Thursday, 12 November 2009


I want you all to give a céad míle fáilte to the lovely Liz Gallagher who is stopping by for her Maximus Miracle book tour with her Salt-published poetry collection, The Wrong Miracle. Liz lives in Gran Canaria and in order to celebrate an Irish homecoming for her and The Wrong Miracle, Liz is offering a free copy of the collection (posted to anywhere in the world!) to readers of Women Rule Writer.

All you have to do, to be included in the draw, is mention the interview, book and draw on your blog and/or on Facebook and confirm that you have done so in the comments box here from today. (Or at TFE's blog from the 19th of Nov.). The draw will take place on the 25th of November over at Liz’s blog Musings.

All royalties from Liz’s collection go to SANDS, the stillbirth and neo-natal death charity.

So now, readers, pour that tea, grab that scone and pull up a chair.

N: First of all welcome to my blog, Liz, on your Maximus Miracle Virtual Tour with The Wrong Miracle. Many congrats on the new book – it is an inspiring read. This is my first ever bloggy interview and I’m delighted that you are my guest. So settle down there by the fire and prepare for some woman-centred questioning.

L: Nuala, thanks for the welcome and for having me here, it is a real pleasure, it's great being back here in Galway. I have fond memories of being here during the September heatwave. And now, in autumn, the cosy fire-side setting is ideal for some woman-centred!

N: Liz, some of your poetry reminds me of the work of Belfast poet Medbh McGuckian – specifically the surreal nature of many pieces in the book and also the linguistic acrobatics. Would you feel an affinity with Medbh? Are there other Irish women poets who inspire you?

L: I have read some of Medbh's work and like it a lot but must say that I haven't really explored an awful lot of her work....but will do so now out of curiosity...thanks. : )
Irish women poets whose work I know quite well and who would inspire me would be Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Leontia Flynn, Rita Anne Higgins and Mairead Byrne. I also really like Colette Bryce and when I first started reading poetry in the late 80's, I loved Sara Berkeley's work, especially Penn and Home Movie Nights...I haven't read her work in a long while though so not sure what I would think of it now.

N: Maya Angelou said: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” How would you like people to feel on reading and/or hearing your poetry? And – a sneaky sub-question – who do you write for?

L: To answer your sub-question first, Nuala, I definitely start out writing for me – to amuse, surprise and entertain myself...and then when the honeymoon period of me and brand new poem is over...I try to look at it with fresh eyes in order to think of how it will fare on its own with other readers and without me on standby to defend it. It is at this stage that I take a close look at what is working or not working... I try not to lose what got me excited in the first place...there is a fine line between doing that and making a poem ready for others' consumption. So, essentially, I am aware of audience but that awareness doesn't come into play until after I have written the first draft or so.

Regarding how I'd like people to feel on reading/hearing my work, good question, Nuala...naturally, I'd like people to be able to 'click' with my poems, one of the really great things about doing the readings in Ireland during the summer was getting feedback from the audience and hearing them say that they could relate to what I was saying. I think there are a lot of emotions at play in my work and knowing that a reader or listener could maybe feel that emotion or a version of that emotion on hearing or reading the work would be very rewarding for me.
I'd also love for people to feel amused and surprised. Humour is important for me in my work and it's great when people 'get' that humour and read between the lines...

N: You are, obviously, an accomplished poet. Do you also write fiction? Who are your favourite female fiction writers?

L: Thanks, Nuala. I have written flash-fiction, 100, 150 and 200 word pieces and I've had some flash-fiction published in an Anthology by Guildhall Press titled: The Wonderful World of Worders edited by Jenni Doherty.
I have written some non-fiction pieces and have had some published. I would love to attempt to write a short story or two but have not yet had the discipline nor time to sit down and try it ….but maybe some day...
Some of my favourite female fiction writers, apart from yourself, Nuala, and Vanessa Gebbie, another Salt writer whose work I love, would be Zadie Smith, Monica Ali, Flannery O' Connor, Amy Tan, Anne Enright, Edna O'Brien and Marian to just love her humour and style.

N: Thanks so much, Liz, for your time and for stopping by at my blog. Good luck with the rest of the tour. Next week Liz will be at The People's Lost Republic of Eejit with the inimitable TFE.

L: Nuala, thanks very much for your hospitality and for such great questions which I thoroughly enjoyed answering. It's been fun. Hope to catch up with you again next summer!

Liz and baby Juno at Flatlake, summer 2009


Totalfeckineejit said...

Lovely interview LIZNOOLS.Interesting that you write for yourself, I do too but never thought about it/realised till Nuala asked.I wonder do all poets? Good questo!
And Janey Mac ,is it me next? I'll get cook and Jimmy The Butler to tidy up the castle.We'll be having a poteen party Liz, so I better get digging the spuds. á bientot
Pip pip!


Thanks for stopping by, TFE. I think most serious or 'born' writers write for themselves, it being a compulsion and all. As opposed to a hobby.
A poteen party? That could be dangerous fun. I keeled over the only time I drank it!

Liz said...

Hi Nuala and TFE,

Phew!made in the library
and had to join a computer-queue for half an hour to get this far...strange sensation that... ; )I just love the me and Juno photo, what a fantastic surprise, thanks, Nuala!

TFE, sure hope Jimmy the Butler is up to the poteen earliest memory of poeteen is finding a box of it under the seat on the school bus when I was about 13...lots of braking by smuggling-bus-driver when we told him of our find...oh and hope Jimmy knows his holy water from his poteen, my dad failed miserably to get my Auntie drunk on poteen by mixing up his bottles1 ; )

Anyways, better move on to give someone else a turn on the computer...might get our connection back tomorrow. : )


Ha ha - hilarious poteen stories, Liz!
So sorry re your computer problems - I know how much you are attached to your laptop!
Glad you like you and Juju in the pic. N x

FD Moran said...

Lovely interview. Hi Liz, welcome back (virtualy) to Ireland. good luck book and writing ad life.

BarbaraS said...

'Fine girl ye are'

Really enjoyed that, N and Liz, very revealing and interesting.

I know what you mean about writing for yourself first - if you can't please and excite yourself, then it probably won't excite the reader. Although I should probably think of a different way of phrasing that - sorry! Shall I get my coat..?


Har har - WE know what you mean, B. She's talking about WRITING, people, "writing" ;)

Niamh Griffin said...

Lovely interview - another new writer for me to discover. The list is growing, don't think there's much time left for poteen anymore:(


Hey Niamh - thanks for reading. Why not enter the draw for Liz's collection?

Kar said...

Hi Liz / Nu,

Printed the interview off earlier today so that I could enjoy reading it in the peace of home with a cuppa tea. I'm tucked up in bed, mug in one hand, interview in the other and laptop at my feet. It was a pleasure to read and has left me wanting to read more of your poetry Liz. Enjoy the tour and good luck with the book I'm sure it will be a great success.

Kar said...

p.s. Nu, deadly first ever bloggy interview, congrats and clink clink ;-)


Thanks Kar - enter the draw!!!

Liz said...

Hi FD, thanks for the welcome and for stopping by to read, it's great being 'virtually' back : )

Hey Barbara, thanks for commenting...and excitement can carry one away, that's for sure... ; )

Hi Nuala, thanks for clarifying ...ahem!

Liz said...

Hi Niamh, thanks for reading and nice to meet you.
TFE above, is making time for poteen next week, hope you can join us! : )

Hi Kar, really nice to meet you and I loved picturing your description of how you read the interview, complete with cup of tea...perfect. ; )

And Nuala, yes, it's so great being your first have made me so welcome here... I'm joining Kar in a clink-clink to you : )


It's been, my pleasure, Liz. I hope some of them enter the draw is all!

Kar said...

hi girlies, I've entered the comp and put a little link up on my facebook page....thanks K x

Michelle said...

Wonderful cosy atmosphere - and great questions and answers, Nuala and Liz.

Loved hearing about the Irish women poets you find inspiring, Liz, and your fiction favourites.



Great that you stopped by, Michelle, thanks!

Rachel Fenton said...

FAB Qs, Nuala, and really thorough answers, Liz. I am enjoying my bloggy interviews lots - thanks!

Oh, and before I forget, I gave you all a mention on my blog, so can I please go in the draw?? Can I can I can I?


You are officially in the draw, Rachel!

Liz said...

Yipee! Kar and Rachel, thanks, you are both well and truly in the draw... ; )

Thanks for reading, Michelle and Rachel.

Mairi said...

I ordered Liz's book a few days ago and now I have a little sense of whose work I'll be reading. So thanks for that. A good question - Who do you write for. I'll have to give it some thought.

Liz said...

Hi Nuala and everyone,

Thanks very much for reading and taking part in the draw and Mairi, thanks for getting the book, I hope you enjoy the read....I thought I had answered all these posts, actually, I'm pretty sure I did but they seem to have been eaten up by Blogger and most likely spat into some virtual receptacle....weird that! ; ) x

(word verification: unfocusio!:))