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Guest Blogs

A blog by Derek Flynn

Derek Flynn runs Writing.ie's SongBook blog, and is an Irish writer and musician. He has a Masters in Creative Writing from Trinity College, Dublin. He’s been published in a number of publications, including The Irish Times, and his fiction was featured in 'Surge', an anthology of new Irish writing published by O’ Brien Press with the aim of showcasing “the very best of the next generation of Irish authors”. Online he can be found at his writing/music blog – ‘Rant, with Occasional Music’ – and on Twitter as @derekf03

You can follow Derek online, on Twitter and on Facebook.

Music & Me – Hazel Gaynor

Posted by Derek Flynn on 4 September 2017.

What are your earliest musical memories? ABBA! I grew up listening to, and loving, everything they did. My sister is a few years older than me and was a member of the fan club. My parents drove us all the way from ‘Up North’ to that London to see them at Wembley Arena in 1978. It was absolutely amazing. I still can’t believe that actually happened! I went to a Depeche Mode gig in Sheffield...

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Well Festival of Arts and Wellbeing 2017 invites readers to share feel-good poetry and prose

Posted by Derek Flynn on 21 August 2017.

We haven’t had an earthquake lately… Do you reach for a favourite poem or piece of prose when you need to be inspired, comforted or cheered up? Well Festival of Arts and Wellbeing 2017  is calling on all avid readers to submit their favourite piece of writing (not self-written) for consideration for We haven’t had an earthquake lately…, a flagship event of the festival which celebrates the joy of reading, taking place at The Book Centre, Waterford,...

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100 Great Works Of Dystopian Fiction

Posted by Derek Flynn on 14 August 2017.

With the recent popularity of Hulu’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale”, dystopian fiction has come into the spotlight again. And if you’re wondering where to get your next dystopian fix, Vulture’s article “100 Great Works of Dystopian Fiction” is a great place to start. To begin with, this is not just any old thrown together list. It’s compiled by two professors of English at Cornell and UCLA, no less, both of whom study...

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Duke Special’s new album ‘Hallow’ based on the poetry of Michael Longley

Posted by Derek Flynn on 27 July 2017.

The eminent Belfast poet Michael Longley was once described by his friend Seamus Heaney as ‘a keeper of the artistic estate, a custodian of griefs and wonders’. Duke Special’s new studio album Hallow is entirely based on the poetry of Longley, full of gentleness, honesty, mischief and love, and peppered with a cast of artists, animals, flowers, friends and long forgotten soldiers. As ever, Duke Special is mining a new seam of inspiration, always trying to get...

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New Music Books To Watch Out For (Sex, drugs & rock n’ roll edition!)

Posted by Derek Flynn on 17 July 2017.

This edition of “New Music Books” is a sex, drugs and rock n’ roll extravaganza. From unknowns to rock legends, the next few months sees a slew of tell-all tales of excess. A History of Heavy Metal – Andrew O’Neill The history of heavy metal brings brings us extraordinary stories of larger-than-life characters living to excess, from the household names of Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Iron Maiden and Metallica, to the brutal notoriety of the underground Norwegian...

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Muldoon’s Picnic, Poets on Tour

Posted by Derek Flynn on 19 June 2017.

Poet Paul Muldoon and his house band Rogue Oliphant lead a star-studded literary and musical tour of Ireland. Launched on 15 June at the Abbey Theatre, the tour is presented by Poetry Ireland, and featured guests include Kevin Barry, Eavan Boland, Paul Brady, Lisa Dwan, Anne Enright, Martin Hayes, and Duke Special. Hosted by the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and New Yorker poetry editor Paul Muldoon, Muldoon’s Picnic has been described by Muldoon himself as “an omnium-gatherum” of...

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Music & Me: Jane Casey

Posted by Derek Flynn on 29 May 2017.

What are your earliest musical memories? I was brought up listening to two kinds of music: classical and swing. My father is a true enthusiast for music and took me and my sister to concerts from an early age. He likes to put the radio on and guess what composer is being played – or if that’s too easy, which recording it is. I think it grieved him enormously when we were old enough to...

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Jameson Offers Chance To Make Short Film with “The Wire” Star Dominic West

Posted by Derek Flynn on 13 May 2017.

For the sixth year of Jameson First Shot, three undiscovered filmmakers will be provided with the opportunity to direct award-winning actor and director Dominic West (The Wire, The Affair) in a short film that they will write and direct. The Jameson First Shot film competition is all about giving talented filmmakers the opportunity of a lifetime – a first step in an industry that can be notoriously difficult to break into. It’s a platform that...

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The January Show – A Different Kind of Theatre Experience

Posted by Derek Flynn on 8 May 2017.

A few weeks ago in Garter Lane Arts Theatre in Waterford, audiences were treated to a somewhat different piece of theatre. Titled The January Show, this piece could ostensibly be called a play, but the clue is in the title. The January Show – written and directed by Waterford writer, Anna Jordan – is more than a play. It is indeed a “show”, featuring drama, music, dance, and spoken word – with a live band...

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Music & Me – Kerrie O’ Brien

Posted by Derek Flynn on 24 April 2017.

What are your earliest musical memories? My grandmother singing in the kitchen in the mornings. And my mother blaring Elkie Brooks and Mary Black in the car. Who or what were your musical influences growing up and why? Up until the age of about twelve I remember most of my knowledge and memories of music being connected to MTV videos – I vividly remember the first time seeing the Run DMC video It’s Like That,...

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