Monthly Archives

May 2018

Falling in Love with Belfast

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The title comes from the opening section in my most recent poetry book, a short collection of diverse poems stemming from previous visits to Belfast.  The cover on this book Small Acts of Purpose is the work of Irish printmaker, Susan Mannion. I’m hoping the title will travel and sit well as title for the presentation and workshop on Sunday 10th June at the Belfast Book Festival.

Following the presentation, I’ll be guiding writers at whatever stage of poetry writing you’re at, to begin developing a set of poetry of your own. If you’d like to book in, just go to the Belfast Book Festival website and follow the workshop link.

This session runs from 2.00- 4.00 finishing in good time so we can all get to hear Ruth Carr, Maureen Boyle, Mebh McGuckian and Maria McManus

As I write this, I have just come from a Michael Longley & Colette Bryce reading at the Listowel Writers’ Festival. What an extraordinarily special reading. The readings and Michael’s comments afterwards about his Belfast home make me doubly excited to be heading back to this beautiful city.


Eesti 2018

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Every now and again I feel so fortunate as a poet. My poetic life is rich and interesting. It brings me into contact with remarkable people and remarkable stories and ordinary people and ordinary stories, events that are rich and satisfying and places that have me eager to know more of the hearts that beat within them. Estonia is such a place.

One of my earliest blogs archived in January 15 speaks of my first visit here, to Talinn and Haapsalu. This time I’ve been lucky enough to travel southwards and present my work at Tartu, Estonian City of Literature.

It was a joy to meet such engaged, interesting people and to read and then have my work read in Estonian was deeply satisfying. Rauno Alliksaar translated the poems and so on the evening, hosted by Berk Vaher, I presented in English and he in Estonian. Meeting up in Tallinn with Ava, hearing from others who were at the reading and recalling conversations about the importance of keeping the truth of the stories alive affirms me in my poetic work. Now I’m back in the capital Tallinn for the HeadRead literary festival. Ironically Kathleen Jamie, my favourite Scottish writer, whom I also wrote about in Jan 15 is presenting at this festival.

GTG so much to see and hear and do 🙂