Corncrake magazine was conceived over a cup of coffee at Pete Byrne’s kitchen table one Saturday morning two years ago. Pete, Tony Viney and I had gone back to his house to ‘have a chat and a coffee’ after a Fermanagh Writers Committee meeting, when out of the blue he suggested we should publish a magazine covering all the Arts in this area. (more…)
Inspector Celcius Daly stared through the windscreen at the border landscape. The round hills loomed, black and foreboding. The remnants of a British army watchtower were still visible, a shard on the horizon. Daly wondered would he ever lose that prickle of anticipation that signalled he was about to enter disputed territory. (more…)
I was paid a visit today by a bird-woman:
a Coccinella magnifica flew into my head
and, instead of bouncing off and flying on,
she alighted, stayed; folded in her real wings. (more…)
This is not something I write about often, but blindness does affect my experience of poetry, both how I write and how I read the work of other poets. (more…)
In 1940, during the Second World War, a Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts (CEMA), was appointed to help promote and maintain British culture. (more…)
Elemenopy – the feeling you get when reciting the middle of the alphabet, is a key ingredient in Colm Keegan’s creative writing workshops, whether working with adults or younger, whether it’s poetry, screenwriting, short stories, rap, or songwriting. Whatever it is, it doesn’t matter. Everything starts with ELEMENOPY.
There comes a time in every man’s life when he puts his empty glass down on the counter, looks around for someone to serve him and finally in despair mutters to himself, “I could run a better pub than this lot.” (more…)
The Shannon Erne Writers Group had our book First Cut launched by John McGahern in the Bush Hotel, Carrick-on-Shannon. When Brian Leydon introduced me, the writer asked, Where do you live?
A few doors up From Pat Mac’s garage in Ballinamore I said. (Pat Mac was his uncle.) (more…)
People often ask me how did you get started in art. Well it was pretty simple. About six years ago a friend told me he had an appointment with a gallery to show his art to a curator, so I asked if I might paint something and go along with him. He said OK. I painted that night for the first time. (more…)
If there is a leitmotif running through contemporary art it is one of questioning, and in particular there is the omnipresent – What is it trying to say? When I look upon Alex Colville’s seminal painting of Horse and Train (1954), it makes me want tell a story. (more…)
When my world becomes too fast and hard
And my head is full of thoughts I do not need
I take myself away to a country churchyard,
To find the peace, I plead. (more…)
Music in Fermanagh is a relatively new organisation. Up until its recent merging with its neighbouring district, Fermanagh District Council regulated its arts spending by consulting its Arts and Culture Advisory Committee made up from local volunteers. (more…)
It’s not often that a French friend emails me about a film which, ‘I must absolutely see’. She had just watched it at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and wondered if I had already seen it; I hadn’t. The film was the superb directorial debut by Yann Demange: ’71. When presented at the Berlin Film Festival in 2014, it had five nominations and won him the award for Best Director.
Local singer/songwriter Conor Phillips has gone from strength to strength in the last few years, attracting a strong following with his unique musical style. Learning to run almost as soon as he could walk, Conor began songwriting the moment he first picked up a guitar around four years ago. (more…)
This week sees the opening of a new exhibition in the higher bridges art gallery, Pig Shop: a collection of new works by artist Simon Fennessy Concoran. Pig Shop invites conversation on the concept of value bestowed upon different raw materials in our economy, lifestyles and art. (more…)