Monthly Archives: April 2014

CS Lewis Talk

I’m really looking forward to giving a talk on CS Lewis as part of the Linenhall Library’s Writers on Writers Festival. I’ll be focussing mainly on the Chronicles of Narnia and looking at the magic and imagination of the books, as well as the layer of spirituality that runs through them.

The wonderful actor James Doran will be reading some extracts. The talk and Q&A runs on 12th May from 1.30pm-3pm and admission is free. More on this and all the other great events here.


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For My Dad

My dad would have been 76 yesterday. As I head up to Laurel Villa in Magherafelt to read this Saturday 12th April, on the eve of what would have been Seamus Heaney’s 75th birthday, I want to share one of my poems for my dad which was inspired by Digging:


My dad spent the day ferrying the dead to the barrack’s makeshift morgue.
His bloodstained nails fleshed out the truth behind the first tense headlines.

In a daze, he decommissioned his paramedic uniform,
dumped jacket, shirt, socks, trousers, even his shoes in our kitchen bin.

He smashed the lid down hard, lashed out, until the tears crashed over
the no-man’s-land of his eyes. Powerless, I watched him surrender to his cries.

I’d spent that day firing words at a blank page, trying to breathe life
into their dead weight. I surveyed my cache of notebooks, suddenly aware

my vision was useless to this man who gave life back to the dying.

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