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Shaun Griffin with music by James Canavan

Alcock and Brown

Shaun T. Griffin co-founded and directed Community Chest, a rural social justice agency for twenty-seven years. Because the Light Will Not Forgive Me—Essays from a Poet, was published in 2019. The Monastery of Stars, poems, came out in 2020. For over three decades, he taught a poetry workshop at Northern Nevada Correctional Center, and published a journal of their work, Razor Wire. He and his wife Debby live in Virginia City, Nevada.


Two Notes For Home – Terry McDonagh Book Launch

Alcock and Brown

Guest speaker Gabriel Fitzmaurice.

Clifden Arts Festival is honoured to welcome back these two old friends of the Festival. They continue to produce poetry that touches the heart and lifts the spirit.

Terry McDonagh, poet and theatre-maker, facilitates and takes part in writing programmes in Europe, Asia and Australia. He taught creative writing at Hamburg University and was Drama Director at International School Hamburg. He's published eleven poetry collections, letters, drama, prose and poetry for young people. His work has been translated into German and Indonesian. His forthcoming collection 'Two Notes for Home' is to be published in September by Arlen House.


Breda Joyce and Micheal O’Gorman

Alcock and Brown

On retiring from teaching, Breda studied creative writing at UCC, where she won her first poetry prize and graduated with an MA in 2020. Breda has been shortlisted for many prestigious awards such as Hennessy NIW, the Anthony Cronin Award, the Over the Edge Awards, the Fish Lockdown prize, and many others.

Her poetry appears in various publications, anthologies and literary journals, the most recent being Poems for Pandemia and The Best New British and Irish Poets Anthology 2019-2021 and The Irish Times. She has broadcast on Sunday Miscellany.

Galway-based poet Michael Gorman. Michael Gorman was born in Sligo. He was educated at Summerhill College and National University College Galway, where he taught for many years. His publications include Up She Flew (Salmon 1991) and Waiting for the Sky to Fall (Lighthouse Press 1984). His work has been included in prominent anthologies, including Voices and Poetry of Ireland (HarperCollins 2004), Lifelines - New and Collected: Letters From Famous People About Their Favourite Poems edited by Niall MacMonagle, (TownHouse, 2006) and Windharp: Poems of Ireland Since 1916 edited by Niall MacMonagle (Penguin 2015).

2023 Festival Programme