Listen to Aisling Fox talk with me on Liffey Sound FM (96.4) about her work as a performance
poet in Dublin and how music has influenced her style of delivery. Lively,  engaging, socially conscious work and plenty of music and performance to listen to! Go to ‘Radio Archives’ in the ‘Blogroll’ list on my site TVIVF to download the podcast. Enjoy!

Download a podcast of writer Shirley Benton talking with me on Liffey Sound FM about her new book ‘Looking for Leon’, published by Poolbeg Press and available in bookstores now (Eason’s ‘Book of the Month’). It’s a great read and Shirley tells me she has no problem with labels like ‘ChickLit‘ as long as people go out and buy her book and enjoy it! It’s  full of bizarre and humorous situations which will make you want to continue to the end. And who’s Leon? Ah now, did you REALLY think we’d tell you…?

You can download the podcast of by clicking on the ‘Radio Archives ‘ link in the Blogroll list on the right-hand-side of this blog (scroll down a bit!). This will bring you to Shirley on my‘Sunday Scrapbook‘ programme (and to many more luminaries). It will take a while to download, then you can fast-forward past the news and sport. Happy listening!

Listen to Phil Lynch discuss his poetry and life and times (so far!) in the Liffey Sound FM

Phil Lynch

programme ‘Sunday Scrapbook’. Download a podcast from the ‘Radio Archives’ site listed in the ‘Blogroll’ section to the right of this blog. It will take a few minutes (depending on your equipment) and then fast forward a little (unless you are a fetishist for out-of-date news and sports results). Phil covers a wide range of personal experience and explains how and (as far as possible) why he came to write poetry and his plans for a collection. A most engaging and honest assessment of his poetic journey so far.

Listen to Glasgow-born (but now Dublin-based) Liz McSkeane discuss her poetry and prose and the work of other writers in a podcast of her programme on the Liffey Sound FM ‘Sunday Scrapbook’ programme. Download by going to the Radio Archives site. It takes a few minutes (depending on your equipment) and then fast forward a little to hear Liz. She’s full of ideas (as usual) and in great form. And she’s a great reader-out of her own work.

I had the great pleasure last week to interview Neville Sexton about his newly published book ‘Craig, The Boy Who Lives’ (Gill & MacMillan) at the Liffey Sound FM Radio Station in Lucan. The book is about the birth and untimely death at 6 years of age of Neville’s son Craig after a long and debilitating illness. It would have been tragic for his parents he had been born with a serious condition at birth, but in fact Craig seemed a perfectly normal child for his first few years and this makes their story all the more poignant and heart-breaking. The book has many riveting passages but the account of the day that Neville and Barbara got the diagnoses which finally put paid to their hopes is one of those pieces of writing that is quite simply unforgettable.

Neville takes us into the very heart of a family caught up in a calamity that, from the outside, would seem unbearable. Once inside, he takes us along the road with him, Barbara and Craig on their journey towards the inevitable and allows us to share their experiences and something of the family’s pain. And their optimism: because this is by no means a ‘doom and gloom’ narrative—Their second son, Dean, has made his appearance before the end of the book and the sub-title (‘The Boy Who Lives’) refers not only to the way Craig lives in memory, but also to Neville and Barbara’s conviction that Craig still exists somehow in the background of their family.

It’s a humbling experience to talk with people like Neville and Barbara who have been through so much sadness together and it puts a lot of things into true perspective.

A podcast of the radio programme is available on the Radio Archives website at It will take a few minutes to download (depending on your equipment) and then fast forward a little to get to the start of the programme.


Niamh Bagnell has been running ‘Sunday Scrapbook‘ at the 4.00pm slot on Lffey Sound for some time now and has welcomed to the mic so many poets, scholars, artists, commentators… Life’s too short to continue this list! Her easy relaxed manner has encouraged them to reveal much about themselves and their preoccupations. Listening to the programme over the while I am struck by the way that, as well as being entertaining radio, it has become almost a ‘confessional’ for people engaged in various creative endeavours, a chance to reveal influences and motives and take stock of developments so far.

Niamh is moving out of the slot for pastures new and I hope I can continue her style of interviewing and allowing people to open up and give our listeners a quck glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes while the poem, the play, the film, the painting — or whatever artefact — is being assembled.

My first programme had as guests two film makers, Richard (Richie) Conroy and Eimear O’Kane. Richie, together with Mark Hodkinson, has written over 70 hours of TV and in 2006 set up ‘Snowluke Pictures’. He has lots of cresdits to his name by this stage but maybe is best known at the moment for his series of short films about ‘Fran’, a wannabe football manager, whose hapless aventures are aired on Setanta TV and are also available on DVD. Health Warning: If  you don’t want to split your sides, don’t watch this video!

Eimear is an IFTA nominated film producer with several successful productions to her name and it was very interesting to get a producers ‘business / commercial’ view of the film-making process. Apparently, being ‘creative’ and ‘full of ideas’ is essential to the business of making films… but is not enough! Eimer was able to clue us in on the importance of budgeting and accounts in the whole process, as otherwise things can get quite messy (Why didn’t our last government have people like her in it?)

I thought it a well-rounded programme giving an insight into the complexities of film-making. But I hope you don’t get the impression that it was a ‘heavy’ discussion. Our guests were full of good humour and anecdotes about their adventures so far in the world of the big (and small) screen.

You can download a podcast of the show the Radio Archives site at It will take two or three minutes to download and there’s a bit of music at the beginning before the ‘Divine Comedy signature tune. Be patient. It’s worth it.  You can also catch up with ‘Fran’ on Setanta TV and also on DVD.

Once again a thank you to our guests, and also to Niamh for all her help in easing me into my new role as ‘Sunday Scrapbook’ host on Lfffey Sound FM.

Download a podcast of the Liffey Sound FM 96.4 ‘Sunday Scrapbook’ programme in which Anne Tannam discusses her new poetry book ‘Take This Life’ . Go to to find ‘Radio Archives’ and click on the ‘Ann Tannam’ entry and, when the download window comes up, close the pop-up advert and click to download the podcast. It will take a few minutes, and then you’ll have to fast forward a couple of minutes through the news, but it will be worth it to hear… The Fabulous Anne!



Last Sunday(25th April) I was the guest on Niamh Bagnell’s regular Sunday Scrapbook proramme on our Lucan local ‘Liffey Sound’ station (96.4FM). It’s a weekly show at 4.00-5.00pm which features various writers dealing with various themes . The show has featured many excellent poets in the past few weeks (Raven, Anamaria Crowe-Serrano, Steve Conway, Ross hattaway…) so I had to be on my toes with at least passable stuff. You can hear the programe on <>

I took ‘Politics & Poetry’ as a ‘theme’ because a lot of my work strays into


 the worlds of buying and selling, marketing and hoarding, the environment, political partying (as distinct from just partying, though sometimes the two go together), the R-Word (we’re all not suppoesed to SAY that terrible word, remember?… because it might get even worse if we do), and all the things of the daily life we all must lead, whether we like it or not. And we have to like it because the alternative is … oblivion!  And who wants that? Nobody’s a Zen freak around here, right?

The oldest poem I dealt with was ‘Campaign’ from my first collection (‘Dispatches and Recollections’, publ. by Lapwing) way back in 1998. It was a reflection on some political work I was involved in around that time as a member of the Workers Party and examines the ins and outs of electioneering on behalf of a small left-wing party and the attempt to get across a ‘socialist’ message. If the poem draws any conclusions it’s probably that these types of attempts are really difficult, even given the high level of unemployment and job-losses that existed then, and exist now again. How much a party can spend on its campaigns is a huge factor, some would say the ONLY factor.

But don’t go away! It’s not all poems about party political politics on my radio show! There’re others on various topics, political yes, but in the sense of dealing with people and their concerns. One of these poems, written around the same time as ‘Campaign’ dealt with the headlong pursuit of consumerism which began in real earnest in Ireland around the end of the 80s when the mantra was The More We Spend the Better Off Everyone Will Be. Also I tried to get a dig in at the notion of ‘brands’ and ‘labels’. The poem was called ‘Come Live with me and be my Coke (TM)’ and it was published ina  UK magazine in 1994. Here it is:


(or: The only good thing on the box is the ads)

I would arise and go where sun-tanned people

drink Seven-Up (™)* all day, chew Juicy Fruit (™)*,

where the requisites of life are very simple:

a swimsuit, a Swiss bank-account — and youth.

I long to chase Californian, unclad ladies

along a waters edge where palm trees lean,

then lie for hours in sun-creamed meditation

until it’s time for Sugar Puffs (™)* and cream.

Come live with me and be my Coke (™)*, my darling —

or better still I’ll climb up on the box —

Quick, before this adverts over, pull me

down and in and safe aboard your yacht!

We’ll drink our Coca-Cola (™)* in the sunshine

and soar the surf and talk of Dear Old Ireland (™)*

where it’s 1.00 am November (weather’s awful)

and the only thing that soars is unemployment.

*(TM) Registered Trade Mark. All rights reseved

And so it’s a big thank you to Niamh for her invitation. It was great to be on the show. Some of the other poems  will appear in my forthcoming book ‘And Suddenly the Sun Again’ to be published next month by Seven Towers Ltd. I absolutely expect you to run out and buy it.

Me again.



Just to record that the last ‘Finnegan’ programme of the present series went out at 9.00 pm as usual last Friday 18th. We’ll be back in the New Year. Edward, Micheal and I had lots to say about the Irish Bishops/ Irish Catholic Church Child abuse fiasco and the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference fiasco. Edward also did a spot on a film from 1956 (or did he say 1946?) which was shot in Ireland called ‘I See a Dark Stranger’. It starred Virginia Kerr as an Irish girl who wanted to become a Nazi spy because of terrible things done on her family by the British in Ireland. I am completely unacquainted with this type of Irish cinema history/heritage and really must do something to make a hole in my ignorance.


Comh maith le sin agus abhair eile mhalartaiomar ar gcomhbhroin faoin mbas Ciaran Mac Mathuna. Craoiltoir den chead scoth ab ea e, agus rinne se a lan obair maidir le ‘ceolta tire’ (ainm clar iontach eile a bhi Radio Eireann fado) agus an ceol tradisiunta. Thosaigh ‘Mo Cheol Thu’, a chlar fhein,  ar an radio gach Domhnach timpeall tosnu na seactadai agus ta cuimhne maith ag daoine (cuiseach) aosta air. Ar a dheis De go raibh a anam.

I have been remiss in not blogging about our radio programme which goes out every Friday at 9.00pm on Digital Hub radio 94.3. We started back last month for another few sessions and with the usual suspects, viz., Edward Delaney (genial host), Micheal MacAonghusa (raconteur and current affairs guru) and myself (resident poet and court jester). One or two guests also, among them the very worthy Ronnie Byrne of St catherine’s Boxing Club in nearby Marrowbone Lane (our radio studio is off Thomas Street). And yes the club is for girls as well as boys, and no you don’t have to do the boxing. It can be just ‘keep fit’ and games if you like. It’s had its funding difficulties in the past, says Ronnie, but it’s come through those and is simply bursting at the seams with youngsters wanting to get involved. It’s more than a boxing club. It’s a social networking base. Any night you pick you could have 30-40 kids there doing training and other activities. For €20 once a year, and €8 per week it’s a great outlet, says Ronnie, and I believe him. I also believe that this type of thing would not be happening were it not for Ronnie’s commitment and dedication and you can see now why I began this piece by calling him ‘the very worthy’ Ronnie Byrne.

Ronnie Byrne of St Catherine's Boxing Club

Edward has been delving into films made in Ireland by Ardmore studios (fado’, fado’) and I have been surprised at the number of Abbey Theatre people who featured in them. Also according to Edward it was the Irish in America who created the ‘musical film’, starting with a film called ‘Sally’s Irish Rogue’. All this sounds fascinating and I hope I can get some time to have a look at this Irish Cinema History.