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.
And here is the podcast of my latest show on Kinvara FM – Live 92.4FM from the studio in the village of Kinvara on Ireland’s Atlantic Coast. Let me know where you’re listening in from – I’d love to hear from you!!
Yes we are shouting to the top this week: celebrating Galway’s hurling success.
Also celebrating some fine musicians and songwriters: Suzanne Vega, Neil Young, Adele, Stevie Wonder, The Style Council, The Police, Stevie Nicks … and others.
We preview Culture Night 2017, look at a volunteering opportunity, and there’s a poem for Autumn by Pakistani poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz.
Hope you enjoy the show. Feedback and comments always welcome. And a follow or two would be great!
Another podcast from my show with Kinvara FM. And we’re live on air now at 92.4fm .
Tonii Kelly, the editor of Guaire Magazine in Gort joined us on The Western Skyline today to tell us about a new initiative to get the children of south Galway writing poetry and fiction. Tonii also spoke about the magazine, which celebrates Gort and the area around the town. Check out guaire.org for more details.
Music is from Ali Farka Toure & Ry Cooder, M People, Jambalaya Cajun Band, Youssou N’Dour, Andy Irvine & Paul Brady, Alan Stivell, De Dannan, Bruce Hornsby & The Range, and the Buena Vista Social Club.
There’s news of art exhibitions and a seaside installation. Don’t forget to contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to join the day trip to see the Vermeer Exhibition at the National Gallery.
We preview Muldoon’s Picnic, coming next Tuesday 29th to the Town Hall Theatre in Galway, and Moonfish Theatre Company’s production of Joseph O’Connor’s ‘Star of the Sea’ – also at the Town Hall Theatre on 1 & 2 September.
[Image c. Karen J McDonnell]
Recently, I brought ‘the childer’ up to Capital City!
A major trip for both me & and my poems. It was the first time I actually drove around Dublin.
I spent a very enjoyable time at RTÉ radio chatting to Seán Rocks on Arena, and reading a few poems from This Little World . The Arena team made the selection: ‘I’ll Tell Me Ma’ seems to appeal to a lot of people!
I’ll be hoping for evenings like this next week when I head to Bantry – the lovely town situated between the Beara and Sheeps Head peninsulas.
I’ve been to the West Cork Literary Festival several times as part of the audience. This time – HUZZAH!! – I’m going as one of their featured writers.
I can’t wait to be there. WCLF is one of those events that has everything: a great line-up, a wonderful bunch of volunteers, a superb location, and a fantastic hinterland to explore when you get a bit of time off. If the weather is good – well, that’s a bonus.
I will be chatting to Eibhear Walshe, and reading from This Little World, at 11.30am in the Bantry Bookshop next Wednesday, 19 July. Thanks to Margaret and her staff for having us. If any of you are down for the Festival – please come, and say Hello!
This gets to be a bit of a working holiday for me. I’m taking an extra night off so that I can take in as much of the other writers’ events as possible. Lucky me.
We’re due a write-up about the whole book thing. Life in the book lane has been pretty fast and furious this past month. And, real life has also got in the way – as it does. I think time to regroup is in order; then I promise a ‘daycent’ sit-down-with-a-cuppa post over on the Writer’s Blog.
In the meantime – enjoy the summer, my lovelies. And if you want to purchase This Little World, please visit www.doirepress.com where Lisa & John will be only too happy to sell you a copy!
Pass it on to any friends or rellies in the Limerick area:
On Tuesday 4 July 2017 I’ll be reading from This Little World at the ‘On the Nail Literary Gathering’ hosted by the Limerick Writers’ Centre.
Venue: Chez le Fab Café at Arthur’s Quay Time: 8pm
I will be reading with Terry McDonagh, and signing copies of THE BOOK, of course!!
And don’t forget … there’s an Open Mic afterwards, so bring some writing or music of your own to entertain us all. Many thanks to Dominic Taylor for the invitation. Chuffed to have been asked to do the gig.
I’m still working as a volunteer with Kinvara FM – about 10 km from home – in Kinvara, Co. Galway. The station hopes to be broadcasting on air in late summer when its 30 day licence is received from the BAI. Until then, there is a variety of shows going out every Saturday, and some on Sundays too. You can listen in live online, or catch the podcasts later.
I’ll be presenting The Western Skyline every fortnight. The next show is on 10 June. There will be Arts & Heritage news, interviews, and some poetry. Below are links to podcasts the two most recent shows. I hope you enjoy them!