Patricia’s Blog


I’d like these books for Christmas (if I didn’t have them already)

Dec 4, 2010 |

This is my half-dozen list of  books from Ireland or by Irish writers that I think would make great Christmas gifts.  And not a whiff of misery writing about the rise and fall of the Celtic Tiger or the sorry IMF/ECB bailout. Emma Donoghue’s Room  was my book of the year before it won the Hughes & Hughes…

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World Book Night | A million reasons to read a book

Dec 2, 2010 |

World Book Night | A million reasons to read a book. Welcome to World Book Night.   The inaugural World Book Night will take place on Saturday, 5 March 2011, two days after World Book Day.   With the full support of the Publishers Association, the Booksellers Association, the Independent Publishers Guild, the Reading Agency with…

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In Patrick Kavanagh Country

Nov 30, 2010 | Comments Off on In Patrick Kavanagh Country

  I seemed to loop my way around the North of Ireland to make my first visit to Inishkeen and the Patrick Kavanagh Festival this weekend. I first travelled north by Ben Bulben to Letterkenny, past mile after mile of election hoardings for that day’s by-election; my destination a North West Words event at Cafe Blend, Letterkenny, that has to be…

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Not too much of a poet: Commandments for writing Dynamic Prose

Oct 10, 2010 | Comments Off on Not too much of a poet: Commandments for writing Dynamic Prose

There are three commandments, James N Frey says,  if you want to write dynamic prose: Be specific Appeal to all the senses Be a poet (but not too much of a poet!) Frey’s How to Write a Damn Good Novel is one of my well-thumbed books on writing:  ‘A Step-by-step no-nonsense guide to dramatic storytelling.’ You can read a short interview…

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Man of Achill at Parliament Gate

Oct 3, 2010 | Comments Off on Man of Achill at Parliament Gate

Christy Moore’s song ‘Lisdoonvarna’ made The Penguin Book of Irish Poetry in a week that was disturbing and surreal. We tried to get our heads and imaginations around 50 billion – the cost of bailing out Irish banks. We said  fifty thousand million very slowly but that didn’t seem to make it any more real, just more frightening. And…

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Human Chain and Butts on Mullaghmore

Sep 6, 2010 |

In the week that Seamus Heaney’s Human Chain was published,  four of us – me, Joan, Deirdre and Mary – wound our way along the blue waymarked path around Mullaghmore in the Burren.  The heat of the day was blunted by a lively breeze and Mary asked us, Did you hear Seamus Heaney on the radio this morning…

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Books on Writing: my well-thumbed half-dozen

Aug 29, 2010 |

I have a full shelf of Books on Writing and still buying. I had a few goes at making this selection, ended up with ten books, then had another go to get it down to the half-dozen I’m allowing myself. Along the way the criterion I used was this: which books have I reached across…

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Literary things to do in Erris

Aug 5, 2010 |

There are a host of literary things to do in Erris – the area in the north-west corner of County Mayo, Ireland, bordering the Atlantic Ocean. A thrilling place for the literary inclined. Here are a half-dozen suggestions of things to do and texts to read: Read Seamus Heaney’s poem ‘Belderg’ at the Ceide Fields – the most extensive…

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Hands Moving at the Speed of Falling Snow – Aideen Henry Poetry Collection

Jul 7, 2010 | Comments Off on Hands Moving at the Speed of Falling Snow – Aideen Henry Poetry Collection

I’ve been reading Aideen Henry’s first poetry collection, Hands Moving at the Speed of Falling Snow (Salmon Poetry). We both attended the poetry workshops given by Mary O’Malley and Mick Gorman as part of NUI Galway’s MA writer programme. I have good memories of listening to Aideen read some of these pieces in a room that looked…

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Yesterday’s Newspaper Today

Jul 7, 2010 |

It’s seldom I don’t get to flick through the newspaper on the day I buy it. I’m afraid I’m not one for the online version. I have to feel the rub of the print ink on my fingers and the anticipation of what’s over the next crackling page. But last evening my fingers were black…

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