The secretary presented the annual report for 2013 and detailed the activities in what was a very busy and successful year. The fortnightly meetings in the Castle Arch Hotel, Trim, were well attended and enjoyed.
A committee meeting was held on 29 August which discussed the future of Boyne Berries in the wake of editor Michael Farry’s decision to step down, the possible reactivation of The Boyne Readings and participation in All-Ireland Poetry Day on Thursday 3 October 2013.
Two issues of Boyne Berries, 13 and 14, were published during 2013 and both launches were well attended, writers travelling form many parts of the country to reads their pieces. Boyne Berries 13 was launched on 21 March by Frank Murphy of the Meath Writers Circle. A framed copy of Tom French’s poem in memory of Tommy Murray, which was included in the issue, was presented to the Murray family.
Boyne Berries 14 was launched on 26 September by Kate Dempsey, guest editor for the issue. Kate spoke about the experience of editing anonymously. Our chairperson presented Kate with a framed print of Greg Hastings' cover image.
We are very grateful to all those who continue to submit material to the magazine, to our guest editor Kate Dempsey, to our cover artist Greg Hastings, and to the printers, ePrint, Blanchardstown.
The Path of Progress by Tom Dredge, the fourth in our series of Boyne Chapbooks, was launched in the Castle Arch Hotel, Trim on Thursday 21 November. The event included an Open Mic and the evening ended with tea, coffee and biscuits.
The group marked All-Ireland Poetry Day, 3 October with a tribute to the poets of Meath entitled, Our Most Lovely Meath. At 12 noon we visited Laracor Graveyard where F.R. Higgins is buried. Richard Haworth kindly invited us into his home where we read from the recently published Selected Poems of F.R. Higgins. A relative of the poet, Christopher Gray of Higginsbrook House, attended and read. See video on YouTube.
At 1pm we read some poems by Jonathan Swift and others in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Trim. At 4pm we were the guests of the Ledwidge Museum, Slane where we were shown around and read some of Francis Ledwidge’s poetry. Finally at 5pm at the O’Reilly Memorial Dowth, we read some poems by John Boyle O’Reilly.
Boyne Writers Group scored a well-deserved victory in the fifth staging of the Battle of the Books satire competition which took place on the first night of the Swift Satire Festival in Trim. Our team of Caroline Carey Finn, Paul Kerr and Michael Farry defeated the Meath Writers Circle team. Congratulations and thanks to our members who took part and to those who supported the team.
Members of the group took part in the Poetry in Motion outdoor poetry readings and the public reading of Gulliver’s Travels.
Two members also took part in the Swift Satire Festival Poetry in Motion readings at the Temple Bar Tradfest on 26 January.
Group members, Paddy Smith and Michael Farry, were invited to read poetry at the Noel French-organised Gathering of people from the United States, Britain and Australia who were investigating their Meath ancestry in the autumn.
Boyne Writers Group continues to lead a weekly poetry reading for the residents of Knightsbridge Retirement Village each Wednesday. This has proven a great success with many residents taking part by reading their own favourite poetry.
The secretary listed and congratulated members who had work published in newspapers, magazines, online and broadcast, and those who were prizewinners or commended in competitions.
He ended by thanking the Castle Arch Hotel who accommodate us in the lounge every second Thursday night and host our launches and the local press, Focus and The Meath Chronicle, who published notices and reports of our various functions. He especially commended the members who continue to make each meeting a special occasion. He urged them to continue to write, to have the courage to share their writing with the rest of the members and to put up with the keen criticism which is a hallmark of the group.