“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.


Lagan Online new website & 12NOW – New Original Writers #lettersfromladyn

Congratulations to Colin Dardis and Lagan Online on the launch of their brand new website today. Looking fantastic. The Honest Ulsterman is incorporated within it, I notice, though the direct link is humag.co if you are looking.

Delighted to be included as one of the 12NOW (New Original Writers) – half poetry, half prose

12now-collageThe full twelve are:
Poetry:   Peter Adair  |  Olive Broderick  |  Tory Campbell  |  Patricia Devlin-Hill  | Matthew Rice  |  Ross Thompson

Prose:    Paul Doran  |  James Guiney  |  Anne Harris  |  Paula Matthews  |   David Mitchell  |  Claire Savage

Find out more about each at http://laganonline.co/12now/

Over the next number of months, they will be promoting each of us, showcasing our work, with exclusive interviews, and sharing published work and literary achievements. It’s wonderful to have this support and I look forward to seeing developments with all – and across the wider literature sector here which seems to be in an incredibly creative and growing phase. Long may this continue!

12NOW & Verbal Arts Centre’s Reading Rooms

12NOW as in initiative will see each of the writers working with Verbal Arts Centre’s Reading Rooms, a mobile shared reading programme that gives participants a voice, reduces isolation and anxiety, and promotes wellbeing. Using a reading aloud and shared reading setting the programme encourages participants to share personal experiences from their past, sparking memories, stimulating new thoughts and provoking conversation related to the short stories and poems from our writers, selected in advance and tailored to the needs of the group by the project’s Literary Guide.

Reading Rooms currently has five strands: Young People, Older People, Criminal Justice (working with ex young offenders), Schools Programme and Mental Health. Overall, the poems and stories from each of the 12NOW will be read by hundreds of people in dozens of Reading Rooms groups across Northern Ireland, catering to both adults and children. Additionally, each writer will also go out to visit selected groups to read to them and discuss their work.

I had a chance to chat to Colin about the wiritng and my ‘erstwhile’ blog recently for 12NOW – link to it HERE.

There are three associated poems in the current edition of the wonderful HU as well

  • Hot Water
  • Night Divers
  • Austerity Times

Read them HERE

Many thanks to Colin and Lagan Online for including me in this!