I moved to the Sligo Roscommon border in 1999, and live in an old train station with my children, partner, and Lemmy (the dog). I got a degree in Writing+Literature with First Class Honours and an Order of Merit from ATU Sligo in 2021, and am currently in the process of completing an MA in Creative Practice. I work as an ESL tutor in Ballaghaderreen.
I have been part of writing groups locally, firstly Millwheel Writers, and then facilitating the Wrong Side Of The Tracks Writers from 2012-2018.
I give readings and workshops for adults, and have run children's creative writing classes in schools.
Drunk Muse Publications invited me to be their Ireland editor in 2021. My first project was publishing a collection of songs and poems by legendary folk musician and writer, Helen B Grehan, The Return.
In 2014 I founded The Hermit Collective; a group of fellow creatives and remotes, who come together to put on pop-up shows of poetry, art, music, stories, and more. We have played dozens of venues across the north west, and in 2016 were the overall winners of the prestigious Epic Award for Ireland. Our last outing was in January 2020, due to the years that have been in it, but we hope to be back soon...
My chapbooks Hellsteeth, A Skyful of Kites, Snowbird and Pact were self-published with help from Roscommon County Council, and In June 2017 the UK small press Black Light Engine Room Press published a selection of poems from them in a new pamphlet Fusebox.
Silver Spoon features the stunning art of Helen Chantrell throughout, as well as the cover, and is available from loads of shops as well of the Salmon Poetry bookshop.
2021: Winner of the Dermot Healy Award for fiction and poetry
2020: Winner of inaugural Comórtas Filíochta Chultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich competition, with a poem translated to Irish by Diarmuid Lenihen, and shortlisted for a second poem translated by Rossa Ó Snodaigh
2020: short-listed for Doolin Writers Weekend poetry competition
2019: short-listed for Red Line Book Festival poetry competition
2019: short-listed for O'Bheal International Poetry Film Competition
2019: Runner-up for Poetry Ireland Love Your Bike comp
2018: Shortlisted for Cuirt New Writing Prize
2017: Winner of the Poetry Ireland/Butlers Chocolate Cafe Competition
2017: Shortlisted for Red Line Book Festival poetry comp. and longlisted for the Bray Literary Festival comp and the Westport Lit fest.
2017: Highly commended for the Galway Hospital's 'Poems for patience' competition
2016: Commended for the Iceland Writers Retreat alumni competition
2015: Shortlisted for the Over The Edge New Writer of the Year competition
2014: Shortlisted for the Free Wee Library bookmark competition! Featured twice in the Poetry For Spaces project. Long-listed in the Dermot Healy Memorial award.
2013: Shortlisted for the Hennessy Literary award; the Dead Good Poetry competition; long-listed for the Desmond O Grady and the Over The Edge competitions, and won third prize in the Red Line Book Festival
2012; Shortlisted for the Bradshaw Books manuscript competition.
2011: Winner of both the iYeats competition, and the Francis Ledwidge award. Also commended in the same iYeats for a second piece.
2010: Commended in a Leaf Books competition, and in 2009 commended in the Boyle Arts Festival competition.
Some recent publications:
Abridged - 2023, 2019, 2011
The Cormorant - 2022, 2020, 2019
Poet's Republic -2022, 2020, 2018
Autumn Leaves - 2021, 2020
The Ofi Press - 2020
One (Jacar Press) - 2020
Skylight47 - 2020, 2017, 2016, and 2014
Poethead - 2020, 2016
Culture Matters anthology - 2019
Fifth Estate (US) - 2019, 2016
The North, Irish issue - 2019
Roscommon Writer's Anthology - 2018
The Stony Thursday Book - 2018, 2015, 2013 and 2012
Bray Arts Journal - 2020, 2019, 2018
Poetry NZ - 2018, 2017, 2014
The Stinging Fly - 2018, 2016 and 2012
Ropes - 2018, 2016, 2014 and 2013
Stanzas chapbook - 2018
Poetry Ireland Pocket Poems -2017
Strokestown Poets Anthology -2017
Eat the Storms poetry podcast, for Poetry Day 2022
I was "Featured Poet International" for Muse-Pie Press (US) throughout 2016, and nominated by them for the Pushcart Prize and the Best Of The Net award.
My poem Hellsteeth is installed in the Hawkswell Theatre, Sligo, and is published as part of a book about WB Yeats: Yeats150.
Time Machine, which I wrote in response to Tom Meskell's solo art exhibition,was on display beside his paintings, in the Museum Of Country Life, Castlebar, Co Mayo, from January until May 2014, and also in Philadelphia for a day!
My pamphlets are mostly gone, but some copies of 'Pact' are available in the Una Bhan craft shop, Boyle, and Strokestown Park House gift shop.
IRISH TV: HERE (to see local TV coverage of booklaunch, in Ballaghaderreen library)