Thursday, March 31, 2011

Boyne Berries Launch

Tonight we launch Boyne Berries 9. All is in readiness. We even have the magazine, have had them for a week beforehand actually which is a record. At least twice I've collected them from the printers on the morning of the launch. Greg has done the usual great job on the black and white cover.

Noel Dempsey who recently retired is officially launching the magazine. He launched the first issue in March 2007 when he was Minister for Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources so we are delighted to have him back.

We are hoping for the usual large attendance of members, locals and those who travel a distance to read their contributions and enjoy the occasion.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Don Paterson Workshop

The Don Paterson workshop was great. No abstract statements, everything related to a poem on a page. Don started from the premise that all the poems were good and offered ideas and comments on improvement. We joined in. This is what we do at the Boyne Writers and LitLab so I was very much at home.

Below are some of the notes I scribbled down as far as I can decipher them. All were made in the context of comments on an actual poem.

The reader should struggle with the ideas in the poem not struggle with who is who, what is the setting etc. Dramatis personae, location, chronology are easy to include, even in the title, and they help the reader engage with the poem.

It's OK to have multiple meanings but most attention must be paid to the surface meaning.
Try not to allow too many possible interpretations. Narrow the band width of interpretation by the clues you give the reader.

Concrete description sometimes lead to having too many plosive sounds in a line or stanza. Too much of this is difficult for the reader to negotiate. Words like of, the, when can often be breathing spaces in a poem. Abstract phrases usually involve fricatives. Balance both types.

Beware of too much "poetic" description. Over-kill should be avoided though a little over-kill is great. Turn down the volume a little. Avoid too much alliteration. When it barely registers it's best. Cut out superfluous words and phrases. Shorter lines often help, they force you to remove qualifiers.

The use of brackets in a poem draws attention to that which is enclosed so it better be important.

Trust the reader. Allow the reader room to read. Show the effect not the cause. Avoid informational overexplaining.

Punctuation is very important. It is the brake and accelerator in poetry. The line break itself is a form of punctuation. Too much enjambment makes the reader wonder why you used this line length at all. Don't break a wonderful phrase. The poetry line is a mnemonic phrase. Use the caesura - move it about in the line. Elizabeth Barrett Browning is an expert at this. Louis MacNeice's use of punctuation is great.

Decide on the form as early as possible. Form helps to shape the material and eliminate bad stuff.

Title. The default is -Say what the poem is about.

With some poems I don't mind that I don't understand them.

Don used the word metonymy a few times. I've heard it but never knew what it meant so it thought I'd better add it to my vocabulary. This from Wikipedia.

Metonymy is a figure of speech in which a thing or concept is not called by its own name, but by the name of something intimately associated with that thing or concept. For instance, "Westminster" is used as a metonym (an instance of metonymy) for the Parliament of the United Kingdom, because it is located there.

Metonymy may also be instructively contrasted with metaphor. Both figures involve the substitution of one term for another. In metaphor, this substitution is based on some specific similarity, whereas, in metonymy, the substitution is based on some understood association (contiguity).

Don mentioned a couple of great poems as examples in connection with particular poems which were being criticised: Anthony Hecht: More Light! More Light!; Robert Frost: Design

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dromineer Literary Festival 2011

Eighth Annual Dromineer Literary Festival: Thursday 29 September ~ Sunday 2 October 2011

Full details are being finalised, but acclaimed writers Jennifer Johnston, Dermot Healy and Vincent McDonnell have confirmed that they will be taking part. Other highlights will include performances by The Poetry Divas and by The Nenagh Players, and a screening of a short film, written, directed and produced by students on the Media Arts Degree course at the Dublin Institute of Technology, Aungier St.

I've been commended twice in this competition and really enjoyed my trips to Dromineer each time. It's a friendly welcoming festival in a beautiful lakeside setting and the line up this year seems as good as ever - The Poetry Divas should shine by the lake and the setting also seems appropriate since Dermot Healy's new book length poem A Fool's Errand published last year dealt with the annual migrations of barnacle geese.

Entries for the Poetry and Short Story Competitions are now open. Poet, novelist and playwright Dermot Healy will judge the poetry competition and novelist and short story writer Vincent McDonnell will judge the short story competition.

Closing date for receipt of entries is August 19 2011. Entry Form & Rules on the website.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Boyne Berries 9 Launch

The ninth issue of our magazine Boyne Berries will be launched on this Thursday 31 March at 8pm in the Castle Arch Hotel, Trim by recently retired Noel Dempsey. Noel, then a Government Minister, launched issue 1 of the magazine in March 2007 (picture right).

This issue has poems and prose from writers in Trim, Meath, Ireland, UK, USA, and Australia. Local writers are well represented. Anne Crinion has a poem on a memory from Trim past, Ned McManus’ Forge, Jenny Andersson writes about her Aunt Hilda, Maria Durnin writes about a shopping experience and Paddy Smith has an intriguing story called The Back Seat. Rory O’Sullivan of the Boyne Writers group has a typically dark mysterious poem called Graveland with his own evocative illustrations.

There are stories and poems about love lost and found, about childhood memories good and bad, about playing cowboys and Indians, about the past, about Vietnam, about cancer. The recent harsh winter inspired Eamon Cooke to write about the experience: A winter of extremes in keeping with the economic conditions that had recently prevailed.

A sample of some of the titles gives a hint of the variety of reading which is contained in the magazine: Inishmaan Snailbox, This Crowded Solitude Eventually, The Rat Beneath the Shed, I Took a Course in Buddhism, The Witch.

At the launch many of the contributors will attend, including one from North Yorkshire, and read their work. Admission is free and all are welcome. Previous launches have been very enjoyable occasions and have been very well attended. Boyne Berries 8 costs €8 and will be on sale at the launch, in Antonia’s Bookshop, and in SPAR Trim or can be purchased through the website. It is also available in Dublin at the bookmarket in the Twisted Pepper Building at 54 Middle Abbey Street each Saturday afternoon from 1pm – 6pm.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

dlr Poetry Now Festival

A very busy and enjoyable day in Dun Laoghaire yesterday at the Poetry Now Festival. I met loads of poets, old friends, new friends, some we published in Boyne Berries, and probably some we rejected. Bloggers too who may have more profound thoughts on the events - Kate and Padhraig. I bought too many poetry books of course - enough to keep me reading until - well until the history book is finished.

The workshop with Don Paterson was great, very practical. Each participant read one of his/her poems, we all had copies and we by Don we criticised it. By the time we got to the end of the poems - there were 12 participants I think - we had covered everything, title, enjambment, metaphor, rhyme, line length, the reader etc etc. More later maybe on this.

Then the Irish Times Poetry Now Award presentation. The winner had been announced in the morning's Irish Times so there was no suspense. Seamus Heaney was the winner for his 12th collection, Human Chain. Three of the other four shortlisted poets were present for the presentation, Sara Berkeley, Ciarán Carson and Dermot Healy and there were apologies from Paul Muldoon. Good addresses by Gerard Smyth of the Irish Times, Brian Lynch of the judging panel and by Heaney himself who finished by reading a poem from the collection.

And then the two readings. Dave Lordan was a great started with his performance poetry which made you smile and agree when he was attacking the usual suspects but a bit uneasy and even defensive when his attach came closer to home. Fiona Sampson, editor of the Poetry Review UK, was next - a calm quiet reading which often contrasted with the subject matter. Estonian poet, Jaan Kaplinski finished this session. He told us quite a bit about his attitude to poetry, he hasn't written much/any recently because he feels he may have written enough for a lifetime and anyway there's too much poetry or too many poets. (I forget which and there is a major difference). He then started with a recent poem - one minute of silence.

The later session featured Sinead Morrissey and Gerald Stern. Sinead was for me the star of the evening. Those lovely long sinuous lines and sentences that lead you along to an unexpected place were read with great pace and confidence. She know most of her lines by heart. Gerald Stein, a US poet born in 1925 was a great performer. His introductions, anecdotes, opinions - political and otherwise - made for a most enjoyable session. And the poems were quite good as well.

Apparently this is/was the last Poetry Now in its present form. What a shame.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

dlr Poetry Now

A full day in Dun Laoghaire today at the Poetry Now Festival.

10.30: Writing workshop with Don Paterson.

1.00pm: The announcement of the winner of the seventh annual Irish Times Poetry Now Award.
This is a heavyweight Gallery Press v Faber and Faber contest. The shortlist:
Sarah Burkley - The View From Here (Gallery Books)
Ciaran Carson - Until Before After (Gallery Books)
Dermot Healy - A Fool's Errand (Gallery Books)
Seamus Heaney - Human Chain (Faber and Faber)
Paul Muldoon - Maggot (Faber and Faber)

6.30 pm Readings by Dave Lordan, Fiona Sampson & Jaan Kaplinski.
8.30 pm Readings by Gerald Stern & Sinéad Morrissey.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Noel King at Boyne Reading

A very enjoyable Boyne Reading and Open Mic last evening in Trim. Our featured reader, Noel King, read from his recently published collection Prophesying the Past and held the audience's attention with his closely observed poems dealing with everyday things, looking anew at the past and the present. As chairman Paddy said, Noel King "christened" our new podium the making of which was arranged by member Anne Crinion.

A fine selection of items in the Open Mic including many from our own group, some from the Meath Writers Circle with Tommy Murray and Frank Murphy in fine form and Oran Ryan a welcome visitor from Dublin with an impressive poem.

Pictures: Top: Sarah Lundberg of Seven Towers, Orla Fay of Boyne Writers and Noel King.
Below: Tommy Murray and Noel French of Meath Heritage Centre.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Don Paterson Workshop Poetry Now

The Poetry Now Festival in Dun Laoghaire is running two poetry workshops on Saturday morning 26 March. These workshops will be facilitated by poets and teachers Don Paterson and Fiona Sampson. Both workshops are aimed at poets who are building towards a first collection.

Places were limited so applicants were asked to apply by e-mailing 3 poems and a list of publications. I submitted my three poems and got an email yesterday saying I had a place on the Don Paterson workshop. I'm delighted. The poems I submitted were The British Museum Revisited Again, Clonfert and Philately. I don't know anything about the format of the workshop ot the names of other participants.

Don Paterson was born in Dundee in 1963. Since Nil Nil (1993), which won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, he has written five collections of poetry, most recently Landing Light (2003), which won the T.S. Eliot Prize, and Rain (2009), which won the Forward Poetry Prize and the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. He is also an editor, musician and dramatist, and has written English versions of works by Rilke and Machado. He teaches in the School of English at the University of St Andrews.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Life and Times of a 'Gotcha'

James Linnane, one of the members of the Boyne Writers Group has just published his book, The Life and Times of a 'Gotcha'. James explains in his introduction that Gotcha was Dublin slang for a security guard used in many working class areas of the city where they worked and patrolled 24 hours a day. This book, based on actual events, tells hilarious stories from the years James worked in that trade. It's full of crazy mad events many of which were the result of boredom in what was often a mind numbing job.

We in the group have heard some of these stories in early drafts and indeed James thanks our group for their advice and criticism in the book. James is also one of the three regular readers at the weekly Knightsbridge Home poetry readings. Recently he has read from the book and his stories caused great amusement. Well done James.

James has the distinction of being a member of both of the rival writers groups in Trim, ourselves and the other one. This can bring problems when he is trying to decide which team to join for the annual Battle of the Books.

Copies of the book can be purchased from the website or directly from James at

James will be at the Noel King Boyne Readings and Open Mic this Thursday and can probably be persuaded to read a page or two of his book in the Open Mic. An added reason to attend.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Boyne Readings and Open Mic - Noel King

This Thursday's Boyne Readings and Open Mic promised to be a special, not to be missed event. The featured reader is Noel King, writer, actor and musician, coming all the way from Tralee, Co. Kerry.

Noel's poetry, haiku, short stories, articles and reviews have appeared in publications in over thirty countries, the poetry in journals as diverse as Poetry Ireland Review, The Sunday Tribune, Studies, Bongos of the World (Japan), The Dalhousie University Review (Canada), Kotaz (South Africa), Poetry Salzburg Review (Austria) and Quadrant (Australia). Along the way he has been a singer with the famous Bunratty Castle Entertainers and has worked as an arts administrator and poetry editor.

Noel King has launched many writers through his own Doghouse Books. His book of poetry Prophesying the Past was published by Salmon last year. His poetry is a gathering together of the memories, stories and experiences that have shaped him. Often the tone is wry, melancholic, bitter even - but there is a breezy humour that occasionally bursts through. His poems are grounded in activities and people rather than in ideas.

The Readings take place in the Village Hall, Knightsbridge Retirement Village, Longwood Road, Trim and start at 8pm. As well as Noel King there will be an open mic - poetry, prose, memoir etc all welcome.

Entrance 5 euro, which includes tea/coffee and Knightsbridge home baked biscuits.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Poetry Ireland Introductions

I'm delighted to have been selected by Poetry Ireland/Éigse Éireann for the Introductions Series 2011. We received a large number of submissions for this series, so congratulations on your selection.

The Introductions Series 2011 will take place in early May (dates TBC) in the Irish Writers' Centre. A free workshop with poet Alan Jude Moore is also offered as part of the Introductions series. This workshop should be of assistance in terms of preparing both the poems and the poet for a public reading. The workshop with will run on Saturday 2nd April, 2011, 11a.m.– 4p.m.

I knew a number of those who were selected last year, Peter Goulding, Connie Roberts, Andrew Caldicott, Martin Dyar. Two of those have won the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Competition.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day

A detail from the St Patrick window in St Patrick's Church in Trim which shows St Patrick confronting the High King at Tara at Easter. This huge window is a wonderful celebration of Irish art and workmanship crammed as it is with copies of the Tara Brooch, Mediaeval Croziers, the Ardagh Chalice and many other examples of Irish metalwork from many centuries after the time of St Patrick. The designers, whoever they were, weren't worried about being anachronistic.

The window, matched on the other side by the equally fantastic Our Lady of Trim window, is like the whole church a statement of its time - the last years of the nineteenth century, the years of the Gaelic Revival and the Home Rule movement. The window is by Mayer of Munich, a world famous stained glass maker.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Bob Dylan in Cork 2011

Tickets on sale this morning for Bob Dylan in Cork in June.
But you saw him last year in Limerick!
He hasn't released a new album since has he?
No but . . .
So what's the point?
Well . . .
And it's a long way to Cork.
Yes but . . .
And you're too old to stand in front of the stage
Now hold on . . .
And if you sit you'll be miles away.
I know.
And Bob doesn't allow big screens at his concerts.
Well the last time I saw him at the Marquee in Cork I did stand. Got in early and stood for hours.
You haven't been right since.
Maybe you're right.
Of course I am. Anyway he can't sing anymore, his voice is gone. It said so on the internet.
Wait a minute. What voice?
You know that mumble, mumble, mumble.
OK that settles it.
Ticketmaster? Dylan ticket. Best seated please.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

1916 Poetry

So how did the writing exercise go? I hear you ask.
you know the one where we were asked to use the first line of the Proclamation as an inspiration.

It went very well actually with everyone present having attempted it and each effort different. There were one or two which contrasted the idealism of the 1916 leaders with the state we've got ourselves and the country into. One had the lovely image of Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa, whose funeral was an important step on the way to the Rising, stirring in his grave and another imagined a youth pausing at the GPO before getting a bus for the airport and emigration. Nothing wrong with being preachy so long as it's well done I always say.

One used the "dead generations" reference to tell us a little about an ancestor leaving us to make the possible connections and another remembered being in the dock at Kilmainham with other Irishmen and Irishwomen on a charge of no lights on the bikes.

Great stuff. Most admitted to having found it difficult and challenging and felt that the efforts needed just a bit more work.

Any mine? Well I took the historical look and reported on the races at Fairyhouse that Easter Monday as well as a few other things. Do you know who won the Irish Grand National in 1916? One stanza of my poem was:

2.40. Irish Grand National. 200 Sovereigns. Three Miles.
  1. All Sorts 4/1
  2. Punch 5/1
  3. Ruddygore 3/1

Waterford Writers' Weekend

Waterford Writers' Weekend celebrates writing, reading and creativity. Running over three days, March 18th to 20th 2011, the lively and engaging programme is filled with workshops, readings, book signings, poetry, fiction, events for children and teens, entertainment and the long running Seán Dunne Young Writers’ Awards. The programme of events is available at and you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Come and listen to former Taoiseach Dr. Garret Fitzgerald, RTE’s business editor David Murphy, author and columnist Martina Devlin, poets Thomas McCarthy and Leanne O'Sullivan, authors Ed O'Loughlin, Peter Murphy and many others. Participate in writing workshops including an introduction to creative writing, writing for theatre, and learn the tricks and tips of how to get published. Over the weekend come to an Open Mic session, listen to music, attend craft exhibitions, taste the wonderful food of Waterford and so much more!

Workshops and readings can be booked at 051 849975 or by emailing

The excellent promotional video is here onYouTube. Printed programmes will be available from the libraries and other venues from Wednesday 2nd March.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

dlr Poetry Now 2011

The programme for this year's Poetry Now Festival at Dun Laoghaire has been announced. As usual a very interesting line up. Full details on the website where you can also book tickets. If you attend the two readings on the Saturday, at 6.30 and 8.30, you'll hear Dave Lordan, Fiona Sampson, Jaan Kaplinski, Gerald Stern & Sinéad Morrissey. That's a great selection and great variety as well - Irish, north and south, UK, USA and Estonia.

There's also the Irish Times Poetry Now Award. Nominations include Muldoon, Carson, Heaney, Healy and Sara Berkeley. There's also poetry workshops by Don Paterson and Fiona Sampson.

The keynote address is by Canadian-born writer and translator, Anne Carson Her talk is entitled The Untranslatable. Speaking in Ireland for the first time, Carson will present what promises to be a characteristically hybrid and compelling exploration of a subject which she has come to know intimately through her work as a poet and classicist: translation and its difficulties, as well as untranslatability and its attractions and privileges. Carson will consider Homer, Joan of Arc, Rembrandt, Holderlin and Francis Bacon in the course of her lecture.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Horseman Enters a Town at Night

The Jack B Yeats show which I saw in the Model, Sligo recently includes two previously unseen paintings from the estate of the late author Graham Greene, recently sold by Christie’s of London.

The works, A Horseman Enters a Town at Night, 1948 and Man in a Room Thinking, 1947, were purchased by a private collector, who very generously made them available to The Model for the duration of Jack B Yeats -The Outsider.

Horses feature quite often in his paintings. In the early paintings they appear in his horse racing and circus pictures and in his later work horses often seem to be mysterious other worldly visitations.

Above is A Horseman Enters a Town at Night which fetched almost £350,000 when sold recently. When you look at it you can't help but think of those famous lines by his brother (written around ten years before Jack painted the picture).

Cast a cold Eye
On Life, on Death.
Horseman, pass by!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Jack B Yeats; The Outsider

In Sligo last Friday week I went to see the new exhibition in The Model Gallery, Jack B Yeats; The Outsider which brings together forty Jack B Yeats oils from a variety of public and private collections. Many of the works included have been rarely exhibited in Ireland in the past fifty years while others have never been shown publicly before.

Curated by the internationally acclaimed artist, critic and theorist, Brian O’Doherty (aka Patrick Ireland), and Emer McGarry, Curator of The Niland Collection, the show features work spanning a sixty-year period, from an early Sligo scene completed in 1895, showing a political meeting in Sligo, to a work completed in 1956 the year before he died.

The Model is a great space to see these. Not crowded you can wander through the three or four rooms the exhibition occupies at your leisure. I love those later paintings set in some wild landscape, sometimes near the sea, sometimes a sort of imagined west of Ireland, Paul Henry shaken up, with a couple of characters, standing or walking or talking or meeting or ignoring. The catalogue speculates that Beckett, who was a friend of Yeats, may have based his two characters in Waiting for Godot on such a scene.

Above is one of these painting, The Two Travellers 1942.

The show is accompanied by a new publication with a major new critical text by Brian O’Doherty as well as new texts by Dr. Tricia Cusack and Dr. Thomas McEvilley.

The Irish Times review of the exhibition.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

1916 Poetry

Our LitLab chairman, Paddy Halligan, sent a text earlier in the week with an exercise for the next meeting. Write a story or poem, maximum 250 words, based on the first sentence of the 1916 Proclamation. Use your imagination and no questions please!

You know the sentence: IRISHMEN AND IRISHWOMEN: In the name of God and of the dead generations from which she receives her old tradition of nationhood, Ireland, through us, summons her children to her flag and strikes for her freedom.

We have done exercises in the past with great results. Variety of response is usually guaranteed though I'm always a little annoyed with members who start their contribution by saying I didn't actually follow the instructions.

Anyway I had a poem ready for the next meeting which is on Tuesday so I'm faced with this. What do I do? This kind of thing has been done, far too often:

Right proudly high in Dublin town
Hung they out a flag of war.

'Twas better to die 'neath an Irish sky

Than at Suvla or Sud el Bar.

And from the plains of Royal Meath

Strong men came hurrying through;

So what to do then? I thought What would Robert Fitterman do? Robert Fitterman. Did I ever mentioned that I heard . . . (Yes, Yes, we know - not bloody rubber ducks again!)

Anyway on Thursday after a day in the National Library and a meeting of the Boyne Writers Group I started and almost finished my 1916 poem; 258 words so I have to cut it a bit. Not bad if I say so myself.
(OK don't tell us! See if we care.)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Publishing Seminar - Irish Writers' Centre

From Inspiration to Publication, Publishing Seminar: Saturday March 12th: 10.30am-4.30pm

Novelist Emer Martin will join the Irish Writers’ Centre at 19 Parnell Square in hosting an information day on publishing that will include Literary Agent Yvonne Kinsella and Book Editor Deirdre O'Neill. The day will feature talks from industry experts and will offer the opportunity to pose questions to the speakers.

The day will commence with a talk on 'The Editorial Process' by Deirdre O'Neill, former managing editor at New Island Books (2008-2010). This will be followed by 'The Author-Agent Relationship’ by Yvonne Kinsella, Literary Agent for Prizeman & Kinsella Literary Agency. The next talk, ‘Publicising a Book from Manuscript to Paperback’, will be given by Helen Gleed O'Connor, Literary Publicist for Gill Hess Ltd (clients include Random House, Transworld, Simon & Schuster and Faber & Faber).

After lunch, Fiction Buyer for Eason's Stephen Boylan will discuss 'Book Trends and the Marketplace'. The final talk will be 'Sustaining a Writer's Life' from Emer Martin.

Registration is from 10.30am; tickets are €60 for non-members, €50 for members and must be booked in advance by paying online or calling the Centre.

Contacts: Clodagh Moynan and Kerrie O'Brien, Tel: +353 1 8721302. email:

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Cricket: Ireland beat England

A great victory in the Cricket World Cup! After a loss to Bangladesh Ireland bounce back with a victory over England. Not easily won. On a good batting pitch England batted first and made 327. Irish bowlers did well especially in restricting England towards the end when it looked like 350 was possible. It did appear that the asking total was too much, the Irish batting has often been the weakest element. I watched all the English innings and the start of the Irish.

The commentators tried not to be condescending but now and then referred to this being a useful exercise for England after their draw against India at the week-end. They were however fulsome in their praise for the Irish at the end.

Irish captain William Porterfield was out first ball and it looked like the fight was for a respectable total. Off I went to read poetry in the Knightsbridge Retirement Home.

Perhaps an omen was that one of our resident readers read Arthur Hugh Clough's

Say not the struggle naught availeth,
The labour and the wounds are vain,
The enemy faints not, nor faileth,
And as things have been they remain.

When I came home I turned on the TV expecting to see "experts" praising Ireland for a courageous display, another gallant defeat but no the match is still on, and Ireland need 35 runs from 30 balls to win. Kevin O'Brien has come in and made 100 runs from 50 balls, the quickest century in World Cup history. They keep calm and win in the last over. Great celebrations! This is the greatest run chase in World Cup history.

The Irish team has Ed Joyce playing, back after a spell playing for England. Irishman Eoin Morgan isn't playing for England because he is injured. This is an All-Ireland team their flag is not the tricolour. Captain Porterfield has a Northern Irish accent and O'Brien a Dublin accent.

RTE report. Telegraph report. BBC report.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

World Book Day

Thursday 3 March is World Book Day. Hadn't heard that until yesterday so nothing planned by the Boyne Writers. We do have a regular meeting on that evening though.

The Irish Writers' Centre, Dublin is marking the day with events from 12 noon to 9pm. All the day’s events there are free and all are welcome to attend.

The celebrations will kick off at 12pm with a free Inkslingers creative writing session led by Andrew McEneff. This is a structured hour where participants will be given a series of writing prompts.

This will be followed at 1pm with Lunchtime Poetry Readings where celebrated poets, recent winner of the Michael Hartnett Prize Peter Sirr, Gerald Dawe, Paul Perry, 2011 winner of the Arvon Poetry Prize Jean O' Brien, Richard Halperin and Aifric Mac Aodha, read from their latest collections. Jean O'Brien awarded me a prize at the Goldsmith Festival a couple of years ago. I heard Richard Halperin read at Goldsmith and at iYeats in Sligo last year where he and I were commended.

At 3pm the Irish Writers' Centre will launch a new series of Madaptations with a film screening of James Joyce's The Dead. The Madaptations series will be held once a month at the Centre and will showcase films that have been based on books.

The celebrations will conclude at 7pm with a dramatic performance of Patrick Kavanagh's The Great Hunger performed by Peter Duffy. With echoes of the Great Famine in the title and in the text, the poem focuses on the life and struggles of the anti-hero and small farmer Patrick Maguire. I saw this or part of it at the Patrick Kavanagh Week-end in Inniskeen last year. Very impressive.

A great line-up and all free!