Órfhlaith Foyle - Clifden Arts Week 2010
I'm supposed to be writing but here I am blogging. Hrrmm. In fairness, I did a bit of work on a story this morning but I'm now avoiding changing the tense of another (such hassle) and I am also avoiding writing a review. So, I blog...
Well, Clifden. What can I say? It took 2 hours to get there (though it's in the same county we live in) and it rained. God, though, the scenery is fab: mountains, bog, lakes, the sea. My little family and I took refuge in the Abbeyglen Hotel and ate gorgeous scones with cream by an open fire, while a parrot chirped hello in different accents and Granny O'Grim drank hot port and kept a beady eye on us. It was heaven.
We scooted down to the Clifden Book Shop then, for a nose. They sell lovely cards as well as books and my novel was in the window, which was fun. We met Órfhlaith Foyle there and adjourned to the library for our reading.
Tony Curtis introduced us with zest and flair, quoting Beckett - 'Live and invent' - and he celebrated the fact that it was Leonard Cohen's birthday and also the Autumnal Equinox. Poets Michael Coady and Catherine Phil McCarthy were in the audience (cue wracked nerves) but all in all it went well.
Órfhlaith & Nuala with Donald Teskey art work behind
Órfhlaith and I have history (good history!). We met as fledgling novelists back in 2002 when we were both working in the same building, in different offices. We met for coffee and encouragement over the novels we were writing every day and forged a firm friendship which has lasted through all sorts of family and writing ups and downs. Her novel Belios was snapped up by Lilliput in 2005; it took me until last year to find a publisher for mine.
Órfhlaith & Nuala listening to Tony
So us reading together at Clifden was a real treat - our writing tends to complement each other's. We are both dark souls with a love for whimsy and, without prior agreement, it was amazing how the poems we picked to read spoke to the other's: my Kahlo to her Van Gogh; her Africa to my Dublin (our birthplaces); my Paul Durcan to her Anna Akhmatova. Anyway, it was a pleasure to read with Órfhlaith, as always. If you want to know more about her (she is a brilliant writer) I interviewed her here.