An exciting weekend in London ahead visiting a good friend who, like many Irish people, has had to move abroad to work in her chosen field.
I love London, having spent some time there in 2006 living in Mile End and working behind the bar of a West End Theatre. Brilliant times and brilliant people; it’s my favourite European city, a perfect mix of grime and the sublime.
I’m looking forward to visiting the Roundhouse on Saturday to check out John Berkavitch’s hip-hop theatre production Shame (a hiphopera?) at the spoken word festival – and the renovated space, which I haven’t seen yet. We’re also going to head to Tate Britain to see Art Under Attack, which is a an exhibition of Iconoclasm in the literal sense of the word!
Tonight, New Island Press are launching New Planet Cabaret, an anthology of new work from emerging and established Irish writers, featuring poets, prose writers, rappers, performance poets and various other madmen/women.
Proceeds from the book go towards the Writers in Schools programme, so it’s not just an excuse to have fun, but a good cause too. The book has been edited by performance poet Dave Lordan, who has scoured the literary mindfield looking for the most exciting new work out there. Part of the process included a live creative writing course broadcast each week on Arena, RTE radio’s arts programme. This is where my poem was featured and I’m happy to say it’s made it into the anthology too.
The launch will be held in the Gutter bookshop, Dublin’s newest and most lively independent bookshop. From there, who knows?
A belated post to talk about my trip to the Derwent Poetry Festival last week. This is a festival run by Templar Poetry which featured some wonderful poets, including Damian Smyth, Matt Bryden, Jane Weir and Michael Woods. A mixture of readings and workshops all set in the beautiful Derwent Valley in Derbyshire, it was one of the nicest poetry events I’ve attended in a long time – lively but intimate, and with a fantastic festival bookshop showcasing Templar Poetry’s beautiful publications.
I had the good fortune to be featured in this year’s Peloton Anthology, which was launched at the festival. Of the fifty poets published, around twenty came to the festival to read and I read alongside Josephine Corcoran, Gareth Prior, Ruth Wiggins, Philip Chambers, David Coldwell, Frances Gallymore, Caroline Gilfillan, RA McRoy, Rachel Spence and Marion Tracy. I also had a chance to see the beautiful Heights of Abraham via cable car during a rare spell of sunshine.
A great festival in a beautiful part of the world. If you fancy a good read, do have a look at the Templar website. Their books are available to buy here: http://templarpoetry.com/collections/list