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.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Move Your Hand Across Paper - Notes From an Apprentice Poet

I've been walking about for a week,wondering how to get started on my next piece for I can’t get started. Then I remember Natalie Goldberg’s  The Rules of Writing Practice. Rule 1: Move your hand across paper. That’s how I recall it. The actual first rule is ‘Keep your hand moving’. In a gleeful first chapter to Wild Mind  (Rider imprint from Random House), and a follow on to Writing Down the Bones, she discovers her rules apply to sex too!

I set the oven timer to 10 minutes, sit down at the computer and type without ceasing – anything that comes to mind. After ten minutes I am surprised to find I have a draft for a third of the column. I am always surprised when things I should know work actually produce the goods! With a mental ‘thank-you’ to Natalie Goldberg, I set the timer again and return to the key board. A few hours later – allow extra for the breaks I took to gain perspective - of writing, but mostly editing I an able to submit Having a Laugh with Poetry to Vanessa O’Loughlin. Maybe it will suit, or maybe I’ll have to go again. But now I’m walking around having regained confidence in being able to find a way in.

I suspect I’ll be bringing you more about Goldberg’s Rules in future.

See  She has a new edition of her book about art and colour coming

More at:

1.   Writing Down the Bones - Shambhala Publications

For more than twenty years Natalie Goldberg has been challenging and cheering onwriters with her books and workshops. In her groundbreaking first book, she ...

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