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Obituary for Leland Bardwell

Leland Bardwell (1922 – 2016)

“For such a big personality, her carbon footprint was small. Her radio played Lyric FM, quietly. And for years and years she drove an ancient Triumph Herald, the back seat of which was composed almost entirely of old literary magazines and dog-eared typescripts. And yet somehow, just like language itself, it sustained her.”

Read Pat Boran’s Obituary, first published in The Irish Times, Sat. July 2, 2016, in full HERE


by Leland Bardwell

I have willed my body to the furthering of science
Although I’ll not be there
to chronicle my findings
I can imagine all the students
poring over me:
“My God, is that a liver?
And those brown caulifowers are lungs?”
“Yes, sir, a fine example of how not to live.”
“And what about the brain?”
“Alas the brain. I doubt if this poor sample
ever had one.” As with his forceps
he extracts a single rose.

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The Level Crossing, issue 1

The Level Crossing 1 - contentsWe’re finally there with issue 1 of  THE LEVEL CROSSING (see HERE).

THE LEVEL CROSSING is the new occasional journal of poetry and poetry-related prose from Dedalus Press. This first issue includes new work by poets from Ireland, the UK, the US, Australia, Canada, Poland and Korea, among others, poets already associated with the press as well as more than a dozen writers with no previous connection.

The issue features a report by Keith Payne on the new Galician poetry, Gerard Smyth on B.H. Fairchild, Vincent Woods’ writing on Macdara Woods’ new book, Music From The Big Tent, and Pat Boran on the attractions of haiku and landscape.

There are new poems by Catherine Ann Cullen, Doireann Ní Ghríofa, Jane Williams, Tom Matthews, Hanyong Jeong and James Silas Rogers, among others.

Gerry Murphy writes about being a poet / lifeguard, and Grace Wells considers the poem ‘Selkie Moment’ from her recent collection, Fur.

There’s a sample of contributions – by Karl Parkinson, Jennifer Matthews, Paul Perry and Jessica Traynor – from the forthcoming anthology The Deep Heart’s Core: Irish Poets Revisit Their ‘Touchstone’ Poems.

And we’re delighted to present our feature on ‘Poems of Place’, the poems being drawn from over 900 submissions received in a recent open call for submissions.

In putting together THE LEVEL CROSSING, we set ourselves the target of producing a magazine that, in content, feel and attitude, was positive, outward-looking and, not to overstate the case, didn’t look like it was produced in the 19th century. For a first issue, we’re happy and excited with the result but can see lots of ways we could further improve. With a bit of luck, we’ll get that chance: after all, the barriers come down, but then the barriers also go up again!

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Poetry Submissions Welcome

Dedalus Press is currently accepting online poetry submissions.

Irish poets, as well as those born elsewhere but currently resident in Ireland, may submit a book-length work (or a significant part of same) between now and 31 July 2016, via the DEDALUS PRESS SUBMITTABLE page. (Formerly the Press could accept only hard copy submissions sent by post.)

For detailed information, consult our SUBMISSIONS guidelines before preparing your manuscript, and then follow the link to the DEDALUS PRESS SUBMITTABLE page.

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Two New Titles for May 2016 Launch

Music From The Big Tent

Launches of the new collection of poems by Macdara Woods, Music From The Big Tent, together with the latest from Paddy Bushe, On a Turning Wing, are among the many events that make up the annual Strokestown Poetry Festival which takes place over the May Bank Holiday Weekend, in one of the most welcoming and celebratory gatherings in the annual poetry calendar.

Music From The Big Tent is Macdara Woods’ first volume of new poems since Collected Poems (2012)

From the opening poem in which a bird falls dead at the feet of the strolling poet and his son, to the closing which references the well-known song ‘The Night Before Larry Was Stretched’, in this latest collection of his poems Macdara Woods looks, with unflinching eye, beyond the certainties and consolations of the here and now.

In a book which charts his own recent ill health and recovery, he celebrates “the courage and / The wonder / Of the naked body”, not least at a time “when the financiers / have poisoned all the blood banks / and the drug companies / have rendered us venomous”.

Though his subjects may be illness, frailty and dissolution, the insistence on witness and clear-eyed expression animates these poems with a defiant and by times exuberant energy. Poems such as ‘Big-Top Music’ and ‘A May-Day Aisling Skazka’ (“Here’s where the rhythm in the rhyme / Turns slower (as will yours in time)” tap in to a long tradition of playful music imparting dark visions, and add a new and captivating dimension to Woods’ ongoing dance in words and ‘In the open space between / The words”.

Paddy Bushe’s latest collection of poems opens with a stirring suite on music and art, seeing them not as rarefied experiences but as fundamental and nourishing encounters for both their makers and their audience. The distinction between here and elsewhere is blurred, and the playing of an Irish piper seems echoed by that of other musicians in far-flung parts where the poet’s enthusiasm for travel and hill-walking takes him. The transition from such open, light-filled spaces to the more uncertain areas of Irish political life makes perfect sense in Bushe’s work, the poet’s freedom bringing with it a responsibility to engage. And Bushe’s defence of a local arts centre is lifted far above what might have been a parochial dispute into a passionate argument for access to the arts beyond favouritism or political interference. On a Turning Wing contains some of Bushe’s finest sketches of the natural world, as well as touching lyrics on the birth of a grandchild and the joy and consolation of companionship and love.

Music From The Big Tent and On A Turning Wing will be launched on 01 May 2016.

For more information, see the Strokestown Poetry Festival website,


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THE LEVEL CROSSING Seeking Poems of Place

(NB: SUBMISSIONS for this publication are now closed. We received an unprecedented number of submissions, from all over the world, and will now get down to reading through them carefully and making our selection. Thanks to all of those who submitted work and helped us spread the word.)


Dedalus Press is looking for (previously unpublished) poems for a feature in its new occasional journal, THE LEVEL CROSSING.

Poems on the subject of place (home place, strange place, imagined place …) should run to a maximum of 20 lines and may be in any form. Prose poems are welcome. Poets may submit up to three poems each, but no poet will have more than one poem chosen for publication.

We pay a one-time fee of €30 for each poem published.

The feature will appear in THE LEVEL CROSSING, number 1, in both print and download editions (the latter available free from the Dedalus website) in April/May 2016; a selection will also feature on the Dedalus blog at the same time. All other rights remain with the authors.

Poems must be received by end March 2016 (after which no further submissions can be considered). Submissions may be made only through No correspondence will be entered into regarding submissions, and we are not in a position to offer feedback on unsuccessful submissions, but we do look forward to reading the poems.

Poems may be submitted by visiting the Submittable below and following the instructions: all you have to do is fill in a brief Contact form; upload a Word document or similar text-only file, etc. To ensure a fair and unbiased reading of all submitted work, the author’s name should NOT appear on the uploaded text file but only in the online Contact form.

Feel free to post this call for submissions elsewhere. Poetry Matters: Spread the Word.


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Theo Dorgan on The Poetry Programme

Theo Dorgan is the guest on this week’s Poetry Programme (Saturday 20 February at 7:30 pm, RTÉ Radio 1), reading from his most recent collection Nine Bright Shiners (Dedalus Press, 2014), his translations of Maram al-Masri’s Barefoot Souls, and previewing the forthcoming Mountains to Sea literary festival.

The show will also be available to listen back to online at

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