These events are usually friendly occasions. You meet those you haven't met since your last visit, those you know but never met and one of two who are being published for the first time.
Limerick Writers' Centre launched Revival 22 last night in the Riddlers Bar, Sarsfield St. the first time I've been in this venue. Nice cosy upstairs room with plenty of space and a nice stage.
This issue is the first edited by Noel King and contains poems, a memoir (hippies and a stallion) and a review by poet Richard Halpern of Macdara Woods' The Cotard Dimension (Dedalus, 2011).
The poets included include some familiar names and some unfamiliar including translations of poems by seven contemporary Macedonians poets.
After the launch we had a reading, bilingual, by Irish poet Seán O’Coistealbha from his recent collection Stadhán. This was very well received; you didn't need to understand every word to appreciate his wonderful Connamara Irish. It included a very bitter poem on Holy Week as well as a memory of an emigrant uncle who returned for a magical month.
Then we had an open mic which began and ended with songs from a singer-songwriter, and included two tributes to the recently deceased writer John Arden by the director of Limerick Writers Centre and by Fred Johnston of the Western Writers Centre.
A great night, worth driving through the hailstones for!