Photo1James Conway born Dublin. Founder of the Rathmines Writers’ Workshop. Winner of the Jonathan Swift Prose prize in 2017 and the Poetry prize in 2019.

Has two poetry books published; Vertebrae of Journey by Swan Press in 2010 and Purple Coat by Lapwing, Belfast in 2017.

James was published by Cyphers, the Honest Ulsterman, the Shop, the Sunday tribune, Books Ireland. His work was also published in Australia, UK and Norway.

A Pagan Feast

Stop the clock
rip out the springs
lets grow new wings

lets be lyrical inbibing
liquorice lines, better
than an orgasm’s roar

lets be unrivalled
with feathers the colour
of heaven, lets jump up

and down in sandals
fit for Arabia and
far beyond on high

lets execute cliches
from now on and on
lets make love to words

lets go down the long
slide as Larkin said
lets go bed with

the blue of birth
lets grow new windows
in our hearts, all sharing

the one beat. Tonight
we have no master,

free to swarm and ingest
a pagan feast of words.


The rain
cancelled her day
for drying shirts, socks,
every sort of snug wear
all lying limp like
disappointed spirits
on the line

. At moments
of thought, swirling
poems came running
through her, preserved
in sheets of greying light.

An imbroglio…
where and when to write
in muffled distraction,
the noise pragmatic
outside, in the final
quiet, calm rested
like cream on her chocolate
cake, one spoon and she
was off to a sunny day
where she had time

to pick and sort out
rhythm and rhyme
before the falling,
falling of rain again.