Molly Keane Writers Retreat

Don Share - A huge success in Ardmore

The Molly Keane Writers Retreats hosted Poet, Author and the Chief Editor of POETRY Magazine, Don Share, for a three-day poetry masterclass last week.

Don Share certainly raised the bar for all of the poets who attended the master classes, in the Molly Keane House, throwing out a lot of old ideas that we were taught; and urging poets to say more and to make their work matter, for example; asking Irish women if in the future their poems would show what it was really like for an Irish woman living in this country today. He also said that there are so many bad poems out there, why add to them and was particularly critical of poems that were un-necessarily obscure because often the poet was leaving out the names of the people, places and situations that they were attempting to write about. Before they publish a poem the editors of Poetry ask 'Is there anything at stake here?' Poetry receives up to one hundred and fifty thousand poems a year, out of that they select three hundred.

POETRY Magazine - Founded in Chicago by Harriet Monroe in 1912, Poetry magazine began with the "Open Door":  May the great poet we are looking for never find it shut, or half-shut, against his ample genius! To this end the editors hope to keep free of entangling alliances with any single class or school. They desire to print the best English verse which is being written today, regardless of where, by whom, or under what theory of art it is written.

In its first year Poetry published Joyce Kilmer's "Trees," Ezra Pound's "In a Station of the Metro,William Carlos Williams, and William Butler Yeats and introduced Rabindranath Tagore to the English-speaking world just before he was awarded the Nobel Prize.

The magazine has since been in continuous publication for more than 100 years, making it the oldest monthly magazine devoted to verse in the English language. Perhaps most famous for having been the first to publish T.S. Eliot’s "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" (and, later, John Ashbery's "Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror"), Poetry also championed the early works of H.D., Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Marianne Moore. It was first to recognize many poems that are now widely anthologized: "We Real Cool" by Gwendolyn Brooks, Briggflatts by Basil Bunting, "anyone lived in a pretty how town" by E.E. Cummings, "Chez Jane" by Frank O'Hara, "Fever 103°" by Sylvia Plath, "Chicago" by Carl Sandburg, "Sunday Morning" by Wallace Stevens, and many others. Elizabeth Bishop, Charles Bukowski, Raymond Carver, Allen Ginsberg, Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, and Tennessee Williams, to name just a few, have also appeared in Poetry’s pages. In recent issues, the magazine has published “In Colorado My Father Scoured and Stacked Dishes” by Eduardo C. Corral; excerpts from Citizen by Claudia Rankine; “Vulnerability Study” by Solmaz Sharif; “alternate names for black boys” by Danez Smith; and “Aubade with Burning City” by Ocean Vuong. Recent issues have also featured poems by Toi Derricotte, Carolyn Forché, Terrance Hayes, Juan Felipe Herrera, Linda Hogan, Jamaal May, Les Murray, Craig Santos Perez, Safiya Sinclair, Karen Solie, C.D. Wright, and many others.

Today, Poetry regularly presents new work by the most recognized poets, but its primary commitment is still to discover new voices: more than a third of the poets published in recent years have been new to the magazine. Lani O' Hanlon, Writer in Residence.

Lani O'Hanlon published in Poetry!

Our writer in residence, Lani O'Hanlon has been published in POETRY.   What an honour to have a poem published in the oldest monthly devoted to verse in the English-speaking world. Congratulations Lani.   Click here

Launch of Lani O'Hanlon's Chapbook

'The Little Theatre'


 Lani's new poetry chapbook 'The Little Theatre' was launched on Thursday 22nd of June, in Dungarvan Arts Centre.  The theatre was packed with friends and family.  A wonderful night of poetry and music.  Well done Lani

Thomas McCarthy's poem 'Slow Food' has been published in The Guardian

Molly Keane: A life - by Sally Phipps

Launch night

 The Irish launch of Sally's book took place in Ballymaloe.  Standing room only, and all the books sold out.  First we were treated to an excerpt of an interview John Bowman did with Molly on Radio 1.  Speeches were given by Sally's good friends Thomas McCarthy and Ken Thomspon, and also the Editor of Virago, Lennie Goodings.  Tom told us that he could hear Molly speaking through the pages and Lennie told us of Sally arriving with her hand written manuscript in a basket.

I asked Virginia to write a few lines for us surrounding the book. 
"The launch of my sister Sally's book about my mother, has involved both celebration and emotion for me. I was extremely nervous reading the manuscript for the first time. I loved my mother, and I love my sister. I dreaded the risk that I'd Hate the book, but as I read, my mother was alive again with me. I wept, laughed and rejoiced at Sally's skill and at the authenticity of her portrayal of Molly. Sally was relieved and happy about my reaction. Both of us knew that there would never be as exacting a critic of the book than her own sister. Both the London and Irish launch parties were full of people from many stages of our three lives. A reminder of the TV programme 'This is your Life'. The celebration of my sister and my mother's skill has given me great happiness"

Here are some links relating to the book

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Ardmore, Co. Waterford, Ireland                                         Ard Mhór, Contae Phort Láirge


'For the last fifty years of my life I have lived in a cottage - a cottage hanging above Ardmore bay, above the village and the Catholic church, its east window lighted over the sea on winter evenings. Beyond my cottage one of the finest round towers in Ireland reaches up to the sky above the ruined and beautiful church and monastery at its foot.'

Molly Keane


The writer Molly Keane lived at Dysert in the picturesque village of Ardmore in County Waterford from 1950 until her death in 1996. She turned a bungalow into a house, which tucks into the hill overlooking Ardmore bay. It is here she wrote the Booker Prize runner up 'Good Behaviour' and the other best sellers 'Time After Time' and 'Loving and Giving'


Her daughter Virginia Brownlow has now made the house available for use by contemporary writers of all abilities.



Grant Assisted by Waterford City & County Council’s Arts Office



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