keep you going. This month will be choc-a-bloc with all the same sort of stuff we introduced last month. Which, if you missed it, was everything from sitting down with poets like Breda Wall Ryan and Kevin Higgins for the chats, to making an amazing list of women poets celebrating womanhood through poetry, to going Behind the Scenes at Slam Sunday, to examining the work of Billy Ramsell and Mira Gonzalez . We even found time to have a look back in time at Anna Akhmatova. So expect lots more poetry-loving madness out of Poetrystuff.