EVENT: Poems and Stories followed by supper – 7 March 2016

The Beechhill Hotel


Beech Hill Country House Hotel, 32 Ardmore Road, Derry-Londonderry BT47 3QP

To Book (and RSVP) telephone 028-71-349279, email: info@beech-hill.com 

Or, call in at Hotel reception

Following our very successful event in November with Sam Burnside (poetry), Dean Morton (piano) and Garvin Crawford (Guitar)

Patsy O’Kane warmly invites you to share in another evening of


With Sam Burnside and Friends

Monday 7th March, 2016 at 7.45pm for 8pm


Welcome and Introduction ‑ Patsy / Conor

Part One

Sam Burnside (Poetry)

Followed by

Jonathan Smeaton (Guitar)

Jonathan (Jack) Smeaton is a student at the Loreto School, Milford preparing for his Junior Cert…he’s a keen surfer and plays rugby with Letterkenny RFC and had been playing guitar and singing for a few years. He is part of the Smeaton family dynasty of poets and musicians.

Short Interval

 Part Two 

Sam Burnside (poetry)

Followed by

Professor Harry McMahon –

“The Stories behind the Paintings”

 Informative and Entertaining

Professor Harry McMahon taught Physics and Mathematics before becoming Professor of Education at the University of Ulster. After he retired, he took a degree in art. The results of both passions are evident in this illustrated talk in which he tells the stories and shows the paintings inspired by some key scientific discoveries.

This illustrated talk features his original paintings.

(The evening concludes with Supper)

Cover Charge: £10.00 pp

[Proceeds in aid of Alzheimer’s NI]

(Visitors wishing to stay overnight can avail of a special discount

To Book (and RSVP) telephone 028-71-349279

Or, call in at Hotel reception


Sam Burnside nominated for 2016 Pushcart Prize

The editors of A NARROW FELLOW are pleased to announce our nominations for the 2016 Pushcart Prize:

* A NOD INTO SPRING by James Tolan
* JOAO by Alice Pettway
* ON A PUBLIC BUS by Genevieve Zimantas
* THE STRETCHER BEARER by Samuel Burnside

The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses series, published every year since 1976, is the most honored literary project in America


EVENT: Poetry & Music by Candlelight- 23rd Nov 2015


Beech Hill Country House Hotel, 32 Ardmore Road,
Derry-Londonderry BT47 3QP

MONDAY 23 NOVEMBER, 2015 at 7.45pm for 8pm

Patsy O’Kane 

warmly invites you to share in an evening of


With Sam Burnside (Poetry)

Garvin Crawford (Guitar)

Brendan Devlin (Flute) with Ellen Giff (Piano)

(Followed by Supper)

Proceeds in aid of Friends of Altnagelvin Hospital

Donations – £10.00 per person (to include supper)

RSVP – 028-71-349279

Or, visit Hotel reception

Read an Extract from Mrs Nettlebed’s Year

Dear Readers, here is an extract from the story “The Spider who thought she was a Bird” from Mrs Nettlebed’s Year.

Mrs Nettlebed cover
Snail came to Mrs Nettlebed’s door one day in mid-summer when the sun shone and the pond was balmy and abuzz with insects and the world was full of bees and the air seemed heavy with honey smells and the scent of flowers.

“I have a problem I want to share with you,” he said, rather spoiling the day for Mrs Nettlebed.

“What is that?” Mrs Nettlebed replied. She was rather afraid that Snail might be in some kind of serious trouble.

“It’s Spider,” Snail said. “She thinks she is a bird!”

“Oh, dear,” Mrs Nettlebed replied. “How does this affect her?”

“She keeps climbing up into my tree, well the tree I live under. She jumps off a branch and tries to fly and she always falls onto my shell. She has done it so many times she has put a dent in my back! It’s very annoying!”
Extract from the story “The Spider who thought she was a Bird”

Find out more about the book!
CLOSING DATE – To Avail of this Special Offer – reply to Burnside Books by Monday 17th November.
Click Here to Order for Christmas

Columba Canticles

The Columba Canticles was performed in 2013 in St Columb’s Cathedral, Derry-Londonderry and the Stormone, Belfast. Here is a short excerpt from the performance which was recorded in Derry.

Live performance of The Wayfinder, A Modern Odyssey

Here’s a the full version of the Wayfinder, A Modern Odyssey written by Sam Burnside and read by two actors. We will post shorter snippets in the future, but the full version is now on youtube for archiving.


  • A rehearsed reading of  – The Wayfarer, by Sam Burnside
  • Directed by Brian Smeaton
  • Readers– Nicola Keegan and Declan Birney
  • At North Down Arts, Bangor, 13 November, 2008
  • Illustrations here by Leslie Nichol
  • Recorded by Shantallow Community Arts Studio

Between One Day and Another

Cray knot image by Leslie NichollFrom A Crazy Knot


We are just on that verge
Between Autumn and Winter
We are just within that balance
When day is not yet night.
The air hangs over our heads
And shoulders; it is heavy
Still with smells, sounds and warmth
Here, between hill and lough.
From an early-ploughed field
Trailing wisps of smoke finger
Up through this patch-worked air
Then down again, reeking
Into the farmer’s hair and beard.
He piles more branches on
Then kicks white wood-ash
Across the naked, rippling earth.
A whisper of wind takes it.
Dove-calls issue from far trees.
Patiently, night eases down.
Sparks fan, flash, gasp and die.
A horse plunges his muzzle
Deep into the water trough.
He rises up, shocked and alert,
Diamonds radiating off pagan whiskers.
For an instant, car horns
And the sounds of engines
Marry with chanting voices,
With creakings of long-boat oars:
Holy men and warriors,
Harpers and poets, and old women
With cures for bodies and hearts
And souls, congregate all about
The flames
Paying witness to this one man
Tending his shivering ground,
Alone, intent, attendant to
The creeping fire, the crumbling flame.

From A Crazy Knot, a collection representing collaborations between writers and artists. Commissioned and published by Seacourt Print Workshop, in a limited edition of 100 handmade and hand bound portifolios and with an introduction by Maurice Hayes, who wrote, “The title itself (A Crazy Knot) is both word and image. John Hewitt’s ‘Crazy Knot’ is a metaphor for the rich mixture of culture and traditions on the island, for disorder, lack of neatness, tangle and confusion, and yet of closeness too and tightness, togetherness and through-otherness…

Kelt, Briton, Roman, Saxon Dane and Scot, Time and this island tied a craze knot.’ From John Hewitt’s ‘Ulsterman’

‘Between One Day and Another’, Sam Burnside, illustrated by Leslie Nichol, in A Crazy Knot, Seacourt Print Workshop, (Catalogue, 1996, pp. 1-2); catalogue and Arts Council of Northern Ireland touring exhibition of words and images. 1996-1997.