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PI News Roundup: 4 October: National Poetry Day Goes Live, Michael D Launches at the Freemasons and France Takes on Amazon….Again!



Hello all and welcome to your weekly roundup of all things newsy in Irish publishing. Lots happening this week between launches, readings and live broadcasts of all things poetical.  The Dublin Book Festival kicked off its proceedings with the launch of its programme on Tuesday while The Irish Writer’s Centre and Poetry Ireland hosted a mammoth six hour live stream from the Irish Writers’ Centre to celebrate the sixth All Ireland Poetry Day. Amongst the readers were Dermot Bolger, Peter Sirr, Theo Dorgan and Enda Wyley as well as a panel discussion involving the new Ireland Chair of Poetry, Paula Meehan.

Language Scalpels and Catachresis

The Autumn seminars kicked off last Friday (Image above) with a bang from Henry Watson Fowler via the great Fergal Tobin who versed us in everything from appropriate pidgin English and when not to touch grammar ‘mistakes’. Victoria Woodside who was one of the attendees said: “I had a great time; both as a course member and for having a chance to meet up with other editorial folk […]  Fergal was just lovely; easy to listen to and very experienced in the subject of grammar”. We will certainly have our work cut out for us in our upcoming sessions to follow this excellent seminar- many thanks indeed to Fergal!

Pawky Humour

We also included a tribute to the late Bernard Share written by Fergal Tobin, Michael Gill and Jonathan Williams (See image above) who all remembered Bernard for this humour, dedication and deep erudition. Bernard was one of the founding members of the Irish Book Publishers Association and his skill and talent will be greatly missed by the Irish publishing community. To read the tribute, go to


This week has certainly rolled them out with the likes of the Stinging Fly who launched promising new talent Colin Barrett last night in Hodges Figges on Dawson St. while David and Hillary Crystal also paid the store a visit to present their slide presentation on their work for “Wordsmiths and Warriors”. Michael D. Higgins ended the week nicely with the launch of the Encyclopedia of Music (UCD Press) in the splendour of the Grand Lodge Hall in the Freemasons’ Lodge on Molesworth St where a large crowd were in attendance.


Beyond the Shore


Amazon applies for E-Signing Patent

Amazon has applied to the US Patent & Trademark Office for a patent allowing authors to embed their signature on ebooks.  According to the Bookseller, the system proposed would Work through a ‘hotspot’ at an author signing event, readers will be able to have their author’s signature embedded on their bought ebooks. The proposed system will also allow for publishers, readers or anyone who has been authorised by the author to create personalised reader pages for them at said event. To read the full article, go to


France Targets Amazon to Protect Bookshops

Bookshops in France have an ally in politics as the French Government passed a law which would prevent internet booksellers from offering free delivery to customers who order online. The move is a typically strident one from France and so the results of this online coup will doubtless be felt internationally. For more on this story, go to  The Financial Times website-



It seems that bestselling American author Jonathan Franzen does not feel the giddy thrill of tweeting about his work, calling Twitter and social media tools “coercive” and “irresponsible’ media, suggesting that authors feel they must engage with it in order to have their work seen by agents, etc. Goodreads has been deleting ‘uncivilized’ reviews that emphasis the behaviour of the author over the content of the book in question. Meanwhile, a Love Book App has been created for National Poetry Day and features celebrities such as Helena Bohnam Carter who read from their favourite pieces of writing celebrating the theme of love.


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