I had a great time in California over the last week with a trip supported by Culture Ireland to the Los Gatos Irish Literary Festival. I spend 4 and a half days in sunny California hanging out with some of Ireland's best writers. I was involved in two events: the representation of Jews in Irish literature, and New Irish Poets. I attended lots of the events but did get a chance to sneak into San Francisco to the famous City Lights bookstore, where I filled my bag up with loads and loads of Beat books. [gallery columns="4" ids="2096,2097,2098,2099,2100,2101,2102,2103,2104,2105,2106"]
I was the featured reader at the Sunflower Sessions in Capel Street, Dublin on the 27th September, my first reading of the new year, nicely sandwiched between Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur. The venue is probably the most hipster place I've ever read in and the crowd were way cooler than me! I took a few photos to get a feel for the atmosphere. The night kicked off with a spoken word poet so I thought I was going to be in trouble but as the night went on, it was great to see lots of different types of work being read; from epics to satire to good old traditional lyric poetry! Thanks to Declan for having me on. I'll definitely be back to hear some more. [gallery columns="6" ids="2087,2088,2089,2090,2091,2092"]
I have been asked to be one of the 16 Irish writers to travel to Los Gatos in California for the 2017 Irish Writers' Festival. I will be taking part in two readings/discussions. The first is centred around the touring of the Representation of Jews in Irish Literature, which will be exhibited. The second is a reading for New Irish Poets. As one could imagine, I am very excited about this!
I attended an interesting lecture about Jews in Irish Literature, including "metaphorical" Jews, by Bryan Cheyette in Trinity College. I had heard about the talk as he mentioned that he was going to mention Jewtown. Bryan had a theory that my poem "Patched Up" which featured a boy called Sweeney and T.S. Elliot's Jew-hating character, also called Sweeney, were linked. I wish I was clever enough to have thought of this link but I'll take his compliment that it was probably subliminally in my head! [gallery size="medium" ids="2052,2053,2054,2055,2056"]
I was very grateful to be sent a copy of my great grandmother's book, Tears of Laughter. Esther Morris (née Cristol) was born in Cork and published three short plays. I mentioned this fact at the launch of the Representations of Jews in Irish Literature exhibition in Waterford to Barry Montgomery, one of the lead researchers. Lo and behold, he managed to find a copy of the book and sent it to me. Here are a few screenshots of the book, which I will treasure. [gallery columns="2" size="medium" ids="2045,2046,2047,2048"]
I had a great night at the O'Bhéal series last night. I read with Stephanie Conn. Thanks to Paul Casey for inviting...
I received my copy of Poetry Ireland Review today and was pleased to see a poem by Thomas McCarthy about the closing of the Cork Synagogue. I was also happy to see the review of Jewtown by Dawn Woods, which was very complimentary.
I'll be reading in Cork on Bank Holiday Monday as part of the Ó'Bhéal series. I'm looking forward to reading with Stephanie Conn again and taking part in the various parts of the night. It sounds like a fun evening.
I was delighted to be interviewed on Southside Radio in Dundrum recently on their religious affairs programme, Vision. Their programme was focused loosely on the Passover festival but I was in to read some of my poems from Jewtown and discuss what it was like to be raised Jewish in Ireland. I read 3 poems from Jewtown. I also was asked to pick 3 songs that meant something to my life. When I was asked, I hadn't realised that the programme was a religious affairs one so I just picked 3 songs that I liked. As Jarvis Cocker and Common People was much more of an influence on my life than the doctrine of schools, I'm happy with my choices! Click on the link below to download/listen to the...
I had a fantastic time at the Strokestown International Poetry Festival this year where my poem, Conception, was shortlisted in their competition. I didn't realise what a huge prize was up for grabs when I entered for whatever reason so not realising that I was in with a chance to win €2000 was good as they don't tell you who wins until the very end of the festival after everyone reads their poem. They used to do a countdown to the winner, which they've changed now, thankfully. Part of being shortlisted means that you become part of the festival programme and you get to do a reading. Mine was on the Saturday morning and I think it was well received. The weird thing though is that in the audience are really really big names in the world of poetry, some of who appeared in my Leaving Cert! I got to see two interviews. The first was with...