Poetry Now Festival Sunday
I heard that Grace Wells won the Strong prize for her first collection When God Has Been Called Away to Greater Things published by Dedalus. Many congratulations and, again, a strong shortlist.
I went to 4 o’clock reading. Actually I was late, not through any fault of my own for once. The traffic on the blue sky afternoon in Dun Laoghaire was completely snarled up and the car park full with a big queue so I had to park miles away and jog in late, to a back seat.
First Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill who did some of her mermaid poems, which I’m not a huge fan of. I know they’re metaphors for our time and all that but they don’t work for me. I preferred her other poems but, not having more than a few words of Irish, the breaks when she read them in Irish broke it up too much for me.
Then Don Paterson, probably the highlight of the festival for me. A witty Scot with cleve, thoughtful poems, some from his award winning collection Rain and some new ones. One inspired by Battlestar Galactica. Great stuff.
The festival ended with heatfelt thanks from the stage by Belinda McKeon as her curatorship came to a natural end. I hope Poetry Now, in its new blended home at the Mountains to the Sea festival, doesn’t lose its identity. The visiting poets both home and international have been exceptional but what makes the festival in my opinion, is the audience of poets and poetry lovers.
KATE DEMPSEY runs writing.ie's Poetic License blog and is our poetry guru. She is a writer and a blogger living in Maynooth. She writes fiction and non-fiction as well as poetry and is widely published in Ireland and abroad, in magazines, anthologies and on the radio. She fits this around her family and a full time job, writing on the sofa, on the train and in that little coffeeshop on the corner.
Poetry can be a solitary activity and she appreciates the support she received from the online community, particularly when starting out. She is excited about continuing the dialogue with her blog here.