Orphans from Poetry Ireland’s Forum

Some years ago poets and emergent writers used a forum on Poetry Ireland for discussion, testing poetry, and commenting on the work of others. The idea was good, although the tech wasn’t so hot. After some discussion with the then Admin it was decided to have a place (not online) where poems could be published with a view to later submissions. This was a generous extension of your basic discussion forum, and geared to the need of the emergent writer. Poems that appear online are not published by many magazines, so the space had to be a closed one.

Many at the Poetry Ireland Forum went on to publish these works. Unfortunately, the forum is to be closed and while there is no announcement on the forum pages, there is brief note there on the closure and deletion of the forum available to members. There was an email :


Dear C Murray


Over the past few weeks, Poetry Ireland has been engaged in an in-depth review of all its online resources, including the Poetry Ireland Forum.

After careful deliberation, we have decided to close down the Poetry Ireland Forum, with effect from Friday 8th November 2013. We strongly advise all members to make copies of their posts by midnight Thursday 7th November, as after this date the Forum and all its contents will be permanently deleted from our servers.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all Forum members for their participation over the past few years.


I believe that this deadline for removal of works has been extended, though not indefinitely, and that an archive has been made available to members of the PI Forum. The type of tech used does not allow for portability, so files must be manually taken off and uploaded elsewhere. This is a huge and upsetting inconvenience.
I have been in and out removing drafts of poems, the majority of them later published. I am linking them below this brief post. The conversations and encouragement on a place dedicated to poetic interests is to be expediently dumped down the tubes and some of that loss is irretrievable for me (and others)
I hope when PI finish their deliberations on their online facilities that they will find a way to extend their space to emergent writers in a manner that includes data liberation tools and a stated ethos regarding intellectual rights.


Dear C. Murray,

There is an archive of the Forum, which is currently available to all registered Forum members at 


Unfortunately, we no longer have the resources to host and moderate the Forum. We strongly recommend that members make copies of any posts/original work they wish to keep.

Previews of The Blind published in Ditch Poetry

The following poem is an excerpt from a sequence published by Ditch Poetry. The sequence is from my forthcoming collection, The Blind (Oneiros Books 2013). Part of the Sequence is published here. The first poem in the sequence, hunger, appears throughout the collection and was first published in A New Ulster Magazine.

suspend I

from the mirror architrave
float down silken threads
they are not blackened yet
from the ceiling hooks
float down wisps of
red thread – almost
cobweb light she is
arched back unsure
whether to suspend
burnt orange silks
cover the shutters
there are children in the street
she is nonetheless
quite bound-up
in red ropes
from loop at nape
and length of torso
it is peaceful
being spider-rolled
webbed-in and arched
as if a –
a bird swoops down
behind the orange silks

….. shiftshape-in

Suspend I by C. Murray, is taken from The Blind (Oneiros Books 2013) and is published in part at Ditch Poetry.

Bone Orchard Poetry, a blogzine for working poets and writers

Bone Orchard Poetry is variously active on discussion sites and uses social-media well. This is what writers refer to as bloody good innovative web-use. Editor Michael McAloran keeps the blogzine brief in description, ‘ An explorative blogzine of the Bleak/ the Surreal/ the Dark/ Absurd and the Experimental. ‘ There you have it encapsulated in a single minimal statement, a blogzine dedicated to new writing that focuses on the actual work of  working writers.

I had been aware of Bone Orchard Poetry for a period of time. I decided to investigate it, and I submitted a single poem. Turns out a single poem isn’t enough. This is probably the best thing about Michael’s editorship of the Zine, I got an email back suggesting that a single poem submission doesn’t really tell the reader anything about the writer at all. He suggested I re-submit with a small grouping of poems. This I did. I sent a sequence based in a dream, actually based in the reality of a grief-experience. The poem initially had one extra verse, and there was a turn contained within that verse. I am still holding onto the original cycle in a folder, as I am very unsure of the turn issue in the poem.

Eamon Ceannt Park Cycle is based in a seven day walk through an unfamiliar/familiar park, in winter. This sequence does not always occur in waking reality, it is a dream-reality.  Maybe the rest is nightmare. I am adding a link to the entire sequence here, and a brief excerpt from ECPC(#III).

Eamon Ceannt Park Cycle

There is a man in the stone.
The dew is playing fire at her feet,
wetting her legs.
A legion of rooks guard his stone.
© C. Murray

Go read the site, I note that Kit Fryatt is a contributor , she will be familiar to Poethead readers for her poems which I published here and here. I added the Bone Orchard Poetry link to Irish Poetry Imprints on my blogroll.

Other poet-contributors to Bone Orchard Poetry are, PD Lyons ,Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal, Kevin Reid, Gillian Prew, John W. Sexton, Alyssa Nickerson, Craig Podmore, , Michelle Greenblatt, Heller Levinson, David Scott Pointer, Natasa Georgievska, Carolyn Srygley-Moore, Anthony Seidman, Aad de Gids and David McLean

And Other Poems

This is a brief note about the And Other Poems blog which is owned and written by Josephine Corcoran. What a breath of fresh air the blog is, judging by contemporary availability of good poetry (and critique). To say that poetry is sorely neglected in the face of market-forces is a wild understatement, but more polemic anon.

“And Other Poems is simply a quiet, uncluttered place to read poems by different writers posted by Josephine Corcoran. The blog’s aim is to give readership to poems which would not otherwise be available, for instance poems no longer elsewhere online, out of print poems, poems published in print but not online, and new, unpublished poems by established writers. Poets have given permission for their work to be featured and copyrights remain with the poets.”

I had been seeing some of Josephine’s link on Twitter for a period of time, and as always was gladdened to see the advent of blogs and websites dedicated to the reader of poetry. Quite a few blogs and websites deal in modern and contemporary poetry in all its wonderful variety. Whilst some people may look on this avant-gardeism as a niche-activity, it is important that the poetry-reader can access all types of poetic-writing. It has been a while since I looked at how poets use online tools to disseminate literature  but I see a radical improvement and diversification in the area. Josephine knows her poetry which is excellent for her readers. I recommend a perusal of her blog and of  her list of poets which is wonderfully diverse. I am adding here the And Other Poems index , and of course a link to my poem i and the village (after Marc Chagall) which she kindly published on 11/09/2012.

I have never presumed that poetics are a niche-activity , but that a wholly conservative approach to critique combined with a mechanistic desire to advance contemporary fiction book-sales dominate newspaper editorials/reviews,  at least in Ireland. The fact that many readers seek poetics through varieties of means, combined with news that 30,000 people signed up to PENN State’s Modern and Contemporary Poetry Course in 2012  would suggest that market-forces are just wrong. Or actually repellent !  Editors would rather clever women review silly books, than look at poetry or actual literature.  If  poetry readers seek adequate reviews of women authors and their books they must look elsewhere than the media, hence the blogs, the small presses, the literary journals and forums dedicated to poetry.

There is a list of blogs and websites dedicated to poetry on the right sidebar of this site. Links to And Other Poems are embedded in this post and given below :

Irish Poetry Imprints (Online and Print)

“Chaplet” by C Murray



A conversation amongst trees

I cannot hear what they are saying, that young girl
and the tree. Their whispers are intimate, ceaseless.

I am sunk into a conifer hedge, tamped into a wall,
threaded into the blue ivy.

This is a warm chaplet against the rain,
And I would lie here if it wasn’t for the sky-

the sky will not skew to my vision,
body conspires with green leaf to thrust me forward.



 And I am become aware that it is time for this to cease,

A mead of daisies whiten on the windward side
of a grove. Trees,
daisies are blown white beneath silver beech.

Those hues balance
for once.

and If I step at once from the shelter of this close bower,
Will it hold ?

© C Murray

Chaplet(2003) Lambda Print, courtesy of Alice Maher and the Green on Red Gallery, Dublin.
Chaplet (2003) Lambda Print, courtesy of Alice Maher and the Green on Red Gallery, Dublin.


The image  Chaplet  is by Alice Maher and is used for this poem courtesy of Alice Maher and the Green on Red Gallery, Dublin, Ireland. This is a re-posting of the original Chaplet poem and image which had been password-protected for some time.

Chaplet, a poem by C Murray