Kilkenny Poetry Broadsheet 2021 Publication

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The Kilkenny Arts Office are delighted to announce that the Poetry Broadsheet 2021 has now been published. The Poetry Broadsheet provides a platform for Kilkenny artists to publish their poetry amongst their peers in a very popular publication. 95 poems were submitted by 50 poets for consideration and this year’s editor, a poet and writer, Jessica Traynor selected 12 beautiful poems by 11 poets.

You can listen to all of the poems below, beautifully recited by local actors, Susie Lamb and Ger Cody. To get your own copy of the printed Broadsheet email


The Poems:

Midsummer Waning by Anne Mac Darby Beck

Anne Mac Darby-Beck was born into a working-class family in rural County Laois. She married a Kilkenny man in 1983 and moved to south Kilkenny.  She wrote extensively as a child but fell away from the practice in her late teens.  She joined a women’s study group which became the Bennettsbridge Writers’ Group.  With the encouragement of the group she began to write again.  She writes poems and short stories in her free time outside of work and home commitments.  Her poems and stories have been published in various anthologies and magazines in Ireland, Britain and the USA.  Recently her work has featured in the Culture Matters anthologies, From The Plough to the Stars and Children of the Nation.  She has several awards including a first place in Syllables Poetry Competition.

Lore by Breda Barrett

Breda Barrett is living in rural north Kilkenny. Reading and writing poetry has always been important to me as a way of exploring my environment.I strive to draw a picture with words to express our connection with nature and our interaction and place within it. Over the past few years I have attended poetry and creative-writing workshops organised by Kilkenny County Council.I have been previously shortlisted for the Broadsheet. I have found that the pandemic has given me time and opportunity to focus on writing.


Unframed by Breda Joyce

Breda Joyce’s poetry has been shortlisted in several competitions and her short collections have been highly commended for the Fool for Poetry Chapbook Breda’s poetry appears in such publications as Poems for Pandemia, The Honest Ulsterman, Kilkenny Broadsheet, Crannóg, Crossways, Skylight 47, Bangor Literary Journal, The Quarryman, The Galway Review, A New Ulster, Dodging the Rain, Tales from the Forest and The Waxed Lemon and has just been selected for The Best New British and Irish Poets Anthology 2019-2021. Her first collection Reshaping the Light has just been published by Chaffinch Press in 2021



Snagcheol by Carmel Cummins

Carmel Cummins  lives in Inistioge. She writes non-fiction and poetry in Irish and English. For the past seven years she has written mostly in Irish and her work has been published in the Irish language magazine Feasta and the Kilkenny Broadsheet.

Tá Carmel Cummins ag scríobh filíochta le seacht mbliana anuas.  Tá cónaí uirthi in Inis Tíog.  Tá a chuid dánta foilsithe san irisleabhar Feasta  agus sa Kilkenny Broadsheet. Taobh leis a cuid dánta, tá prós (neamhfhicsean) i mBéarla agus i nGaeilge scríofa aici.  Tá sí ina ball den ghrúpa scríbhneoireachta  in gCill Chainnigh agus bhí sí gniomhach i Meitheal na bPairceanna(Kilkenny Fieldnames Recording Project) freisin.


Winter Evening by Carmel Cummins

Teenage Morphosis by Janis Woodgate

Janis Woodgate has been involved in both drama and creative writing since the early 90s, when the Desart Hall on New Street provided a safe haven for young people seeking a creative space. This former concert hall became the birthplace of both Kilkenny Youth Theatre and the Kilkenny Young Writers groups, with Janis being a founding member of both. In 2007 she also became a founding member of The Barn Owl Players, and after a decade of treading the boards and being involved in all aspects of theatre, she has remained involved with the group; having recently written her monologue Heartspace (performed by Jim Carroll) for the first Zoom BOP! Production during the summer of 2020. Through Kilkenny Arts Office, she has availed of poetry and creative writing workshops. Janis has most recently devised and facilitated a Poetry Workshop for Beginners: A Time to Write Poetry; on behalf of Kilkenny Library Services. Janis continues to learn through reading and writing; and recognises the fundamental importance of the Creative Arts in society.

Hive Mind by Katelyn O’ Neill

Katelyn O’Neill, 21, studied Creative Writing with English and Philosophy at NUI Galway, and is now undertaking a Master’s in Publishing and Creative Writing at City, University of London. She has had work featured in The Stinging Fly and Burning Jade, and is working on a first collection.





Soul Soil Sister by Laura O’ Neill

Laura Joan O’Neill is an Irish musician, poet, priestess, muse and templar. A graduate of English literature and philosophy, her path the last eight years has taken her as far West and as far East as she could wander. She’s spent the last two years living and studying at Highden Temple, a modern day mystery school in the land of Aotearoa. She is here in service to the turning of the tides, the emergence of a new way of living on earth, and to the landing of temples and projects that support this transition we’re in. She lives in devotion to Love, the unknown, ordinary magic, shameless humanness, everyday creativity, and remembering connection to earth, purpose and each other. Find her work and offerings at / @thisisellowen

Spoon by Lori Moriarty

Lori Moriarty works for the Library service in Co. Laois and lives in North Kilkenny with her family. Her time working as a tour guide for the OPW and tutoring at UCD has given her a love of women’s history and material culture which she enjoys examining in her writing.






Social Smoker by Maeve Moran

Raised in Ireland, Maeve has spent the past three years in Durham, England, completing a BA in English Literature and Education Studies. She has been writing since she was a child, and grew up with the Rhymerag poetry group in Kilkenny, continuing the practice into university and beyond. Maeve’s work has most recently been published by Underwood Press. At the moment, her favourite poem may be Sylvia Plath’s Blackberrying, or Gerard Manley Hopkin’s Windhover, though Robert Frost and Louise Labé are enduring inspirations.



The Whole Idea Of A Swan by Noel Howley

Noel Howley originally from South Kilkenny now living in Waterford. Noel has been writing poetry since he was a teenager. In 2002 he was runner-up in the Cork Literary Review Manuscript Competition.  He was shortlisted for the Listowel Writer’s Week Poetry Collection Competition and commended in the Patrick Kavanagh Manuscript competition in 2011. His poems have appeared in various literary journals and broadsheets including the Kilkenny Broadsheet, The Waterford Review, Cork Literary Review, Revival Literary Journal and The Waxed Lemon. His poems have also appeared in the Colony and Silver Streams online journals. In 2019 his poem Clare Wedding Lore won the Waterford Poetry Prize. During the recent pandemic, his poems featured in Kilkenny County Council’s Poetry Phone initiative. He has read his work at various events including Cuirt International Festival of Literature in Galway, Kilkenny Arts Week, Limerick Writer’s Centre, Garter Lane Arts Center, Wexford Arts Centre, The Art Hand, Bonmahon and Tigh Filí, Cork as well as many local venues in the southeast and he is currently a member of Waterford Writers.

Besom Time by Willie-Joe Meally

Willie-Joe Meally, from Moneenroe, Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny, now living in Kilpatrick, Clogh. Married to Jane, he is a founder member of Clogh Writers (1995). Published at local, national and international level, Willie-Joe writes mainly poetry and short story. His work reflects a local theme, rooted in a mining heritage. One of his stories was adapted for a short film and was well received in Ireland and abroad. He was very involved in Clogh Writers’ organisation of three Culture Night events and welcomes visiting writers from near and far.

Willie-Joe says, “With the help of Clogh Writers, my writings saw daylight. I find it an amazing venture; I had the chance to hear other people’s writings, share their company at workshops and readings. I often travelled the length and breadth of the country to take part in a reading and I got to meet and know many good people along the way. It is always a joy to be commended or highly commended in a poetry competition or be published in local publications and selected for Kilkenny Poetry Broadsheet is always a highlight.  It’s a never ending process, there’s no retirement date; the longer you live, the better it gets.”


Jessica Traynor Editorial Statement

I became aware of Kilkenny’s proliferation of poetic talent early in my own career as a poet, while studying at UCD. A poet on my course was a Kilkenny native, and I remember her excitement at attending the launch of the broadsheet, and her hope that her work might one day be included. She showed me that year’s edition and I remember how lovely the notion of poetry in print in such a format seemed – the broadsheet format reminiscent of a newspaper in all its urgency and immediacy, the graphic design adding a beauty beyond the quotidian. Holding this tactile item, the thought of having my words included in such a publication felt greater than any prize. I think this still holds true for most aspiring writers; although we live so much of our lives online, the book as an object still enchants us. In the course of this difficult year, how many of us have longed to open the door of a bookshop and be enveloped in that new-book smell, to turn a page and feel the roughness of paper against our fingertips?

In terms of this very difficult year, I was intrigued to see how it might have impacted on the poems produced. Would the majority of the poems reflect on Coronavirus and its impact in a direct manner? Or would the poetic imagination escape the confines of our lockdown and bring the reader to farther shores? What I found in the poems submitted was intriguing; a deepening of attention, a journeying inwards to the world of family, domestic life and nature. So, traditional subject matters in many cases, but approached with a care and attention that only an enforced pause can give. There are poems here that shine a new light on tradition, that look at nature through a fresh lens, and that examine the minutiae of family life, either in the present moment or through memory. There are poems of formal and linguistic invention, of humour and of mourning. They speak volumes of a place and time, and I’m honoured to have been here, at this moment, to read and select them.

None of the above would be possible without the continued dedication of Mary Butler and Deirdre Southey at Kilkenny Arts Office, and Carol Ann Treacy’s wonderful design. And of course, none of it would be possible without the poets themselves, quietly and diligently cataloguing human experience for us. I could have filled the broadsheet three times over, such was the quality of this year’s submissions. And so, as we face into a welcome return to a faster-paced way of life, I’d like to take one final pause to salute the continued passion and creativity of all involved.

Jessica Traynor is a poet, dramaturg, librettist and creative writing teacher. Her debut collection, Liffey Swim (Dedalus Press, 2014), was shortlisted for the Strong/Shine Award. Her second collection, The Quick, was a 2019 Irish Times poetry choice. In 2019, she co-edited Correspondences: an anthology to call for an end to direct provision with actor Stephen Rea, bringing together asylum seekers in Ireland’s direct provision system with Irish writers. The book was a best-seller, with all proceeds going to MASI (Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland). She was also commissioned by Music for Galway to write an opera with composer Elaine Agnew for Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture. The resulting opera Paper Boat, will be performed in 2021.

Current projects include a commission from Offaly County Council and The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government to write a poetic history of the town of Banagher. The resulting pamphlet, A Place of Pointed Stones, is forthcoming in 2021.

Awards include the Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary, Hennessy New Irish Writer of the Year and the Listowel Poetry Prize. In 2016, she was named one of Poetry Ireland’s Rising Generation of poets. She is joint recipient of two commission awards from the Arts Council for 2021.

She has worked as Literary Manager of the Abbey Theatre and Deputy Museum Director of EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum. She is Poet in Residence at the Yeats Society, Sligo and a Creative Fellow of UCD.


To listen to Jessica Traynor speak to Martin Bridgeman at KCLR Radio please visit the following link;

The Way IT Is, Jessica Traynor on Kilkenny Poetry Broadsheet

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