Thrilled that Tost agus Allagar won the Michael Hartnett Award 2019. Buíochas ó chroí to the judges, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill and Gabriel Fitzmaurice. My thanks, too, to Norma Prendiville and the organising committee of Éigse Michael Hartnett.
The Cork International Poetry Festival is kicking off today and will continue until Saturday night. It’s great to see so many Irish-language poets included on the programme – Caitríona Ní Chléirchín & Simon Ó Faoláin will read together in the City Library on Grand Parade on Friday at 4pm. Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill will read with David Harsent on Friday night at 10pm at Cork Arts Theatre. And I was chuffed to get the call-up to read alongside Leanne O’Sullivan on Saturday afternoon at 4pm at Cork Arts Theatre. This event is instead of a public interview with Marie Howe, whose book Magdalene I enjoyed reading late last year. So while it’s a pity we won’t get to hear from Marie Howe, I’m looking forward to sharing a stage with Leanne for the first time, a poet whose work I have admired since her first collection, Waiting for my Clothes.
I was delighted to be invited to speak at the conference ‘All Things Considered… Material Culture and Memory’ at University College Cork at the weekend. It was an interdisciplinary conference hosted by the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures which looked at interactions between memory and the material world. I spoke about Parnell’s Walking Stick and its previous custodians, among them Brinsley MacNamara, W.R. Rogers, and Conor Cruise O’Brien. I took the opportunity to read some poems inspired by objects by two of the most recents holders of the Stick, Séamus Heaney and Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill. My thanks to the organisers, Dr Chiara Giuliani and Dr Kate Hodgson, for the kind invitation.
Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh was recently presented with Parnell’s Walking Stick. Cut by Charles Stewart Parnell himself in Avondale Wood in 1889 or 1890, this stick has a rich literary history. It came into the possession of Brindsley MacNamara, who, in turn, gave it to the poet W.R. Rodgers. It was later passed on to Conor Cruise O’Brien, who conferred it on Séamus Heaney. In 1998 Heaney entrusted it to Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, and it was she who decided to bestow it on Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh. The presentation occurred in Poetry Ireland on Parnell Square at a reading of Ní Ghearbhuigh’s new collection, The Coast Road (The Gallery Press, 2016).
Very excited to see my book cover up on Coiscéim’s website. Many thanks to the artist, Chati Coronel, and Silverlens Galleries for the use of the image, ‘You are what you EAT YOUR IDOLS.’ Much praise is due to the exceptionally talented Eimear Ryan who designed the book (Eimear is a fiction writer – you can read her short story that was recently published in The Long Gaze Back and The Irish Times here.) Thanks also to Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill and Marcus Mac Conghail for their kind blurbs.
Stay tuned for news of launch(es)…