Thursday, 17 October 2019

New Launch Date for Boyne Berries 26

Poet Jean O'Brien

Issue 26 will now be launched on Thursday, 24th October at 8 pm in The Castle Arch Hotel, Trim. Poet Jean O'Brien will launch the issue. Contributors will read at the event, tea and coffee will be  served and admission is free. All welcome.

Jean O'Brien's New & Selected, Fish on a Bicycle is her fifth collection and was published by Salmon Poetry in 2016. She is an award-winning poet, having won, amongst others, The Arvon International Poetry Award and the Fish International, most recently she was Highly Commended for the Forward Prize.

Friday, 6 September 2019

Boyne Berries 26 Launch Date


Boyne Berries 26 will be launched on Thursday, 03rd October 2019 at 8 pm in The Castle Arch Hotel, Trim, Co. Meath by poet Maurice Devitt.

MAURICE DEVITT completed the MA in Poetry Studies at Mater Dei, won the Trocaire/Poetry Ireland Competition and was placed or shortlisted in many other competitions including The Patrick Kavanagh Award, The Listowel Collection Competition and Cúirt New Writing Award. Selected for Poetry Ireland Introductions in 2016, he was a featured poet at the Poets in Transylvania Festival in 2015 and a guest speaker at the John Berryman Centenary Conference in both Dublin and Minneapolis. His poems have been nominated for Pushcart, Forward and Best of the Net prizes. He is curator of the Irish Centre for Poetry Studies site. He has recently published his debut collection Growing Up in Colour with Doire Press.

The magazine will be available to purchase on the night. A special feature of the issue is the inclusion of the poems shortlisted for Trim Poetry Competition 2019. Contributors to Boyne Berries 26 will read on the night. All welcome.

Boyne Berries 26 contains the work of Steve Denehan Fred Johnston Maria Isakova Bennett Maurice Devitt Frank Murphy Evan Costigan Tomas McGuiness Polly Richardson Fiona Sherlock Frances Browner Cathal Ennis Deirdre Crosby Gráinne Daly Nora Brennan Brian Kirk Jackie Lynam Jean O’Brien Maeve O’Sullivan John Paul Davies Eimear Bourke Marc Gijsemans Stephen McNulty Christina Hession David Butler Kevin Griffin Kevin Higgins Harry Owen Orla Fay Esther Murbach Eamon McGuinness Amanda Bell Frank Farrelly Catriona Clutterbuck Patrick Deeley Ruth Quinlan K.S. Moore Patrick Lodge Glen Wilson Paddy Smith Leah McDwyer Karen J McDonnell Margarita Meklina Rachel Sneyd

Boyne Writers Group acknowledges the generous assistance of Meath County Council Arts Office.





Sunday, 26 May 2019

Boyne Berries 26 Call for Submissions


Autumn in Bavaria, Wassily Kandinsky


Submissions are now invited for the 26th issue of Boyne Berries Magazine and the window will close on Wednesday, 31st July 2019, at midnight. Boyne Berries 26 will feature poetry and flash fiction or prose on an open theme. The magazine will be published in late September 2019. 


Send up to 3 poems per poetry submission. Poems should be no more than 40 lines long. Fiction and prose submissions should be no more than 1000 words. Please use Times New Roman 12 and single spacing. Please include a short biographical note (50 words or less). Submissions should be placed in the body of the email and attached as a word document attachment. 


Submit to orla.a.fay@gmail.com only.


Submissions which fail to adhere to the above criteria will be ignored.



The Wild Swans at Coole

The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine-and-fifty swans.

The nineteenth autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.

I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
All's changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.

Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.

But now they drift on the still water,
Mysterious, beautiful;
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake's edge or pool
Delight men's eyes when I awake some day
To find they have flown away?

W.B. Yeats 

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Boyne Berries 25 Cover Design

Thanks to Rory O'Sullivan for re-creating Greg Hastings' original Boyne Berries 1 cover.



Saturday, 24 November 2018

Boyne Berries 25 Submissions



Submissions are now invited for the 25th issue of Boyne Berries Magazine and will close on Wednesday, 2nd January 2019, at midnight. Boyne Berries 25 will feature poetry and fiction or prose on an open theme, though works which take into account this silver edition of the magazine are very welcome.

Send up to 3 poems per poetry submission. Poems should be no more than 40 lines long. Fiction and prose submissions should be no more than 1500 words. Please use Times New Roman 12 and single spacing. Please include a short biographical note. Submissions should be placed in the body of the email and attached as a word document attachment. 

Submit to orla.a.fay@gmail.com only.

Submissions which fail to adhere to the above criteria will be ignored.


Not in a silver casket


Not in a silver casket cool with pearls
Or rich with red corundum or with blue,
Locked, and the key withheld, as other girls
Have given their loves, I give my love to you;
Not in a lovers'-knot, not in a ring
Worked in such fashion, and the legend plain—
Semper fidelis, where a secret spring
Kennels a drop of mischief for the brain:
Love in the open hand, no thing but that,
Ungemmed, unhidden, wishing not to hurt,
As one should bring you cowslips in a hat
Swung from the hand, or apples in her skirt,
I bring you, calling out as children do:
"Look what I have!—And these are all for you."


Edna St. Vincent Millay



Sunday, 7 October 2018

Micéal Kearney's Launch Notes Boyne Berries 24

Hello there,

I’d like to thank Órla, and the Committee, for asking me to launch Boyne Berries 24. I was in Sweden visiting family when she emailed to ask me and I remember looking behind me to check if there was someone else there that she was asking.

I’ve often said that when putting a collection together; that the last poem in it is the running order of the poems. And it’s the same with this. Upon reading and rereading the magazine I was taking a journey that spanned the full breath of the human experience. Of course each poem and story brought me its own journey but the magazine, as a whole, from the first poem to the last story… the best way I can describe it; it was like a boomerang: it brings you off far away but takes you right back home. Where it all starts and ends.

The first thing that struck me was the stunning cover. Man and nature existing together. Or so it seems at first. To quote Agent Smith: appearances can be deceiving, Mr. Anderson. The more I read I got a sense of the helplessness of humanity but in a cosmic way.

In the first poem Orchard by Emma McKervey, she humbly admits – It is a skill I do not own but whilst negotiating/the furrows and ridges of the plantation/searching for windfalls I know to halt by the scars. I enjoyed the honesty of that line as it takes a lifetime to master a skill. Also, there’s one line: they hold tight the acid which fizzes/on the gums long after each bite is swallowed reminded me of Apple Jacks. So in-between mastering our work skills we try to figure ourselves out which brings me to Polly Richardson and her poem VoidTo what extent to do I exist,/Like other realms, overweening Gods/Of Gods commands.

I enjoyed the story The Alps by Kate Ennals. I liked this one in particular as part of growing up is when we discover that in family member’s nostalgia glasses are often calibrated differently to yours. And in the poem Rooms by Deirdre Clay; we all have those fond and shaping memories of grandparents.

So after we master our work skills, figure ourselves out; we’re finally mature enough to go off to war. Where Eithne Cavanagh in Paper Knife poignantly puts it – the stench of fear and mustard gas/were the same for every soldier. And if you’re lucky enough to survive, as a reward, you get to watch your loved ones grow old and die. And what can you do? To quote Peadar O'Donoghue and his poem Oh Death, you're incorrigible!off to the nearest bar, to wait our turn.

I looked after my Gran for years; so poems like Memory by Anthony Wade – Once a hinge from which her family securely hung and Threshold by Brian Kirk – He continued to rule though he shrank as you grew really resonated with me. Then there’s a story: Of Men and Dogs by Steve Wade – the toll it takes on both the family member and carer. And how we can often carry it with us for years afterwards. And the rest of the poems and stories cover the other rollercoasters in life of regret, remorse and everything inbetwixt. Including Dogs by Oliver Mort.

There’s 2 poems that beautifully accentuate the other. And they are: A poem must by Eamonn Lynskey. Where he writes – be radiant/ despite the darkness nurtured it, … suffer its gethsemanes and afflict them, sense beneath the rib/an exultation flood his soul. Which leads onto the poem that I kept coming back to. Every time I discovered and found something new and that was: A forge like this by Arthur Broomfield. A superb poem.

With all that said, getting back to the cover; so long after we’re all gone, Nature and the animals will be left. And they’ll reclaim and play in our great houses of nothing. But however vast the eternal void is, it’s the small things we occupy our time with like finding love and the treasures that it brings that makes life so memorable, meaningful and magical. To quote Mike Gallagher in Turfmanwe are, all of us, the kids/we were at four years old,/ still doing the things/we've always done,/ always.

I’ve said the whole magazine captures the human experience but if that could be boiled down to one piece, it would be the last story: I’ve got the Down and Dirty Blues by Caroline Carey Finn which takes place at Tipsters Tiles and Toiletry Appliances Limited. I don’t want to say too much about it but I love the juxtaposition of the younger staff and their perspectives versus the more experienced and jaded staff. And the reality of the situation.

So. That’s enough from me so I do declare Boyne Berries 24 launched. Thank you and goodnight.

Micéal Kearney 04/10/2018