I had the pleasure of being invited to a very glamourous poetry book launch last Thursday evening, in Damer Hall, Stephen's Green, Dublin. The book in question, Snow Negatives, is a collection by Enda Coyle-Greene, the well deserved winner of the Patrick Kavanagh prize in 2006. Check it out and put it in your (or someone else's) Christmas stocking - it's a fantastic read.
If you don't know already, this is quite a prestigious prize for poetry, awarded to a manuscript of an Irish native annually for 36 years, but you must not have published a book previously. Winners in the past have gone on to bigger and better things - think Paul Durcan, Peter Sirr, Pat Boran, Sinead Morrissey and Conor O'Callaghan to name check but a few. Funnily enough, the winner of the PK award has just been announced this weekend, making it the full year since Enda's book was selected.
The launch itself was absolutely packed to the rafters - I've never been at a poetry event so well attended in my life -which augurs well as a riposte to those that say that poetry is dying off! Pat Boran spoke a few words over the book and then Mary O'Donnell gave us a very sound and interesting introduction to the work itself. Enda then read from the book, garnering a spontaneous round of empathetic applause for her formal sequence, 'Words to Form my Mother.'
For myself, I had a very good evening catching up with 'poets all sizes,' finishing my evening in Doheny & Nesbitts of Baggott Street - my old stomping ground, from my days with News Extracts (back before child production became a business ;) ), talking about ballroom dancing -as you will do, on these occasions.