Poetry Outdoors

Saints Island Church

Event: Poetry Outdoors
Facilitated by: Noel Monahan, poet & dramatist
When: Daily – Friday 24th July to Sunday 26th July 2015
Cost: 20 Euro
Price includes transport from Longford to and from sites and tuition fee
Booking: Longford Tourism
phone: 043 33 42577
email: info@longfordtourism.ie

In a new and stimulating series of poetry workshops, internationally recognised poet and dramatist, Noel Monahan will take workshop participants on tour of the most beautiful and unspoiled landscapes in Ireland. The Lough Ree Waterway described by RTE’s Dick Warner as; “Europe’s last great wilderness” is the perfect backdrop for this creative adventure in Co. Longford. It is hoped this journey will lead to artistic freedom and engage participants directly in finding new and unexpected gift of subject matter for their writing. Knowing all true artists are hunters/fishermen, we look forward to new findings and new ways of looking at the everyday. The facilitator will draw the participants’ attention to the many features of this picturesque part of Co. Longford:

noel monahan
Listen to Noel Monahan discuss this unique event and explain why Lough Ree and Saint’s Island are so special.

The event will explore: Landscape, Flora and Fauna – hills, bogs, woodlands, quarry-park, lakes and islands and wildlife. Unique Colours – lichen covered stones, the strata-graphic colours of bogland, meadowland.

As well as the area’s storied history: Ruins of monasteries on the islands, placenames creating their own word- pattern of poetry, the landed ‘gentry’ and the fall of The Big House.

Such an approach will lead to a discovery of the wonder of the place and will open up a new vision and new intelligence for the writers.

The one day experience is suitable for both beginners and those who have been writing for some time.

Saints Island Church


[Friday July 24th – Sunday July 26th]

9.30am – Group assemble at Longford Tourist Office, Market Square, Longford

Morning – A facilitated exploration of St. Island and the award winning ‘sculpture village’ of Newtowncashel. [Participants are recommended to bring refreshments]

1.00pm – Group arrive in Lanesborough. Lunch can be had in a number of bars and cafes. After lunch people are free to explore the picturesque village, the lake shore and the environmental SAC ‘The Commons’.

3.00pm – Lough Ree Co op Offices Main Street Lanesborough – Workshop based on the morning’s experiences and dealing with specific writing skills such as: Finding the Words and the line as a basic unit of a poem. The workshop will assist with editing and offer guide lines for publication.

5.30pm – Return by bus to the Tourist Office, Market Square, Longford


All places on this workshop must be booked in advance through Longford Tourist Office

Course Fee: €20.00

Numbers strictly limited to a maximum of 15 participants per day, therefore it is important to book early

The price includes transport from Longford to and from sites and tuition fee.

Refreshments and lunch are not provided. Lunch may be had in Lanesborough.

Accommodation can be arranged in local Hotel or B & Bs. Enquire at Longford Tourist Office: 043 33 42577 info@longfordtourism.ie

All enquiries to Longford Tourist Office.

For further information and updates check: www.virtualwriter.ie

saints island


Noel MonahanNoel Monahan was born in Granard. He has won numerous awards for his poetry and writing. His awards include: The SeaCat National Poetry Award, organised by Poetry Ireland, The RTE P.J. O’Connor Award for drama, The ASTI Achievements Award, The Hiberno-English Poetry Award and The Irish Writers’ Union Poetry Award. His poetry was prescribed text for Leaving Certificate English and examined in 2011. Noel Monahan has published seven collections of poetry fifth collection of poetry, published in 2010. “ Opposite Walls”, was published in 1991, “Snowfire”, in 1995, “ Curse of The Birds” in 2000 and “ The Funeral Game” in 2004, “ Curve Of The Moon”2010, “ Where The Wind Sleeps” 2014. all published by Salmon. In October 2014, Alidades in France published a selection of Noel Monahan’s work in French translation: “Celui Qui Porte Un Veau”. A number of his poems have been translated into: Italian, Russian, French and Romanian. His most recent plays include “The Children of Lir”, performed by Livin Dred Theatre and “ Lovely Husbands”, a play for young people, based on the work of Henry James. For twenty years he has worked with Heather Brett as co editor of Windows Publications. Noel Monahan holds an M.A. in Creative Writing.

The Red AbbeyMonks walked through hell to arrive at Abbeyderg.Each one carried a woman within himselfAnd she settled somewhere between his hair-shirt

And heart. In the light and darkness of the Sun-

Moon- Child they listened for the unheard melody,

Dreamt prayers over the hills, built altars of snow.

By night the stones

Fell up to the stars.

Asleep on their pillows of stone they stared

At the Red Abbey Cross, felt Christified,

Saw a lady hanging there, red tears running

Down her face. In the morning the stars fell

Down as stones, the monks saw Christ’s image,

His crown of thorns still bleeding and they carried

His cross beams between the stones and the stars.

Noel Monahan