Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Winter 2018 and start of a new year

In November 2018 I returned from my month long life changing journey to India.  I have wonderful memories of the people and places I visited.  The high point was my poetry reading at the Sahitya Akademi in New Delhi and meeting with Indian writers.  My blog on India with links to photos etc is available for anyone who is interested.

During the Ó Bhéal Winter Warmer Poetry Festival in Cork in November I read the poem 'Goalkeepers' by the gentle poet Bernard O'Donoghue.  This was part of a Hurling themed poetry reading.

Those of us who presented papers as part of the 'Missing Voices' seminar at Poetry Ireland in October 2018 were asked to submit the papers for a publication to be launched in 2019.  I submitted my paper on Dorothea Herbert in January.

Early in February I visited Belfast to see and listen to the contributions in the Poetry Jukebox at the Crescent Arts Centre.  Included are two recordings by myself - my own poem 'The Last Walk' and 'Whistler's White Girl' by Eleanor Rogers Cox.  The Poetry Jukebox in Ireland is the work of Maria McManus.

My work life has changed as I move from writing in my spare time and working as a professional IT person to writing full time.  I have some other plans which I may share later this year.

In the meantime I continue to write and this year will return to submitting work with a view to publication.  I have a poetry manuscript which I am hoping may find a home within the next year.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Sahitya Akademi - Delhi - India - Press Release, Photos and YouTube recording

To quote Placid Murray, OSB, Glenstal Abbey, life long scholar of Newman on whom he has written numerous books and uncle of my husband John Philip Murray.  Placid and I exchange emails frequently.  He celebrated his 100th birthday a few weeks ago, and sent me this email last night:

'Dear Bernadette,
Congratulations on this new honour.  May it be a source of peace, goodwill and mutual understanding between our tiny country and the huge place which is called India.'

I know that my poetry touched a few hearts last evening and to me this is the greatest prize of all.
A heartfelt thanks to Sri Somnath Chatterjee, Counsellor, Embassy of India in Dublin and Dr. K. Sreenivasarao, Secretary Sahitya Akademi, Delhi for having the openness to invite me to read. A special thanks to all those who gave of their time to listen in Delhi and online in Ireland and elsewhere.
Dr. Chandra Mohan joined me for tea and a chat beforehand providing a calming preamble to the reading.
I was honoured to have the respected poetry and prose writer Sri Keki N. Daruwalla chair the event.
It was a pleasure to meet Brian McElduff, the Irish Ambassador to India.
Mangalesh Dabral read three of my poems which he had translated into Hindi.
After the reading I met with many writers and Dr. Devendra Choubey,  Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University and his students of Irish studies.

I look forward to further collaborations with my Indian 'cousins'.

Link to photos and press release on Sahitya Akademi Facebook Page and recording of event on YouTube.

Sunday, 28 October 2018

India and a poetry reading at Sahitya Akademi

While planning my trip to India (see blog page) I approached the Indian Embassy in Dublin with a view to meeting up with some Indian writers while I am in Delhi.  The end result was an invitation from Sahitya Akademi to read my work on 30th Oct and to meet with Delhi based writers afterwards.  This is such an honour and it makes my visit to India even more special.

The invitation is below but if you are unable to attend there will be a live webcast.

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Since January I have participated in six readings - details on this link.

In August I travelled to Festival dos Eidos in Galicia with a group of poets from Ó Bhéal.  A report on this is now available -

In March I was one of a number of invited readers at the Kanturk Arts Festival - From the Witness Box - as a warmer up for the wonderful Bernard O'Donoghue.
Also in March, I read at the WomenXBorders at the Irish Writers’ Centre, Dublin

As part of the Fired / Poetry Day Ireland event at the Irish Writers Museum I introduced the poetry of Dorothea Herbert along with one of my own poems. As a follow on from this event Poetry Ireland put out a call for papers to be presented at an all day seminar with a selection to be published.  My paper was accepted and I read this on 6th October as part of the Missing Voices seminar.

Thanks to Lucy Collins for this photo from the Missing Voices seminar.

On 30th October I was invited to read at Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi, India.  (Link to a report on this event. For further info on my journey in India refer to the India page on my blog).

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Irish Poetry Reading Archive - UCD Library

My sincere thanks to Ursula Byrne and the team at UCD Special Collections UCD Library University College Dublin for including a selection of my poems as part of the Irish Poetry Reading Archive.

Eight of my readings have just been added to their YouTube channel. See, and guide at

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Cill Rialaig and Listowel Writers Week

I have been given a precious opportunity to spend time alone to write.  My sincere thanks to Máire LogueListowel Writers' Week and Cill Rialaig Arts Centre for providing me with a residency at Cill Rialaig Artists' Retreat in a few weeks time.

Drawing by John Philip Murray from the exhibition 'Demiurge - Drawing Words'  - A response to the poem 'Demiurge' by Mícheál Fanning.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Psoken Wrod

Thanks to Moze M. Jacobs and Nick for inviting me to read at The pSoken Wrod on 5th Dec 2017.

My first visit to the Psoken Wrod was to hear the Coventry based poets - a reading organised by Paul Casey Ó Bhéal: Cork's Weekly Poetry Event earlier in 2017.

The event on 5th Dec consisted of the launch of a poetry book and a reading by John Riordan accompanied by musicians Sebastian Revon and Moze M. Jacobs.  This was followed by a tribute to Nick Smith for hosting the event since the start five years previously.  Next up was my reading and the night ended with a lively Open Mic.

Extract from Nick Smith's blog on the event: "Moze welcomed the guest speaker, Bernadette Gallagher whose poetry, some richly encompassed in very few lines, similarly laid bare the beauty and suffering of nature in all its environs. Bernadette was quizzed by Moze in her Stand Up Interview." A link to the full blog follows below: