Thursday, 24 April 2014

Off to Liverpool: Danny Morrision, Tim Brannigan & Me

I'll be in Liverpool on May 8th for an interesting panel discussion. The even is part of 'Shell Shock' - this year's Writing On The Wall festival. 

“Three Irish writers from radical traditions, Danny Morrison, novelist and former publicity director for Sinn Féin, Tim Brannigan, Guardian journalist and author of Where are you really from? and Kevin Higgins, radical poet and author of Time Gentlemen, Please will be exploring how identity, politics and conflict is represented in their work and how their experience has shaped their writing.” 

08 May 2014 7:00 pm
the Bluecoat Theatre
School Lane
United Kingdom
L1 3BX - See more at: 

Others taking part in the festival this year include: "Irvine WelshOwen JonesLiz CarrSeumas MilneHelen WalshPhill JupitusLuke HardingMarai LarasiLevi Tafari and Niall Griffiths" - the festival will explore "old soldiers and campaigners, modern day conflicts, war abroad and, thirty years on from The Miners Strike, The Enemy Within."

Dublin Launch of The Ghost in the Lobby Next Tuesday Evening

DUBLIN LAUNCH @ PEARSE STREET LIBRARY The Ghost in the Lobby will be launched by poet and editor of Skylight 47 Susan Lindsay on Tuesday April 29th, 6pm @ Pearse Street Library, 144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2. On the same evening Kevin will launch Susan Lindsay’s second collection of poems Fear Knot (Doire Press).  

Susan Lindsay 

Join the Facebook event here. 

In advance of the launch The Ghost in the Lobby can be purchased direct from the Salmon website.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Take Me Back To Dear Old Blighty: Tottenham & Chichester

I am away to the U.K. for the next week for the London launch of The Ghost in the Lobby, at which the guest speaker will be former Conservative Mayor of Enfield, Nadia Conway, and then to do a poetry reading in Chichester. 

The London launch takes place at Haringey Irish Centre, Pretoria Road, TottenhamN17 8DX on Sunday, April 20th, 3pm. All welcome. 

The poetry reading I'm doing in Chichester takes place at New Park Centre, New Park Road, Chichester, West Sussex on Wednesday, April 23rd, 7.30pm. Admission £3.

For further details of the Chichester event see here.

The London launch has been covered in both The Enfield Advertiser, The Enfield Independent, and on the controversial UK based political blog Harry's Place.

A fitting moment, perhaps, for this song.

Monday, 14 April 2014

London launch of 'The Ghost in the Lobby' with quest speaker Nadia Conway MBE

I first ‘met’ Nadia Conway at a meeting of Enfield Council in July 1993 when he was Chairperson of Enfield Against The Poll Tax and she was the Conservative Mayor of Enfield. In protest against Enfield Council’s use of bailiffs against poll tax non-payers I led a small but lively crowd who disrupted the start of a council meeting she was chairing. In that week’s edition of The Enfield Advertiser Nadia Conway (now Nadia Conway MBE) had this to day on the matter:

If Kevin wants to play his silly little games I think he should do it somewhere else. Eventually, he will grow up. I treat Militant Labour [the predecessor of the Socialist Party of which Kevin was a member] as silly little children.”
In December of the same year the Council’s Poll Tax Collection Department sought to have me committed to prison for his refusal to pay the tax. This attempt was not successful, and I walked free. In late 1995, having now retired from politics and living back in Galway, Ireland where I grew up, I began writing poetry.

TheGhost in the Lobby, published by Salmon Poetry, is my fourth book and will be launched in London by my former political adversary, Nadia Conway MBE former Mayor of Enfield.
The launch will take place
@ Haringey Irish Centre
Pretoria Road
N17 8DX
on Sunday, April 20th

The MC for the event will be the great Sara Byrne 
Nadia Conway was born Nadia Büchlerová in Prague, grew up in Slovakia were she was President of the Slovak Communist Youth Movement. In 1968, while Nadia was on holiday in London, the Soviet Union with the support of the other Warsaw Pact countries invaded Czechoslovakia to overthrow the government of reform Communist Alexander Dubcek. Nadia has lived in Britain ever since. In 2009 she was awarded the MBE for services to the National Health Service and the community in North London.
 Nadia Conway with Prince Charles
Another Galway Higgins at Haringey Irish Centre 

Was It Something I Said? Candidate Dumped By Anti-Austerity Alliance

He is not a candidate for the AAA. When his sexism and vocal anti-choice positions became known, the national AAA meeting did not ratify his application to be a candidate.”  
Laura Fitzgerald of The Socialist Party 
The Anti-Austerity Alliance (aka The Socialist Party-lite) was thrown into crisis today following the revelation on this blog on Saturday that one of its local election candidates, the above pictured Mr Thomas Carty of the parish of Tullamore, is well to the right of your average common-or-garden member of Ballymagash Urban District Council on the issue of abhortion.
He also, rather tragically, fantasises about getting a job as a "boob adjuster". For the full article see here

Today the story went a bit viral, as the kids say, with much discussion on Farcebook and on left leaning blogs.

Now, just over 48 hours after the original article appeared Laura Fitzgerald of the Socialist Party has said on Facebook that Mr Carty is no longer an AAA candidate. No doubt an official statement confirming this will follow. Or perhaps a press conference. Joe Higgins, Ruth Coppinger and Paul Murphy saying "boob adjusters" has the potential, surely, to become a Youtube classic.

As for Thomas Carty, the hot money is on him now becoming a candidate for the sometimes slightly fascist conspiracists of Direct Democracy Ireland. 

And now a poem about another daft eejit who shouldn't bother with politics but does. It's from my newly launched collection The Ghost in the Lobby.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Anti-Austerity Alliance and the Boob Adjusters

This is Thomas Carty. Thomas is from Tullamore, which isn't his fault. He is also a staunch and vocal opponent of abortion rights, which absolutely is his fault, and makes him a rather odd candidate to be seeking election under the banner of the new Socialist Party front, the Anti-Austerity Alliance. Thomas is a supporter of the Pro Life Socialists group who are, well, certainly complete gobshites if not actual fascists. 

Here is an image the 'Pro Life Socialists', who Thomas Carty is happy to associate with, recently posted online. Kitty Holland is the journalist who broke the story of Savita Halappanavar's death in the Autumn of 2012.
Politically, Thomas Carty is one of the smaller and blunter knives in the drawer; the type of fella who's probably good at shtuffing leaflets through letter boxes into the mouths of angry dogs of various sizes and political persuasions, without getting the tops of his fingers bitten off in the proccess.

But an election candidate, seriously? Questions regarding apparent political contradiction should be addressed to Cllr. Ruth Coppinger, to Joe Higgins TD, and to Paul Murphy MEP who are all urging the people of Tullamore to give Thomas Carty their number one votes. 

Thomas Carty is significantly to the right of Offaly Fianna Fail TD Barry Cowen on the issue of abortion rights. Yet Ruth Coppinger, Joe Higgins, and Paul Murphy are all urging the people of Tullamore to vote for him. No, you haven't lost your mind. You did actually read those words. 

And there's more: here is a photo election candidate Thomas Carty of the Anti-Austerity Alliance recently shared on Facebook.
He added his own comment that this was the "job for Carty" i.e. himself, election candidate Thomas Carty. I have no more words.

If you live in Tullamore, remember to vote in the local elections,
because if you don't vote, some peculiar anti-abhortionist might win.

And now a relevant poem from my new collection The Ghost In The Lobby which has its Galway launch tomorrow. 

James Martyn Joyce Made Me Do It, Your Honour

This man's name is James Martyn Joyce. He's to blame for the fact that I have a story titled 'The Silver Lady' in the Noir by Noir-West anthology of dark stories from the West of Ireland, which is just published by Arlen House. 

Everything that happens in my story is the fault of James Martyn Joyce; he made me do it, your honour.

The story is set in the always lively late night drinking establishment that was The Silver Lady in the leafy London suburb of Tottenham. The main character is, surprisingly enough, from the West of Ireland.  

Readers can rest assured that no policemen or pornographic magazines were harmed during the writing of this story.
 The Silver Lady

Tottenham on a particularly warm evening in August 2011

Poem in The Irish Examiner: Surprised by Joy

I was happy to discover that I had a poem, 'Surprised By Joy (whatever her name is)' in The Irish Examiner on April 1st. 

Friday, 4 April 2014

Me wearing white trainers in The Galway Advertiser

photo: Mike Shaughnessy

Here I am wearing white trainers in this week's Galway Advertiser. You can read the accompanying interview here.  

I'm hoping that this look will become the fashion craze of 2014. 

Tuesday, 1 April 2014 covers my Galway launch

Big, sloppy kisses to the folks over at for the work they've been doing to promote the Galway launch my new poetry collection at next week's Cúirt Festival. See here.

Online cranks, you've got to love them.

I'm working on a deal with internet service providers which would see all porn sites taken offline until Monday, April 14th. 

That way, the people at could spend every waking hour between now and 4pm on Sunday April 13th getting themselves all hot and sweaty promoting the Cúirt launch of The Ghost in the Lobby to which you are, of course, all invited.