Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Rebecca O'Connor Workshop at LitLab

Our LitLab group had a workshop last night in Bailieborough with special guest Rebecca O'Connor, poet, novelist, editor and publisher of The Moth magazine. My third such workshop this year. Rebecca fitted in very well and made it feel just like another meeting where we comment on each other's work.

She was very complimentary to the group, "incredible" was how she described the standard. She suggested that we consider putting together an anthology of our work - something to think about for next winter. We will be involved again in the Fleadh in Cavan in mid-August.

She stressed that the writer should be able to articulate clearly what he/she is trying to convey in the work. Can you explain the poem in clear language? Sometimes I agree with that other times I don't. There are times surely when you're not quite sure yourself where the poem has come from or what it is "about".

The question of the reader came up as it did at the other two workshops. How much do you tell the reader? This usually refers to introducing poems at reading but it's also relevant when considering how much information to include in the poem itself. The consensus seems to be say only a little when introducing a poem - the poem should speak for itself.

Some things to think about when I choose my poems for my ten minute Poetry Ireland Introductions.

Picture, Myself, Rebecca and Tony in Bailieborough.


Orla Fay said...

I would think that you would lean to the writer having the right not to have to explain his/her poem?

How will you decide what to read Michael? How do you know what your best poems are?

Michael Farry said...

Just pick what I think are the best I suppose, short ones, different. Hard to know which are the best, and best for reading aloud is something different of course.