A.M. Cousins regularly reads memoir and local history essays on the radio programme “Sunday Miscellany” (RTÉ Radio 1). Since graduating with an MA in Creative Writing (UCD, 2013), she has had poems published in The Stinging Fly, The Shop, The Honest Ulsterman and The Irish Literary Review. She featured in Poetry Ireland’s Introductions Series 2016 and read a selection of poems in The Irish Writers’ Centre, Dublin, in May, 2016. Her first poetry collection, REDRESS – on which she is working at the moment – was short-listed in the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Competition, 2015.
Margaret Galvin grew up in Cahir, Co. Tipperary but has lived all of her adult life in Wexford where she worked variously with the library service, on the magazine Ireland’s Own, with adults with intellectual disability and currently with people dealing with addiction. She has published six collections of poetry over the decades, most recently, The Scattering Lawns (2013). Her academic background is in Social Care, leading to a particular interest in how writing can function as a self-help coping strategy to clarify thoughts and feelings. Her workshop “The People Events and Places that have Shaped Us” aims to reconnect participants with their memories and personal stories on order to revisit, acknowledge and perhaps celebrate the past in the service of integration and self-knowledge. She promises a relaxed, friendly workshop where every voice is respected and people share at their level of comfort.
MARGARET HAWKINS has been working as a freelance journalist since 1990 and writes feature articles principally for the Irish Farmers Journal. She has been the paper’s health columnist since 2003. She has had short stories published, one-act plays staged and a book – Restless Spirit: The Story of Rose Quinn – published by Mercier Press in 2006. Her radio essays have also been broadcast on RTE 1’s Sunday Miscellany and included in two of its anthologies. She self-published her first novel Deny Me Not in 2013. She is an Ireland’s Own Short Story competition winner and a finalist in RTE’s PJ O’Connor Awards twice. Margaret has also been a TV critic and opinion columnist with The People and enjoys researching, producing and presenting radio programmes.
One of Ireland’s most respected music writers, Jackie Hayden spent 29 years with Hot Press, where he interviewed artists of the stature of Mick Taylor of The Rolling Stones, Christy Moore, Sinead O’Connor, Glen Campbell, Kenny Rogers, Ronnie Drew, Glen Hansard and Bob Geldof. He topped the Irish book charts with two editions of My Boy, his book about Philip Lynott. He has also written Love and Theft? Bob Dylan’s Celtic Odyssey, The Winner In Me (his biography of Don Baker), and the CD/book A Map Of Love – Around Wales With Dylan Thomas. Prior to his writing career, he was marketing manager with Sony Music (then known as CBS), where he signed U2 to their first record contract. He has delivered witty and informative addresses to various seminars around Europe, and in his lecture Dylan, Dylan and Me, talks about discovering Dylan Thomas via Bob Dylan and The Beatles. He has written for many overseas publications, including Sunday Times, R2, The Lampeter University Review, and Ninnau in the USA. In 2015 he was “writer-in-residence” at Tranas Literary Centre in Sweden, and spoke about Dylan Thomas as part of World Poetry Day at the State Theatre in Uppsala.
Cat Hogan is a novelist from Co. Wexford and is particularly proud of her Kilmore roots. Born into a home of bookworms and close to the sea, her father, Pat, a lightship man, instilled in her a love of the sea and the stars. Her mother, Mag, taught her how to read before she could walk. Writing, storytelling, and a wild imagination is part of her DNA. The beautiful County Wexford is home to Cat, her musician partner, two beautiful sons, and her tomcat Jim Hawkins. There they live a life of storytelling, song, and adventure. Her debut novel They All Fall Down (2016), published by Poolbeg Press, is an Irish Times, Amazon UK and Amazon US bestseller and was shortlisted for The Annie McHale Debut Novel of the Year.‘There Was a Crooked Man’– Cat’s second novel will be published in September 2017 (Poolbeg) . She has written for publications nationally and internationally.When she is not conjuring up imaginary friends and mad men, she teaches Creative Writing & Mental Health programs to young teenagers and adults and also runs her own business in content and brand marketing. She facilitates both creative writing and business workshops in Wexford and Dublin. Cat is a professional member of the Irish Writers Centre.
Daithi Kavanagh was born in May 1958. He lives with his wife and two children in Trinity, Wexford, Ireland. Up to 2012 when the recession hit Ireland he was making a living as a musician. He then went back to adult education and completed his Leaving Certificate in 2014. He is now studying for a degree in Irish Culture and Heritage Studies at Wexford Campus. While he was studying he began writing ‘The Gun’ which is the first book in The Tadhg Sullivan Series. His second book in the series called The Brotherhood was released in May 2015. He is currently working on the third book in the series. He plays guitar and sings in many of the pubs in his hometown of Wexford where he is often joined by his two children Ella and Rory who play fiddle and flute. In his spare time he likes to walk his two dogs with his wife Caroline.
Jim Maguire has received several awards for his work, including the Strokestown International Poetry Prize (2012), the Brendan Kennelly Prize and an Arts Council Literature Bursary. His book Music Field (Poetry Salzburg) was shortlisted for the Shine/Strong Award for best first collection by an Irish poet in 2014. He is also the author of Quiet People, a collection of short stories, a number of which were previously published in magazines such as Stand and The London Magazine. Recent poems of his have appeared in Agenda and The Irish Times, and earlier this year he was featured as one of the Rising Generation of Irish poets by Poetry Ireland Review. He has recently collaborated with the Musici Ireland String Quartet in an exploration of music and illness. His series of creative writing workshops, The Creative Writing Room, takes place regularly at the FDYS in Wexford. He works as an adult education teacher at VTOS in Wexford.
Peter Murphy is a writer, journalist, and spoken word performer. He is the author of two novels, John the Revelator (2009) and Shall We Gather at the River (2013), published by Faber & Faber in Ireland and the UK, and by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in the US and Canada. His fiction has been translated and published in Italy, France, the Czech Republic, Holland, Germany, Serbia, Romania and the Commonwealth countries, and nominated for the Costa, the Kerry Group Fiction Prize, and the IMPAC. As well as a number of short stories (‘The Dead‘ included in Dubliners 100 (Tramp Press, 2014), ‘The Blacklight Ballroom’ included in New Irish Short Stories edited by Joseph O’Connor (Faber & Faber, 2011), and ‘The Hound From the County Hell‘ (Winter Pages, 2015), he helped develop the radio drama Coma with Kevin McCann, which won the silver prize at the PPI Broadcasting Awards in 2015. Peter’s journalism and non-fiction have appeared in Rolling Stone, The Guardian, the Irish Times, Hot Press and Huffington Post. He has released two albums with the Revelator Orchestra, The Sounds of John the Revelator and The Brotherhood of the Flood. For ten years he was a regular panelist on RTE’s arts review show The View with John Kelly, and was also a presenter on RTE’s The Works.
Paul O’Brien is a writer from Wexford, Ireland. His Blood Red Turns Dollar Green trilogy of novels have been #1 bestsellers in Canada, Australia, Germany, Mexico, Spain, Italy, U.K., Ireland and the U.S. He has been commissioned or produced as a playwright by The National Theatre of Ireland, Druid Theatre, Red Kettle Theatre Company, The National Acting School of Ireland and Spare Key Productions in New York. Currently, Paul has two US TV pilots in development — one based on his Blood Red Turns Dollar Green novels in LA and the other is a black-comedy based out of NY. In 2016 Paul signed to write a screenplay for the Sundance award winning Barnes Brothers. Staid, Paul’s first feature film that he wrote, produced and directed will be premiered at the Audi Dublin Film Festival in 2016. Paul is currently writing WWE Legend, and Hall of Famer, Jim Ross’ autobiography. In 2016 Paul’s Blood Red Turns Dollar Green novels will be published by Skyhorse Publishing in New York. The first is available for pre-order now.
Fiona O’Rourke is a professional member and mentor at the Irish Writers Centre. She earned the M.Phil. (Hons.) in Creative Writing at Trinity College Dublin. Author of Have You Found Luke? winner at the Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair, her short stories have been published in: Fish Anthology, Thirteen, broadcast for the RTE Francis MacManus competition, and translated for Troquel Revista Da Letras. Prize-winning Wrong Whisky is included on a reading syllabus by Saint Mary’s College, California. She was selected for the Arts Council Northern Ireland & Irish Writers Centre XBorders Project 2017 and was awarded a Cill Rialaig Writing Residency in 2016. She has facilitated creative writing courses in Wexford town and at the inaugural Write By the Sea festival, and is currently facilitating and mentoring in Dublin.
Billy Roche’s first novel, Tumbling Down, was published by Wolfhound Press in 1986, followed by The Wexford Trilogy for The Bush Theatre, directed by Robin LeFevre. The Wexford Trilogy (A Handful of Stars – Poor Beast In The Rain – Belfry) was later filmed for the B.B.C. His other plays include Amphibians (R.S.C) The Cavalcaders (The Abbey / Royal Court), On Such As We and Lay Me Down Softly (Abbey/ Wexford Arts Centre). Tales from Rainwater Pond, his acclaimed collection of short stories, was published by Pillar Press. He wrote the screenplay Trojan Eddie (winner of the San Sabastian Film Festival) and co-wrote the IFTA award winning The Eclipse with Conor McPherson (inspired by Billy’s short story Table Manners). He has been Writer-In-Residence at the Bush and Writer –In-Association at Druid and the Abbey Theatre. His recent work includes the novella The Diary Of Maynard Perdu and the RTÉ four-part series Clean Break along with a short monologue for the stage called The Dog and Bone. His latest work is a stage play called Of Mornington (staged by Scalder Theatre Company at the Wexford National Opera House in May/June 2016.) Billy Roche is a member of Aosdana.