Tag Archives: Oisin McGann

Spring Newsletter, 2010


Newsletter, Spring 2010


irishpen.com.  Tel:  087-966 0770 email: info@irishpen.com  

Irish PEN acknowledges the ongoing support of The Arts Council and Dublin City Council’s Arts Office.




When we emerged out of hibernation from the early January snow, it was great to have such a range of social events lined up.

January went out with a memorable bang, with the Annual Irish PEN dinner and presentation of The Irish PEN Award for Literature 2010 to Brendan Kennelly held on Friday 29that the Royal St George Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire.   The magical tone of the evening was set by the glorious full moon, which bathed the harbour and moored yachts in a glorious light, and ever the poet, Brendan Kennelly commented on the beauty of the setting, as he made his way out from Trinity to join us. 

It wasn’t long before the room filled with well-wishers, colleagues and members, some of them old friends of Brendan’s.  To those of us privileged to be there, the note of sincerity in all the accolades was set when our Chair, Anne Le Marquand Hartigan, introduced Brendan and his achievements to the gathering in warm and affectionate terms.  Presenting the award, former TCD colleague and close friend, Senator David Norris was his usual effusive self and regaled us with tales of Brendan grading his essays, when the senator was an undergraduate and the poet his ‘prof’.  In his usual extraordinary and humble way, Brendan Kennelly expressed his delight at being honoured by Irish PENand then to everyone’s delight recited several poems from memory, some by Patrick Kavanagh, followed by lines of his own.  The hearty applause which ensued was prolonged and genuine and as several members commented, it was a ‘vintage’ evening, a privilege to share. 

See Photos on irishpen.com.

 In February,Our President, Brian Friel, saw his ‘Faith Healer’ back at the Gate and Edna O’Brien’s play ‘Haunted’ starring Brenda Blethyn, had a run at the Gaiety.  Friel fans won’t have long to wait until that theatre lifts the curtain on ‘Philadelphia Here I come’, directed by Dominic Dromgoole, which will run from March 9th – April 10th.

Down the road at the National Library, Kildare Street, novelist and elegant octogenarian, Jennifer Johnston co-launched the exhibition of the original Lifelines’ letters, to mark the 25th anniversary of the project.  The Library has purchased the collection and they make interesting reading.


‘Finding a Home for your Writing’ – our Associate Member night this year was held on February 11th   2010 in the United Arts Club.

Our expert panel included, Eoghan Corry, editor of Travel Extra and travel correspondent to the Pat Kenny Radio show, Aine Toner, editor of Woman’s Way, and Sue Leonard, freelance journalist and author.

An informative and interesting evening, this helped members, in very practical terms with regards to how to submit articles to both Eoghan and Aine.   From her experience as a journalist, Sue gave a realistic account from the other side of the submission process of how to find an idea, hone it, build business relationships and eventually get your pieces published.  The wide-ranging experience of our panellists made the road home for your writing seem that little bit straighter.


Observant members will have noticed that our website, irishpen.com, has undergone something of a facelift.  We are very keen to post information of interest to writers and members and keep it as live and up-to-date as possible.  Log on to see news of recent events.  Sincere thanks to Joe Armstrong for his work on the revamp.  The really sharp among you will have also noticed a changed email address.  The new address is: info@irishpen.com. Over the coming months, we hope to use this address exclusively.  For the purposes of database management, this is an impassioned plea to members to send us mail to our NEW address above, confirming their email, and postal addresses, marking the subject line ‘Full Member database’ or ‘Associate Member database’ as appropriate.  In this way, we hope to be able to communicate more effectively with you all.

Please remember to renew your membership as we depend on the support of our members.  Any outstanding memberships for 2010 may be paid by following the links on the website, irishpen.com.  

Full Membership: €40.00        Associate Membership: €30 .00

There is a PayPal facility available.




CONGRATULATIONS to Leland Bardwell on being the first recipient of

The Dede Korkut Literary Award’, from Turkish PEN for her collection of short stories ‘Different Kinds of Love’, translated into Turkish.


Sarah Webb’s ‘The Loving Kind’has recently been published by Pan & MacMillan (see irishpen.com.)  Marita Conlon-McKenna’s new book ‘Mother of the Bride’ about a big family Wedding was published on March 4th

‘City Pick’ Oxygen Books will feature Dublinlater this month with an introduction to the fifty writers, who bring Dublin to life by Orna Ross.  

Orna may also be found on The Creative Intelligence Blog. 


Patricia O’Reilly’s latest novel ‘A Type of Beauty, the story of Kathleen Newton (1854-1882)’ will be launched at Listowel Writers’ Week, 2010.

About the complications of love, it is set in Victorian era London, Agra and Paris.


Shelley Goodman’s extensive work ‘Volf Roitman: The Wizard of Madi’, a long illustrated biography of her late husband, Roitman, a novelist, playwright, cineaste and master sculptor, will be published by Red Swan Press in the USA and in Italian, by the University of Florence.



Dublin Book Festival: Over 40 free events, 100 writers and three days of fun for all the family, Dublin City Hall, March 6th– 8thwww.dublinbookfestival.com

Inkwell Workshop:  Writing for Children Workshop, facilitated by best-selling

authors Sarah Webb and Oisin McGann, March 20th, Fitzpatrick’s Castle Hotel, Killiney, Co Dublin.  9 – 4.30pm, includes lunch, writers’ tips information pack. €175.  For further information:  Contact Vanessa O’Loughlin at vol@esatclear.ie.