Saturday, 29 April 2017

Memories from Books Upstairs April 2017

I am off home after a very happy and stimulating few days in Dublin. Poetry Ireland, Words Ireland, Irish Writers Centre, Teddy's ice-cream and walk on East Pier.

Today I spent about three hours in Books Upstairs - leaving lighter and heavier. Looking through some books I came across Gerard Smyth [in person] who had only good words about his recent experience at Ó Bhéal in Cork.  As always it was a pleasure to chat with Maurice before heading up for a bite in the café where I met a fellow writer of poems, Deirdre Daly.

So what's in the bag?  TLS, Bare Hands Anthology, Skylight 47, Literary Review, Level Crossing, Banshee x 2, Gorse, Crannóg, Ciphers CD, Off Duty by Katie Donovan, Mountains for Breakfast by Geraldine Mitchell and a beautiful Selected Poems by A.E.

I think my blog will be quiet for some time...

29th April 2017

Friday, 28 April 2017

Takin the Mic - Irish Writers Centre

Following on from the activities at Poetry Ireland on Poetry Day I attended another event on Friday evening, 28th April - Takin the Mic - at the Irish Writers Centre supported by Words Ireland.

I had planned to attend and listen as the event was fully booked but I was very pleased to have my name added to the waiting list and was able to take the opportunity to read 5 poems.

The wonderful and brilliant Sonya Kelly was guest MC and she also shared some prose and a poem that sent us across the universe in an egg shell.

Arnold Fanning managed proceedings to ensure nobody exceeded the 5 minutes alloted - tinkling his bell as a warning for those who wished to push the boundary.

There was a good cross section of readings. Speaking with people who attended previously, they said that sometimes there are musical contributions too.

Takin the Mic is a good supportive environment for writers to share their work. I will definitely be back.

Thanks to Tom White for taking this photo of me reading.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Collaboration - poetry and visual art

We talked about it from time to time - about a collaboration between the work of my husband, painter and musician John Philip Murray, and my poems. We knew it would happen but not sure how it would come about.

John Philip has responded to my poem 'Another Day on Patrick Street'.  This has resulted in a number of pieces, two of which are on exhibition during April at Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre  and at the Cork School of Music in September- Home (2) - Pen, ink and watercolour on linen and paper.

and Encounter - Ink on linen and paper.

Another Day on Patrick Street

Crouched beside you
covered by tarpaulin
on a mattress of sorts
in a doorway to somewhere.

You doing a crossword,
young beautiful face – eyes tired
from many sleepless nights.

Your man lying back
up on one arm brimming
with possibility for the future.

Construction engineer, you
a bio-scientist – studies arrested

Thank me for stopping
for a chat.

A chat, you say, is preferable to a euro
any day.

Note: this poem has been recorded (to be available later this year) by the UCD Irish Poetry Archive.

Poetry Day at Poetry Ireland

The day started off promising when, as I was walking from Busárus to Poetry Ireland on Parnell Square, I stopped to scribble down a haiku.....

Haiku for Poetry Day

It does the soul good
Dublin on Poetry Day
All the way from Cork

#connectwithapoem #PoetryDayIRL

Thinking that the event was on in The Writers' Centre - I was sitting having a coffee when I realised I was in the wrong building.

The event kicked off with the Alexander Technique by Tomas Hardiman. We were soon sitting serenely, nicely prepared for a refreshing talk by poet @Jane Clarke who shared some wonderful nuggets.

Jane was followed by Poetry Ireland's Marketing Manager, Muireann Sheahan who imparted some of her knowledge on advertising and publicity. After coffee, bikkies and chat Paul Perry, poet and novelist gave guidance on grant applications. The day came to a conclusion when Don Patterson poet and poetry editor at Picador gave an interesting conversational style masterclass on poetry publishing.

Unfortunately I couldn't stay for the launch of a new collection of poetry by Colette Bryce who was reading alongside her editor, Don Patterson.

Well done to all involved at Poetry Ireland.   Link to a more detailed blog post on this day.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

UCD Irish Poetry Archive

On Monday 10th April I took a train from Cork to Dublin to read eight of my poems as part of the UCD Library #Irish #Poetry#Archive. Recording my poems brought my own mortality to the fore. This was not in a morbid way but as a keen awareness of, as my dad often said, 'we are just passing through'.

Thanks to Ursula Byrne and her team at UCD Library.
Thanks also to Maurice at Books Upstairs for introducing me to this wonderful archive.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Ó Bhéal Five Words - Volume X

The tenth anthology of Five Word poems was launched at Ó Bhéal on 10th April 2017.  This publication includes the winning poem from John Baylis and shortlist from the 4th Five Words International Poetry Competition. Other entries have been selected from Monday Five Word Challenges, from April 2016 to April 2017.  I am delighted to have five of my poems included from the Monday Word Challenge.

A big thanks to Paul Casey.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

The Incubator

I am delighted to have my poem 'Animal Republic' in Issue 12 of 'The Incubator' - a beautiful production by Kelly Creighton.

Issue 12 features an interview with Claire Savage, author of Magical Masquerade, and fiction from Nora Shychuk, Mark Kelleher, Susanne Stich, Seán Kenny, Damhnait Monaghan, Sandra Arnold and Eibhlinn McAleer.

This issue's poetry comes from Bernadette Gallagher, Eileen Ní Shuilleabháin, Kathryn Reynolds, Amanda Bell, Paul Perry, Siobhan Campbell, Anne Casey, Edward Lee, Alice Kinsella, Colin Hassard, Jo Burns, Mike Gallagher and Brian Gourley.