Participating Poets

LabeLLit 2019 /  PoetryM’app


V19A5139.jpgProject creator/leader Maria McManus lives in Belfast. The author of Available Light(Arlen House, 2018), We are Bone (2013), The Cello Suites (2009) and Reading the Dog (2006) (Lagan Press), she has collaborated extensively with others to put literature into public space. She is Artistic Director and curator of Poetry Jukebox.


Project facilitator Una Lee is an artist  in perpetual pursuit of found sound and ways for alternative storytelling. She sings, narrates, writes and tells stories, improvises, collects field recordings and makes graphic artworks. She is based in based in Belfast.



Participating Poets

Abby Oliveira
is a cross-genre, independent artist whose work mainly focuses on writing and performance; be it in the form of spoken-word poetry, playwriting, lyric writing, storytelling or acting.  Her work is concerned with the bloody weird nature of the millenium zeitgeist.  She was borne into proper adulthood on the day of Sept 11th 2001.  Her entire life as an adult, as well as that of her entire generation, has known nothing but the destruction and rewriting of all the rules and traditions: how that is manifesting in humanity and how we’re dealing with the weird new world obsesses her, she ain’t gonna lie. She has brought her work to Australia & New Zealand (with the support of Arts Council NI) and was invited to Singapore Writer’s festival in 2017 as a featured writer/performer.

Afric McGlinchey
is the author of two collections of poetry, and most recently a chapbook titled Invisible Insane, forthcoming this summer from SurVision. Recent poems appear in New Contrast and The North. She is currently working on a prose-poetry, coming-of-age memoir, for which she received an Arts Council bursary. Born in Ireland, raised in Zimbabwe, Afric migrates between the two countries.

Ali Whitelock
is a Scottish poet and writer living on the south coast of Sydney with her French chain-smoking husband. Her debut poetry collection, ‘and my heart crumples like a coke can’ is published by Wakefield Press and her memoir, ‘Poking seaweed with a stick and running away from the smell’ was launched to critical acclaim in Australia and the UK in 2010. Her poems have appeared in The Moth Magazine, The Pittsburgh Quarterly Magazine, The Tahoma Literary Review, The American Journal of Poetry and many others. Later this year she will be reading at The Edinburgh Fringe and other events throughout Scotland and Ireland. Her next poetry collection, ‘in the silence of the custard’ will be published by Wakefield Press in November 2019. She is currently working on a third collection of poetry (as yet unnamed), a second memoir, and a weird little collection of letters to Neil Diamond called, (rather unimaginatively) ‘letters to neil’.

Anne Casey
A journalist/editor, media/communications director and legal author for 25+ years, Anne Casey is author ofwhere the lost things go (Salmon Poetry 2017, 2nd ed 2018) and out of emptied cups (forthcoming from Salmon Poetry in July 2019)She is Senior Poetry Editor of Swinburne University’s two literary journals and has won/shortlisted for poetry awards in Ireland, the USA, the UK, Canada and Australia. Poems inThe Irish TimesEntropyaptMurmur HouseQuiddity, The IncubatorThe Honest UlstermanStony Thursday BookInto the VoidAutonomy anthology, Cordite, FourXFour and Burning House Press, among others.

Bee Smith
facilitates Word Alchemy Creative Writing Workshops in West Cavan and is on the Irish Art Council’s Writers in Prisons panel. Her articles can be found widely across the blogosphere. She is the author of “Brigid’s Way: Celtic Reflections on the Divine Feminine” available as an ebook on Amazon.

Bebe Ashley

Brian McCarthy

Catherine Ann Cullen
is an award-winning poet, children’s writer and songwriter, and recipient of a prestigious Kavanagh Fellowship 2018/19. She has written three poetry collections, The Other Now: New & Selected Poems (Dedalus 2016), Strange Familiar (Doghouse 2013) and A Bone in My Throat (Doghouse 2007). She was joint winner of the Joyce-Cycle Poetry Competition 2019 and won the Camac Song Competition 2018 and the Francis Ledwidge Poetry Award in 2016 and 2009. She has been awarded bursaries from the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon, the Docklands Arts Fund and the Irish Writers Centre. She is writer on the Trinity Access Bookmarks project and A&L Goodbody writer in residence at St Joseph’s School, East Wall (2016-19), for which she won the B2A Award for Best Use of Creativity in the Community. Her latest book, All Better!, (Little Island, 2019), poems for children about illness and recovery, is reimagined from the Latvian of Inese Landere. Her other children’s books, Thirsty Baby (2003) and the gold-award-winning The Magical, Mystical, Marvelous Coat (2001), were published by Little, Brown in the US. Her song-writing projects have included Street Songs and Sea Shanties for the 21st Century with musician Imogen Gunner, and the rebel cabarets Eastrogen Rising (2016) and Revolting Women (2018/19) for the Five Lamps and the Dublin Gay Theatre Festivals. Her PhD in Creative Writing (Middlesex 2017) focussed on ballads and children’s songs. See:

Chandrika Narayanan – Mohan
is an arts manager and writer from India, living in Dublin. She has been featured on The Moth and Mortified, with work aired on NPR and Irish radio. In 2011 she was a participant in the Irish Writers Centre’s XBorders: Accord programme. By day Chandrika works at Fishamble: The New Play Company.

Csilla Toldy
was born in Budapest. Her poetry, short fiction and essays appeared in numerous literary magazines and e-zines, like Southword, The Black Mountain Review, Snakeskin, Ink Sweat and Tears, Sixteen Magazine, Crannog, The Honest Ulsterman, A New Ulster, Lagan Online, Haibun Today and Ploughshares. A short story collection with the title Coming Home is forthcoming with Stupor Mundi. Her poetry books Red Roots – Orange Sky  (2013), The Emigrant Woman’s Tale (2015) and Vertical Montage (2018) were published by Lapwing Belfast. She had a chapter of poetry included in Mothers and Sons by Demeter Press, Canada and contributed to Metamorphic, Recent Work Press, Australia, The Stony Thursday Book and Poetry in Motion anthologies. She was finalist for the Bridport Prize of Poetry and long-listed for the Oxford Brooks International Poetry Prize. She lives in Rostrevor, Co. Down.

Eleanor Hooker
has published two poetry collections with Dedalus Press: A Tug of Blue (2016); The Shadow Owner’s Companion (2012). Her third collection is forthcoming and she is “struggling with a novel”. She holds an MPhil (Distinction) in Creative Writing from Trinity College, Dublin, an MA (Hons) in Cultural History from the University of Northumbria, and a BA (Hons 1st) from the O.U. She is a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London (FLS) Eleanor a helm for Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat based in Dromineer. Eleanor was a founder member of the Dromineer Literary Festival in 2004, and Programme Curator until her retirement in 2017.

Éfrin González
was born 1980 in Guatemala. Poet, short fiction writer and technology specialist. Founder and coordinator of the Copenhagen Literature Festival since 2013.Living in Denmark since 2010 and acting as an Independent Event Organizer and Software Developer in a Danish Companies as well as a talker in different cultural events in different cities in Scandinavia.

Emily Davis-Fletcher
earned a BFA in creative writing from Stephens College and an MA in women’s studies from the National University of Ireland Galway. Her poetry has been published in Southword, Crannóg Magazine, the Irish Examiner, and The High Window, among other journals and anthologies. She placed third in the 2016 Just Add Words Video Description Contest and judged the 2016 Magnolia Gardens Poetry Competition. Emily has taught creativity and poetry workshops as part of the Life-long Learning program at the University of South Carolina Beaufort. In 2018, she was selected to read at the Cork International Poetry Festival Introductions Reading. Currently, Emily is writing her debut poetry collection, My Half of Night.

Fiona Perry
Her short stories and poetry have been published in Other Terrain, The Blue Nib, Spontaneity Magazine, Into The Void, Dodging The Rain and Skylight47 amongst others. She grew up in Ireland but have lived most of my adult life in England and Australia. She currently lives near a volcano in New Zealand.

Gaynor Kane
lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Her poems have been published in journals and anthologies in the UK, Ireland and America. Most recently her writing has featured in The Honest UlstermanPoethead: Index of Women Poets and The North. In 2018, Hedgehog Poetry Press launched their Stickleback series with her micro collection ‘Circling the Sun’. Her chapbook, ‘The F Word’, is due to be released in December, 2019, also from Hedgehog Poetry Press. Gaynor is now working towards her first full collection thanks to a SIAP grant from the Arts Council NI.

Gráinne Tobin
grew up in Armagh and lives in Newcastle, Co Down where she taught English in Shimna Integrated College, after working for many years in further and adult education in Lurgan. Her books are Banjaxed, The Nervous Flyer’s Companion (Summer Palace Press) and The Uses of Silk (Arlen House). She has contributed to the anthologies Word of Mouth (Blackstaff) When the Neva Rushes Backwards (Lagan Press) On the Grass When I Arrive (Liberties Press) Washing Windows (Arlen House) Something About Home (Geographies Publications) and Female Lines (New Island).

Jackie Gorman
is from Athlone and her first collection “The Wounded Stork” will be published by The Onslaught Press in May, 2019. She was part of the 2017 Poetry Ireland Introductions Series and won the Single Poem Award at Listowel Writers’ Week and in the same year and was commented in the BGIEBA Poem of the Year Award. She has recently completed a Masters in Poetry Studies at Dublin City University. 

James Meredith Day
is a writer, psychologist, and Professor of Human Development and the Psychology of Religion at the Universite catholique de Louvain. Born in Ohio, he now lives in Brussels. His scholarly work has appeared in many leading books, scientific articles and professional presentations. « Summer Field, near Tournai », set in a landscape Rodin knew, appears in a sepia drawing from Rodin’s Brussels period. The poem first appeared on, where it was named one of the top five poems of 2005.

Jane Robinson
Jane’s début poetry collection, Journey to the Sleeping Whale (Salmon, 2018), was the winner of the 2019 Shine/Strong Award judged by Leontia Flynn who said: ‘This is a collection of poems which comes at its ecological subject awry, never obviously, and there is humour as well as precision in the journeys these poems make and the subjects to which they attend.’ 

Jayant Kashyap
is a Pushcart Prize-nominee, one of whose poems was featured in the Healing Words awards ceremony in London, and a couple others won places in Young Poets Network’s challenges. He is the co-founding editor of Bold + Italic, and a food blogger. His debut chapbook, Survival, comes sometime soon.

Jennifer Matthews

Poetry by Jennifer Matthews has been published in the Stinging Fly, Mslexia, the Irish Times and Banshee Journal, among others. Her poem ‘Monsters’ was shortlisted for the 2019 Hennessy Prize. ‘Rootless’, a chapbook of her poetry, is free to read at Smithereens Press.

K. S. Moore
K. S. Moore’s poetry has recently appeared in The Honest Ulsterman, Boyne Berries, The Lonely Crowd, Cardiff Review, Ink, Sweat and Tears, The Stinging Fly, Southword and Crannog.  A poem of hers featured in Poetry NI’s ‘Changing Verses in Midstream’, published for National Poetry Day UK.  Work is upcoming in New Welsh Review.
Shortlists have included: Trim Poetry Competition, Americymru West Coast Eisteddfod Poetry Competition and Blog Awards Ireland.  K. S. Moore has performed her poetry at Waterford Writers’ Weekend, Waterford Winterval and Swansea’s Dylan Thomas Festival. She is a regular blogger, sharing poetry and other thoughts at

Karen J McDonnell

Linda McKenna
Originally from County Dublin, Linda McKenna lives in County Down. She won the Seamus Heaney award for new writing in March 2018, the Red Line Book Festival award in October 2018, was shortlisted for the Mairtin Crawford award in 2018 and has had poems published in a number of journals including, Crannog, Skylight 47, The Blue Nib, Dodging the Rain, the Bangor Literary Journal, Four x Four, Lagan Online and forthcoming in Poetry Ireland Review. She is working on her first collection.

Magi Gibson
Scottish poet Magi Gibson has four collections published, including the hugely popular Wild Women of a Certain Age. The National in Scotland described her latest, Washing Hugh MacDiarmid’s Socks as “A joy to read”.  She won the Scotland on Sunday/Women 2000 Poetry Prize, has held three Scottish Arts Council Writing Fellowships, has been a Royal Literary Fund Fellow, and Writer in Residence in Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art and Glasgow Women’s Library. Poems appear in many anthologies, including Modern Scottish Women PoetsScottish Love Poems (both Canongate) and The Twentieth Century Book of Scottish Poetry (Edinburgh University Press).  Currently she’s co-editor of The Poets’ Republic and performs regularly with Word Jazzology in Scotland. She’ll be performing at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2019 and touring Ireland in October with The Poets’ Republic. She runs Wild Women Writing workshops in Scotland and Ireland.

Maria Isakova Bennett
is a poet and artist from Liverpool, works as a tutor for Mersey Care, founded and creates the limited edition hand-stitched journal Coast to Coast to Coast and was awarded a Northern Writer’s Award, 2017-18.Maria was artist and poet in residence at Poetry-in-Aldeburgh for 2018. As part of her residency, she created an installation of stitch translations, and a litany based on lines by 48 poets from the UK, Ireland, and France. Maria is widely published in the UK, and Ireland. Her pamphlet, All of the Spaces, was recently published by Eyewear.

Marion Clarke
was winner of the Financial Times ‘Haiku Poet in the City’ Competition, 2015 and ‘Master of the Month, January 2017’ on Japanese NHK World’s programme Haiku Masters. She was runner up in the ‘History, Story, Narrative’ section of the IAFOR Vladimir Devidé Haiku Contest 2017 and runner up in the Irish Haiku Society’s International Haiku Competition 2015. Marion’s poetry has been published in international haiku and haibun journals and a selection of her work is featured in the first two national haiku collections from Ireland. Her longer poetry was long-listed in the Desmond O’Grady Competition, 2013 and Seamus Heaney Awards, 2015.

Marluce Lima

Maureen Boyle

Michael Ray

Milena Williamson
is currently pursuing a PhD in creative writing at Queen’s University Belfast.  Her project is entitled ‘War, Images, Memory: Irish and American Poetry, 1990 – present’.  Her poetry has been published in The Tangerine, the Poetry Jukebox in Belfast, the Lifeboat reading series, Poetry Ireland Review, The North, and Blackbird: New Writing from The Seamus Heaney Centre.  She recently completed a series of poems about Bridget Cleary, which was supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.  Find more of her work at

Noelle Lynskey
living in Portumna, Noelle Lynskey is originally from Strokestown. Director of Shorelines Arts Festival, she is founder and member of the Portumna Pen Pushers and a member of Ballinasloe Peers. Noelle has read at Cúirt, Baffle, InisCealtra Arts Festival, Terryglass Arts Festival, Clifden Arts Festival, Group 8 and Cos Cos. Her work is published in The Irish Times, Crannóg, Skylight, Scríobh, Boyne Berries, Roscommon Anthology and West 47 and featured on RTÉ’s Sunday Miscellany. Awards include Baffle, Scríobh and Hannah Greally award as well as shortlisted in many competitions. A former judge of the Strokestown Schools’ Poetry and Roscommon Poets, Noelle is currently advisor to the committee.

Orla Grant-Donoghue
Her first collection of poetry The Frayed Heart (Fiery Arrow Press) was published in 2018. Her haiku poetry on Ulysses was included in installations by artist Nickie Hayden at the Olivier Cornet Gallery in 2018 and in the James Joyce Centre in 2019. Her poetry is anthologised in outlets such as Circle & Square (Fiery Arrow Press), WOMb: Celebrating Mothers (By Me Poetry) and more recently The Lea-Green Down (Fiery Arrow Press). She has broadcast memoir pieces on RTÉ Radio 1 Sunday Miscellany and has published in the Irish Times (Family Fortunes). Orla holds a PhD in Chemistry from University College Dublin where she works as a science communicator.

Richard James Allen
is an Australian born poet.  His latest book is The short story of you and I (UWAP, 2019).  His writing has appeared widely in journals, anthologies, and online over many years.  Creator of #RichardReads, an online compendium of Global Poetry, Read Aloud, he has written nine earlier books of poetry and edited a national anthology of writing for performance.  Richard is also well known for his multi-award-winning career as a filmmaker and choreographer with The Physical TV Company and as a performer in a range of media and contexts.

Roíse Nesbitt

Stephanie Conn
Her collections ‘The Woman on the Other Side’ (2016) and ‘Island’ (2018) are published by Doire Press. Her pamphlet ‘Copeland’s Daughter’ (2016) is published by Smith/Doorstep. She is a PhD Researcher at Ulster University working on her project ‘Emerging from the Margins: The Poetry of Chronic Illness’. Twitter @StephanieConn2

Therese Kieran
lives in Belfast. She discovered a love of poetry some years ago whilst trying to find a way back to her creative roots – she was once a textile designer who’s now attempting to paint with words.

Teresa Kane

Trish Bennett
crossed the border to study many years ago, and was charmed into staying by a Belfast biker. They’ve settled themselves beside the lake in Fermanagh, where they try to keep the noise down in their bee loud glade. Bennett writes about the shenanigans of her family, and other creatures. Sometimes she rants. She was a finalist in several poetry competitions in the past few years, including North West Words, The Percy French, Bailieborough, and The Bangor Literary Journal. She’s won The Leitrim Guardian Literary Award for poetry twice, and is a Professional Member of the Irish Writers Centre. Bennett’s Babblings  Twitter @baabennett    Facebook trishbennettwriter

Viviana Florentino 
is an italian writer. She traveled across Europe, from Switzerland to Germany, England, finally Belfast where she lives. In 2017, she left the academia to focus on writing while teaching Italian Literature at the Crescent Art Centre and Open Learning of Queen’s University Belfast. In 2018 she was awarded the Arcipelago Itaca Edizioni and the Bologna in Lettere Dislivelli poetry prizes. Her poems appear on literature blogs, in the international literature magazine Brumaria, and in the Arcipelago Itaca Anthology of contemporary poets. In 2019 she published her poetry collection ‘In giardino’ (lit. trasl. ‘In the garden’) by Controluna publisher and her first novel ‘Tra mostri ci si ama’ (lit. trasl. ‘Monsters love each other’) by Transeuropa publisher.