The Bann River Trilogy now in paperback


The Bann River Trilogy
The Bann River Trilogy
The Bann River Trilogy, comprising the novels The Fabulists, The Water Star and The Fisher Child, published worldwide by eMaker Editions in a revised second edition, is now available in both paperback and Kindle Editions. The Fabulists is also in ePub, to be followed by The Water Star and The Fisher Child in late 2015
*My Selected Poems, Tried and Sentenced, is also available in all three formats.

See Main Pages
The Fabulists
The Water Star
The Fisher Child

The Fisher Child is now on Kindle

The Fisher Child Cover
The Fisher Child Cover. Image Dark Head, by Nevill Johnson

The Fisher Child

Volume Three

The Bann River Trilogy

The new, revised edition of The Fisher Child, first published by Picador in 2000, is now available in Kindle format from eMaker Editions. A print edition will follow in the coming weeks, as it enters the ‘channels’. An epub edition will be published in 2015.

The Fisher Child on Kindle

The Fisher-Child at Australiaamazonbrazil

Like the Renaissance painting which fascinates Kate, The Fisher Child is in three parts. In the first, Kate is happily married to Dan, both of them second-generation Irish and comfortable in their middle-class north London lives. They have two children, a boy and a girl, with another one on the way. But when Meg is born, Dan cannot accept her as his child, and retreats to Ireland in bewilderment. In Wexford, his family are partaking in the the bi-centenary commemoration of the 1798 Rebellion, and he learns about his ancest0r Hugh Byrne, a rebel who was forced to flee Ireland, presumably to America. Dan will never know what the reader discovers in part two – that Hugh had not settled in America but in the Caribbean island of Montserrat, where he fell in love with Ama, a black slave whose genes have lain hidden in Dan’s family for two centuries.


Dan is never granted as much historical knowledge as the reader, but even without all the facts he learns he can have a little more trust, in his wife, but also an implicit trust; one shared by the other characters in this wise, tender novel, in the muddled connections and continuities of their lives. –Paul Magrs, TLS

From its mesmerising opening chapters in Florence, through the shocking climax to the close, the complicated inter-family relationships threaded with echoes of the past are woven with exquisite skill. A beautiful, evocative tale of love tested. –Sue Leonard, The Irish Examiner

The novel’s final image is startling, enigmatic, beautiful and challenging. Through it, Casey appears to urge a re-examination of that which we assume to be philosophically ordered, and to confront our own dreams just as Dan does: which implies that nothing is separate and that the world has a wild interdependance that rises even from the genetic, cellular mine of our own bodies. A fresh and intriguing book that many writers would love to have written. – Mary O’Donnell, Amazon

In its own quiet way this novel is unsettling and even shocking as it challenges the reader to step into Dan’s shoes: are you as open-minded, as trusting, as loyal as you think you are? –Kirkus UK
Casey, one of the quiet men of Irish writing, is a careful, diligent storyteller, and, as he has shown here, daring. –Eileen Battersby, The Irish Times

The Fisher Child pb
The Fisher Child paperback, coming soon

Paperback of The Fisher Child coming soon.

Kindle and paperback editions of The Fabulists, in Japanese translation, coming soon.
Many thanks for your support.

The Water Star now on Kindle

The Water Star
The Water Star now on Kindle. Cover image: Alice Maher, Ankle Deep Woman (The History of Tears), 2001, charcoal and chalk on calico. Courtesy of the artist. © Alice Maher 2001.

The Water Star.

Volume Two The Bann River Trilogy

The new, revised edition of The Water Star, first published by Picador in 1998, is now available in Kindle format from eMaker Editions. A print edition will follow in the coming weeks, as it enters the ‘channels’ – this may be delayed because of the Christmas rush, but I’ll post an update on this site. An epub edition will be published in January 2015.

Kindle Editions of The Water Star

The Water Star at Australiaamazonbrazil

Kindle edition of The Fisher Child, Volume Three The Bann River Trilogy, coming soon, with paperback to follow.
Many thanks for your support.

The Fabulists on Kindle and ePub


The Fabulists

The Fabulists.

Volume One The Bann River Trilogy

Now available in Kindle and ePub editions[/caption]
The new, revised edition of The Fabulists, first published by The Lilliput Press in 1994, and winner of the inaugural Listowel Writers’ Week Book of the Year Award in 1995, is now available in Kindle and ePub editions. [NB it is also available as a paperback from Books Upstairs in College Green, Dublin, and on web outlets such as Wordery in the UK, and Barnes & Noble in the US but as it isn’t available yet on all ‘channels’ including the Amazons, I’ll leave that to another post, hopefully in the next week or so].

Digital Editions of The Fabulists

The Fabulists at Australiaamazonbrazil


Kindle edition of The Water Star, Volume Two The Bann River Trilogy, coming soon, with paperback to follow.
Many thanks for your support.

Tried and Sentenced


triedandsentencedprint-300x473Tried and Sentenced Selected Poems by Philip Casey is now available in paperback.
ISBN: 9780992738426

Bookshop Availability

Delighted to say that it’s in stock in my home town of Gorey, at Zozimus Books (or if you prefer, Facebook), (phone 086 123 3137) tucked in behind the The Book Café, 86, Main St, Gorey, Co. Wexford.
Books Upstairs 36 College Green Dublin 2 phone 01 6796687: in stock.
Kennys of Galway: in stock. Free delivery worldwide.

See eMaker Editions for full information

Full Review at

At Last…

At last, I’ve pushed the publish button on the Tried and Sentenced Selected Poems paperback. If anyone spots another source, please let me know.

Those of you who have been following the saga will know that I originally tried a black background for the cover. It proved too time-consuming to get the right cmyk balance with deep black. When you hear phrases like ‘Solid areas of color on the cover exceed 240% CMYK,’ it can be hard to get your head around when tired! I had a few goes at cracking it, but in the end I opted for the cover colour you see here. I rather like it and I hope you do too.


I’ve been lucky enough to have the wonderful Marion Kelly as my editor. Thanks, Marion.

Kudos also to the IngramSpark support team, especially Kyle, who treated my many questions with unfailing courtesy and the utmost professionalism.

Note for Independent authors

A proof copy, sent through the regular post with one day printing, took an average of ten days to reach me in Dublin from the UK. This is partly what caused the long delay. However, the problem seems to be solved now.

NB As I work on Ubuntu Linux, I don’t have iTunes and it seems I can’t access iBooks. If anyone spots Tried and Sentenced, or any other of my books there, I’d be grateful for a link.

I expect my next post will be on the new edition of my novel, The Fabulists, and thankfully that has proved to be a much simpler job in getting to publication and is already available in Kindle and ePub editions.

Update on Tried and Sentenced


triedandsentencedwebTried and Sentenced, my Selected Poems, as well as being available on Kindle,
TRIED AND SENTENCEDhas also been available on Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo as well as “70 emerging e-book retailers,” including Bookshout.
However, I must apologize for the long delays in publishing the print on demand paperback, as I have had a number of requests and questions about this.
A combination of family illness and bereavement, the slow mails, and my own ineptitude, has delayed publication, but I’m confident it will be available over the next few weeks.

I’ll keep you updated, and thank you for your patience!


Digital Editions

Tried and Sentenced: Selected Poems Kindle UK

Tried and Sentenced: Selected Poems KIndle US

Barnes & Noble



eBook Mall

Becoming an Independent Publisher


eMaker EditionsSometime last summer I decided I wanted to to become my own publisher. Perhaps it’s a strange idea for someone who has been published in the traditional way. For many years I was a published poet with Raven Arts Press and New Island Books, both of them here in Dublin. Then, like a number of my contemporaries in Ireland – writers like Dermot Bolger and Sebastian Barry – without ever abandoning poetry I became a novelist. My first novel was published, again here in Dublin, by The Lilliput Press, while the succeeding two were published by Picador in London. My novels never became best-sellers, but they garnered a sheaf of excellent reviews, so I was pretty happy with that.

Sebastian and Dermot, as well as being poets and novelists, also became dramatists. There are others who refuse to be confined to one area of writing or artistic endeavour. Dermot Healy is a very fine poet as well as novelist. He’s also an screen actor – see the extraordinary I Could Read the Sky. John Banville and Neil Jordan spring to mind. And then of course there’s Brian Lynch, originally and still a poet, then a screenwriter for both TV and film, then a novelist, and a publisher of other people’s work. Not to mention the poets Pat Boran, Jessie Lendennie, and the short story writer and novelist Micheál Ó Conghaile who are also publishers.

The Woman Not the Name, by Brian Lynch
The Woman Not the Name, by Brian Lynch

Incidentally Brian has published his second novel The Woman Not the Nameunder his own imprint, so I’m not exactly a trailblazer.

And – hot news – I have it on excellent authority that another prominent Irish novelist has been thinking along the same lines as Brian and myself. You’ll know who she is very shortly, but of course there’s no harm in speculating. Have fun!
[mks_pullquote align=”left” width=”300″ size=”11″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]
You’ll notice I’ve been writing about Irish literary authors. “Literary” is a controversial term, of course. Wikipedia says that “Literary fiction is usually not considered a genre, with associated conventions,” and attempts some kind of definition.
Anyway, I pause here to reflect that so-called “genre” Irish writers, authors of romantic fiction, fantasy, crime, etc, have been Independent Publishers for some time. Take the Cork writer Catherine Ryan Howard, who is not only an Independent Publisher, but writes about her experience to the benefit of us all, not least on the burning issue of being taxed by the US Revenue if you publish ebooks on Amazon unless you acquire a US tax clearance certificate.
But for “literary” authors, it’s a brave new world, especially here in Ireland.[/mks_pullquote]

To get back to my own story, while I tried drama, what really gripped me was non-fiction, or to be more precise, a particular story that is non-fiction.
It flowed on from my most recent novel, The Fisher Child, which is partly set in the Caribbean. I’ll write more about that in the coming months.

There are several reasons why I wanted to try independent publishing. One is that the older I’ve become the more I want to be in control of my work. Another is that I’m a geek – albeit a grey geek. I like knowing how things are done. I like being on a learning curve. After all, I taught myself html and css before crossing over to WordPress and have several websites to my name, including Irish Writers Online and Irish Culture. You might say that in the age of digital publishing, it’s a natural crossover.

I now have my first batch of ISBNs from Nielsen and assigned to eMaker Editions, so let’s see what I can do with them. It has been twenty years since I signed the contract with Lilliput for The Fabulists, so now the rights have reverted to me and I hope to publish it under the eMaker Editions label in June 2014, but first up will be my selected poems, very shortly!


Marion Kelly graciously agreed to edit them for me and she has done a wonderful job. Other friends have helped me proof the book, and gave advice on publishing. They are of course acknowledged in print.

Tried and Sentenced will be published both in ebook and paperback editions in March 2014.

Because I’m a geek, and an open source geek at that, I’m confident the publishing venture can be accomplished with open source tools, and that I can outline the process for others who may want to do the same. I work in Ubuntu Linux, but the publishing tools I have in mind are cross-platform, so that’s no obstacle if you work in Windows or Mac. It’s been a learning curve, and I hope to write about that for the benefit and encouragement of others who might like to become independent publishers. It isn’t for everyone and it’s not a panacea, but it is a serious option.

Here’s to adventure and learning curves.

Landfill Harmonic

Landfill Harmonic.jpg

Reposted from Facebook, in case it isn’t obvious.

The disabled, handicapped, cripples and gimps in literature

americansoldiers fitted with prosthesesfeatured

Hmm. How the “disabled” are depicted in literature is an interesting topic. But disabled writers and artists? Pardon me being pedantic but disabled toilets are toilets that don’t work, disabled writers are writers who can’t write, and disabled artists are artists who can’t create art. And disabled accountants, I presume, can’t count. You might say that the soldiers in the picture were disabled, because they couldn’t fight, though I’m pretty sure they could have if their lives depended on it.

American soldiers fitted with prostheses
World War I Peg Leg Department of the Surgical Appliances Association in London, allied with the American Red Cross, where all splints and similar appliances for American soldiers were made The workers were all women, who became highly skilled in their unique war work. Some rights reserved Medical Museum, creative commons

Language, it’s a tricky thing. People used to have handicaps, and I contend that that’s a noble description, as a handicap is something you can adapt to and absorb into a full life, with varying limitations, so that it is part of a person’s experience and indeed general human experience and not a defining label. Racehorses win races with handicaps, after all.

Now people are “disabled” and that puts them in their box.

If the talks produce some meaningful language, then they won’t have been in vain.

PS, I’m a writer myself, and coincidentally a gimp. I also use the excellent GIMP software for those who are interested.

Trinity College talks to explore portrayal of disability in literature

Red Lamp Black Piano


Red Lamp Black Piano

The Cáca Milis Cabaret Anthology

WITH: Annie Bell-Davies, Anthony Jones, Billy Roche,Chris Ozzard, Claire Scott, Dave Lordan, Dermot Bolger, Dominic Williams, Drucilla Wall, Eamonn Wall, Emer Martin, Eoin Colfer, Erin Fornoff, Helena Mulkerns, Jackie Hayden, Jim Maguire, Kate Dempsey, Kevin Connelly, Maeve O’Sullivan, Margaret Breen, Margaret Hawkins, Niall Wall, Oran Ryan, Patrick Chapman, Peter Murphy, Patrick Kehoe, Paul Harris, Paul O’Reilly, Paul Tylak, Philip Casey, Ross Hattaway, Sarah Maria Griffin, Simone Mansell-Broome, Stephen James Smith, Susan Lanigan, Suzanne Power, Tom Mooney, Waylon Gary White Deer, Westley Barnes.

Introduction by Patrick McCabe

The Cáca Milis Cabaret has been running as a “vaudevillian evening of the Arts” at the Wexford Arts Centre and further afield since 2009. Adapting the old Music Hall format to present original work from contemporary musicians, poets, writers, film makers, comedians, dancers and more, it has thrived – presenting around 400 artists thus far. In 2014, it will have a bi-monthly Dublin residency in “Upstairs@Arthurs.”
To mark its five-year anniversary, Helena Mulkerns, its founder and MC, has edited an anthology that presents work by a selection of the writers and poets who have participated in the Cáca Milis Cabaret down the years.
The book’s spirited and irreverent introduction by writer Patrick McCabe captures the impromptu spirit of the Cabaret itself and sets the scene for a dazzling gamut of writing. From short fiction to poetry, humour, satire and sci-fi musings, the book makes an eclectic and entertaining read. The broad range of contributors adds to its attraction, featuring local and international, emerging and established authors (see list above).

Publisher Tara Press, a new independent imprint, operates unreservedly on the basis of the “electronic publishing revolution.” It promises quality, eclectic writing – both re-publishing works by writers that are now out-of-print, and making available select original works. Red Lamp Black Piano will be available in paperback, Kindle and e-book versions via Amazon and other international online outlets, with traditional distribution via local independent bookshops and events. The book seeks to promote the Cabaret and the work of its artists, and to fund-raise for the upkeep and development of the venture. A portion of the proceeds from sales at the Wexford launch will also go to a South-East-based suicide prevention group, Wexford MarineWatch.
Red Lamp Black Piano
Red Lamp Black Piano will be launched in Dublin by author and dramatist Dermot Bolger on 4 December at The Irish Writers’ Centre, with the event kicking off at 7pm.

In Wexford, the book is launched at The Wexford Arts Centre by Enniscorthy writer Peter Murphy at 6pm on Friday, 6 December. Review copies are currently available and for more info, phone: 086-20-20-289 or contact Lisa or Helena at: –

Red Lamp Amazon links:

The Outnumbered Poet and other tweets


Here is a select selection of my tweets and re-tweets over the past while. Delighted to see the late and much lamented Dennis O’Driscoll’s extensive selection of prose writings — critical, biographical and autobiographical — The Outnumbered Poet, is due from Gallery on December 4. See @philipcummins tribute.

"if not us, then who? If not now, then when? If not here, then where? " The heroic climate change delegate from the Philippines. Follow him at @yebsano

Melville’s tribulations on the publication of his Moby Dick. Great article at The Atlantic

The amazing story of The Irish Rebel and the Ancient Sword from @irarchaeology

Essential reading: Nadezhda Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot’s prison letters to Slavoj Žižek. The Guardian‘s coverage of an amazing correspondence

and finally

Dr David Wrigley @ DavidGWrigley gives us the first UK government pamphlet announcing The National Health Service, of which I was a grateful beneficiary. Now it’s being sold to the highest bidder.