(courtesy of Michael Farry)
Congratulations to everyone! It's always nice to chat to other writers, it was only a week since the Hennessy Awards where James Lawless, Michael Massey, Alison Wells and myself had met under similar circumstances. Last night was a more relaxed celebration, with lots of champagne (which is very... relaxing) and both Michael and James were award winners! James's novel, The Avenue, will be launched at The Irish Writers Centre on the 6th May. Michael Farry, poet and editor of Boyne Berries Magazine was also shortlisted, as was Maire T Robinson who is a member of the Atlantis Collective and a graduate of the MA in Writing from NUI.
I started to read the anthology on the drive home... Tony O' Dwyer and Geraldine Burke (Wordsonthestreet) have produced a wonderful magazine and for an emerging writer, publications such as this are vital. I dare you to read Moya Roddy's excellant `Butterflies` and not be disturbed.
Having lived in Galway for 14 yrs it was wonderful to be back for the night, catching up with some good friends who I hadn't seen in a long, long time. One of my highlights, as always, was getting to Charlie Byrnes Bookshop - where I bought Ropes 18, Painting Rain by Paula Meehan and Red Riding Hood's Dilemma by Orfhlaith Foyle... Heaven!
WATCH OUT! BATTLE OF THE BOOKS
Paddy Smith kindly let me know about the up coming Battle of the Books at the Trim Swift Festival (July 1-4) ;
"We use 'the Simon Cowell approach' in the annual Battle of the Books between the Boyne Writers Group and the Meath Writers Circle. Teams of 4 from each group read their satirical writing pieces (poetry and prose) in front of an audience and then submit to robust comments from a panel of 3 judges. Hair-raising stuff -- and not for the faint-hearted! Boyne Writers won it last year by one mark (94-93) and the return match this year is being eagerly awaited."