Fun was had at the Cúirt opening at the City Museum last night. I himmed and hawed about going (I get fed up dragging my kids everywhere with me - car-crying, feeding them, keeping them entertained during lots of speeches, general longing to be free, if only for a few hours...also longing for a glass of vino which my 40 mile drive home prevents me having, grrr.)
Anyway, my good writer-pal Órfhlaith Foyle said she'd come with me, so I packed up the car and headed in to Galway. I'm glad I did; it was just good to see everyone all giddy and positive in that way that Cúirt affects people. As Dep Mayor Peter Keane said: 'Cúirt puts the writers and the readers at the heart of what it does.' And that makes it feel friendly and inclusive.
This is the 25th anniversary of Cúirt, which started as a poetry festival in 1986. Maureen Kennelly admitted they've had 'a challenging few days' because of the volcanic ash cloud which has prevented some writers from travelling. Damn Eyjafjallajökull. Anyway, some people's loss is other's gain - Órfhlaith Foyle is filling in for Tessa Hadley at 1pm in the Town Hall today.
Roddy Doyle, his man-bag slung across him, talked about feeling exotic as he'd come all the way from Dublin, which suddenly 'feels like abroad'. He said that 'being in Galway feels like walking around in a short story'. Anne Enright looked lovely in a pair of red shoes which are very like the ones I'm wearing for my launch on Saturday. Irish women writers rock the red patent shoe look!
Kevin Barry was there too and local scribes in abundance, including Joan McBreen and Gerardine Burke. Andrew Meehan won the Cúirt New Writing Prize for his story 'Her Way of Saying No'. Congrats, Andrew.
All in all it was a lovely evening, with the crowd spilling out of the museum to the banks of the Corrib, from which a huge heron flew over to survey the scene.