And what book have I picked? An impossible choice, as I’m sure you will agree. At first I took the idea a bit too literally – as is my wont. A kids comic, read aged four, isn’t going to hack it. Enid Blyton and the Chalet School books are all a bit obvious. When I’d got through all those and my brothers books, my mother pointed in the direction of her Agatha Christies on the bookshelf in the sitting room. No wonder I was such a ghoulish teenager! But, though my car is called Agatha in honour of the same lady … no, Poirot and Marple aren’t the people for this gig.
So, what have I chosen? As you probably can’t come along to the session in Ennis library, I’ll let you in on the secret. Walter Macken. As the bored child with nothing to read, I was given these Mackens by my darling Grannie. And I couldn’t stop reading his books. I devoured all of my grandmother’s copies, eventually buying more myself. I was still a young teenager.
And for afters? Zola. My father gave me ‘Earth’ (La Terre), when I was about fifteen. My love affair with Zola didn’t diminish. I even ended up buying the whole Rougon Macquart series a few years ago – in French! There they were, in the front window of Scéal Eile – the gorgeous independent bookshop in Ennis. ALL of them. Calling to me. So I bought them.
The list goes on and on and on and on and on and …
And poetry lovers – did you have a nice World Poetry Day?
I’ve just been updating d’aul Writer’s CV. It never ends, the administration!
This time last year, I was working like mad on the final drafts of This Little World. It’s hard to believe that a year has gone by. And what a wonderful, creative, engaging year it has been! I’ll write a bit more about that soon.
Sold another book today – always a nice event. There are just ten books remaining here in my literary HQ. Doire Press have a couple, and there are also copies at the Ennis Bookshop. Easter is coming up. What could be better than chocolate for Easter? Poetry AND chocolate! Jus’ sayin’.
So, I’m still scribbling away. I’ve put up a few reading events on the website; if you can get to any of them, it would be lovely to see you. I’m reading with the Poetry Collective at the DeValera Library in Ennis, next Thursday. (The Library’s hosting lunchtime readings once a month.)
So, if you’re in Ennis doing the shopping, or just want a break from the office, why not come along and hear a variety of work at 1.00pm on 29 March.
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.
I’m really looking forward to tomorrow evening – 3rd February.
I’ll be reading at the Record Break Café in Ennis at the monthly poetry slot.
This time, I’m delighted to be joined by Limerick poet & playwright Mary Coll, who will be reading from her new collection, Silver. Join us for what promises to be a great evening. (We might even get a word or two of fiction out of Helena Close who is travelling from Limerick as well!)
Door open at 7.30pm with poetry is from 8-9pm, followed by music from Pele, a local musician – and a pal of my sister as it happens!
And remember, Sinéad makes great coffee & lovely treats!
FINALLY – My poem ‘The High Road’ will be published this month in The Honest Ulsterman. It’s my first time being published in that fine journal so, thanks Greg!
But I blow the trumpet loudly for the Poetry Collective, who are doing a guided literary walk around Ennis tonight. It promises to be fantastic and informative, and hey! you get in a bit of exercise at the same time. Meet at Clare Country Museum in Arthur’s Row at 5.15pm. You end up at Poets’ Corner Bar in the Old Ground Hotel, which is only right and proper!
I’d be a part of the tour myself if I didn’t have a gammy knee. Grrrrr. But I know the route and intend taking myself around some day …
Come to the ESF Poetry Breakfast on Saturday, 8th July at the Record Break in Ennis at 11 am.
Sinéad says “Led by the Poetry Collective, this is an all inclusive open mic of poetry. Share your own poem or read from one of your all time favourites in the RB Café garden this Saturday.”
Sure what else would you be doing on a Saturday morning?