Next weekend I’ll be reading poetry for Christmas, and from This Little World.
Join me at the Ennis Bookshop on Sunday, 10 December. I’ll read a few of my own poems, and some poems I’ve chosen to get us into a festive mood. Dervilla has told me that I’ll be the first person to do a bit of poeting in the shop. I’m chuffed to have been asked.
So – why not get out of the bed a bit earlier and meet your gang for a nice brunch. Take in the Christmas lights and window displays in town. Then meander down to the bookshop for some poetry, and a good browse. You can even get some Christmas shopping done!
A mix of music for you on this The Western Skyline – from stompin’ yer feet, to ConTempo String Quartet. There’s news of community awards, and an update on KAVA and the renovation of the Courthouse arts venue. Plus info on some shows. There’s been a new appointment at NUI Galway at the Huston School of Film! And – was Chilean poet Pablo Neruda really murdered? The poem today is Neruda’s ‘Leave me a place underground’.
I’m heading across the Shannon, to Emo Court in Co. Laois, to take part in this lovely festival.
I’ll be reading with Denise Curtin and Paddy Moran, and there’ll be music from Gary Dunne. Seamus Hosey will be putting manners on us all. So, if you’re around the Laois area next Saturday, join us at 3pm in the Drawing Room.
Such a treat to be reading in a building as magnificent as Emo Court. Thanks to Muireann Ní Chonaill, Laois Arts Officer, for the invitation, and to the OPW for letting poets run loose in the place!
There’s lots of music over the weekend. There’s poetry on Friday from Jean O’Brien, Helen Ivory & Martin Figura, and on Saturday evening Kevin Barry & Lisa Harding will be chatting to Seán Rocks. You can view the full programme at http://www.laois.ie – Arts Office. Booking is on http://www.dunmaise.ie – Dunmaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise.
The Western Skyline was delighted to host two poets who have contributed to ‘Bosom Pals’ a new poetry collection by eight women who share their experience of breast cancer. ALL proceeds from the book go to Breast Cancer Research Ireland – a national organisation based in Galway. With a foreward by Prof. Michael Kerin and introduction by Áine Lawlor, this is a book to dip into alone, or to share with friends. You can buy it via breastcancerresearch.ie or at Charlie Byrnes in Galway. Kudos to editor Marie Cadden for making it all happen.
Music today from fab female singers: Sheryl Crow, Anastacia, Kylie, Marianne Faithful, & Carly Simon. The common thread? They have all survived breast cancer.
Enjoy the show!
And think about buying the book – it would make a great gift as we head towards Christmas.
Below is the podcast of my radio show from 7 October.
We had a Travelling Wilburys special on The Western Skyline in the week that saw the death of Tom Petty at the age of 66. Rather than play the best known tracks by Petty, I decided to put a playlist together that includes tracks from Petty & the Heartbreakers, but also by his fellow musicians in the Travelling Wilburys: George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne, and Roy Orbison. Needless to say, the music is, in the words of George, ‘Fab’.
Also – I spoke to actor Oisin McDonagh and stage manager Elizabeth Jacob about a theatrical production of Crime & Punishment, the great 19th century Russian novel by Fydor Dostoevsky. The novel has been adapted for the stage by Philip McDonagh, and is directed by Luke Morgan, with music by Jake Morgan. The theatre company performed in Kinvara on the 14th, and are in the Mick Lally Theatre in Druid Lane, Galway until 28 October. Drop in if you’re nearby.
Gremlins mean we didn’t make it to ‘The End of the Line’. A good omen, perhaps!
SO, a Western Skyline Special – this time focused on Live Events being shown at the Eye Cinema, Galway over the next six months. Today’s show highlights music and arias from operas by Bellini, Mozart, Puccini, & Donizetti.
There’s news of an animated film ‘Loving Vincent’ – dedicated to the life and work of Van Gogh, and – also at the Eye Cinema – an encore performance by Benedict Cumberbatch as Hamlet on 5th October. Instead of the poem this week, listen to Richard E Grant’s rendition of ‘What a piece of work is a man’ (Hamlet), in the closing scene of ‘Withnail & I’. (Filmed in a downpour at the Zoo).
We have details of a new dance/cello collaboration between Jean Butler & Neil Martin. Finally, there’s an instrumental version of a well -loved modern song – from Galway-based ConTempo Quartet.
If you’d like to hear another classical Western Skyline – let me know. Just email email@example.com and put The Western Skyline in the subject line. As always – Thanks for listening!
As I type, the Yeats Family Collection is being sold in Sothebys in London.
I was happy to be one of the signatories to Adrian Paterson’s letter to our Arts Minister, requesting that the State do something to keep the collection – or some of it – in the country. Poetry Ireland was going over to London to bid for Yeats’s writing chair and desk. They’ve sold for much more than the estimates – so I’m not sure that they will be coming back to Ireland.
What is interesting is that the Olivia Shakespear letters failed to sell. Will any of the Irish cultural institutions now step in and buy them, supported by the State … or by someone of a philanthropic nature?
Just as well I’m broke and can’t attend auctions. I love ’em. I could do serious damage.
As it is, I got a bit carried away and leapt into action – even as the auction began. I rang Sothebys, got instructions, and emailed an absentee bid for a little silver box (photo above). It was a gift to WB from his wife, George. Guiding £100-120, it sold for £3000.
Now, about those Persian tiles that failed to sell …
Last Friday was Culture Night in Ireland – and the goodies on offer were only legion! My contribution was reading poetry in two different parts of Clare.
Firstly the Clare Poetry Collective linked up for a reading in the Library in Ennis, with contributions from the floor, including Michéal FitzGearailt – a young man from whom we hope to hear more.
Then it was zoom! off in Might Aphrodite the Blue Polo, back to North Clare and the Salmon Bookshop & Literary Centre in Ennistymon. I joined Eleanor Cummins at 7pm for round two. The shop was cosy with rugs, and lovely lights, and the audience was warm and receptive. Everyone first said what their favourite poem was. Then Eleanor and I read some poems. Thanks Ellie, for having me over and, ‘Get Well Soon, Jessie!
Saturday saw me back in the car, motoring down along the coast to Kilkee. The Clare Poetry Collective had a gig at the Che Do Bheatha Festival. Is it not the best name for a festival that you’ve ever heard?
Well, Irish people will get it.
The rain stayed away until we got into the Sweeney Library – which was fine with us. We read turn and turn about, with contributions from the audience. Thanks to Anne at the Library for delaying closing up until the last Che-themed poem was read! We really enjoyed ourselves, and it was lovely to meet up with friends from out Moyasta way. A well-deserved chowder and brown bread in Bay View; where I stayed as a tiny tot with Grannie (now changed, changed utterly!). Then it was home again to the Burren.
All in all, a stimulating weekend. And lovely to be invited to participate. Thanks, lads.