Wednesday 2 December 2020

Children's Literature | Kazoo, the Singing Bird … and other stories by D.T. Ihaza

Open Your Mind to a World of Surprises in Kazoo, the Singing Bird by D.T. Ihaza

– a collection of illustrated tales told to children –

Front cover of Kazoo, the Singing Bird … and other stories by D.T. Ihaza (published by The Manuscript Publisher, 2020)
From the author D.T. Ihaza comes a charming collection of illustrated tales, suitable for children aged pre-school and up, that reveal a world of surprises and hidden delights to young readers (and, maybe, to adults too). A careful blend of subtlety and skill serves to educate in the broadest sense, as the lessons learned linger long after the story has been told.

Kazoo, the Singing Bird … and other stories introduce us to characters, each of whom is facing a predicament of one sort or another, which is casting a shadow of uncertainty and doubt over their lives. As their stories unfold however, we come to understand that by opening up; sharing our anxieties with family, friends – those whom we know and trust – and, by looking at problems afresh, we can rise to the challenges that life presents, seeing the obstacles in our way for what they really are.

A problem shared really is a problem halved. When it feels as if life is coming up short, it may just be that we do not appreciate all that it has to offer us.

Front cover of Operation: Save Santa by D.T. Ihaza (published by The Manuscript Publisher, 2019)
Author, D.T. Ihaza continues to show a knack for reaching into the hearts and minds of young readers, as with his first book, Operation: Save Santa, published just last year, described as an "action-packed, adventure-based Christmas tale that is perfectly paced."

Kazoo, the Singing Bird … and other stories by D.T. Ihaza is published by The Manuscript Publisher and is available to buy online, along with other books by the author (with many more to come, we hope).

Monday 30 November 2020

New Books and Titles | Introducing Wayne Power – author, poet, spoken-word artist

Everyone's a Star after Midnight by Wayne Power

– tales from the urban jungle, of Love's lost and found, midnight masquerades and a soul laid bare –

Front cover: Everyone's a Star after Midnight by Wayne Power (published by The Manuscript Publisher, 2020)
The debut collection
from Wayne Power
Wayne Power is a writer, poet and spoken-word artist based in Waterford, who has risen to prominence in his native city in recent years, through his work on the local arts scene. It is not surprising therefore, that his debut collection of poems, Everyone's a Star after Midnight, should be so eagerly anticipated by all who know him and are familiar with his work.

It is a book, he says, that is dedicated:
… to the underdogs, the dreamers, the mental health warriors, the unrequited, the shoulders we cry on and the torch songs we let heal us. The friends who become family and the family who become everything.
In 2019, Wayne burst onto the spoken-word scene, at a rapid pace, through his work with the Modwords collective. He quickly became a regular face at Waterford's various open mic nights, taking every opportunity to share his truths. In this video, Wayne performs his composition, My Town, which is just one of the many gems in this, his debut collection.

His poetry and writing are unfiltered, at times gritty, recalling lost nights, love, mental health and political themes coupled with a comedic edge, all of which celebrate the human condition. They are snapshots of the light and shade of city life, steeped in a fondness for where he is from, where he has been and where he hopes to go.
Love is underrated. Fear is overrated. I didn't dream it.
Photo of Wayne Power, author and spoken-word artist
Wayne Power,
author and spoken word artist

Everyone's a Star after Midnight by Wayne Power is published by The Manuscript Publisher. It is available to buy online, in print and e-book editions. RRP €12 plus P&P.

Tuesday 9 June 2020

Literary Awards and Bursaries | John Pollard Foundation International Poetry Prize 2021

Entries Sought for John Pollard Foundation International Poetry Prize 2021

The John Pollard Foundation International Poetry Prize, valued at €10,000, is awarded annually to the author of an outstanding debut collection of poems, published in the English language.

Submissions are now being considered for the 2021 award, to be adjudicated by a panel of judges nominated by the John Pollard Foundation and the Oscar Wilde Centre at the School of English, Trinity College Dublin. The panel will be chaired by the director of the centre or, a nominee.

Criteria for entry for the 2021 awards include the following:

  • The prize will be awarded to a first book of poetry, published originally in the English language, between 1 October 2019 and 16 October 2020
  • Only single-authored books are eligible
  • A book shall be defined as having at least 48 pages
  • A publisher may submit one nomination for the prize
  • The winner must be available to accept the prize, in person, at Trinity College Dublin.

Submission by the publisher (by e-mail to; subject line: JP Prize Submission 2021) should consist of a PDF copy of the book and a brief author biography (200 words maximum). The deadline for submissions is 16 October 2020. Further information may be obtained from the Oscar Wilde Centre at Trinity College Dublin

The winner of the award will be announced during Trinity Week 2021.

Tuesday 2 June 2020

Milestones and Anniversaries | Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)

In the Time of Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)

Thomashardy restored
Bain News Service, publisher / Public domain
Only a man harrowing clods
In a slow silent walk
With an old horse that stumbles and nods
Half asleep as they stalk.
Only thin smoke without flame
From the heaps of couch-grass;
Yet this will go onward the same
Though Dynasties pass.
Yonder a maid and her wight
Come whispering by:
War's annals will cloud into night
Ere their story die.
In Time of 'The Breaking of Nations' by Thomas Hardy, 1915

The author, Thomas Hardy, always regarded himself primarily as a poet even though he gained fame, in his lifetime, for his novels and short stories. Indeed, it was the income that he earned from these endeavours that allowed him, eventually, to leave his job as an architect and devote himself full time to writing.

His first volume of poetry, Wessex Poems, was not published until 1898, representing the output of the previous thirty years. It followed not too long after the publication of his final novel, Jude the Obscure, which, like much of his work, received criticism for its portrayal of issues concerning class, religion, morality, marriage and social mores. Characters in Hardy's novels seem destined (doomed even) to live out their lives within the confines of a Victorian class system, no matter how hard they try to break free. All life springs from the earth and to the earth it returns in the end.

In the 20th century, Hardy devoted himself entirely to poetry and it is at this point that themes in his writing begin to shift, from the social realism of his 19th century novels that often verges on fatalism, to an altogether bleaker outlook of his 20th century poetry, becoming more and more pronounced with the onset of World War I and the destruction that it brought in its wake.

In Time of 'The Breaking of Nations', reproduced above, appeared in 1915 and specifically response to a request from the Saturday Review for 'an uplifting poem' in a time of war. What he achieves is certainly uplifting, insofar as it evokes the strength to be found in human endurance when pitted against the ravages of time. The pervasive sense of melancholy is all too clear however and this, it could be said, is typical and characteristic of Hardy, both as a poet and novelist.

Thomas Hardy was born on this day in 1840, in Dorset, England. He lived briefly in London, pursuing a career as an architect before returning to Dorset, where he died on 11 January 1928.


Wednesday 4 March 2020

New Books and Titles | Gaysa, the Spoiled Priest by Dennis McIntyre

Gaysa, the Spoiled Priest by Dennis McIntyre

– a treatise concerning the Irish family and its historical relationship with the Catholic Church –

Gaysa, the Spoiled Priest by Dennis McIntyre
Gaysa, the Spoiled Priest
by Dennis McIntyre

This latest offering from author and historian, Dennis McIntyre is concerned with an aspect of Irish social history that relates to aspirants for the priesthood who, for various reasons, were never ordained as Catholic priests. In the vernacular, they were known as spoiled priests, priesteens or, sagarts.

This treatise delves deep into the matter of how religion, priests and the Catholic Church infiltrated and wove itself into the very fabric of Irish society and Irish life. It relates the almost unbelievably sad story of the pathetic, fictitious, Gaysa (the principal character in this narrative and a spoilt priest) and the repercussions that his rejection had, for his life and the lives of those around him.

It is a book that is rich in social history and will be of interest to anyone curious about just how Ireland and Irish society, dominated by the Catholic Church, developed in the way that it did.

Dennis McIntyre is an author who really believes that we study history in order to learn from it: for the benefit of ours and future generations as well as for greater human betterment. Hence, while the author does not hold back in his pointed criticisms, the reader will not fail to see the purpose of his polemic:

There was and is little wrong with the church that Our Lord, Jesus left to us. It has stood and will continue to stand the test of time. There was and is no cause for anyone to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

As if to reinforce that view, he concludes, magnanimously, with 'an apology to all the good priests!'

Bram Stoker and the Irishness of Dracula by Dennis McIntyre

Dennis McIntyre is an author, historian, tour guide, broadcaster and former teacher. Originally from Sligo, he has lived in the Clontarf area of Dublin for a number of years, where he has established a reputation as a local historian of the area, arising out of publications such as The Meadow of the Bull: A History of Clontarf ("You will probably find a well-worn copy of this book in every household in Clontarf!") and Bram Stoker and the Irishness of Dracula – a book that brings it all back home as far as the world's most enduring vampire story is concerned.

Irish Nationalism, Irish Republicanism and the 1916 Easter Rising by Dennis McIntyre

In Irish Nationalism, Irish Republicanism and the 1916 Easter Rising, he traces the course of events that culminated in Ireland's quest for independence. Elsewhere, in The Principal Brathadóir, he not just lifts the lid but also stirs the pot on the inner workings of the Irish educational system.

He treads a similar path in Gaysa, the Spoiled Priest, offering 'a treatise concerning the Irish family and its historic relationship with the Catholic Church'. Like much of the author's work that is told in this vein, while the characters may be fictional, the message it strives to convey is all too real.

The Principal Brathadóir by Dennis McIntyre

In addition to his writing, Dennis McIntyre also serves as founder and director of Dublin North Bay Tourism and the Stoker Dracula Gothic Organisation.

Gaysa, the Spoiled Priest by Dennis McIntyre is published by The Shara Press and distributed by The Manuscript Publisher. It is on sale now and available to buy online, in both print and e-book editions (RRP €9.99 plus P&P for the paperback edition) along with other titles by the same author.

Search This Site

Popular Posts

Calendar – Dates for Your Diary