Galway poet Trevor Conway will launch his second collection, Breeding Monsters, in The Crane Bar on Saturday 1 December at 6pm

Galway poet Trevor Conway will launch his second collection, Breeding Monsters, in The Crane Bar on Saturday 1 December at 6pm. Along with poetry, there will be music from Athenry singer Sandra Coffey and guitarist Gregory Prendergast. Sandra will also read a story on the night. Local poet and programme director of the Cuirt International Festival of Literature, Emily Cullen, will launch the book.
Trevor is keen to stress that it will be a night of fun and entertainment. “It won’t be just me reading boring poems,” he jokes. Apart from the obligatory free wine, the Salthill-based poet will provide sandwiches and home-made cookies. “I’ll be slaving away at the cooker early in the day – that’s the glamorous life of a poet!” he says.
Trevor’s first collection, Evidence of Freewheeling, was published by Salmon poetry in 2015, but he chose to self-publish Breeding Monsters this time round. Most of the poems are centred around the idea of fear, and he refers to it as “a much darker collection than my first one.” The last poem depicts the anxiety of a woman jogging through a city, aware she could be attacked. Other poems focus on more positive aspects of fear, such as its potential for inspiration. “Fear is the strongest motivator we have,” says Trevor. “We should embrace it sometimes.”
As regards who these poems will appeal to, he describes the reader he imagines as “the kind of person who takes time to consider things like why we react in the ways we do. Anyone who’s willing to explore their fears could find a connection with these poems.”
Galway poet Kevin Higgins has said of Trevor’s work, “Some poets are content to feed the chattering classes nice sounding morsels, the intellectual equivalent of comfort food; in contrast Conway is a big poet.” And Trevor aims to give readers more to feed on when he launches his book, accompanied by music, wine and food, in The Crane on Saturday 1 December at 6pm.

Breeding Monsters is also available to order from Amazon now:

Contact details:, 0877520363,

Sample poems below


You can’t step into a river twice, they say.
So it is with the road,
each journey a jazz solo,
tinkering at the pedals.
Over time,
our minds shift,
concentration spread like a blanket
into the murk of scenery.

You’ve been with me much of the way,
red Nissan Almera –
since Tubbercurry, I think.
We face the same towns and bends,
dip and rise to the same gears.
The line, whether broken
or steady, divides
us from them.
But this road is for others, too.

Toyota Carina arcs behind me.
I wonder when he’ll pass,
but you and I, Almera, we’re happy at this speed.
And do you feel the critique
implied in overtaking?
Do you feel his fear
as the bend draws nearer?
We’re bonded by our eyes,
you and I.
The falling sun prompts our fingers
to cast brief rivers of light.

At the suburbs of Galway City,
we trim our beams
to dim pools.
Imagine how I feel
to see your indicator flash.
Down a quiet road, you fade,
into the pretzel network of streets.
I carry on, through an amber light.

The road never ends,
but there’s a time for us both to step out of the car.

Seven Fears of an Imminent Father


Fear of the fact:
your very becoming,
my own mutation
from somewhat feckless to feckful,
a whole new identity,
like a lump of meat cleaved of fat.
And what will become
of your mother and I,
our spontaneity dulled like a blade?


Two magpies at the end of the garden
attacking a blackbird nest,
I can’t prise
the rattle of their throats
from the depths of my thoughts.
This could be the sound of a stranger
– a sheepish man
or a dogged disease –
with talons poised over your head.


We’re not young,
your mother and I.
We bat away days like bloated mosquitoes,
and one day could leave us bewildered
at the words of a specialist in a stuffy room,
or a car could swerve
into our lane
before you’ve uttered a word.


There are things I can fix,
like lazy hinges and hard butter
(just hold it against the mug),
but I can’t tangle with schoolroom bullies
or fix the machinery of your mind
when bleak thoughts enter.
Still, I hope you’ll forgive me
if I struggle to accept the role
of spectator.


Influence is a pretty cat with lustrous fur
leading you round a corner,
but some corners are sprinkled with needles
and dead-eyed souls who hug the street,
their petals plucked,
and sometimes, I fear
the moment you’ll bud.


Others wait in ambush
to batter your brains or bend your body
to their will, their brutal weight,
leaving you with crippled years.
In the chasm of hours that swallow the night,
when I haven’t heard you come home,
I’ll wonder whether you’ve walked
a hideous street
to a grim fate.


The fear of not fearing
or not feeling at all,
of numb obedience to your whims
or selfish ways I’ll never shift,
like burnt food caked on a pan
left unnoticed for months.
Because of this,
you might hate me,
and I could never know why.
You might even inherit my fears
and hone my flaws to perfection,
just as I
inherited mine.