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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.

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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Music & Me – Catherine Ryan Howard

Posted by Derek Flynn on 10 April 2017.

What are your earliest musical memories? I was a dedicated disco-dancer when I was a child (um, yes – Munster Disco-Dancing Champion Under 8 Category 1991, thanks for asking) so pop music was a huge part of my childhood. The earliest music I remember was Madonna and Michael Jackson. I did actually think that Madonna and MJ were the only pop-stars in the world; it was a while before I realised there were other people...

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“Mental” – A New Short Story Collection by Waterford Writer Orla Shanaghy

Posted by Derek Flynn on 30 March 2017.

Orla Shanaghy can remember vividly the moment she realised she wanted to be an author. “When I was about eight years old, I had a series of Ladybird books called ‘The Garden Gang’. The books were about these cute fruit and vegetable characters. But it wasn’t so much the content of the books that interested me; it was the picture of the author on the back cover. Her name was Jayne Fisher and she was...

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