Sunday, October 6, 2013

Bailieborough Poetry Festival 2013

The first Bailieborough Poetry Festival on Friday and Saturday was a great success. Friday night's launch of the anthology by Nessa O'Mahony with readings by the LitLab members, Nessa and anthology editor, Barbara Smith was a most enjoyable, well attended event.

The venue, Bia Restaurant, Bailieborough, was perfect, the food was very good, the MC Paddy Smith had some wonderfully bad puns in his introductions and the audience responded very well to the various tones of the readings. The anthology is called Under a Thrupenny Moon and should be available for purchase online at the festival website soon.

Nessa's workshop on Saturday morning, which focused on imagery, had twelve participants all of whom responded enthusiastically to Nessa's thoughtful and challenging exercises. She conducted the workshop with her customary enthusiasm, friendliness and professionalism. The scones and jam were also much appreciated!

In the afternoon we announced the winner of the Cara "Quilt A Poem" Competition in Bailieborough Library where the quilts involved, the work of Mary Halligan were hanging. Having only previously seen the quilts on the internet everyone was impressed by their physical presence.

Four of the short listed poets attended, from Dublin, Fermanagh, Cork and London. They read their poems and LitLab members read the other shortlisted poems. I spoke of the experience of judging, what I was entranced by in the poems and made a short comment on each poem.

The competition winner was Annette Skade from West Cork for her poem Wedding Quilt. Well done Annette! She won the Cork Literary Review Poetry Manuscript Competition in 2012 and her winning collection, Thimblerig, has been published by Bradshaw Books. Above: Annette with LitLab chair, Paddy Halligan and the competition judge.

The final event was the Poetry by Candlelight readings in the Wesleyan Chapel. Another wonderful atmospheric venue with a great audience of local and a group who has traveled from Kells and some fine musicians who entertained the gathering crowd.

The three readers, Heather Brett, Rebecca O'Connor and Noel Monahan, pictured above, were polished performer who delivered their well-crafted work with great assurance and the audience enjoyed the event greatly.

So that's it! Thanks to all who helped, to Poetry Ireland who funded readings, to the sponsors especially Cara Pharmacy and Beauty who sponsored the competition prize and well done LitLab. Some members are even talking about next year's festival already!

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