Friday, May 6, 2011

"I Shouldn't be Telling you This" launched in Limerick

A quick trip to Limerick yesterday to attend the On The Nail event at Locke's Bar. A visit to Limerick poetry venues is always enjoyable and this was a three hour extravaganza which included the launch of and readings from Revival 19, the launch of Mae Leonard's book of poems I Shouldn't be Telling you This which is published by Doghouse, a reading by the other featured reader Patricia Byrne and an open mic.

The venue is great, an upstairs area in the pub with a good stage, nice seating and good acoustics. I was first to read, reading Frank Miller which is included in Revival. Limerick audiences are great and they responded well.

Mae Leonard's book got a great introduction from Frank Prendergast, former Mayor of Limerick and Labour Party TD who is an expert on the history of Limerick and had high praise for the collection. Mae is a Limerick native now living in Naas, Co Kildare and is a regular on Sunday Miscellany. Her poems are full of close observation, some based in her youth in Limerick other in Kildare, some sad, some happy, all vibrant and sharp. Her collection gets its Kildare launch tonight, Friday 6 May, in the Council Chamber, Naas Town Council, Naas, Co Kildare at 8pm. Admission: free. All are welcome.

Patricia is a native of Mayo living in Limerick who has written poetry and prose. Her nonfiction book The Friar & the Felon will be published by Collins Press in spring 2012. The book tells the story of the Achill Island atrocity of 1894 involving the infamous James Lynchehaun, who was one of the influences on John Millington Synge in writing The Playboy of the Western World.

She read the opening section of the book last night which describes the scene in Achill when in 1894, the first train on the Achill railway carried the bodies of victims of the Clew Bay Drowning. This tragedy occurred when a boat overturned in Clew Bay, drowning thirty two young people who were on their way to Scotland for the seasonal potato picking. This makes a great opening to the book setting the scene and the context and introducing the main characters in the story.

Patricia blogs here.

More about Revival later maybe.

1 comment:

Patricia Byrne said...

You capture a splendid literary evening in Limerick very well Michael, made magical by the wonderful venue that looks out on the Shannon. Mae Leonard - and indeed Frank Prendergast - capture for me the essence of Limerick, my adopted city. I thought that Mae had a very distinctive way of gesturing with her hands as she read which was very expressive. Not least, the event was a great gathering for writers to meet and chat about bits and pieces. Nice to meet up with you again. Patricia