About Quotidian- Word On the Street
Quotidian – Word on the Street Limited is an arts production company dedicated to putting literature,
especially poetry into public spaces, in innovative ways intended to engage the general public and not just a literary audience.
Maria McManus – Artistic Director/ Founder.
Maria is a graduate of the MA Creative Writing programme at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen’s University Belfast, and has an impressive track record in literature and management. She was recipient of and ACNI British Council International Award in 2019 & 2017 as well as the inaugural 2016 Poetry Ireland/ Tyrone Guthrie Centre bursary. She is also a recipient of an Artist’s Career Enhancement (ACES) Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland 2015/16. Maria is the author of ‘Available Light’, (2017, Arlen House), ‘We are Bone’ (Lagan Press 2013), The Cello Suites (Lagan Press 2009) – recorded with an original score composed and played by the cellist Tom Hughes.
Maria has worked extensively with other artists to put poetry into public space in innovative collaborations. Recent work includes poetry/ choral production WRETCHES with composer Keith Achesion, Tierra Sallada with composer Martin Devek and the Fidelio Trio and the Avantoi Trio, poetry/ choreography collaborations such as DUST and TURF with choreographer Eileen McClory and Filling the Void (Armagh Robinson Library), with composer Simon Waters and artist Helen Sharp and Cirque des Oiseaux, with visual artists, filmmakers and composers.
Her poetry collections are Reading the Dog (Lagan Press 2006 runner up/ Strong short-list Glen Dimplex New Writers Award). Other collections and pamphlets include The Cello Suites & We Are Bone (Lagan Press) and Available Light (Arlen House). Ellipses is upcoming in 2021 as a pamphlet published as a limited edition hand-made publication by Coast to Coast to Coast. Maria won the inaugural Bedell Scholarship from Aspen Writers’ Foundation, USA in 2005. An experienced poetry mentor, she provides mentoring through the Poetry Society in London and Poetry Ireland in Dublin. She has facilitated the all-Ireland project X Borders (2017 – 2020) for the Irish Writers’ Centre. She has performed widely across the island of Ireland as well as in the Basque Country, Sweden, and in Lisbon and Paris.
Myra (Máire) Zepf -Artistic Director for Children’s and Irish Language
Máire Zepf has written 15 books for children, from picture books to a YA verse novel. Winner of the KPMG/CBI Children’s Book of the Year, 4 LAI Children’s Book Awards and 2 international White Ravens among many others, her books appear in 10 languages worldwide. Her ‘Rita’ series of picture books with illustrator Mr. Ando are being adapted for television. The Co. Down author was the first Children’s Writing Fellow for Northern Ireland, based at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at QUB. Máire has also translated 8 children’s books, her latest being Charlie Mackesey’s ‘The Boy, The Mole, the Fox and the Horse’. Recently, Máire has turned her pen to television, writing a ‘Celtic anime’ TV show. Máire loves eating crisps and sea-swimming (although not at the same time).
Is údar don aos óg í Máire Zepf. Tá cúig leabhar déag scríofa aici, idir phictiúrleabhair do na leitheoirí is óige, úrscéalta staire agus úrscéal véarsaíochta do dhéagóirí. Tá go leor duaiseanna bainte aici, ina measc Gradam Leabhar na Bliana de chuid Leabhair Pháistí Éireann, 4 chinn de Gradam Chumann Litearthachta na hÉireann agus White Raven faoi dhó. Tá a cuid leabhair aistrithe anois go 10 dteanga ar fud an domhain. Ceapadh Máire mar an chéad Comhalta le Scríbhneoireacht Páistí i dTuaisceart na hÉireann. Tá 8 leabhar do pháistí aistrithe go Gaeilge aici, ina measc, ‘An Buachaill, an Caochán, an Sionnach agus an Capall’ de chuid Charlie Mackesey. Is aoibhinn le Máire criospaí agus an snámh san fharraige (ach ní ag an am céanna).
Dee Harvey- Creative Technologies Researcher.
Dee Harvey is a film-maker specialising in VR and 360 filmmaking. She’s a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts where she studied Interactive Telecommunications, also known as a degree in the recently possible. Her professional focus is on using emerging technologies and storytelling techniques to tell stories that otherwise wouldn’t get told. She is a Future Fellow of Future Screens NI. She has just completed LOSS, a short verbatim documentary about late-term pregnancy loss, a co-production with Uppercut Creative in Vancouver. She co-wrote and directed IF, a VR180 film about infertility, that was commissioned by YouTube in 2018. It was shortlisted for the Royal Television Society NI awards 2019.
Dee joins Quotidian as a Creative Technologies Researcher. She will bring her expertise in storytelling technologies and iterative research to the company’s slate of projects and mission to change the message and enhance civic space. She will also bring cake sometimes, because cake always helps.
Viviana Fiorentino – Language Arts Project Worker
Viviana Fiorentino is our Language Arts Project Worker. She is originally from Italy. Her poems appeared in anthologies (Dedalus Press, Salmon Poetry, Arlen House) and magazines ( i.e. The Stinging Fly) and were recorded for the Irish Poetry Reading Archive (UCD). In Italy she published a novel and two poetry collections. She is board member of the Irish PEN and Le Ortique, an initiative to rediscover forgotten women artists.
She is one of the winners of the 2022 Irish Chair Of Poetry Student Prize.
Stephen de Búrca – PHD Student on Attachment
Stephen de Búrca is a poet and PhD student at Queen’s University Belfast. From Galway City, he won the Over the Edge New Writer of the Year poetry award in 2019 and was runner-up in the Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing in 2022. His work has appeared in journals such as Poetry Ireland Review, Abridged, Crannóg, Skylight 47, The Honest Ulsterman as well as in anthologies by UCD Press, Dedalus Press, and the Seamus Heaney HomePlace. He is currently working on his first collection.
Quotidian Artist in Residence 2022/23
Ammar Al Najjar ia a Yemeni poet, writer and cultural activist, born in 1978. President of the Al-Sharq Cultural Foundation, founder and co-ordinator of the Yemeni Network for Cultural Policies, he was active through his institutional work in the field of changing cultural legislation and research in the field of arts and cultural management, as well as in the field of intercultural dialogue. Poetically classified among the nineties generation and the prose poem poets in Yemen, he has published five poetry collections: A Tree Bears Axes (2002), Man and the Butterfly (2005), Ramadi’s Steps (2012), Dancing With the Old Man (2012) and The Whole (2019). Many of his texts were translated into other languages, the entire Man and the Butterfly collection was translated into English in 2005. He has participated in many cultural and literary activities and festivials in Yemen, Eygpt, Tunisia, Lebanon, Iraq, Ireland and Germany. He moved to live in the Republic of Ecuador in 2016 and participated in writing and producing a number of short films about the lives of Arab immigrants in Latin America, some of which have won international awards.
Our Associate Artists
Nandi Jola is a South African born Poet, Storyteller and Playwright. She has been published in many journals and anthologies (i.e. The Stinging Fly, Vital Signs Poetry Ireland, Washing Windows Too by Arlen House, Impermanence Way by No Alibis Press). She has also had work commissioned for Herstory: Parallel Peace Project (with women’s organisations in Northern Ireland, Palestine and Israel); Transpoesie Poetry Festival; Ambiguities [add link to Ambiguities]; Six Project (ACNI and Brassneck Theatre Company). Nandi’s debut collection ‘Home is Neither Here Nor There’ was published by Doire Press in 2022.
Raquel McKee is a first-generation Jamaican migrant living in Ireland’s North. She has a strong social commentary voice which manifests in Dub Poetry (Jamaican style performance poetry), Thought for the Day contributions and play scripts. Raquel has offered diversity workshops and storytelling for years and more recently has offered workshops with UKPivot of which she is a part. She is a co-host on the podcast UnMute Now. Raquel has had poems published in a past edition of Fortnight@50 amongst other publications.
Emma Must is a poet, and teacher of creative and academic writing in universities and the community, with a decade’s experience of facilitating creative writing workshops. Formerly a full-time campaigner on environment and development issues. Completed a PhD in English (Creative Writing) at Queen’s University Belfast in 2021, focusing on ecopoetry and ecocriticism. Debut poetry pamphlet Notes on the Use of the Austrian Scythe (2015) won the Templar Portfolio Award. First full-length poetry collection forthcoming in December 2022 from Valley Press.
Scott McKendry was the recipient of the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award 2019 and his pamphlet, Curfuffle (The Lifeboat), was Poetry Book Society Autumn Choice 2019. He’s currently working on his first full collection.
Celia de Fréine writes in many genres in both Irish and English. Awards for her poetry include the Patrick Kavanagh Award and Gradam Litríochta Chló Iar-Chonnacht. To date she has published nine collections. Her plays have won numerous Oireachtas awards and are performed regularly. Her film and television scripts have won awards in Ireland and America. Ceannródaí (LeabhairCOMHAR, 2018) her biography of Louise Gavan Duffy won ACIS Duais Leabhar Taighde na Bliana (2019) and was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards (2018) and Gradam Uí Shuilleabháin (2019). Cur i gCéill, her first thriller, was published by LeabhairCOMHAR in 2019. www.celiadefreine.com
Nessa O’Mahony is from Dublin. She has published five collections of poetry, the most recent being The Hollow Woman on the Island (Salmon Poetry 2019). She also published a historic crime fiction, The Branchman. She co-edited several anthologies of poetry, including Divining Dante, a celebration of the 700th anniversary of the Italian poet. In 2022, she edited Poetry Ireland Review 138, a special issue in tribute to the late Eavan Boland.
Reggie Chamberlain-King is a writer, musician, and archivist of the unusual. He has published three books with Blackstaff Press, Weird Belfast (2014), Weird Dublin (2015), and The Black Dreams: Strange Stories from Northern Ireland, which he edited. His fiction and non-fiction have appeared internationally. He is creative producer with Wireless Mystery Theatre and works regularly with Partisan Productions. With composer, Martin White, he brought E.T.A. Hoffman’s fever dream, Master Flea, to the London stage as a musical and his adaptation of J.S. Le Fanu’s Green Tea was released through Swan River Press in 2019. He has been composer-in-residence at Lough Neagh and wrote a song cycle for the organ in Union Church, Islington. He is a regular contributor to BBC Radio Ulster and presents documentaries on the strange for BBC Radio 4.