Themed Reading at Chapters 6.30 Thursday 9th Sept

Another themed reading at Chapters Bookshop, this time ‘Coming Home’, but unfortunately I had to leave early to go to the launch of the Lucan Festival 2010. I did have time to hear Jarlath Gregory read an except

Jarleth Gregory

from his novel ‘Snapshot’ which deals with the world of Northern Ireland paramilitary violance. What I heard sounded very good and would make you want to read it. It’s available in Chapters and elswhere. Jarlath was followed by Karl Parkinson, who — among other contributions — produced a poem written on his way back from Electric Picnic. I read ‘Bosnian Housewife’ from my ‘And Suddenly the Sun Again’ collection. This very sad poem, set in 1996 war-torn Visoko was published in ‘The Stinging Fly’ ten years ago and I still find its imagery unbearable. I often wonder how she got on afterwards, this woman, and her children. I also had some new poems: ‘The Poem I Said I Would Write When I Got out of Hospital’ and ‘The Coming Back’. To finish I read Eileen Casey’s fine poem ‘Seagulls’ from her ‘Drinking the Colour Blue’ collection. It has a connection in my mind with my ‘Bosnian Housewife’ because I detect some worry in Eileen’s subject as she makes her way home through suburbia. Then I had to leave,  just as Steve Conway was about to launch into a story.

The launch of The Lucan Festival 2010 went off very well with lots of chat and food and drinks. It takes place this month September 20th to 26th and my contribution is to organise a poetry reading on Wednesday 22nd in conjuction with the Art Exhibition in the offices of Douglas Newman Good in Lucan Village at 7.00. The line-up will include some local writers and some of my Seven Towers colleagues. It should be a really good night.

HelenDempsey, Karl Parkinson and Steve Conway, with a thoughtful-looking Liz McSkeane in the background

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