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.
This was a first for me on the show – featuring a complete musical work. I hope you enjoy the result.
A special on The Western Skyline – a programme devoted to Gránuaile, or Grace O’Malley. Featuring the Gránuaile Suite composed by Shaun Davey and sung by Rita Connolly, with a 32 piece orchestra, Donal Lunny and Liam Óg O’Flynn. The suite takes us through Grace’s life from childhood to the meeting with another great woman of her age – Elizabeth l – to an ending, back on the coast of Mayo.
Check out this site run by Grace’s biographer, Anne Chambers: http://www.graceomalley.com/
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!
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.
I’m off to Capital City in the morning to take part in this rather fab Christmas Staccato session. And I’m look forward to sitting back and listening to others as much as having the chance to read some of my own work.
I may bring along a Christmassy poem by someone else . . .
If you’re in town tomorrow, come along to Toner’s in Baggot Street. This promises to be a mighty evening!
Mine’s a hot port; I’m fighting the dreaded lurgy.