Cavan Caomhnú Literary Festival starts tomorrow evening. I've just heard that a poem of mine has been highly commended in the poetry competition. I'm always please to get noticed among the hundreds, and in some cases thousands of entries. I entered three poems and as often happens the poem commended was not the one I would have selected.
I wrote it after a trip to Florence last year. I often find that in a foreign country I'm asked for directions and I'm really annoyed if I can't help. In Florence, though the person who asked spoke no English and I spoke no Italian, we understood each other and I pointed the way to the Ponte Vecchio. The poem dealt with this and the feeling of being at home in Florence and a visit to the church where Dante's great image of idealised love, Beatrice, is buried. All those elements are mixed up in the poem. Fellow Boyne Writers Group member, Brendan Carey Kinane also has a poem highly commended in the competition.
I'm also reading at the festival with other members of the Meath/Cavan Arts Offices LitLab project. Full details are here. A very interesting programme including talks, workshops and readings by Joseph O'Connor, Noel Monahan, Iain Archer, Snow Patrol, Michael Harding, Billy Roche and others.
Michael Harding is a Cavan-born dramatist and novelist who currently writes a column for the Irish Times called Displaced in Mullingar. You can read a recent column here.
See you in Cavan over the week-end.