Lagan Online new website & 12NOW – New Original Writers #lettersfromladyn

Congratulations to Colin Dardis and Lagan Online on the launch of their brand new website today. Looking fantastic. The Honest Ulsterman is incorporated within it, I notice, though the direct link is if you are looking.

Delighted to be included as one of the 12NOW (New Original Writers) – half poetry, half prose

12now-collageThe full twelve are:
Poetry:   Peter Adair  |  Olive Broderick  |  Tory Campbell  |  Patricia Devlin-Hill  | Matthew Rice  |  Ross Thompson

Prose:    Paul Doran  |  James Guiney  |  Anne Harris  |  Paula Matthews  |   David Mitchell  |  Claire Savage

Find out more about each at

Over the next number of months, they will be promoting each of us, showcasing our work, with exclusive interviews, and sharing published work and literary achievements. It’s wonderful to have this support and I look forward to seeing developments with all – and across the wider literature sector here which seems to be in an incredibly creative and growing phase. Long may this continue!

12NOW & Verbal Arts Centre’s Reading Rooms

12NOW as in initiative will see each of the writers working with Verbal Arts Centre’s Reading Rooms, a mobile shared reading programme that gives participants a voice, reduces isolation and anxiety, and promotes wellbeing. Using a reading aloud and shared reading setting the programme encourages participants to share personal experiences from their past, sparking memories, stimulating new thoughts and provoking conversation related to the short stories and poems from our writers, selected in advance and tailored to the needs of the group by the project’s Literary Guide.

Reading Rooms currently has five strands: Young People, Older People, Criminal Justice (working with ex young offenders), Schools Programme and Mental Health. Overall, the poems and stories from each of the 12NOW will be read by hundreds of people in dozens of Reading Rooms groups across Northern Ireland, catering to both adults and children. Additionally, each writer will also go out to visit selected groups to read to them and discuss their work.

I had a chance to chat to Colin about the wiritng and my ‘erstwhile’ blog recently for 12NOW – link to it HERE.

There are three associated poems in the current edition of the wonderful HU as well

  • Hot Water
  • Night Divers
  • Austerity Times

Read them HERE

Many thanks to Colin and Lagan Online for including me in this!