Monday, 17 May 2010


I went to the Salmon Poetry launch in Galway at the City Museum on Saturday to see my friend and Peer Group fellow, Mary Mullen's first poetry collection Zephyr being launched.

Also launching were Aideen Henry of the Atlantis Collective with her first collection and Knute Skinner with a memoir.

Mary Mullen

Mary Mullen is one of those people who is an absolute pleasure to know: she's talented, intelligent, funny, beautiful and has a heart the size of her home country, Alaska.

Poet Gerry Hanberry launched Mary's book and he praised Galway for its vibrancy when it comes to writers. He said it's not normal to be so surrounded by writers  all the time but that we in Galway think it is. There's a writer on every corner here. He praised Salmon Poetry for their stellar work in publishing poets (they have a great track record in publishing women poets in particular) and he also commended Aoife Casby for the delicious cover art on Mary's book.

Gerry Hanberry

Gerry said, 'Zephyr will be dog-eared - people will refer back to it at times of importance'.

When Mary got up to speak she said, 'Alaska is all about salmon - salmon in Alaska is like turf in Ireland. You either have it or you are trying to get it.' So she is particularly pleased to be published by Salmon.

Mary's daughter Lily has Down Syndrome - she features in several poems in the book - and Mary stated, 'I hope my book elevates the status of the 1 billion people in the world with disabilities'. She also said, 'If it makes one single mother feel not so crazy, I'll be delighted.' That garnered a round of applause. Having been a single mother, I related totally to that.

Mary read beautifully, with real emotion, and with pride in her twin heritages - the Irish and the Alaskan. It was a lovely, warm, friendly well-attended launch and it was a pleasure to be there among the writers, the literature lovers and the people, as Mary said, who were first-timers at a poetry reading. Everyone seemed to enjoy it all hugely.

Aideen Henry

Knute Skinner

Juno enjoying the launch


BarbaraS said...

That's a really warm, hearty laugh Mary is having there. Sounds like it was magic at the launch :) Can't wait to get my copy soon!

About Mags Treanor said...

I was sorry to miss that launch. Myself and Mary were on the Poetry Ireland Introductions Series together, and I think Aideen Henry is a powerful writer...


It was a great launch. Mary is a sweetheart and it was great to see her get the recognition she deserved with her book.

Rachel Fenton said...

Found a little tear escaping as I read that - sounds like it was a wonderful event.