Late Blooming

A quick post to talk about my reading last week at the Bloom Festival in the Phoenix Park. We arrived (my enormous fan club of three and I) in drizzling rain, which would continue for the entire afternoon, but it was warm and there was a lovely atmosphere – lots of people milling around ‘oo-ing’ at all the flowers and collectively lost for their names. The gardens were all beautiful and made me want to devote my life entirely to creating gorgeous wildflower meadows and getting to know my delphiniums from my digitalis. So that’s another pipe dream for the list…

Two of the bodyguards from my massive entourage take a short break

When the time came to read, I was ushered into a little tent and fed freshly baked carrot cake and coffee. Note to festival organisers everywhere this is how to keep performers happy. If people were to take this on board, there would be no more stroppy mid-concert storm-offs during Guns N Roses concerts.  I then made my way through a secret passage (well, a pathway between the tents) to the Stream of Consciousness stage, where President Michael D had opened the festival earlier. This is the design, which really doesn’t do the finished garden justice (I read on the wooden stage over the water):

Stream of Consciousness Garden

The stage faced into a little thoroughfare and at first I was worried I’d be bellowing at passers-by with the desperation of…well, a poet reciting her verses in the rain on a floating stage. But as soon as I began to read, a nice audience gathered and I even got a round of applause after each poem (I know this isn’t kosher for poetry readings, but it really is nice!)

When I finished reading I had a nice chat with the lovely Annmaria Fagan from Bord Bia who’d organised all the performers and Fiann Ó Nualláin who’d designed the Stream of Consciousness Garden. He had decided he wanted to add a performative element to the garden, because he felt it was important to re-examine the functions and possibilities of corporate spaces, along with public spaces and gardens. It certainly proved a perfect focal point to a relaxed, sociable festival and I was proud to be part of it.

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