Friday, October 16, 2009

A Gallery of Poets

Last night, like I hadn't enough to be doing, I headed to Dublin's Waterstones to a Gallery launch of five poets' latest poetry collections. The poets didn't disppoint. I ended up going home with an armful of books, and really enjoyed hearing them sound their poems out. I met the lovely Hugh O'Donnell hob-nobbing with Denis O'Driscoll and chatted to quite a few poetry g-literati (hi Teresa!).

In order of appearance: Tom French, with The Fire Step (his first collection, Touching the Bones won the Forward Prize in 2001); Vona Groarke with the very accomplished Spindrift (I've seen quite a few of her poems from the collection in various journals and papers over the last while); Kerry Hardie, with Only This Room; Eilean Ni Chuilleanain, with The Sun-Fish (a PBS recommendation this quarter); and Peter Sirr, with The Thing Is.

I like all of them very much and am having a good read of them all, being suitably impressed by their writing, skill and techique. Peter Sirr's remarks about the complexities and wrestling with the minutiae of editing, and how it is always taxing raised a few chuckles in the room, as did editor, Peter Fallon's ripostulary remarks about how we all submit to the editor - hmm.

On a more serious note, Peter Fallon referred to the dangerous currents of uncertainty in the arts world and how none of us know how these will play out, especially now that the Celtic Tiger has well and truly scampered off over the horizon - eastwards. Tough times are coming. Small comfort I know, but in the end, it was still a good turn-out last night, all things considered.

10 comments:

Michael Farry said...

Very sorry I missed this one Barbara. I had been looking forward to Tom French's launch especially - he works in the Library in Navan - but otherwise engaged.

BarbaraS said...

Tom read very well and kindly signed my book for me. I've met him before, he's a very inspiring guy.

Kay said...

It's great to get the goss on what's happening in the World of Poetry on the other side of the planet. Thanks Barbara. (Sounds like you have a bit of reading to do! Enjoy!)

Dick said...

Art triumphs in adversity, Barbara. Not much of an upside to the current times, but I'm sure that poetry will continue to thrive even as the pips squeak!

BarbaraS said...

Well, Kay, luckily I have some quality reading/writing time coming up soon ;)

Dick, our pips will surely squeak, that's for sure.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Great poems in Horizon Review, B, the one about the Bollocks, sorry, Bullocks brought tears to my eyes.
:o

Mairi said...

I've read and liked half a dozen or so pieces by Vona Groarke and read and appreciated, if not fully understood a few of Eilean Ni Chuilleanain's poems but I'd not heard of the others. I looked them up on your say so and found nothing at all by Tom French but read an interesting interview, one good poem - The Return - by kerrie Hardy, and six poems by Peter Sirr, really excellent. So thanks for all that. I'll have to follow up your introductions.

BarbaraS said...

Good woman yourself, Mairi, for following up. You can find some of Tom's work if you google his name and Manchester Review altogether in the one spot. He has about three or four poems in that journal - which I might add looks very good indeed.

TFE, thanks very much. Sorry if Cattle Crush was a little discomfiting ;)

Dominic Rivron said...

I'd go along with Dick. Paradoxically, bad times can be bad for arts funding and good for the arts(except for the really expensive ones, I'd guess, like opera and ballet).

Michelle said...

I'm adding Spindrift and The Sun-Fish to my Christmas wish list, Barbara. I admire both Vona and Eilean's work.