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Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Further from my much better half-Susan Millar DuMars re: the article she published on her blog yesterday

Further from my much better half Susan Millar DuMars re: the article she published on her blog yesterday: "I hear there has been a lot of discussion on Twitter about my last blog article. I'm not on Twitter, so if anyone wants to contact me directly you will need to use FB, email ( or comment on the article itself. My knowledge of Pat Cotter's editorial practice re: Poetry Magazine was not supposition; it came from a FB post by Pat Cotter himself. My criticism of him is part of a larger article making a larger point about openness in the arts. I believe that, as a successful arts organizer for 12 years and counting, I am an appropriate person to bring up the topic. A few have tried to dismiss my comments as "sour grapes" by a frustrated poet. Actually, I understood early on that the magazine issue was for poets born in 1970 or after so I am not eligible. It is a shame that whenever one of us tries to initiate thoughtful debate within the literary community, some rush in to claim that the issue is personal."

Susan edited Over The Edge: The First Ten Years: An Anthology of Fiction & Poetry (Salmon 2013)

With poetry and fiction from: Adam White, Aideen Henry, Aileen Armstrong, Alan McMonagle, Brendan Murphy, Caoilinn Hughes, Celeste Augé, Dave Lordan, Deirdre Kearney, Donna L. Potts, Eamonn Harrigan, Edward Boyne, Elaine Feeney, Fiona Smith, Gary King, Ger Burke, Geraldine Mitchell, Gerry Galvin, Grace Wells, Jarlath Fahy, Jean Folan, Jenny McCudden, Jim Mullarkey, John Corless, John Walsh, Kate O’Shea, Kevin O’Shea, Lorna Shaughnessy, Martin Dyar, Mary Madec, Miceál Kearney, Michelle O’Sullivan, Nicki Griffin, Noel Duffy, Órfhlaith Foyle, Paul Casey, Pete Mullineaux, Sandra Bunting, Sarah Clancy, Sarah Griff, Seamus Scanlon, Seán Kenny, Sheila Phelan, Stephen Murray, Susan Lindsay, Tom Duddy, and Trevor Conway.
“Over the Edge provides a unique support and showcase opportunity for emerging writers. Often, the talent is there before the confidence and Over the Edge nurtures that voice and gives it a space to be heard.  Whether it is on a Cúirt stage or in the back of a library, this moment is truly special, and so many wonderful writers have emerged from these beginnings.”
Dani Gill, Director of Cuírt International Festival of Literature

Over the past 10 years, Susan Millar DuMars and Kevin Higgins have established the Over the Edge readings not only as the main regular literary event in Galway but also as one of the leading venues in Ireland to hear new writers read their work. There were readings in Galway before Over the Edge of course (and plenty of them) but perhaps what made Over the Edge important is that it became a fixture; writers and audience alike have come to depend on something new being served up each month and, unlike many readings, audiences are consistently good. These readings have brought writers from all over Ireland to Galway every month, not just during festival season. It has become bigger than Galway, the West and Ireland though: they also present writers from around the globe, acting as matchmakers for audiences and writers to connect for the first time in some Galway establishment. 

     While its reach is broad, Over the Edge is still a resolutely Galway event – each reading will include a local writer who is making a name for themselves. The boon provided to emerging writers by this opportunity should not be underestimated. In the 10 years of Over the Edge, Kevin and Susan have become sort of literary godparents to a host of Galway writers. That many of the names in this anthology are instantly recognisable to anyone who has even a passing interest in contemporary Irish literature is testament to that. 

     This anthology represents another milestone for Over the Edge and it probably won’t be the last.  Along with everything else, they are to be applauded for their endeavour, perseverance and patience. The habitual hospitality that has greeted us all over the years, whether on cold Atlantic nights or sunny afternoons, battling the odours of obscure cheese in Sheridan’s or in the more serene environment of the City Museum, now awaits the next 10 years’ worth of poets, novelists and performers who venture west and Over the Edge.” 
Alan Jude Moore, Poet and editor of Burning Bush 2