Walking by Water WIP – #knowingthedance #knowingfromwithin @ACNIwriting

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My erstwhile blog has been true living up to its reputation that past month or so. I’ll be playing catch up in the next little while.

First on the catch up list is an acknowledgement of SIAP funding 17/18 for the Arts Council NI to do some further development work on the sequence of poems which emerged from the ‘Knowing the Dance‘ work of last year.

This collection incorporates the poem elements of the dance~poems (published in HU) created with dancer Paula Guzzanti and musician Martin Devek, some reworked elements of my three-line meditations on movement in words and poetry from April 2017 (National Poetry Month initiative).

For this development phase I am looking reworking ‘The Clock Repairer’s Companion, and then, particularly, at two other sequences of poems which emerged while doing this work. The first has the working title of ‘Walking by Water’ and the second is as yet untitled, though the work has coming together nicely.

I’m prepped and ready to do a bit of work on this during July – and the plan is to get a bit of mentoring support on the overall piece following that. Very appreciative of the support from the Arts Council NI for supporting me to do both.

It is worth acknowledging, as I am here, a professional membership bursary for the Irish Writers’ Centre which I very much value. My ‘income-generation strategy’, if I may call it that, sometimes means it’s difficult to be physically present at writer development opportunities, but I really value being part of these networks.

Image: Strangford Yacht Club, Castle Ward, June 2018.

 

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Coast to Coast to Coast Irish Issue launches at @BelfastBookFest (9 June, 7-8.30pm)

Coast to Coast to Coast Journal designed and created by Maria Isakova-Bennett, and edited by Maria and Michael Brown, is a hand-stitched publication designed to be both a small piece of artwork, and a poetry journal. Each issue contains the work of a maximum of twenty poets, is a unique numbered artefact produced as a limited edition.

I am thrilled to  have a poem  in the Irish edition of this  beautiful  journal which also features new work from the poets including John Mee, Keith Payne, Heather Richardson, Stephanie Conn, Nessa O’Mahony, Michael Ray, Therese Kieran, Michael Farry, Annette Skade, Moyra Donaldson, James Meredith, Attracta Fahy, Paul Jeffcutt, Michael Sheehan, Karen McDonnell, Georgi Gill, Daragh Breen, Jane Robinson and Emma McKervey.

Really looking foward to the launch of the journal taking place as part of this year’s edition of the Belfast Book Festival. The launch takes place from 7-8.30pm on the 9th June with readings from poets included in the edition and an opportunity for open  mic. Further details and book HERE.

Find full BBF programme details HERE.

 

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Honouring Eavan Boland – #lettersfromladyn

WP_20171122_005Thrilled to hear that Eavan Boland will receive a Bob Hughes Achievement Award at the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards next week.

I first came across Eavan Boland in my twenties while working on a ‘feminist’ thesis (in the area of business) and as a hidden poet.

The outcome my  thesis supervisor –  who had asked me to pursue the ‘research question’ – clearly expected me to find was that while there were unmistakely statistically very few women in management roles in Irish industry at the time, this was due either to the normal course of events or if, in the offchance there was a problem, it was the fault of women. I know I don’t need to specify the gender of this, my ‘first’, supervisor. I found a rather more complex picture – and subsequently a new supervisor.

I found both Eavan Boland’s poems and her critique in the journal section of the Boole Library in UCC. It’s funny how a person could get diverted from ‘Strategic Managment Monthly’ and the HBR…

in any case, I had, and still have, massive admiration for her speaking truth to power about the unfairness inherent in the differential reception of men’s and women’s poetry, while at the same time having a buoyant practice and a lifetime commitment to creating poetry which has both something integrous to say to people’s lives and is rigourously composed to a fluid standard of the best of what poetry can be. Some of my favourite poems have been composed by her.

I was thrilled when she became guest editor of Poetry Ireland Review and have loved these editions. I was also delighted to find, which I didn’t know, that she had been involved in the development of Arlen Press which has recently returned and is beginning to have quite an impact on women’s poetry here in Northern Ireland very recently.

I worry a bit about lifetime awards and adulations as there is a sense that people are on the one hand being feted and on the other being put out to pasture. But in this case, I have no worry. This woman will keep her own counsel. May she flourish.

 

My postcard story from @JanCarson7280 from #NewZealand has arrived.

“It wasn’t his bones or muscles refusing him so much as his interest in being anywhere but here, at the end of the pier, staring out to sea.” Jan Carson ‘Postcard Story from New Zealand’ 07.11.17

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This week has started very well indeed. Many thanks, Jan – love it!!!

Get the full story on Jan’s Blog – Jan Carson Writes

“Where my River Flows” – @lagannavigator deadline extended to 5 December

Ormeau Bridge in late 2001 was the first time I was aware of being in the presence of the Lagan River.

6tag_071117-135743This autumn, I’ve had the privilege of working with a range of groups exploring and writing about connections, memories, links to the Lagan River – or other rivers that people have connections with. I’ve learned there is much more to Lagan River than I had previously imagined.

I would like to say a huge word of thanks to all who worked with me and shared so creatively their insights, experiences, recollections and links to this mightly amenity that flows on regardless – and touches the lives of so many, connecting place to place, and also connecting generations and ways of life – disappearing and approaching.

E-book Submission Reminder and Extended Deadine Confirmation

These workshops are part of a call out from Lagan Navigation Trust as part of their first Storymaking Festival to everyone for submissions to an e-book which will showcase the river through the eyes of those who know it best and those who live in the communities close to it.

Some updates

  • Lagan Navigation Trust have let me know that while they have had a good response to their call, they have room for plenty more so they have extended the deadline until the 5 December.
  • They are also accepting pieces on the more general theme of ‘Where my River Flows’ (for those whom the Lagan is not their river).
  • They have let me know that they are allocating some prizes to be chosen from those who submit, as well as possibility of having you piece selected as part of a video (generously supported by the Community Arts Partnership) see next:
  • Linked to the video creation, if there are any budding filmakers, they also have a limited number of places available for workshops with an experienced cameraman and filmaker who will work with a small group to create a short film based on poems and stories about the Lagan. This would be happening between now and the middle of January and you will have the opportunity to storyboard the video, learn to use the equipment and go out and film with the guidance of the facilitator. The film would be aired at the storymaking event in February at the Lagan Valley Island Centre. To book a place contact maire@lagannavigationtrust.org

You will find all the details, guidelines and online submission on the Lagan Navigation Trust Website.

Lagan Navigation Trust Storymaking Festival

The Festival will close with a celebratory event, as part of National Storytelling Week, with awards being given for selected stories in each age category. The event will be held on Friday 2nd February 2018 at the Island Hall, Lagan Valley Civic Centre, Lisburn.

 

The @PoetryJukebox @BelfastFestival launch 12 Oct @CrescentArts

 

This innovative project from Belfast based poets Deirdre Cartmill and Maria McManus is part of the Qoutidian – Word on the Street project which seeks to put poetry into public space, to surprise and delight the unsuspecting. The Poetry Jukebox is brought to you in collaboration with Piana na ulici, Prague.

A special launch of the Poetry Jukebox on 12 October as part of Belfast International Arts Festival celebrates the arrival of this new, funky and permanent landmark to the island of Ireland for the first time. Come to Crescent Arts Centre and hear some of the first round of Poetry Jukebox poets read their works at 7pm. The event is free to attend. Just come along no need to book.

The Poetry Jukebox (now with its own twitter feed @PoetryJukebox ) first curation is a combination of open call and invited poets:

Joan Newmann
Michael Longley
Eavan Boland
Celia de Fréine
Stephen Sexton
Mark Granier
Paula Meehan
Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin
Katie Donovan
Padraic Fiacc
Mary Montague
Adam Trodd
Adrian Fox read by Matthew Rice
Nessa O’Mahony
David Braziel
Seanín Hughes
Olive Broderick
Eamon McGuinness
Afric McGlinchey

Find out more about the initiative in this Irish Times Article.

Here’s a sneak peek of me, courtesy of the Belfast Telegraph, reading ‘Friar’s Bush Cememtery’ (Night Divers 2017) – HERE

Find the sneak peek preview of those recorded in Belfast during the week HERE.

The Poetry Jukebox is a gorgeous new fixture. Contents will change every few months. If you are passing the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast, you won’t miss. Do have a listen.

 

Where my River Flows – @LaganNavigator Storymaking Festival Call for #Lagan stories.

Do you have a story, memory or link with the River Lagan or the Lagan Navigation?

The Lagan Navigation Trust (LNT) is inviting people and community groups who are interested in the rich heritage of river, canal, land and water, to get involved in it’s first Storymaking Festival.

The project “Where My River Flows” brings the past, present and future of this national treasure to life through the sharing of stories of those connected to it. Tapestry and creative writing workshops are two ways to get involved in this project which takes the Navigation, and all that it touches, as its inspiration.

The Festival started in September 2017, with facilitated workshops available until the end of October. Each workshop will provide the group with the skills necessary to produce a tapestry panel or create individual or collective stories/poems. Submissions will go forward for shortlisting to be included in the Festival, the Festival eBook and the Festival Video.

Submit your written pieces:

  • Submit a story (500 words max) or poem (30 lines max) in the relevant age category (under 11 years old, Under 16 years old and 17 +) via the online form (see also t&cs) on LNT’s website HERE 
  • Attend an open workshop at Navigation House on Saturday 30th September or 29th October (Spaces are limited, so early booking is essential)
  • Picking up a ”Where My River Flows” postcard from; Lisburn Visitor Information Centre, Ormeau Library or Lurgan Library, affix a stamp and post your story or poem back to The Lagan Navigation Trust, Navigation House, 148 Hillsborough Rd, Lisburn, BT27 5QY. Or simply fill in your contact details along with your story or poem and return to the Storytelling Festival post box provided at each of these three venues.

Storytelling Event

The Festival will close with a celebratory event, as part of National Storytelling Week, with awards being given for selected stories in each age category. The event will be held on Friday 2nd February 2018 at the Island Hall, Lagan Valley Civic Centre, Lisburn.

Some Inspiration

(1) Jo Bell, former Canal Laureate, reads her poem ‘Lighter’ created for the Lagan Navigation’s Anniversary (2013)

 

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