Author of three collections published by Doire Press, in 2016 - 2018 Susan's poems have appeared, among elsewhere, in: The Cafe Review, Oregan, USA - Gather In, in a Special Irish Edition; Bosom Pals,Ed Marie Cadden (Doire Press, 2017) an anthology entirely in aid of Breast Cancer Research in the National UniveristyHospital, Galway and When They've Grown Another Me in Poetry Ireland Review, Dec 2018. January 2018 has seen her poems Commended in the Gregory O'Donoghue Poetry Competition.

She has been an invited reader of her poems at local readings in Galway, Cork and Dublin and at festivals, including the Belfast Book Festival, Cuirt International Festival of Literature and Clifden Arts Festival. Her poems have been read on radio.

Susan completed her degree in social science and qualified as a professional social worker in Trinity College, Dublin 1975. She was a psychotherapist, trainer, facilitator and occasional consultant to organisations for over thirty years until her retirement in 2012. Drawing together her writing with her earlier skills she has written interviews and facilitated conversations mediated by poetry. She continues to work on a manuscript relating the story of starting out in poetry and a mid-life move West along with occasional other creative non-fiction pieces.

Her workshop Having a New Conversation: About Dreaming was listed on the The Cuirt International Festival of Literature Programme (2015) and she facilitates similar workshops on a variety of themes, discussed through the medium of poetry, regularly and occasionally in local community settings.

While a founding editor of Skylight 47 Susan interviewed: then Ireland Professor of Poetry, Harry Clifton; Kay Ryan, former US Poet Laureate invited to Ireland by Dromineer Literature Festival and Dani Gill who talks about curating The Cuirt International Literature Festival. Her most recent interview, of Maeve O'Sullivan, appears in The Honest Ulsterman February, 2018.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

I’m not sure about poems against Women Bishops – especially on Brigid’s Day!

Catching my breath after a first year of being involved in producing Skylight 47, I am very impressed – and not a little sorry - to see on his blog that Michael Farry has retired from being Editor of Boyne Berries, having produced 15 Issues. He is succeeded by Orla Fay, also of the Boyne Writers Group. Congratulations Michael.

‘At the AGM the chair person, Paddy Smith, offered a challenge  to the group (BWG) worth keeping in mind, ‘Where are the poems about potholes on our roads or about what it’s like to be a member of the first human settlement on Mars or about the slow pace of funding for the arts in this country? (That latter issue, I’m convinced, is at the core of the recent controversy over Limerick City of Culture.)’ I couldn’t agree more. ‘Where is the material that deals with the taking over of the world by accountants? Or where’s the stuff that’s a lively commentary on RTE television programmes? Or that’s against Women Bishops! Depression and melancholy are not enough in our writing; we must be contrary too!’

Boyne Berries has been one of the first ports of call for new writers for all this time. I really appreciated having a poem published, getting to Trim to enjoy the launch of that issue and meeting other contributors and members of the Boyne Writer’s Group, of which Michael Farry is Secretary. The Boyne Berries Writers Group has an annual satire competition too, I see on the website Michael maintains. Kevin Higgins and all those in his Galway workshops who had a recent term or two on taking a satirical perspective, take note!
I met Michael at the workshop Alan Jude Moore held for authors selected for the Poetry Ireland

Introductions Series in 2011. He has been a generous supporter of our venture with Skylight 47, contributing poems and coming to readings and offering us a copy of his book, Asking for Directions (Doghouse, 2012) for Review. It was reviewed by Nicola Griffin who writes, ‘…this is a collection of precise language, never excitable but drenched in images that allow you to see the places and people of these stories, often quirky and sharp.’ She goes on to mention the humour in particular poems.

I wish you everything best in your retirement from being editor, Michael. I hope it means you’ll be able to visit our Galway events soon again. You are a historian as well as a poet. Can we expect a history of Boyne Berries? I’m now expecting a new book, or two – history and poetry, shortly. Hope so.


  1. Thanks Susan for your kind comments and good wishes. I'll actually be reading at Over the Edge in Galway at the end of this month and possibly at the Crannog launch around the same time.
    I should point out that those provocative comments you quoted were made by our Chairperson, Paddy Smith, in his address.

    1. I'm really sorry for misunderstanding that, Michael. I thought I was being suitably controversial in response! Apologies to Paddy Smith, too, I look forward to your Over the Edge Reading. We can maybe expect a poem from you in the next issue of Crannog then.