If it’s the first weekend in March, it can only mean one thing – it’s time for the Ennis Book Club Festival.
And this year, thank goodness, there’s no Storm Emma dumping tons of snow on the country to cancel the whole thing. Storm Freya is approaching from the south though, but so far all we have had to deal with is LOTS of rain. And hey! – a book festival is mostly indoors anyhoo!
Yesterday, I joined my companeros in the Poetry Collective, and other poetry lovers, for the monthly First Friday in the library in Ennis. We had a great crowd – the interest is growing for this monthly event. Thanks to Martin Vernon who is such a good host, and who read a lovely poem in memory of his sister. AND who brought a lovely vase of daffodils and treated us to Wordsworth’s poem. A lovely Spring reading.
Then to St Columba’s church to hear Thomas Lynch speak on death and grief and memory. He got a wonderful introduction from writer Grace Wells. Then he mused on the loss of writers Philip Casey, Macdara Woods, Dennis O’Driscoll, Seamus Heaney and Matthew Sweeney – such a rollcall of the lost. But the work remains. Thank you, Tom, for your company and gracious words.
And now, I must sign off and head into Ennis again. This morning it’s the tradition to go to ’10 Books You Should Read’ with my mother. In the afternoon, I join my sister poets for a #Fired inspired reading in the Record Break Café – The Seven Sisters. As with last year, we will read some of our own work, but also work by Irish poets who have been neglected in the last hundred years or so. This year I’m reading work by Helen Waddell.
After last year’s cancellation, it’s a joy to be joining in the live recording of RTÉ radio’s live recording of Sunday Miscellany. That takes place in Glór at 11.30am. There may be a few tickets left for the early birds!
And so – to the Festival!
Mags Brehony came into studio to chat to me on The Western Skyline about Kinvara’s mini festival in solidarity with the poets and people of Nicaragua. Also on the show: music by Anastacia, Big Country, Destiny’s Child, Sigrid and others. Plus some arts news. Keep informed – check out what’s happening in Nicaragua; what caused the cancellation of their poetry festival for the first time in its history.
Hard to believe that this was already end of the first month of 2019: Opening with Dave Brubeck, the show continues with a chat with Sinéad Moylan about the upcoming fundraiser for Kinvara Community Creche. Mic problems presented themselves, but hand-held-mic skills were brought into play and the show went on!
Arts News as usual, with tracks from Peter, Paul & Mary, Lulu, Roger Miller, Petula Clark, Andy Williams, Dusty Springfield, Roy Orbison and Duffy. Some classics never die!
An all female line-up on this The Western Skyline podcast.
Easing into 2019 with our featured artist Joni Mitchell: Tracks include Carey, Amelia, Come in from the Cold, Both Sides Now. With a bit of news from the Arts, and songs from Marianne Faithful, Suzanne Vega, Marlene Diertrich, Edith Piaf, The McGarrigle sisters, Kirsty McColl, Madeleine Peyroux, and the Dixie Chicks.
It was a pleasure to put this set together. Hope you enjoy it!
A special to welcome in 2019: a mix of new year songs and comedy clips relating to Hell, technology, needing your Ma when the weather and the flu sets in, The Great War, the British & the EU. The featured album is David Bowie’s Hunky Dory, but there are also tracks from ABBA, Cat Stevens, Ella Fitzgerald, Dan Fogelburg, U2, & Taylor Swift. There’s a mix!! Thanks for listening in 2018. Here’s to a great 2019 for us all.
On the show Kieran O’Halloran tells us about a new Open Mic venue in Ballyvaughan, there’s news of Christmas concerts around the area, new exhibitions, and a few bookish ideas for Christmas gifts! And we pay tribute to two treasures in the Irish music world – Alex Finn, and Micheál Ó Súilleabháin.
On The Western Skyline this week – my guests Tonii Kelly and Chris Banahan discuss the process of editing, and book illustration – in this case, the bi-annual journal ‘Guaire’, and Aine Kelly’s new book of short stories.
Plus good music, news of local art exhibitions, a children’s competition, and a special shout out for Chris Droney – trad musician extraordinaire who celebrated his 90th birthday with a big bash at Glor in Ennis!
This Western Skyline takes a look at all the offerings ‘Live in the Cinema’: Operas, Ballets, Theatre, Art exhibitions – with music from some of 2018-2019 season’s best-loved works.
Also ‘Remorse’, a poem by Siegfried Sassoon, – to mark the 100th anniversary of the Armistice – followed by Leontyne Price singing the Miserere from Il Trovatore.
And we remember the wonderful soprano Monserrat Caballe, who died in October.
The Western Skyline is full of razzamatazz! Quincy Jones, The Pointer Sisters, Prince, Genesis, Sisters Sledge, The Righteous Brothers, Queen & David Bowie, Rick Astley, Robbie Williams. As well as our arts news: KAM; Adventure Talks; Frank Pig Says Hello – 25 years on; Rough Magic; Paul Brady; Mongolian musicians …
Lads, what more could you want??? Even I was dancing in the studio!