It's a wonderful setting, Goldsmith behind bars ( a plaster cast of the Trinity College statue) on the foundations of his father's residence, a natural reading room formed by leafy trees, birdsong to accompany the readers and Joe's cheese and wine to keep energy levels up.
Poet Chris Agee called it the most beautiful outdoor venue I have ever read in.
Anne Tully of the Goldsmith Literary Festival Committee did a fine job as MC. and poetry judge Mary Melvin Geoghegan (below) delivered the results and comments on the selected poems with enthusiasm and a genuine delight at the high standard.
The prizewinners in the adult poetry were
1. Marisa Sheehan, A Soft Day,
2. Michael Farry Journey Back
3. Siobhan Flynn Joining the Women.
We read our poems to a very attentive and appreciative audience. I often wonder about introductions to poems. Because the judge had spoken about ours it seemed right not to do any introductions ourselves so we just read the poems and this worked well. I was afraid the audience might miss some of the references so this made me work harder on the reading, pauses, emphasis etc. I was pleased with the result.
The other two poems were excellent and I felt as I often do at these occasions I wish I could write poems like that. Chatting with Mary Melvin Geoghegan afterwards we agreed on the need to move beyond comfortable storytelling and anecdote-relating in poetry.
Prizes were also given out for schools poetry competition, primary and post-primary and those that were read were a delight, un-selfconscious and free.
Then readings by "acclaimed poets" as the programmes put it - Richard Halperin and Chris Agee. More about those later.