Monday, July 26, 2010

iYeats Poetry Competition Reading

Just back from a quick two days in Sligo. The black and white Sligo GAA flags look very forlorn after the Connacht Final defeat and the bad defeat on Saturday. Ah well there's always next year!

Attended the two morning lectures at the Yeats Summer School this morning - more later maybe. Then the prize giving for the iYeats poetry competition. This was held in the foyer of the Hawk's Well Theatre just after the second lecture and many of the attendance remained to hear the winning and commended poems being read. The large audience got a real treat. The theme of the competition was A Sense of Place and the poems read interpreted this in all kinds of wonderfully different ways. Neither of the judges, Rita Ann Higgins or Vincent Woods could be present.

Jane Clarke, pictured above reading her poem, was the winner and she had two poems commended also. These were three very different reflections on places, a Galway forest, a coastal lighthouse and Gaza City. Very accomplished and a well deserved victory. The Emerging Talent section was won by Matthew Ryan Shelton who lives in Texas so his poem Nostos was read by Richard Halperin.

Other highly commended who were present were Lizann Gorman: Let Us Take The Chair; Mags Treanor: View From A Ditch; Shirley McClure: Labels; Diane Myers: Beating the Bounds; Richard Halperin: Croke Park and Winifred Mc Nulty: Mahon. All were very well received and I though the delivery in all cases was very good. It was a very appreciative and attentive audience though there was a sense of the shade of W. B. sitting in a corner looking down his nose at the modern competition!

I read my poem Townlands. It's always difficult to know how much of an introduction to give a poem and this time the introductions in general were quite short and effective. I decided to dispense with an introduction and I think that worked well. I enjoyed reading, I think it's a good poem for reading aloud. Does that mean it's a good poem. Don't know, don't care!

Thanks to all who were involved in this competition. It was wonderful to be a part of it.

The full list of poets commended and the winning poems are here.

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