Hard to believe this baby is nearly two years old!
Sinéad continues to host monthly readings at the Record Break Café tomorrow 1 June – with turns from yours truly and musician Brigid O’Neill, who is on a UK & Ireland tour at the moment. Read more about Brigid here.
We will be splitting the time into fifteen minute slots – so I promise not to bore you with too much ‘recitation’! I’ve decided to read some short fiction too.
It has been a manic few days, getting ready for this year’s #PoetryDayIrl
This morning, I was at the DeValera Library in Ennis; giving a poetry workshop to 3rd and 4th class from Ennis Educate Together school. Eighteen young poets turned up with their teachers- and taught me a thing or two about poetry! Thanks to all of the children for their energy and interest. They were really great. And thanks to Samantha at Clare Library Services for the invitation. We’ll be doing it all again on the 23 May with another group of Ennis schoolchildren.
Yesterday was spent tearing around the Burren: from Carron, to Finavarra, to Bishop’s Quarter; then out the coast road to Fanore, stopping off on the way back at Black Head, Murroohtoohy, Ballyconry, & Sans Souci; more stops at the old pier, the Coast Road, the Cottages, the new pier; to the school, looking back to Cappanawalla; and finally to a nook or two in the village. ALL in aid of Label Lit – the brainchild of the dynamo that is Maria McManus – who already has brought the Poetry Jukebox concept to Ireland.
Label Lit has been going for a few years now, on each Poetry Day Ireland. Maria organises the whole thing and we poets are sent 20 labels. We write a line of poetry on each one and then sign them on the back, where there are links for the finder to use. This year we also recorded our poems. Finders of the labels – and you – can click into poetrymapp.com here, and listen to the complete poem. This year poets from abroad are also taking place: you’ll find LabelLit in the Americas, Asia, Africa and Australia. I had my labels prepped since Easter, and a ‘keeper’ sent off to Ursula in the Poetry Collection project at the library in U.C.D. I’ve left labels all around my part of the Burren for you to find. Many of the places mentioned above are mentioned in my poem Super Moon. At Sea was in response to a reported incident just off Black Head. If you’re not in Co. Clare at the moment, look at the map: there may be labels where you are!
To be a part of their Poems and Pictures blog was on my bucket list, and I was so chuffed to receive an invitation to contribute a poem.
I nearly didn’t get it, however. Gill Stoker from the Mary Evans Library had contacted me via Facebook Messenger – and the message went into a Messenger black hole. I found it, and a few others, nearly six months later! (This is yet another reason why I hate Messenger and won’t have it on my phone.)
I contacted Gill, who was still happy for me to choose a picture from their collection and send her a poem to go with it. I spent ages looking at illustrations and photos, eventually choosing a photo of a mosque in Aleppo. I teamed it with ‘The Elsewhere Moment’ from This Little World (Doire Press).
I’ll write a brand new poem the next time. Now, here is this week’s Poem & Picture:
News from KAVA artists group, and of a poetry reading in Galway by the Seven Sisters poets, an Easter egg hunt in the Burren Sanctuary, Classical music for Easter by Handel, Bach, Vaughan Williams, Taverner, Morley, and some Orthodox chant. A poem, ‘Aubade’, and a dedication to murdered journalist, Lyra McKee
Most featured composer: Thomas Newman. Music also from films by Quentin Tarantino, and composers Gabriel Yared, Hans Zimmer. And, a Mozart aria sung by Renée Fleming & Cecilia Bartoli, and a Verdi theme arranged by Jean- Claude Petit.
Some local arts news, and new of the Cúirt International Festival of Literature.
This is one to enjoy by the fire with a cuppa, or a glass of wine.
A couple of posts back, I scribbled a quick note before I headed into the Ennis Book Club Festival.
Well, I’m happy to report that it was a lovely weekend. The visitors to Ennis really seemed to enjoy themselves. As I grew up in the place, I feel proud that the whole town takes the Festival and visitors to heart. Local businesses had some fantastic book-themed window displays.
Our ‘Seven Sisters’ poetry reading at the Record Break Café was standing room only – we were delighted with the turnout and the audience response. It was lovely to welcome EBCF attendees to Sinéad’s venue, as well as our usual faithful supporters. This year’s readers were Sinéad Ní Síoda, Deirdre Devally, Nicki Griffin, Ruth Marshall, Mary-Ellen Fean, Deborah Ryan, and yours truly.
I also managed to get to hear Thomas Lynch, in the lovely setting of St Columba’s Church. By the way: If any of you are around this evening at 6.30pm, Tom will be reading at a Salmon Bookshop gig in Oh La La café in Ennistymon with Stephen Powers and Rain Leon. I’d already committed to something else and am really sad I can’t be there. It will be a stonkin’ reading.
The biggie for me was the live recording of RTÉ Radio One’s Sunday Miscellany, which happened on Sunday morning. I was excited and nervous in equal measure. It was a trio of firsts for me: first time I appeared on the stage in Glór, first live recording, and also my first ‘essay’ for Sunday Miscellany. There was some fine writing, and wonderful music. My thanks to producer Sarah Binchy, and to Carolyn Dempsey for making it all so easy. Also to Cora Gunter of EBCF whose enthusiasm was infectious. Most of the contributions were broadcast last Sunday the 10th of March, including The Hanging Sheriff by Mae Leonard; My First Pint by Joe Ó Muircheartaigh; Preventive Measures, a poem by Caoilinn Hughes; Growing up in Miltown by John Hurley; and Joe Ninety, by Dee Collins – here’s a link to the podcasthttps://www.rte.ie/radio1/sunday-miscellany/#103062434
Here, I’m joined on The Western Skyline by Aoife Reilly, a writer living and working in Co. Galway. Aoife chats about her writing process and reads poems from her pamphlet ‘Lilac & Gooseberries’, which is published by Lapwing Press. You can read more about her here: https://aoifereilly.com/ It was great to have a live reading in the studio!
Some Arts news also on the show, and music from Coldplay, Keith, The Monkees, Bruce Hornsby & the Range, Carole King, and Bob Dylan.