72 Seasons: Tristichs 1-10 April #NaPoWriMo 2019 – #lettersfromladyn

“At first their names too were borrowed from the Chinese, meaning that they did not always conform to the vagaries of our local climate. Eventually, in 1685, the court astronomer Shibukawa Shunkai revised them and in their present form they now serve to illustrate a natural, poetic pilgrimage through the ever-changing landscape of the Japanese year!” Read more: https://www.tokyoweekender.com/2018/05/the-poetry-and-precision-of-japans-72-microseasons

Happy Poetry Month and hoping this finds you well! From 1-30 April, my plan-of-action is to create a three-line piece on the theme ’72 Seasons: Three Lines that are True’. Unlike other years, I am using the older proponents of haiku as my mentors with their focus on close observation and their trust in the moment-as-it-is and with an emphasis (though not strictly observed in my case) on the natural world. A nod here too, as always, to the go-between that is Imagism. Find the first 10 below.


01.04.2019

a shade above third of the standard size –

narcissi and

makeshift vase.

02.04.2019

unremitting, three-part-call.

unseen collared dove

unkempt backyard.

03.04.2019

Steeped in luck”

the long dry spell is over – mammatus clouds,

as seen in photos, over the Copper Coast and Teconnaught.

the slow dragging éisssst of tyres over surface water.

04.04.2019

a Thursday

sun, rain, gale, storm

a sense, you could say, of there being time for things

05.04.2019

all the furnishing has been lovingly chosen

nothing inpires

only the houseplants radiate light

06.04.2019

Mournes hidden in a heat haze

behind the Cathedral, gravestone carvings

‘good’ and ‘love’

07.04.2019

enough funds

at this rate

today

08.04.2019

yesterday now

nothing substantial

planning the next adventure

09.04.2019

sting to the bright day

a new skill mastered

joy of an easy-to-cut turnip

10.04.2019

(found)

only identified by her last name He

4 bees lived in a woman’s eye and fed on her tears

she was cleaning a relative’s grave when they got in

– Source: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/apr/10/doctors-discover-four-live-bees-feeding-on-tears-inside-womans-eye

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Next Words for @NTCastleWard session & @deepdownarts callout

Want to iron the wrinkles out of your writing? A reminder that April’s Words for Castle Ward session is on this Saturday (13 April, 11am-12.30pm, Education Suite, Castle Ward) and it’s a feedback session. Do let me know if you will be there on wordsforcastleward@gmail.com (no need to let me know if you can’t make it!). More about Words for Castle Ward HERE.

Dates for your diary. The following Words for Castle Ward session is the 11 May (feedback) with Poems on a Sunday Afternoon, Down Arts Centre on the 12 May.

Call out from Deep Down.
Paula Matthews has asked me to pass on details of the following call:

Call Out for poets or songwriters who want to showcase their work at our Deep Down Gets Creative: Lived Experience Arts Festival. All are welcome to read or perform in a relaxed setting and you can choose to add to the collection of works our poetry friendship table enjoy at our monthly meetings. The theme of our Get Creative mini-fest is ‘Keep Holding On’.

This will be a community spirited event welcoming those with lived experience of mental health to celebrate the healing power of creativity. We will be in an alcohol free room with disability access.

If you wish to attend and read please email us at deepdownarts@gmail.com by 15th April 2019 as spaces are likely to become limited.

deepdownarts.com/new-l-e-a-f/

Venue: The Ivy Bar, 14 Castle Street Newtownards
Date: 16th May 2019
Time: 7-9pm
Cost: £3
Suitable age: 18+

Image: Laundry exhibition at Castle Ward

72 Seasons: Poetry, Precision and Three Lines that are True for #NaPoWriMo 2019 – #lettersfromladyn

“At first their names too were borrowed from the Chinese, meaning that they did not always conform to the vagaries of our local climate. Eventually, in 1685, the court astronomer Shibukawa Shunkai revised them and in their present form they now serve to illustrate a natural, poetic pilgrimage through the ever-changing landscape of the Japanese year!”

Read more: https://www.tokyoweekender.com/2018/05/the-poetry-and-precision-of-japans-72-microseasons
Narcissi & Mini Proseco Bottle

Happy Poetry Month and hoping this finds you well! For the last couple of years I have set myself a daily poetry practice for what has become Global Poetry Month based around the tristich or three-line stanza. I’m working with in the three-line format again this year. From 1-30 April, my plan-of-action is to create a three-line piece on the theme ’72 Seasons: Three Lines that are True’. Unlike other years, I am using the older proponents of haiku as my mentors with their focus on close observation and their trust in the moment-as-it-is and with an emphasis (though not strictly observed in my case) on the natural world. A nod here too, as always, to the go-between that is Imagism. I’ll post them here on the blog every 10 days. What follows is a kind of meandering meditation on the motivaion behind this year’s approach.

Clear Sight: The Comfort of Close Observation

‘May you live in interesting times’

– Chinese curse

Poetry, precision and small acts of truth telling are on my agenda through the month. I’m trialling this as a kind of medicine. I have worked in the digital world through information/ communications/ marketing roles for almost a quarter of a century – mostly in the voluntary, community and arts sectors. Starting with web content management and listserv administration and graduating to social media and mobile platforms in line with changes in technology. The last few years in particular has seen an unimaginable rise in information sharing, and the task of Sisyphus that is discerning whether what is being shared has the marks of truth or not.

À la fin tu es las de ce monde ancien..’ This early part of the 21st Century is, in every sense of the word, ‘interesting’. In the noughties I carried out an act of translation of Apollinaire’s ‘Zone’ – http://www.toutelapoesie.com/poemes/apollinaire/zone.htm#. By which I mean I tried to really understand his movement through Europe early in the 20th Century, and what it’s translation-defying first and last lines were really saying, through reading everything I could get my hands on about it and all translations.

One of the commentators suggested that the start of new centuries tend to be turbulent. I’m adding my two cents worth having lived through and celebrated the change to the New Millenium, that the human spirit in those moments of momumental, but not naturally occurring, changes of calendar tends to register possibility in the new and try to ‘future proof’ so that the mistakes of the catastrophic past might not be carried into this ‘clean slate’ type new epoch.

There is no clean slate. There is now, I think, a sense of vacuum. A sense of having looked hard at the past with the wish to not recreate it, but like a horse refusing at a fence, there is a shying away from the normal task and pattern of ‘creating’ that future. I don’t know about you but I’ve often observed that while the demons from the past dance in the present, the first stirrings of the future also haunt this same premises. There they caday about together, as it were, in a fairly uncomfortable manner and are hard to organise into go or stay. And while a ten year plan may seem daunting to the average cricket, a whole millennium’s worth of forward planning, including the hope for Utopia, is beyond the human imagination. Quo Vadis. Cue the fake news artists, the snake oil sellers, and Chicken-Licken wired to the moon.

It is the end of the world as we know it. That is, of course, the true and ongoing part. In my humble opinion, however, what needs enquiry is the place where the desire ward off an impending cataclysm (I have quite a list from global to personal, as I expect you do) meets the desire to create a some sense of workable future. For me, this is aided by a clear-sighted look at the what’s here now. More simply put, information about seasonal fluctuation, no matter how reliable it may be in the location those seasons occur, aren’t at all as useful if a body is actually living somewhere else.

Foresight: Truth and the Future

“We are so far from knowing all the agents of nature and their diverse modes of action that it would not be philosophical to deny phenomena solely because they are inexplicable in the actual state of our knowledge. But we ought to examine them with an attention all the more scrupulous as it appears more difficult to admit them.” (also translated as ‘The weight of evidence should be proportioned to the strangeness of the facts’).

Pierre-Simon Laplace

“But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright Brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.”

Carl Sagan

Foresight, as no one ever said, is 20/20 vision, like poet and prophet is the same word in some language which I forget now. This is in the category of a lovely lie I was once told (here as convenient lie is to the inconvenient truth, the lovely lie is to the plain truth) by someone who knew how to conjure and wield words you’d be forgiven for wanting to be true.

In the midst of all this début de siècle hubbub it’s hard to get an idea of what is actually going on. If truth is that which is in accordance with a sense of fact or acuality (broad brush strokes…), how is the truth related to the future?

I have a fascination with all things divination. Longer than I can remember. My first beloved toy was a small blue lion with a sunlike mane that I called ‘Leo’. Tea leaves, tarot, divining rods, crystals, horoscopes, dead sea scrolls, ‘gifts’ of extra sensory perception, bibliomancy, Novenas, apple cores, the yarrow, Nostradamus, Cathbad, John Dee, scrying… I once did a poetic listing for my own entertainment and to show that pretty much every stick and stone was inspiring some ‘fortune-teller’ somewhere to have a revelation or insight. I think this fascination is true for almost all those who write poetry, even those who ‘doth protest too much’.

It’s also the province of crack-pots, conspiracy theorists, the business of government and corporate strategists. (In the interest of full disclosure, my academic training is in the area of business strategy – creating sustainable prosperity going forward – whether at the level of individual firm, sector, and national state).

For me it’s a triangular, or maybe a circular interest. If you look at the places where alchemy, religion and science cross lines you find that the emphasis on ‘that which is not yet known or is potentially unknowable’ – whether actual or future – sticks an exceptionally creative stick in the wheel. The drive to see around corners, to know the unknowable, to explain the inexplicable, makes the task to get the wheel in forward motion very compelling.

Whether increasing the probability of beneficial outcomes, a get-rich scheme, or a hope for immortality, this drive has configured all we know about our known world. In the mainstream, the forecasters – from frameworks to assess probablity of future outcomes to news programme pundits, are the voices crying out in the desert for better understanding of what is going on now in order to create a more favourable negotiation of circumstances at some time that is not here yet, given that what is not here yet may have some of its own elegant tricks up its epoch sleeves.

Nevertheless when I am inspired to write poetry, it has never yet been in the spirit of ‘prepare ye’ with a Michaelangelo-like sketch of a helicopter in the margins. I have rarely seen this type of poem and I’d probably, with no harm to the writer, not choose to read much further if I did. For me, there are clear lines between poetry and prophecy. The reason that I’m talking about it now is, however, that by the matter of clear transcribing of what is the poem-coming-into-being, there is a hard to account for, after the fact, enlightening sense of prescience which I am far from alone in experiencing as a writer, which is why the digging ground of the two being the same is an argument for which I can make a case.

So that’s a long winded walk back to where the car is parked.

The Three-line Trick

This year’s NaPoWriMo practice is a small good thing. That’s all it is. Day-by-day observation of what is there – poetry and precision. On the one hand, a good discipline in the kind of precision that is connective tissue in poetry and makes it long-lived. On the other, a kind of grounding, anchoring, that may be at least a tracking of the truth in reference to a present actual rather than the past or projected fears – which have their place, but here in the sense of being able to discern what is likely to yield good information going forward. A practice that while remaining true to itself also transforms simply by being recorded and where no transformation has actually happened in real terms.

Hester: beyond right and wrong, acknowledging hurt – #lettersfromladyn

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” Rumi ‘A Great Wagon’

Meeting Hester

I wasn’t old enough to know what the ‘A’ stood for. I was old enough to be in the house with some degree of care for small sleeping children. I should have been in bed myself but, by accident, I got caught up mid-way through what I didn’t realise was the final episode of a TV dramatisation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter. I was so anxious to get the end of it that I took the risk of getting caught but luck was on my side. The last of the credits were over when I was discovered. Nobody thought to ask what I’d been watching. I carried the mystery of the double ‘A’ like an exquisitely embroidered locked-box that turned out to be, in reality, a quest to find its key. Except the minute I found the key, I understood that the quest had been false. The young girl in the sitting room had understood very well the point of the adaptation* – ‘scapegoating’ ‘blame shifting’. As titillating as sex may be, particularly in a strict religious context, to an adult audience – that aspect was not what held my attention. The depiction of duplicity, betrayal and the relief of its outing did.

What TS Eliot said

“A good poet will usually borrow from authors remote in time, or alien in language, or diverse in interest.” TS Eliot

The world of words is a mess of letters – whether breastplate or not. Words like the ocean, and we appear as a collective to swim through them, hitting off riff tides and struggling with hidden currents – sometimes both at the same time – and I am willing to say on behalf of everyone that it is unlikely that we are ever on our own no matter how isolating an experience can seem to be.

The dictionary is at everyone’s disposal – and there is most assuredly nothing new under the sun. But yet, the old saw of Eliot’s which I’ve heard misquoted now and then these past few years, is not I think misquoted in the way I understand it. My take is that use of other people’s words that appear without acknowledgement in our writing are those that are well respected and so easily recognisable in their own context, that when we use them, it is an act of homage, an exploration of lineage – and also an uplevelling of our own work. The question of who we respect and why we respect them, I suspect, is at the heart of this piece of writing.

What I want to say, in the manner of Hester, and within a paradigm of dominant discourse and narrative controllers, a body could find their mouth moving, arms and legs at times, and yet feel like a bit player in a drama where they have little or no power of direction. Two kinds of silences emerge. The silence where the sense of all-rightness is so pervasive that those in the presence of it deny any vague stirrings of argument – and a carefully disguised silence – where words appear to be said but that happens through an act of ventriloquism so you could miss that the person themselves is, in fact, not the one who is speaking. That is to say that a hole ‘could be’ dug for ‘you‘ and ‘you‘ could be left there secula seculorum without a need for breath, bread or companionship. Now imagine that you have dug that hole for yourself (use the ‘I’ voice here and leave yourself there for a little while) – I bet you that having gotten over a little jag of despair, you will be planning a break for freedom? It may take some time, but I also bet that you will be successful.

There is a third silence, in the manner of Hester, a sacred dignified silence to be invoked when you or I or she or he or they acknowledge that we, whether individual or collective, are not in the conversation at all no matter how it looks. Where we have no choice but to let the circus of all-rightness be as it is, while acknowledging honestly that the only part we share in this is the strange presentiment of those around us who enthusiastically interact with us as if we are monkeys, we genuinely have nothing to say except this is not my reality.

When the Scarlet Letter is ‘I’

For all the shame or nondescriptness that may attach to it, I decided a long time ago to wear my ‘I’ proudly – whomsoever had ordained my embroidering of it, whomsoever might wear its counterpart, when there was no counterpart.

In another blog I asked the question of myself, and to anybody who might find it interesting, who do you write about when you write about ‘you‘ and who are you writing about if you aren’t writing about yourself? The question as it emerges from the person that ‘I‘ am is not at all as straightforward a high-moral-ground position as it might look on the surface. To be honest, it isn’t straightforward at all and it’s less about me than you might think. So I’m going to go back a little bit and say that the intention behind it – as a matter of guideline rather than unbreakable rule – is to honour my connection with my own experience as I perceive it to be as what I have to offer (such as it is), to attempt not to speak on anybody else’s behalf, rather, if it is possible instead, to inspire their own true speaking, to create a dialogue or an atmosphere of correspondance even if that is one-to-many rather than one-to-one. All is not all-right. I doubt it ever will be so if you are looking for somebody to make a case for that, you still haven’t found who you’re looking for.

But my ‘I’ can be more at odds with myself in its speaking than its silence. That’s what I have been finding. My complex relationship with my own identity makes this ‘I’ a shapeshifting kind of letter. Another way of saying this might be to say that when I’m speaking from the place of ‘I’ , ‘I’ might possibly be speaking from the stance of a commissioned scarlet letter – making it a double ‘I’. One is a stock character in someone else’s drama of all-rightness to whom I have been trying to smuggle in provisions and etablish escape routes, and the other ‘I’ is one, I have to be honest, whose best language, to date, has been silence. Authenticity, ‘I’ conclude at this particular pit stop on the journey, is a wild ride.

One little Indian: multiple identities and Minnehaha

I was younger – the too-little child who hangs around the legs of an older sibling and the older again boys next door. The game was Cowboys and Indians. I suspect both my sister and myself were designated ‘Indians‘ but she successfully argued a case for a less inferior role or went on strike altogether. I, very influenced by a beautifully illustrated version of Hiawatha, embraced with great excitement my position which involved being confined at a distance – entertaining myself with imaginary log canoes, waterfalls and wigwams – to make sure I didn’t create nuisance for the older boys who were at that time engaged in shooting each other in a part of the neighbours’ garden I wasn’t allowed to go. It’s funny how early we learn the ways of all-rightness and our place in the pecking order.

The thing is at this stage in the story my own ear is straining for some concrete context for all of this because this is how things ought to progress. A preamble to an outing of the non-taking-a-trip-out-for-the day variety. ‘I’ am now regarding myself as if I am separate from myself and am wondering – I would like this to get to the specifics. Is her particular beef gender relationships, a matter of Irish Politics, sex and/or religion, animal welfare, how the West was won, who is to blame when children meet cultural references too young?

It feels like there should be, at this point, a denouement where ‘I’, as the author of this, orchestrate some situation whereby a heretofore larger-than-life all-right other all-of-a-sudden rips open a tightly buttoned outergarment to expose the matching ‘I’ they’ve been wearing like the stigmata all this time. The little key that wept blood. But again, again, the finding, the exploring, the naming and the shaming in any context, the multiplicity of the concept of context, proves to be a false promise.

Scapegoating, blameshifting, duplicity, betrayal and an outing of that still holds centre stage. But, with great respect to Nathaniel Hawthorne and his truth-to-power resolution, my experience is that this isn’t how things fall out. Where there ought to be a scaffolding, there is an expanding silence. The only difference is that there is relief in this silence. Minnehaha, Madeline, or whoever, from beyond the grave or back from a multiplicity of deaths – some by her own acts of betrayal – and decades of laid-waste land is here and trying to figure out – as the true silence spreads out – what would ‘I‘ have been saying all this time if things hadn’t been as they were.

4’33” minutes was a mighty silence for a music composition. A minute does for unthinkable atrocities – how are years to be acknowledged?

Coming in mid-way through the final installment

If you do not come, these do not matter.
If you do come, these do not matter.”
– Rumi ‘A Great Wagon’

I haven’t grown much physically. Metaphorically speaking, here I am again, on my own while those in charge are out, younger ones sleeping somewhere in this house who are owed a duty of care not entirely mine to discharge, and I am pursuing a fascination that is bigger than its risk. All the notes of theatre in my voice letting me know that there is still some other in my ‘I‘. There are a lot of right things about wanting justice. My wish to be in a world that is just – to contribute to that – is not going anywhere. But, I must acknowledge that the ‘fight for it’ is also a place where the words ‘I’ speak are often not my own. And, in the offchance, there might at some future time be a noisy public confession in some context or other what happens afterwards anyway? In life, a wrong outed is rarely a precursor to harmony in relationships – individual or community. The usual best hope is to get away from somebody or a situation – and that can be, in itself, a significant victory.. but pyrrhic. Chop wood, carry water – a better future for the next generation. In the particular incidence of Hester, it probably makes no real difference. And that’s when the heart makes its first appeal to the voice to break its honourable silence. Name the losses and cry for all of them,  all the years, how and where it truly hurt. Cry. A lot. My heart, that authentic ‘I’, unabsolved, uninstated, unrealised and moving slowly. I’ll meet you there.

 

*The adaptation had a slightly different agenda than the book, it felt, when I read the book later on. I remember the TV ending as being more dramatic and quicker to close. I can’t swear to it though.

Touch, don’t observe – #worldbrailleday @LabelLib @acniwriting #tbt

Today (4 Jan 2019) is World Braille Day and I have just taken up the RNIB’s offer to have a visual representation of my name in braille to raise awareness of braille (RNIB Connect Podcast) and happily remembering getting a better sense of braille last year.

2018-04-25 13.26.26

Label lit/Poetry Day 2018 ‘Poetry Surprises’

I loved being part of this initiative for National Poetry Day ’18 – taking to Downpatrick with a handful of labels to be found in places where poetry would not be normally found.

The individual micro-poems/labels were drawn from a deconstructed poem (reconstructed below) that I had written for a curating poetry course.

The poem’s curation element was born out of my frustration at the behind-glass at-a-distance visual presentation of art, particularly constructed or 3D artforms, where individual pieces seemed to silently scream from behind the glass, or whatever out-of-reach space, about how the best part of their innate artistic communiation was in the form of physical interaction which was prohibited.  I was also, in my own writing practice, experimenting with the sense of touch – that self-same physical interaction (skin-to-skin contact being the most profoundly inspirational but in my workshop experiments it was objects which were called upon to share their inspirational qualities through the medium of the fingers, the palms, the skin).

Working with the PageTurners – a creative writing group drawn from the RNIB NI membership – the idea of creating labels with a braille element presented itself to me. I am still so grateful to the RNIB braille team for responding to my strange request and so quickly. They said two things which I have filed away for future use. One is that braille isn’t as commonly known as it was by virtue of the advance in technology and the other is that I could, if I was a bit more organised, have organised actual brailled labels. This might have been a better awareness raising and access strategy – but my curation of braille ‘elements’ was also to invoke the language of touch, raising broader awareness of the predominance of the visual in our lives – and perhaps to create a bridge between the two.

The braille version of poem came back to me in one piece without line-breaks, so in order to create the elements I had to work out the system. I have always loved the feel of braille – words I can touch – but, up to this I hadn’t any idea how to transform the dots and indentations into communication. I am no expert now but I have a better understanding of it and even more respect for it than I had before.

Some more information about Label Lit 2018 by Arts Council NI here (video)

To Have & To Hold: A Curator’s Proposal

Let’s leave the world of the glass display case
Find a way back to our own space
Create a touch tank of the place we inhabit.

Touch       don’t observe

Impressions left on the spoon-bowl palm
Of the hand – a sustaining pleasure
Of weight and size and texture.

Touch       but with care

There are boundaries here to consider
How best to hold what’s fixed, passing through
All that contains you?

Touch      these four walls

Doors   windows   keep vigilant
For anywhere that feels like confinement
Ask yourself is this what home is?

What
Holds you
Here.

#SeasonsGreetings2018 – Lines in Celebration

Lines in Celebration of this SeasonLinesinCelebrationNovemberCastleWard

The grim, bleak thing
that took hold in my imagination –
don’t call that winter.

Don’t furnish it with snow
or hand over to its power
the grove’s magnificent withering.

I release the failing metaphor,
return with ease to this time
when the deep-breath dusking world

sighs a lullaby to its residents.
No mammal, the seeds in their buried
coffers benefit from a hard covering.

This is a pure and cleansing cold,
a revitalising dark, a protective skin,
a generous beauty with abundant promise.

Not indulgent. Nourishing.
Not the dreary, unkind spectres
that held me to ransom. The opposite.

 

Season’s Greetings

With every good wish to all I have connected with this year in any avenue of life for peace and prosperity in the coming year. Go mbeirimid beo ar an am seo arís, mar a dearfá. See you on the other side of the calendar change, if not before.

Olive x

‘Things you find when Hiding’ – Poems on a Sunday Afternoon, Narnia Festival, 18 Nov, 2.30-4.30pm

“So you’ve been hiding, have you?” said Peter. “Poor old Lu, hiding
and nobody noticed! You’ll have to hide longer than that if you want
people to start looking for you.” – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

 

Poems on a Sunday Afternoon: Things you Find when Hiding.

Cloughmore Centre, Kilbroney Events Space, 60 Shore Road, Rostrevor, BT34 3DQ

Sun 18 November, 2.30-4.30pm

All are invited to a special CS Lewis themed, Poems on a Sunday Afternoon taking place in the Cloughmore Centre on Sunday, 18 November, 2.30-4.30pm.
‘Poems on Sunday Afternoon’ is a longstanding event which normally takes place at Down Arts Centre, Downpatrick where we offer a warm welcoming space for everyone to come and share their own writing or a favourite, whether poem, story or song – and host a featured reading.

For this event, and in keeping with the Narnia Festival, we invite you to come and share written pieces – poems, stories, songs – relating to the general theme of hiding. The theme is inspired by the fact that the children in the Narnia Chronicles tended to find entry points to Narnia while hiding out – whether in play, or in fear – in their own world. Please note this theme is a guideline for the afternoon but work on this theme is by no means a necessity.

Featured Reading: Colin Dardis

Colin Dardis is a poet, editor and arts coordinator. His work has been published widely throughout Ireland, the UK and the US. the x of y, his debut full-length collection, was released in May ’18 from Eyewear Publishing.

Having had a childhood speech impediment, attending speech therapy classes throughout primary school, Colin’s initial interest in language and words grew out of this formative experience. His personal history of depression and mental illness is also an ongoing influence on his work. Known for his devotion to supporting and developing the Northern Irish poetry scene, he was one of Eyewear’s Best New British and Irish Poets 2016, an ACES ’15-16 recipient from Arts Council of Northern Ireland, and recently shortlisted in the Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing 2018. Colin co-runs Poetry NI, a multimedia platform for poets in Northern Ireland. www.colindardispoet.co.uk

All welcome, no booking required. Further information from wordsforcastleward@gmail.com

This event is part of the Narnia Festival on this weekend, supported by Newry, Mourne Down District Council – find further events on the Cloughmore Centre’s Facebook page. Little promo for the centre HERE.