Before I headed off to hospital Friday a week ago, I had the rare pleasure of hearing Martin Dyar, winner of the 2009 Patrick Kavanagh Award for an unpublished ms, reading to a select group of about 40 - 50 people.
The setting was magical: the drawing room of an old country house, Annaverna House, in the middle of a forest, on the slopes of Cuchulainn country - Ravensdale and the Cooley Peninsula. First, some readings by local writers; some who are getting started in the trade and some more established (yeah, I read too).
After drinkies and chat, Martin Dyar totally wooed the audience with his tales of characters from Mayo, his muscular language - I heard comparisons being made with Ted Hughes' work! Long poems, short poems, humorous and restrained, he brought something for everyone and had us all utterly spellbound. He even read the poem he read last year at the Irish Writers' Centre, Dublin for the Stinging Fly launch, which I think is called 'Death and the Post Office.'
That reading has sustained me over what became a very trying week. I ended up in hospital (again) from Sunday, with a partially collapsed lung, as a result of pneumonia - which I think I may have had for some time - fatigue and a persistant pain under my left ribs had been diagnosed as, well, something 'muscular' ... hmm.
It's going to be a long recovery, and you can help me: what I'm looking for are a list of books, easily obtainable, (think Easons for a start - possibly Amazon) that I might enjoy - come on guys, save my poetry & prose soul!