It’s official now, so I can say that I’m delighted and grateful to have been awarded a 2020 Tyrone Guthrie Bursary from Clare County Council/Clare Arts Office.
This bursary is especially sweet this year as COVID 19 meant that plans I had made to go to Annaghmakerrig in April had to be abandoned – as was the workshop that would have provided some of the means of paying for my stay!
At the time of writing, the Tyrone Guthrie Centre is still closed, so I’ll have to wait a while longer before I head back up to ‘Paradise’ in the drumlins of Co. Monaghan. It’s lovely to have that to look forward to; to have something to work towards. Right now, I’m researching and drafting work for my next collection of poetry: a response to the magnificent collections held by the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin.
By the time I get to use my residency there should be a body of work to redraft and edit.
Photo: The Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, Ireland.
You know yourself: “I’m just going out for milk, I won’t bother bringing the phone.”
Oops. A missed call from a number I didn’t recognise.
Well, it was only a call from Stephen at the John Hewitt Summer School, informing me that I’d won a full bursary to attend the school at the end of the month. Yahoo!
I’ve known about Hewitt, and had seen a documentary about him. My pal Ian has performed a one man show about the Northern Irish poet. I don’t know a great deal of his work, however. Click here for biographical info on Hewitt, or here to listen to Seamus Heaney discussing a glossary of colloquial words from his poetry (from the archives of RTÉ).
So – off I go on another adventure to Armagh town; where there will be creative writing classes, wonderful readings, lectures, music and, of course, lots of talking!
I’m so grateful to have been awarded a bursary. You can find out more about the John Hewitt Society and the Summer School by clicking here. I’ll post more about it when I get back.
I’ve never been to Armagh before. Now, where did I put my map, and the leftover sterling after my trip to Bellaghy … ?