The Battle of the Books has taken place and a winner has been declared. At the final event, a Swift Cabaret, of the 2009 Trim Swift Festival last evening the Boyne Writers Group and the Meath Writers Circle met in a satire contest. Four on each side, two poetry and two prose, read their own word and were judged by three distinguished and even severe judges. A great variety in the topic and style of satire, much comment on the recession, some political satire and even some sex education. Which Mary will Fianna Fail choose as the next president? One contestant, Frank Murphy of the Writers Circle, scored a perfect ten from one of the judges.
A very responsive audience laughed at all the right places and seemed to really enjoy the presentations. Minister Noel Dempsey presented the Cavan Crystal awards and the perpetual trophy. My own offering was a strongly rhymed poem entitled The Celtic Tiger Recession Blues which as one of the judges pointed out had major Dylan influences. Another of the judges thought it had echoes of one of Joseph O'Connor's radio pieces. It may have had but I seldom listen to Joe and it certainly wasn't influenced by him.
Who won? Oh we won. We were ahead after two rounds but the two big guns of the opposition, Tommy Murray and Frank Murphy, produced the two highest scoring satires of the night and made it very close. In a cliffhanger of a finish it all depended on the very last judge - we won by two points.
Below: The Winning team with the Minister. Thanks to group member Anne for the photo.