Because I read at the Franco Irish Literary Festival a few years ago, I was invited to contribute to a Festschrift in honour of Francoise Connolly, by Theo Dorgan. Francoise is a French woman, married to an Irish man, who has done huge work promoting French literature in Ireland and Irish literature in France.
The Festschrift, which is titled La Paume Ouverte, was a top secret affair until its launch in Dublin last week as a surprise for Francoise. It was pulled together by Theo in association with Poetry Ireland and Dedalus Press.
Sadly, like most midweek events in Dublin, I couldn't make it to the launch, which got a nice little write up in the Irish Times. But I was sent my copy of the book by Joe Woods of Poetry Ireland this week and it is a gorgeous volume. Contributing writers include Órfhlaith Foyle with a beautiful poem called 'Inchagoill Picnic', Fred Johnston, Brian Lynch, Kerry Hardie, Chris Agee, Gerald Dawe and Siobhán Campbell. There are poems in French, English and Irish, some with translations. It's an up-to-the-minute anthology of more than 35 poets writing in Ireland today and I'm sure Francoise was delighted with the gesture. What a fitting and lovely tribute for her years of hard work.
Joe Woods tells me that there will be a limited number of copies available to buy at €10 each from Poetry Ireland, if you write to them, and a few are also available in Books Upstairs on College Green in Dublin. Poetry Ireland lives at 2 Proud's Lane, off St Stephens Green, Dublin 2. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org