BLACK DIAMOND WINNER CARMEL CUMMINS, WITH GRACE WELLS
I've had one of those action-packed week-ends that would take all day to summarise. Let it suffice to say that Castlecomer is a properly pretty Kilkenny village with lovely, friendly people. We thoroughly enjoyed the Black Diamond Poetry Award Prize-giving there on Saturday. Judge Grace Wells gave a generous and detailed précis/evaluation of each of the shortlisted and winning poems. She is grace by name and nature.
Her workshop in the afternoon was really enjoyable - very thorough and to the point. And we wrote! I met two fellow bloggers there, The Stammering Poet and also Wordsaday who, in the small world that we live in, was my tutor in Women's Studies in NUI Galway, some years ago. It was lovely to meet her again. We have two more kids each since we last met. How life moves on and at such a pace.
I read with Kevin Barry yesterday at the Unitarian Church and he tells me that his play, 'Burn the Bad Lamp' - 'a fairytale for adults' - is doing a run from tomorrow at the Town Hall Theatre in Galway. The play features live actors as well as puppets and it's based on Kevin's short story of the same name. Well worth a look, people. There is more info here at The Galway Advertiser.
At yesterday's reading Kevin managed to Barry-ise both Saul Bellow and Dermot Healy; he's a great reader of his own work and, it turns out, everyone else's too. It would be fun to hear him read something of mine; he puts such life into his readings. I wonder if he was ever an actor?
Tommy Peoples played his fiddle (baby Juno danced) and Adrian Crowley did his first ever short fiction reading (he's more normally a musician) and there was a warm atmosphere, kick-started by the lovely Siobhán Keane who organised the event. She wafted about in a vintage yellow maxi-dress, cheerful as a buttercup. And Christy Moore was there with his wife, friendly as ever; they also have a daughter called Juno, they told us.
All in all, a rich week-end of story, chat, poetry and travel. And cake! Everywhere we went we had cake, which was fitting as it was my husband's birthday yesterday :)
(Blogger have yet again changed the way photos are added so some of the pics I was going to use, I can't because they are turned on their side and won't go in upright. Irritating. So sorry to those of you who were at both events and whose pic I took but now can't use.)