Limerick

The Ogham Stone 2015/2016 – We’re Back!

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The Ogham Stone, the University of Limerick’s literary and visual arts journal, is getting ready for your submissions for the Spring 2016 edition.

Last year, almost seventy pieces were accepted for publication, including short stories, flash fiction, poetry and artwork. They featured alongside an introduction by Joseph O Connor, Frank McCourt Professor of Creative Writing at UL and multiple-award-winning Irish novelist, as well as a short story by Donal Ryan, author of The Spinning Heart, long-listed for the Booker Prize, Guardian First Book Award winner and recipient of the European Union Prize for Literature at the London Book Fair in 2015. The 2014 journal was an eagerly sought-after item, with a voracious demand for copies.

The Ogham Stone is quickly becoming a valuable platform for new writers and artists, local, national and international, to bring their work to a wide audience. We are particularly proud of our connections to the local creative communities in Limerick and last year featured work from writing and art projects active in the city, including The Heart of Limerick anthology and the ARTiculate competition.

This year, as well as accepting fiction, memoir, poetry, visual arts and photography, our new team are happy to announce that we will be seeking short graphic novels and creative non-fiction also.

Our call for submissions is imminent so browse our submissions guidelines here, buff and shine your offerings and watch this space for further details.

Theatre of the Absurd

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a_TOTA_06For most people, going to the theatre is a pleasant, culturally enlightening and stimulating experience. The majority of modern theatres are salubrious environments with comfortable seats, pleasant ambiances, and places where theatrical devotees can avail of food and beverages. People who attend the theatre are looking to be entertained and with this in mind, they take their seats comfortable in the knowledge that an entertaining night awaits them at their favourite theatre.

However, followers of theatre of the Absurd, encounter a vastly different theatrical experience from other theatre aficionados. Innovative playwrights developed absurdist theatre in the 1950s in show houses across mainland Europe with France being the foremost place of origin for the new theatrical form. Theatre of the Absurd is concerned with depictions of the human condition and in most cases; it depicts it as being meaningless. Characters appear to be lost with their lives have no sense of purpose or direction. Important theatrical devices such as time, place, language and identity break down in Absurdist theatre. In staging absurdist plays, directors use minimal staging and refuse to give their plays a meaningful plot. Babbling and incoherent dialogue characterises absurdist plays. Typically, plays of this type revolve around dreams and in many cases the characters experience nightmares of terrifying nature.

Samuel Beckett is perhaps the most well know originator of theatre of the Absurd. His play Waiting for Godot is a prime example of an absurdist play, which Beckett aired at the Theatre de Babylone, in Paris 1953. The play centres mainly on two characters Vladimir and Estragon and Beckett’s play utilises the aforementioned features of absurdist theatre such as lack of plot, timeline, place and language. Overall, there is minimal moment in the play and the primary characters Vladimir and Estragon appear to be stuck in a physical, emotional and psychological time loop. Most importantly, Beckett’s plays highlights the meaningless of life and the human condition in the wider context of international warfare, corrupt governments, consumers driven societies, dishonest societal institutions and intrusive corporate companies.

1311984754_740215_0000000000_noticia_normalTheatre of the Absurd distorts and unsettles the viewer. In the absence of recognised theatrical devices, strange events on stage unnerve the audience, as they do not know what is coming next or how to react to what the actors are doing. For Beckett, this is the exact reaction, which he wanted Waiting for Godot to create. He did not want to produce a visually pleasing and rounded realist play. Rather, Beckett wanted to jolt theatrical devotees out of their everyday lives and experiences in order to force them to confront the negative aspects of the human condition, the disturbing elements of contemporary society and the dehumanising nature of corporate businesses.

Attending an absurdist play such as Waiting for Godot is certainly a unique experience that will leave a lasting impression on the viewer. Therefore, the next time you are considering a pleasant evening at the local theatre, instead of going to a mainstream play that gives you a recognised theatrical structure, why not go to an absurdist play. Such plays challenges you in so many ways while forcing you to engage in an active manner with the material that you are witnessing.

~Pádraig O’ Loingsigh

Last Day to Submit!

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Last day to submit your poems, fiction, non-fiction, and artwork to The Ogham Stone.

Remember, submit your work to oghamstoneul@gmail.com and visit our submission pages for the details.

https://theoghamstoneul.wordpress.com/submit/

Come on–Less than 24 hours left!

Listening vs Reading: The Rise of Audiobooks

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In our house, we’re well-versed in the world of audiobooks as they saved our family holidays.

I love to read books (well, duh) but my husband doesn’t.  He just never really got into it – his boredom threshold falls around the size of the average newspaper article, which he reads in abundance.  Essentially, his digitally-trained brain can’t cope having to read 100,000 words before finding out ‘the point’.

My favourite thing to do on holiday is to find a beautiful view and a comfortable seat and settle down with a great book.  On our first holiday together I found myself unable to get past a single paragraph without being asked how it was going / did I see the kid with the ball / was I too hot.

And so we discovered many years ago that this was a problem we would have to overcome or I was going to drown him in his holiday beer.

The solution? Audiobooks.  I downloaded books I thought he would like (Wolf of Wall Street was a big hit, followed by biographies of Warren Buffet and Steve Jobs), charged up his Iphone and let him off

The only problem is that audiobooks are rather expensive.  Roughly €20-30 each, which is understandable when you consider the book’s value in itself, with added production and narration costs.  Enter Audible.com, which sounds rather convoluted but is in effect, a subscription service.  You pay a monthly fee and depending on which tier you’re on, you get at least one book a month.

The only downside for me is the lack of learning.  As I’ve barely a toe on the first rung of a writing career, I like to read great writing so that I can learn from it and hopefully imbue a tiny droplet of those writers’ talents into my own work.  I do feel that listening rather than reading impacts this, as I can’t fully appreciate the structure, the language, the skill.

I find I most value audiobooks when travelling.  I get terribly car-sick so have never been able to read in the car or on a bus.  Now, however, a journey to Dublin equals at least six or seven chapters.  And, when flying, they’re good to block out at least 90% of the ear-torture inflicted by the relentless purveyors of scratchcards, perfumes and bus tickets. Which is always a good thing.

So for now, I think I’ll stick to mixing it up, listening and reading. What about you, have you given audio-books a try?

~RM Kealy

Award Winning Authors Visit UL

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Reading by Three Irish Authors

UL presents a reading by award winning Irish authors Christine Dwyer Hickey, Joseph O’Connor and Colin Barrett.

Admission is free and will take place in the Millstream Common Room at 5:30pm Thursday 13th of November.

Reception will take place at 6pm

Submit by this Wednesday!!

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dont_miss_deadlineThree days left to submit your carefully crafted fiction, non-fiction, poetry or proses to The Ogham Stone! If you haven’t already sent in your work then hop to it!

Our editors are working over time and still want more to read! Submit to oghamstoneul@gmail.com.

Go on–submit before Wednesday!

Colum McCann Update!

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Because of strong interest we have moved our guest speaker, Colum McCann, into a larger venue for the public interview at UL this coming Wednesday, 5th November, at 5 pm.

It will now be taking place in Lecture Theatre KBG 12 in the Kemmy Business School. We hope to start promptly at 5 pm. All are welcome. Come if you can. Bring a friend or colleague. A reception will follow the interview.

Hope to see you all there!