Frank McGuinness launches début collection by young Dalkey poet


Peter Donnelly, author of “Photons” with playwright and Professor Frank McGuinness

A new and début poetry collection by young local writer entitled Photons by Peter Donnelly was officially launched this week by author and playwright Professor Frank McGuinness. In his speech about the new book, Frank noted that “The most striking and admirable feature that struck me when I read through the whole collection is the sheer size and the ambition of the book”. The launch took place at the UCD Campus Bookshop with a large crowd all out to greet the first time author and join in the support for the publication.

Peter Donnelly, aged 25 and from Dalkey, graduated with a BA International and an MA in English from University College, Dublin two years ago. In 2010 he began to publish poetry in journals across Ireland and within UCD, where he won the Undergraduate Poetry Award; his work has been said to create worlds in which “the familiar and the alien have been seamlessly fused together” by the 2013 University Observer’s Arts Editor Steven Balbirnie. As the back of the book states, “Photons sheds fresh light on a wide spectrum of human experience in verses of striking originality and technical assurance”.


Peter Donnelly with Professor Frank McGuinness and parents, Professor Brian Donnelly and Trish Donnelly.

Such sentiments were clearly supported by Professor McGuinness, who during his speech about the new work stated, “What dexterity of meters there is in it, what splendid sensitivity to the strange changes of the natural world. What sheer delight in the diversity of themes and the diversity of tones, giving this verse its voice, a voice that is already sounding its sureness of identity. A voice capable of characterising its deeper self and finding in that depth much to fear and much to identify”.

Photons is a collection of works which looks back to the poets such as John Donne and his contemporaries, and engages with the spirits of Modernism. According to Frank McGuinness “Peter Donnelly already shows he has a strong imagination. Indeed, a savage one presents itself on occasion when the beautiful and brutal confront and confound each other”.


Playwright and Professor Frank McGuinness, Poet Peter Donnelly, Author and MD of Appello Press Ivor Casey and Artist and teacher Nuala Holloway.

The volume has also been noted for including a first time English translation of one of Dante’s Cantos, which is described as rendering “Dante’s bleak, dramatic vision alive in contemporary English that remains true to the spirit and form of the original Italian”. Titled La Divina Commedia, Inferno, Canto X, this verse translation from Dante’s Inferno, has already made its way to the lecture halls of the City University of New York.

Concluding his speech, before conveying a warm congratulations to the poet, McGuinness explained “Playful intelligence imbues Peter Donnelly’s technique with its sense of fun, for  he is the mark of a true comedian.  He knows when laughter chokes in the throat and he is not afraid to hear it die. But Photons is a celebration of a man, revelling and learning, in loving, in giving his heart and soul and allowing us to share in such joy for all these are joyous texts”. In all, Photons fulfils the Romantic ambition for poetry to illuminate the ordinary and celebrate the wonder of the everyday.

 Photons is available to buy at the UCD Campus Bookshop and on Amazon (RRP€11.99)


Appello’s First Work Grabs the Headlines!

Appello Press has spent its first year in operation promoting its very first work “Elvis and Ireland” by Ivor Casey and has managed to grab some significant headlines for the first publication of our new Irish publishing house, as well as that of a first time author.

“Elvis and Ireland” has earned rave reviews from journalists around the country including Barry Egan of The Sunday Independent, Eamonn McCann of Hot Press as well as substantial and positive features in Cork’s The Evening Echo and Southern Star, The Westmeath Independent, The Donegal Democrat and Waterford Today. Release of this book has also spread to hardcopy and online publications in Britain, Spain, Portugal, Germany and Memphis and New York. “Elvis and Ireland” is now critically acclaimed and has gained widespread attention through shows such as RTE’s The Ryan Tubridy Show, The Ronan Collins Show and The Late Date. Ivor Casey has also appeared on TV3’s The Morning Show, Newstalk FM’s Sean Moncrieff show, Radio Nova, Dublin South FM, Dublin City FM, Midlands 103 FM’s Art Show and Spain’s iTalk FM with Maurice Boland.


Author of “Elvis and Ireland” Ivor Casey with music star Bono

“Elvis and Ireland” received its official launch in May 2013 with the book being launched and endorsed by Barry Devlin of legendary Celtic Rock Group “Horslips” who called it “a terrific read with fascinating research”. Ivor was also photographed with international superstar Bono of U2 giving his thumbs up for the book.

Appello Press has worked vigorously to secure publicity and widespread attention for its first publication and plans to work with the same tenacity on all its future projects. “Elvis and Ireland” is available across the world from Amazon in both paperback and Kindle format and can also be purchased through America’s Barnes and Noble online store. In Ireland, other than through Amazon’s Irish base,, the book can be got nationwide through Easons and Dubray bookshops and a host of various independent stores including Celtic Note, Nassau St. Dublinand Tower Records, Wicklow St., Dublin (RRP€14.99)


Elvis and Ireland Out Now!

Elvis and Ireland by Ivor Casey is the new and first publication by Appello Press. It is currently available to buy from Amazon USA, UK and Europe.

Elvis and IrElvis and Irelandeland is the “Irish Biography” of Elvis Presley. It is the detailed story of Elvis Presley’s life and career, combined with a timeline of events in Irish popular culture and the social changes brought on by his unique brand of rock ‘n’ roll. What you will find here is just about everything to do with Elvis and his links with Ireland including anecdotes, entertaining trivia on Elvis’s connection with Ireland, his Irish chart successes, as well as areas of censorship. You will also learn about Irish songs he covered and Irish singers who covered his work. Find out what many Irish personalities have to say about Elvis, as well as what was said about the star from the Dáil (Irish Government) to the pulpit. Elvis and Ireland focuses on how Irish artists used Elvis and American popular culture for their own artistic efforts, from Ireland’s earliest showbands and beat-groups to the rock legends Rory Gallagher, Phil Lynott and Bono. It covers several decades of Irish popular music without ever losing track of Elvis’s story. In brief this book is a view of Elvis Presley through Irish eyes. Elvis and Ireland brings together the story of the global superstar from his birth to his untimely death, picking up the Irish connections along the way. To add a further Irish dimension, the book also features artwork of Elvis by three famous Irish artists. Hundreds of Elvis books already exist but rarely does a new Elvis book have something to say from a totally different cultural stand point. All music fans, and not just the Irish ones, will find this an exhilarating journey through the career of the universal music icon