Poets of the Poetry Collective

Arthur Watson

Arthur Watson was born in Belfast in 1946. He has lived in Clare for 30 years with his wife Judith. He has three children and three grandchildren. He has worked in theatre and commercial art in the UK and Ireland. He has lived in a commune in Norfolk. He helped found Raheenwood School, the East Clare Community Coop, the East Clare Men’s Group and the Clare Poetry Collective. He is a member of Dandelion Puppet Theatre and manages Heritage Art. His poetry is part of the world rather than apart from the world.

Collections by Arthur Watson:

  • ‘Spirit Store’ (2012)

Brendan O’Beirne

Brendan O’Beirne (1949-2010) was born in Scariff, Co. Clare, on 23rd May 1949. He was educated in the local Primary School, and a secondary school set up by his father in a warehouse at the back of the family business.

Apart from a sojourn spend travelling through Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India in the 1970s which occasioned his one and only prose work, Brendan spent most of his life between Kilkenny, Dublin and Clare. He moved to Ennis where he spent the last decade of his life.

Brendan O’Beirne has published 15 poetry collections in all. The last three are as follows:

  • ‘Reality, The Graveyard of Dreams’ (2011, postumously)
  • ‘Lost in November Rains’ (2009)
  • ‘A Briefcase Full of Clouds’ (2005)

Brian Mooney

Born in Dublin, Brian Mooney came to live in the Burren in Co. Clare in the 1960s where he was in business until 1995. Poetry was always his first love. He has published three collections of poetry. He currently lives in Kilkee.

Collections by Brian Mooney

  • ‘Image and Likeness’ (2012)
  • ‘Between the Tides’ (1990)

Dónal O’Connell

Donal O’Connell, a caul-bearer, was born in Tipperary in 1941. He is presently living in Ennis, Co. Clare with his wife Rita.

His primary education was in Thurles CBS, St.Paul’s College, Raheny, Dublin, Cistercian College, Roscrea and then Trrinity College Dublin. He trained as a hotelier and worked in Dublin, France, Germany, London, Antrim, Waterford and Galway. Eventually he slowed down, went to live in the Burren, and spent the last 40 years gardening, building, writing, travelling mainly in Ireland, India Portugal and Spain, always remaining in touch with communities and writing groups (Linenhall Writers, Castlebar, Co Mayo, Kinvara Writers, Co. Galway, Inis Writers, Ennis, Co. Clare, Nerja Writers, Spain.)

Music, Art, Meditation, Raja Yoga and Poetry are his main nutrients, together with the love of his five daughters, son, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He continues to wave the sickle.

Collections by Dónal O’Connell

  • ‘Mycelium’ – album on CD (2019)
  • ‘Weaves and Yarns
  • ‘Thirsty Fish’

Frank Golden

Frank Golden was born in Dublin and has been living in the Burren, County Clare, for over twenty years. In recent years he has worked on TV and film projects and has had a number of solo exhibitions of his painting.

Website: www.frankgolden7.com

Collections by Frank Golden

  • ‘gotta get a message to you’ (2017)
  • ‘In Daily Accord’ (2008)
  • ‘The Interior Act’ (1999)
  • ‘On Route To Leameneh’ (1991)
  • ‘In Partial Settlement’ (1987)

Fred Johnston

Fred Johnston was born in Belfast in 1951. He co-founded, with Neil Jordan and Peter Sheridan, The Irish Writers’ Co-operative in the mid-1970s. He was founder of Galway’s annual international literature festival, CUIRT, in 1986. He set up the Western Writers’ Centre in Galway in 2002. He writes poetry in French and English.

Collections by Fred Johnston

  • ‘Alligator Days’ (2013)
  • ‘The Neon Rose’ (2007)
  • ‘Being Anywhere – New & Selected Poems’ (2001)
  • ‘True North’ (1997)
  • ‘Measuring Angles’ (1993)

Karen J. McDonnell

Karen grew up in Ennis. She spent many years in Dublin working in international banking and as an actress before returning to live in the Burren in north Clare. As a mature student at NUIG, she focused increasingly on writing, including Notes from the Margins, a poetic song cycle about women on the edges of history, and literary non-fiction: Unsettled – a West Bank Journal. She won the 2014 WOW Poetry Award and was runner up in the 2015 Wild Atlantic Words and the 2015 Baffle poetry competitions. She was short listed for the 2017 Poems for Patience Award. Her poetry and other writing has been published and anthologised in Ireland and around. She recently completed a diploma in Radio Production and podcasts work on her website: karenjmcdonnell.com.

Collections by Karen J. McDonnell

  • ‘This Little World’ (June 2017)

Martin Vernon

Martin was born in England on a farm in Sussex. He moved to Ireland in 1995 and now lives in Ennis, Co. Clare. He has had many jobs ranging from electrician to community theatre actor. He has run drama workshops in schools and with groups of adults with disabilities. He has campaigned all his adult life around social justice issues and is involved in inter-cultural work and a men’s group. His interests include Irish traditional music, singing, and meditation. He started writing to help himself recover from a head-on car crash.

Collections by Martin Vernon

  • ‘The Birth and The Cry’ (March 2017)

Mike Douse

Mike Douse has, since qualifying as a teacher well over half a century ago, been immersed in education, and has lived and worked all over the world from Nigeria and Wales to Ghana, Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea, Nepal, Jamaica, Swaziland, and the list goes on. When not travelling for work, Mike lives with his wife Patricia between mid-Wales and Ennis, Co. Clare.

Collections by Mike Douse

  • ‘Gone to Ground’ (2013)
  • ‘Old Ground’ (2011)

Noel Mulqueen

Noel Mulqueen (?-2016) lived in Kilrush, County Clare. A founder-member of Sandwaves Poetry Group in Kilkee, Noel contributed articles and poems to the Clare yearbook (Dublin). His early poems were published in Dal gCais (Willy Clancy Summer School) while his later poems appeared in Clare County Express, and The Clare Champion.

Collections by Noel Mulqueen

  • ‘No Earthly Estate’ (2000)

Patrick Stack

Patrick Stack was born in Limerick in 1958, and brought up in Duagh, Co. Kerry. He was educated at St. Michael’s College, Listowel, and at Trinity College, Dublin where he read French and English. He lived in Sierra Leone and Spain before settling in Co. Clare in 1995 where he still lives and works.

Website: patrickstack.ie

Collections by Patrick Stack

  • ’13 ::: The Tenderness of Knives’ (July 2019)
  • ‘Rage’ (June 2017)
  • ‘The Parting’ (April 2013)

Peter Kay

Peter Kay (1951-2015) was from Dublin, but lived the last five years of his life in Ennis. He was a valued member of the Poetry Collective, Airfield Writers in Dun Laoghaire, and Inis Writers Group, and will be sadly missed. He wrote poetry and plays, and dabbled in art and the keyboard. He died at his Ennis home on 23 December 2015 and is buried in Drumcliffe Cemetary outside the town.

Collections by Peter Kay

  • ‘Lover to the Ocean’ (2003)
  • ‘Dresden’ (1995)
  • ‘Over by the River’ (1988)

Sinéad Nic Síoda

Sinéad Nic Síoda hails from County Clare. After a stint living and working in the UK, she returned to her native Ennis where she owns and runs The Record Break café and gallery.

Sinéad Nic Síoda is currently towards her first collection.