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All About Books Verbal magazine is a publication of the Verbal Arts Centre distributed with the Belfast News, Derry Journal and Newsletter. It is also available online at www.verbalon.com/magazine/ Page 2


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Contents Editorial

04

Kevin Graham

23

Amanda Anastasi

05

Eoin McHugh

24

Abigail O’Brien

06

Jean James

26

Helena Nolan

07

Noelle Sullivan

27

Catherine Devlin

08

Joanna Karolini

28

David McLean

09

Kathleen McCracken

29

Mike Alexander

10

Eoin McHugh

30

Michelle O’Sullivan

11

David Mohan

31

Joanna Karolini

12

Patrick Hogan

32

Clare McCotter

13

Gill McEvoy

33

Frank C. Praeger

14

Alyson Hallett

34

Simon Perchik

15

Abigail O’Brien

35

Maria Campbell

16

Geraldine Mitchell

36

Lisa Malone

17

Xaviera Simmons

37

Lynda Tavakoli

18

Mike Alexander

38

Patrick Hogan

19

Xaviera Simmons

39

Paul Muldoon

20

Peter Goulding

40

Catherine Devlin

21

Contributers

41

J.J. Griffin

22

Cover Image: Catherine Devlin: No Use Crying (11 Jan), 2009 Abridged is a division of the Chancer Corporation 2010 No part of this publication may be reproduced without permission. Copyright remains with the authors and artists. Designed by Fiona O’Reilly at Verbal Media A division of the Verbal Arts Centre, Derry/Londonderry Tel: 028 71266946 verbalmedia.co.uk

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Abridged 0 – 21: Magnolia As the light lies on these white walls, this bed, these hands. I am nobody; I have nothing to do with explosions. I have given my name and my day-clothes up to the nurses And my history to the anesthetist and my body to surgeons

In Sylvia Plath’s poem ‘Tulips’, the speaker associates the colour white with an environment of numbness, sterility and non-feeling that circumvents the threat of the emotionally exposed alternative: the brightly coloured tulips. The patient (who has just suffered a miscarriage) occupies an anaesthetized plane of nonexistence in her hospital bed before the arrival of the red flowers. For the patient in Plath’s poem, the white walls symbolized the sacrifice of a psychic identity as a means of achieving a numb yet ‘safe’ existence. Fast forward to 2010 and the stark white walls of Plath’s hospital ward have been replaced by magnolia, a subtler hue that is designed to send out less manic messages to those left behind to stare and disencumber. Like Plath’s acquiescent vision of white in ‘Tulips’, magnolia has come to symbolise that same emotional sedation. Less invasive and easier to maintain than white, magnolia is now favoured by most health care practitioners as the colour of choice for waiting rooms and hospital wards. The wall you looked at while

waiting for the injection to numb your gums in the dentist will most likely be identical to the wall that you stared at in the oncology ward. The walls of the labour ward that formed that first tentative sky for the newborn match the pallor of retirement homes, yet drawing an altogether less hopeful sky for the dying and dispossessed. Beyond those magnolia walls lie our own metaphorical tulips, our spoonful of reality that we are never ready to swallow. Magnolia then, offers us a purgatorial space to stare into, a square foot of wall that has ‘nothing to do with explosions’. As we can see from this issue, magnolia and everything that it represents has somehow managed to unsettle us, affront and uproot us. Some see magnolia as the slip-road between here and beyond, the peripheral shade that lurks beyond the abyss. For others, magnolia is the colour of nostalgia, teetering on becoming sepia-tainted but still too fresh and too recent. A few even find its everydayness beautiful. Next Abridged 0 – 22: Nostalgia is a Loaded Gun….

…Finland Red, Egypt White, Ireland Magnolia… abridged is Maria Campbell (Editor) & Gregory McCartney (Project Coordinator) no part of this publication may be reproduced without permission copyright remains with authors/artists abridged is a division of The Chancer Corporation c/o Verbal Arts Centre, Stable Lane and Mall Wall, Bishop Street Within, Derry - Londonderry BT48 6PU Telephone 028 71266946 Email abridged@ymail.com

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Peripheries your hours are painted in magnolia: neither colour nor full white, the docile hue of peripheries watching that rare other offend and delight and dislodge monuments in the scarlet occupation of living: sounding the new phrase of the unfinished symphony with an unlikely modulation, a tempo of unfamiliar swiftness you reject both protagonist and antagonist for the background extra, the affable sport of spectators with each decline and averted clash you fade from the foreground into these unflowered walls the remnants of your possibility are in the stammer of your sigh and the strumming of your restful hand you move in cloaks and sheathes in a stalwart walking sleep - alive but not fully inhaling

Amanda Anastasi

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Abigail O’Brien, Again (2010)


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A Question of Colours  

This blossom does not know Her given name, So tentative, almost The absence of colour, Translucent, a fragile cup, Hidden and closed all Winter. This Spring the family tree Holds up its arms Filled with a bouquet, So delicate, so sensitive Even the air threatens it; One day is full with blooms, Tender as unborn skin, The next day, barren. Things change; you know Where colours come from now But where do they go to When they fall?

Helena Nolan

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i miss the gray dead i miss the gray dead and their blind eyes i never saw as i become this ancient nostalgia for absences and nightmares i never knew, like moonlight on a rusty sword and leaves falling like babies being born, bored already before they too fall and come to us, their entire nothing detotalized as is this were not only life, time and the void, the lack a man is. so i miss the gray dead who might have listened, who would do, unless they were living

David McLean

Opposite: Catherine Devlin, No Use Crying (Jan 12), 2009

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Hunchback I read a clandestine book in church, a book by Victor Hugo. The pages flicker like torches in the street, a street circus. Paris shows its unsavory nocturnal lusts in the shadow of the watchtower of Notre Dame. To love & to be loved

We freaks have read that book, watched our faces contorting in the three-ring circus mirror of time, our hopes like gas lamps flicker. But in this book, Hugo’s best-beloved, the gargoyles on the spires of the church are less unholy, sempinocturnal,

in return, to descend on your beloved, to barricade her in a gothic church & yell “sanctuary” from the watchtower, to see the last light of life flicker out in her eyes. Death is the nocturnal author of this imaginary circus.

than the desires of man, our nocturnal abominations, which as we watch, tower above the splintered defenses of the church, above the gallows & the daily circus. By dawn, we’ve murdered our beloved catechism, the soul’s last desperate flicker.

But for death, I’d have been a circus freak, a mere deformity, best-beloved by the marks who’d make their nocturnal pilgrimages to my cage, as to a church, & I would bless them with a flicker of my tongue, perform my watched hour.

I hear the pews creak, the rasping flicker of hymnals, here in the false nocturnal halflight, where the Bridegroom, the Beloved, for whom the crucifix is a gallows-watchtower, commands us to run away & join the circus, rather than spend another day in church — I close my book on the beloved circus. I close my book on the nocturnal church. & leap from the flickering watchtower.

Mike Alexander

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Mirrored in the Keyhole are two jars of buttons upside down and a prescription of furniture that won’t be remembered, ribbons of magnolia hanging floor to ceiling and a shiver of moths hungering for untapped lighta reflection is cast of a human face caught in the windows glare, blank eyes staring, the fuse in the iris wavering vacancy / no vacancy here. Michelle O’Sullivan

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Joanna Karolini, LamaGoI, (2010)


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Magnolia View Name of the back lounge in a back ward in the dark green grounds of a redbrick asylum. Here the feeders sit in a line of ones and twos as we their keepers administer liquidised life. Plastic spoons loaded from plastic bowls. Soft diets to prevent choking. Washed down with fluids thickened to sludge sliding interminable from plastic nipples on lidded beakers. Long since any of these men held cutlery took a step or said a word. Disease mangling mind stripping body back to bone and thinnest skin. Where Adam’s apples bob on reaching half-shaved scaldy necks. Sleep still in the corners of eyes at noon as the dinner trolley trundles to a stop. From the nest of a kirton chair a face once grazed by white willow fingers with fuchsia gleaming nails. Now a gaping beak. Outside the great bay window in the emerald heart of a perfect oval Magnolia Soulangeana, the saucer tree. Heavenly hybrid your first precocious flowering in the forge of a Frenchman’s hands. This mature specimen a tapestry of intoxication. Before widening to cup and salver each blossom a goblet of snow and porphyry. Close by this scene a row of patients face magnolia view. A wall painted and repainted forty shades of cream.

Clare McCotter

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Unconstrained In or Out of Season Dehydrated, deloused, then, less than before. Water trickling through impurities, edges blurring, phantoms reappearing, a trapezoidal illusion. Those blue shadows, white curtains that the wind blows about and the least aperture sparkling in a crystalline coda of nostalgia and unforgettables as the wind, cold, and snow can render one out of season, conscious of honeysuckle, buttercup, even, a bumble bee, even, an elapsed valediction, and one truncated memory of a day before any other, of a yes and, then, a no, a chickadee forwarding itself, and that robin’s swagger, that partially hidden worm that may or may not be devoured what light lights in its indifference. The magistrate of tomorrow’s griefs, always capricious, always irresolute, chattily lascivious today as he well might have been yesterday ignores chintzy silverware replaced by even chintzier, by reconstructed Mobius strips, and how much longer discordant discontinuities, unlikely linkages, unlabelable poetry, or how much longer this runny nosed, irreverent me adamant, at least, for a while, on being. Frank C. Praeger

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* I still bite the burnt cork and under the waxed lipstick --with my teeth still peel from this candy bar its baggy wig, its Harrison Street Godwin street --I know their names why can’t they remember mine. They mistake me for the kid whose breath left watermarks whose floppy shoe was never found though month under month as every new calendar is searched. I begin each year unwrapping. October waiting inside even in the rain --nine pages crumpled :Spring and Summer, what’s left from Winter and the Fall --October still sweetened, bathed in almonds and crinkling paper :the mask hugged till I become that oversized moon swollen from fruit and house to house that kid behind each door as every month after will be worth holding, will pass from stranger to stranger ringing and remembered. Simon Perchik

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Morden via Bank Inside the corrugated bowel of this iron earthworm I grow smaller at the hems of ladies’ tweed skirts. The acidic juices of their perfume sluice the carriage. These half digested people sway in muted abhorrence, Every ankle brush, every finger tip touch bristles As they fight for their square foot of peopled linoleum. Inside this rubick’s cube of commuters, there is a warmth A heat that emanates out of the proximity of strangers. You cannot trust this warmth, you cannot be lulled It is the recycled rotten breath of this chortling tube, Shoving slumped commuters along production lines, Delivering them into the cold, wet mouth of London. The doors snap open and they spill out like rank entrails Onto the fading yellow line that marks the boundary, Between the secret world of the soot covered tracks And their eventual deliverance into clammy daylight. As they are spat onto the banks of Regent’s Canal A pace develops and they devour the air like newborns. Maria Campbell

Opposite: Lisa Malone, All Along: hand worked steel etching on Somerset paper, plate size 56 x 47cm (2010)

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Shooting Pigeons You walked up from the shore A dog at your heels And suit pockets spilling nettles With the sea-spit dully freckled In your hair I stood and watched you go Wanting to pass the time of day But seeing in your eyes the ghosts of yesteryear That were no stranger’s business So I let you be.

They said you’d lost a son at sea A decade gone And how your sanity was slowly filched away With every tide That failed to fetch him home But still you walked the shore In funeral suit of faded blue Picking nettles from the cracks Amongst the sanded rocks On every day but one.

The man who shot pigeons on a Sunday I was told In empty warehouse space Where oddities went unremarked And open rafters’ Death-bleached tones of white Were spattered scarlet While a church bell tolled And your quiet madness Seeped into those wicker-whitened walls.

I hear that someone found you Stiff and cold A dead dog at your feet Amongst the feathered Sea spray of a Sunday afternoon Your pockets finally spilled With flaccid blooms Of sweet magnolia Their numbing scent The ghost you’d finally put to rest.

Lynda Tavakoli

Opposite: Patrick Hogan, Living Alone Together 2, (2010)

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Honey Our plane takes hill upon hill long since cleared of pines. The flash of matching lakelets. Weather and more weather. The co-pilot points to at least one benefit of cutting pines for warship-keels, namely how the heather that pits itself against an old saw pit and fills in the great gash of a logging road also sustains our friends the honeybees.

The coroner at the scene of the crash found the seams of Buddy Holly’s jacket of yellow faux leather “split almost full-length” and his skull also “split.” Buddy’s personal effects amounted to a pair of cufflinks together with the top of a ballpoint pen and, still within his remit, the $193.00 in cash from which the coroner deducted $11.65 in fees.

Paul Muldoon

Opposite: Catherine Devlin, No Use Crying (Jan 13), 2009

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Background Noise  Buonorotti told Condivi with the arrogant spitefulness of an old man focused on his legacy; “I learned nothing from him; He taught me nothing”. Pentimenti vigorously and childishly transformed into quindeleu. He had bullied technique to new plateaux from which expression could see uninterrupted across the now conquered mountain ranges of present possibility. And because of this and only because of this he was forgiven and adored. Embraced, like an inverted Topol, by faded starlets in hotel lifts. Kissed and called a hero. Enmeshed in strict invite only events where the audience was made up of former Middle Eastern rulers. This didn’t change anything. There was a time before now. Regardless of Condivi he was more than the flat, stiff backed, single perspective creation he tried to carve and display. “He was more; much, much more isn’t that right Sebastiano?”   J.J. Griffin

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Stream Notes sear the accustomed silence. Through the smeared glass two birds dance before a stretch of exhausted sky, one dipping, full of song, the other a splash of shadow behind. Its mute throat carries longing and, with it, all that skims the kissed air. Below, a man shakes his head from among the clamour of bluebells and offers his face up like a bud to the sun’s last strokes. His finger prays and traces an expert scribble, mapping each bend with blind eyes. Through the dark flames he pins the faintest seam of evening light. What this sketches is unimaginable

Kevin Graham

Centrepiece: Eoin McHugh, Silence, Oil on Canvas, 40cm x 50cm, (2009)

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Under Magnolia Skin A patina of pale silk licks the old walls skeining catching the sun’s last rays birth cawl dreaming memory membrane cradling. A whitewash to cover sin with hasty strokes gauzing stretching over insults etched into rough stone each word cut carefully suppurating. A bandage of sweet flowers dead petals fall glazing sealing marble tombstones over the past bearing faint barbs bleeding under magnolia skin.

Jean James

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Boney Creek The house had stood a hundred years before I walked; soft fingertips drew rouge from the coarse bricks like spit and blood. Bay windows in shards, the family had gone and nothing, for a long while, took notice of the place. Then the modular moved in and bricks fell row by row. They’d thought to sell them for vintage, too late-no hearths rise these days; the market’s done so only pallets hold lost skin. Exfoliated corners sun as the skeleton stands, bones to air, mere weeds propping its hipped roof, grass net. The shed will not last: already it shrugs. My father disagreed when I said, “One day our towns will be ghosts.” But I see it. The shiplap school near the rocks is gone; a potato cellar sinks along the muddy river to a great trench of wet snails and caves, grassy slides, a smelter’s ruin. Is it rising or falling, that wind of culture? It sings in the eaves. In my youth I dreamed of home, seven rentals in seven years, more to follow. They rise like mansions in sweat dreams. I’ve no house yet, though cells build worlds daily in my veins. My heart’s abeat but I’ve no soft beds for my small children, no walls against a cutting wind. My hand is perpetually rough, thin-chapped where bones show through its melanin and nap. There’s no need to wonder what hard times will bring.

Noelle Sullivan

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Joanna Karolini, Aamling, (2010)


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Magnolia after Wilhelm List In her mother’s house were many rooms each one a blossom on the blue branch of hall whose cambered stairs she climbed at night with candles and in the morning came down kitted out for school or chores or quarterly the passenger train to Toronto. Summers there were boys up from the city hired on to thresh and mow the hundred acres of her father’s farm. One of them, Bill North from Willowdale, had charm and courtesy to burn. He bought and planted waterside the holy tree while she sketched out his wrangler’s lope in charcoal and in ecru ink.

In her mother’s arms a spring lamb delivered there the same day as the petals crowded out the pond, each one a whited boat cut loose by cold May northerlies not snow but a sly simulacrum resembling in their whips and flurries the fallout over Europe when Bill at the ball turret got himself shot down, or yet again the ruffles on her firstborn daughter’s cot neither pink nor blue nor compromise but the shrewd magnolia tints remarked upon by visitors to vacant rooms with unlatched doors.

Kathleen McCracken And her mother in the kitchen peeled and pared and braised and boiled and called up the daring colours she would paint the rooms – her husband’s den, the water closet her own next to her daughter’s each with an orchard view.

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Eoin McHugh, Untitled, Watercolour on Paper, 31cm x 40cm, 2008-09


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Cornice I took instruction. Look up at the ceiling. The expanse of it was plain and painted cream. But the cornice had interest, looked extravagant. The cornice was a world I hadn’t seen. It would take just another moment. Enough to watch the moulding crack, or wonder how the crack spread out, or what that world of plaster meant. My hand’s not my own in this dim light. Its fingers clench at the edge of the bed. My body’s a stone, my hand gone dead, my eyes locked to the ceiling. And to the picture frame of the cornice with its sad, blank lines I’d never dreamt.

David Mohan

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Snow Gift Late again; late because a bird was locked in ice at the water’s edge, late because I’d found a stone and hacked until I’d hauled the creature free then staggered home with it, clutching in my small thin arms that stiff magnolia of swan. I watched in silence as my name was entered in the unforgiving book. Back home a glittering gift of snow thawed gently in a box of straw.

Gill McEvoy

Patrick Hogan, Living Alone Together 1 (2010)

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Moving On I know we dug a hole. It wasn’t deep, it was early morning and there was my father’s voice in my ear. I’d just woken up. Everything was wrong: the room was inside the curtains but I was still in a field of cowslips and purple umbrellas debating fried eggs with blades of grass. Don’t be upset, he said, Cottontail’s dead. I don’t know if we wrapped her or if we laid her straight in a box. My father worked in a shoe factory and everything was about shoes, even my rabbit’s coffin. We lowered her into a hole under the magnolia tree. I built a cross with sticks and cellotape but we didn’t pray. I went to school my father went to work worms came to eat my rabbit. And my rabbit threaded herself piece by piece out through the sides of her cardboard house and into the roots of the tree. Rose in sap, climbed into leaves and dreamed herself in stamens and petals.

Alyson Hallett

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Abigail O’Brien, Mantras, (2010)


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Flotilla ‘Heaven Scent’ Magnolia They tack in, full rig, under cover of darkness, dock before dawn in cement-paved ports at wharves of picket fence. The voyage has been long through winter’s bald estates, gusting grit and dust have shred their sails to votive rags, bound now to every leafless branch. Waxen petals blood-tinged white glow like manna at first light.

Geraldine Mitchell

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Xaviera Simmons, One Day and Back Then (Standing), colour photograph, 30Ă—40 inches, (2007) Courtesy of the artist


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Seeing the Forest Imagine there’s a standing grove of trees each reaching for a corner of the sky-each learning what they can from those nearby, magnolias, cedars, pines, mahoganies. An internet of mockingbirds & bees communicates between, by ear & eye. The only rule is seek the light or die. What doesn’t grow toward sunlight atrophies. Imagine there’s a parasitic moss or kudzu which on bark & branches gnaws, until it’s taken everything it needs. It silences the woods it comes across & weeps no sap to eulogize the loss. Imagine, then, the poetry of weeds.

Mike Alexander

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Xaviera Simmons, One Day and Back Then (Sitting), colour photograph, 30×40 inches, (2007) Courtesy of the artist


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In praise of Magnolia Apparently, magnolia Induces melancholia – The Coldplay of the paint charts, I’ve been told. Uninspired and unappealing From the carpet to the ceiling, The colour that makes Autumn Bisque seem bold.

Lemonade, drunk from the bottle, Isn’t fun, said Aristotle, But mixes well with more exciting tipples. And there’s nothing more unholier Than a roomful of magnolia, But complementing, it can well cause ripples.

Incontrovertibly, it’s bland With a lack of stature and In the bedroom, say, it mightn’t be effectual, Where velvet blues and scarlets Conjure thoughts of whores and harlots And work better if you’re somewhat hypersexual.

So don’t get vitriolic When you spy my walls magnolic, See the total picture and then savour it. Besides, it’s often cheaper Than most colours that are deeper – And that’s another reason it’s my favourite.

But magnolia is great When you’re planning to create A two-tone décor in front room or kitchen. Magnolia and navy, When you’re serving up the gravy, Creates an atmosphere that’s quite bewitchin’ As a secondary colour, It won’t make the room seem duller, But rather takes a role that’s more subjective. With an apple-blossom green Or a daring tangerine, Magnolia is always most effective.

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Peter Goulding


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Contributors Mike Alexander has recently appeared in River Styx, Raintown Review, Other Poetry, Measure, & Arkansas Review, among others. His newest chapbook, We Internet in Different Voices, is available through EXOT books. He moderates an on-line sonnet workshop at thesonnetboard.yuku.com. Amanda Anastasi has a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing and Literature from Deakin University Australia, and was the 2010 winner of the Seagull Poetry Prize. She was shortlisted in the 2009 Page Seventeen Poetry Competition and has been published in the literary magazines Poetrix, Stylus, Pendulum, Assegai, Positive Words and Culturalista. Her poems can also be found in the anthologies Short & Twisted and the Central Coast Poets’ Close Up & Far Away. Catherine Devlin is a photographic artist based in Belfast. She graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 2001 and is currently completing a PhD at the University of Ulster, Belfast. Focusing primarily on the built environment, her practise is concerned with the innate aloneness of the psyche in a bustling overcrowded world. Peter Goulding, primarily a humorous poet, coedits a football poetry website, writes the Arts pages and a Musings column for Dublin 15’s Community Voice newspaper, follows Shelbourne FC, blogs on lighthouses and his book of humorous verse, A Flash of Orange, came out in 2009. Despite this, he has no practical talents whatsoever. Kevin Graham has had work appear in Poetry Ireland Review, Magma, The Stinging Fly, Revival, Crannóg and other magazines. He lives and works in Dublin. Alyson Hallet has just successfully completed a practice-based PhD in poetry. From September she will be poet-in-residence in Exeter University’s geography department on the Tremough Campus, Falmouth. For further details of her published work and public art please visit www.thestonelibrary.com

Patrick Hogan is an Irish photographer and artist based in County Tipperary. He is one of the ‘Top 25 Artists’ at the Winter Solo Show, 3rd Ward Gallery in New York this year, and has recently been selected to take part in the ‘Exposure Project’ in New York in 2011. He published his first photographic book in 2010 and is exhibiting nationally and internationally throughout 2010 and 2011. Jean James was born in Portadown, Northern Ireland, and studied at Queen’s University, Belfast. Jean currently lives in Swansea, South Wales. She has had a long and fulfilling teaching career during which she has taught a wide range of both subjects and pupils. Now semi-retired she has joined a creative writing group and is beginning to write both poetry and short stories. She finds that her Irish roots and her experiences there have provided a fertile field for inspiration. Joanna Karolini, b.1978 in Poland, raised in Denmark, is an associate lecturer of photography and practicing artist based in Belfast. Her practice evolves around context, space and situation; creating site specific installations and the necessary to make sense of marginality and the un-noticed. Using a particular range of methods, materials and media, she believes in life, health and the realities of the world we live in, rather than those situated in a world beyond. Sitespecific works, including solo exhibitions; Unprivileged Highs and Lows PS2, Belfast Feb-March 2010; To All the Local Nymphs Rimske Toplice, Celje, Slovenia 2007; The Bath is Hot Catalyst Art Gallery, Belfast 2007; He Never Gave the Ceiling an Unnecessary Glance, Process Room, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin 2006; In Return The Return Gallery, Goethe Institut, Dublin 2005; Fuseli’s Room Ulster Museum, Belfast 2004; Turkish Bath Victoria Baths, Manchester 2000. Lisa Malone works at Flaxart studios, Belfast, exploring and experimenting with her practice. Malone’s work is a playful comment on human nature, suggestive rather than literal, and allows a multitude of readings using print, sculpture and kinetic elements. She has been awarded Arts Council of Northern Ireland funding,

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including the New York Residency in 2009. Most recent exhibitions include Metronome, at the Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast 2010 and We’re All The Same Now a site specific installation at the Crumlin Rd Gaol, 2009. Exhibitions include Art Takes to the Street, Grupo Forja, Valencia, Spain, Lounge, Gerin-Lajoie, Banff, Canada, Diverse Realities, Martha St. Studio, Winnepeg, Canada, Revolving Ambiguity, The Grove Gallery, Downpatrick and Art in Evolution, Espacio Carmen, Valencia, Spain. Clare McCotter’s haiku have been published in the leading haiku journals in Ireland, Britain, Canada, the United States, India and Australia. Her tanka and haibun have also been published in international journals. In 2005 she was awarded a doctoral degree from the University of Ulster. She has published numerous peer-reviewed articles on Beatrice Grimshaw’s travel writing and fiction. She was runner-up in the Leaf Book International Poetry Competition 2008. Kathleen McCracken is the author of seven collections of poetry including Blue Light, Bay and College (Penumbra Press, 1991), which was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for Poetry in 1992, A Geography of Souls (Thistledown Press, 2002), Moonclaves (Exile Editions, 2007) and Tattoo Land (Exile Editions, 2009). She has been the recipient of the University of Toronto Review’s Editor’s Choice Award for Poetry (1985) and the Anne Szumigalski Editor’s Prize (2002), and has held several Ontario Arts Council Writers’ Grants. She was runnerup in the National Poetry Contest (1998) and shortlisted for the Canadian Poetry Chapbook Competition (1999). Her poems have been published in The Malahat Review, Poetry Canada Review, Exile Quarterly, Poetry Ireland, New Orleans Review and Grain, and she has given readings in Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States. Gill McEvoy is the author of two pamphlets: Uncertain days and A Sampler, (Happenstance Press). A full collection The Plucking Shed is due out from Cinnamon Press July 2010. In Ireland her work has been published in the Stony Thursday book and THE SHOp. Eoin McHugh was born in 1977 in Dublin, where he currently lives and works. He won the CAP Foundation Award in 2005, an EV+A Purchase Award in 2006, and was short-listed for the AIB Prize in 2008. He has received visual arts bursaries from the Irish Arts Council, Dublin City Council and South Dublin County Council. He has

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work in numerous private and public collections worldwide, including, the Fondation Magritte, Belgium, and the National Drawing Collection, Limerick City Gallery of Art, Ireland. Recent Exhibitions include: Rendez Vous, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China, ‘08; Phoenix Park, Kerlin Gallery, Dublin, Ireland ‘08; Don’t Box me in, Galeria Leme, San Paolo, Brazil, ‘08; Eoin Mc Hugh, Centre d’art Contemporain, Chateau des Adhemar, Montelimar, France, ‘07; Rendez Vous, Ecole Nationale Des Beaux Arts de Lyon, Lyon, France, ‘07; Rapid Eye Movement, Temple Bar Gallery & Studios, Dublin, Ireland, ‘08; EV+A 2006 - give (a) way, Bourn Vincent Gallery, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland , ‘06; Precaution, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland, ‘06. David McLean is Welsh but has lived in Sweden since 1987. He has a BA in History from Oxford, and an unconnected MA in Philosophy, much later, from Stockholm. Up to date details of McLean’s publications, over 950 poems in print and online zines over the past three years, and several available books and chapbooks, including three print full lengths, some print chapbooks and a free electronic chapbook are at his blog at http://mourningabortion.blogspot.com. His latest full length laughing at funerals from epic rites press is available via Small Press Distribution http://www.spdbooks.org/Producte/9780981184456/ laughing-at-funerals.aspx?rf=1 Geraldine Mitchell now lives near Louisburgh, Co. Mayo. Her poems have been widely published in journals and online. She is also the author of two novels for young people and a biography. She won Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award in 2008. David Mohan is based in Dublin and writes poetry and short stories. His poetry has been published in The Sunday Tribune, The Stony Thursday Book, and Revival. He has also won numerous poetry awards including the Hennessy/Sunday Tribune Poetry Award, as well as the 2008 overall New Irish Writer Award. He was chosen to participate in the 2010 Poetry Ireland Introductions Series. Paul Muldoon was born in County Armagh but has lived for many years in New Jersey, His new collection, Maggot, is due in October from Faber and Faber.


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Helena Nolan is based in Shankill, County Dublin, with an MA in Creative Writing from UCD (2008) and her poems and short stories have appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines including; The Stinging Fly, Let’s Be Alone Together, All Good Things Begin, Anthology Baby and Ten Pint Ted. She is on the shortlist for this year’s Strokestown International Poetry Prize. Abigail O’Brien has won many awards for her work and her work is represented in both private and public collections, including The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, The European Central Bank, Frankfurt, Goldman Sachs, London, The Caldic Collection, Rotterdam and the Volpinum Collection, Vienna. She has shown extensively, including Haus Der Kunst, Munich, The Gemeentemuseum, Holland, and Centro National des Artes, Mexico. Born in 1957, she received a first class honours BA Fine Art Painting in 1995 and an MA Fine Art Painting in 1998, from The National College of Art and Design, Dublin. She lives and works in Dublin. Michelle O’Sullivan, BA & MA in Literature, lives on the west coast of Ireland. Her work has been published in numerous journals such as: The Shop, Poetry Ireland Review, The Sunday Tribune, Cyphers, Southword, Crannog, Revival, The London Magazine, The Interpreters House, Agenda, Stand Magazine, Poetry Salzburg Review, Equinox, Iota, Mslexia, PN Review, Obsessed with Pipework, Brittle Star, Poetry Nottingham, Quattrocento, Rain Dog, HQ Quarterly, Dream Catcher, The Antigonish Review, Mobius, The Southern Indiana Review and various anthologies. She was shortlisted for the Cinnamon Press Poetry Collection Competition, was published in the 2007 Anthology, Shape Shifting, took part in Windows Publications Introduction Series 2008, and was selected for the Poetry Ireland Introduction Series 2008. She was nominated for Hennessey award in April of last year and is currently working on two different collections of poetry and a collection of short fiction. Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The New Yorker and elsewhere. For more information, including his essay Magic, Illusion and Other Realities and a complete bibliography, please visit his website at www. simonperchik.com.

Frank C. Praeger is a retired research biologist who has had poetry published in both the USA and the UK. Xaviera Simmons produces photographic, audio, performative, sculptural and video works. She completed a BFA in Photography from Bard College (2004), after spending two years of walking pilgrimage retracing the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade. Simmons has participated in exhibitions at The Studio Museum In Harlem, Zacheta National Art Gallery (Poland), The Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum and The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, among others. Simmons has participated in numerous artist residencies including Light Work (Syracuse) and Art Omi (Ghent, NY). In 2009 Xaviera was awarded an Art Matters Fellowship and had exhibitions at; Foto Festival, Heidelberg, Upcoming in 2010, Simmons will produce photographic, sound, performance and sculptural works in conjunction with Moma PS.1 (Greater NY), The Guggenheim Museum, The Studio Museum, The Goethe Institute amongst others. Noelle Sullivan dreams of Ireland as she writes from the wilds of Montana. She’s written two small books about the history of the American West, and her poems and essays have appeared in Crannóg, Boyne Berries, Puerto del Sol, Poetry Northwest, The Bloomsbury Review, and other journals. Lynda Tavakoli (b. Portadown, 1955) is a teacher of creative writing based in Lisburn. Lynda published her first novel, Attachment in 2008 but she has been equally at ease writing poetry, fiction and non-fiction in the form of travel articles specifically about Iran. Her literary successes include RTE Sunday Miscellany, Listowel and regular broadcasts on the BBC Radio Ulster, reading her work. Most recently she has won the Mencap Getting It Right Short Story Competition 2010 and was short-listed for the Plough Poetry Prize.

ABRIDGED STAFF Maria Campbell divides her time between the kitchen and the living room, enjoying the lull of post-PhD life and using poetry to staff off the urge to find gainful employment. Gregory McCartney is still mooching around the centuries and contemplating a stay in the Twenty-First. Meanwhile is in the midst of devising numerous world domination enterprises.

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Abridged 0 - 21: Magnolia