Sunday, August 29, 2010

Feis Teamhra: A Turn at Tara.

A Turn at Tara.

On a windswept but sunny day a large crowd turned out for a celebration of poetry and song at Tara today, though given that some of Ireland's best known poets were in attendance it was only to be expected. Or if you're coming next year, come early if you want to get parking! I think the event was sponsored by "Poetry Ireland" and organised by the singer songwriter Susan McKeown, who was able to hold the crowd without the aid of a microphone or sound system but then she has a great voice! Having said that a mic would have been more than a bit useful for those at the back whose hearing wasn't all that it should be or once was. The order I caught them in was Michael Longley, Susan McKeown and Aidan Brennan who provided the musical entertainment, Laoise Kelly who played the harp, Colm Toibin, Paul Muldoon, and Seamus Heaney. Susan McKeown and Aidan Brennan and Laoise Kelly then finished off with a couple of numbers, and if you can get all of the above together in the one place at the same time there's hope for us yet. Another gentleman gave a talk about the proposed bypass at Slane and I noticed one or two local writers there as well. Also there was a falconry display outside the church grounds. What more could you ask for.
Photos: Some of those in attendance. From the top: Susan McKeown and daughter and Aidan Brennan, Colm Toibin, The Crowd, Paul Muldoon, Seamus Heaney, and Laoise Kelly playing the harp.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Heritage Week!

Heritage Week.

There seems to be an impressive number of events on around the county that celebrate different aspects of our local heritage and all to the good, and not forgetting certain poets listed for Tara on Sunday, but you could well argue that much of what lies around us that is of historical interest has fallen into ruin or was never commemorated in the first place. Almost every parish or town brought out a local history a number of years ago, to celebrate the Millennium, and many of these were excellent in that they highlighted events, or people, that would otherwise be forgotten. I remember walking through a bookstore once, in a far and distant place, and picking up book about William Johnson and although I'd grown up and gone to school in this area he was never mentioned. Likewise for many other events. You can drive past a crossroads and see the remains of some monument falling into rubble or a famous hill quarried away. Much of the preservation seems to depend on local interest. Towns like Dunshaughlin and Summerhill to mention just two, do not have information boards listing places of what are in some cases of national importance. On the Hill of Tara for instance, tourists stand and gaze off into the distance and there is nothing to tell them what they are looking at. There is a good argument to be made for teaching local history in primary schools in that it would be valued more and there would be a more immediate reference, and perhaps some of the destruction we have witnessed over the past decades would be less likely to take place in the future.
Photo: Ringlestown Rath Kilmessan Co. Meath.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Liverpool Lennon Poetry Competition.

Liverpool Lennon Poetry Competition.

For those who were fans of the Beatles or in this case John Lennon. "The Beatles Story" in conjunction with Roger Cliffe-Thompson of "Events Poets" are having themselves a competition as part of the John Lennon tribute season which will mark 70 years since his birth and 30 years since his death. Poets from across the world are encouraged to enter unpublished verses in three categories, better make that two at this date in time! Category One, you enter as a performance poet and Category Two as a paper poet, and the closing date for both is 5pm Friday 10th of September 2010. and entry is by e-mail only at, and another important point is that it is Free! Information for the above was got from and the "Emerging Writer" website also had some information up a while back. It is listed on the "ask about writing competition page" So no excuses get writing.
Photo Image is from an old cassette so I hope they don't mind me using it!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tommy Murray. Whitehouse Guest Poet Aug 4 2010

Tommy Murray at The White House Limerick Aug 4 2010.

If you click on the above you can hear Tommy reading some of his poems at The White House in Limerick where he was the guest reader on August the 4th last. The ones included on this video clip are Stella's Cottage and The Famine Trilogy and also not forgetting Whiskey. Tommy set up The Meath Writers' Circle back in the early nineties and has been writing short stories and poetry ever since and has gone on to win many prizes, and been published widely over the years. He has published a number of books on local history and if you click on the link for "Meath Books" you'll find more information on the above. Also on youtube there are other videos of Tommy reading posted by "sheriff from navan". Worth a look!

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Francis Ledwidge Poetry Award.

12th Francis Ledwidge Poetry Award.

The Inchicore Ledwidge Society are now accepting entries for the above competition and details are available on The Poetry Ireland Site as well as some of the local ones. Orla Fay has plenty of information up and I think Michael Farry had some information up a while back. If not I'll have to come back into this and edit! There is a trophy and cash prizes as well as certificates of merit so well worth the effort. Michael O' Flannagan of The Inichicore Sosiety is also the editor of the monthly broadsheet "Riposte" and has published many local writers, and indeed many of those would have picked up prizes in the competition itself. I went down to visit the Ledwidge house and museum a couple of years back and the village (town) of Slane is not a bad place to spend an hour or two.

Before I go both Michael Shiels and Tommy Murray have videos up on youtube. Michael has more than a few, and if you go to his site I hope you'll find a link there. (Sheriff from Navan). Tommy Murray was the guest reader at the White House in Limerick and I believe the video features him reading some of his poems there. So check over at Meath Books. Click on the links opposite. Finally if you are in need of some entertainment take a look at The Emerging Writer site and check out "Poetry Chicks at The White House". Way to go!
Photos: Ledwidge Museum and Garden.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Heritage Sunday/Tara. 2010

Heritage Sunday.

Poetry Ireland in association with The Heritage Council of Ireland have an impressive list of poets lined up for the 29th of this month at the visitor centre on The Hill of Tara. Colm Toibin, Paul Muldoon, Michael longley, Seamus Heaney, Susan McKeown, Laoise Kelly and others are mentioned on their site, though The Meath Chronicle only mentions some of the above, but sure you'd be doing well if you only caught one of them. On the Poetry Ireland site there is also a list of audio and video files that might be worth checking out. Rainy day and in need of some entertainment, or good writing! I managed to catch some of the above last year, and the visitor centre, or the Hill of Tara itself are worth a visit anytime. Also before I finish, there's news of a poetry competition in Castlecomer, details of which can be found over on Michael Farry's site or go to "Ask About Writing". Just click on the links opposite!
Photo: Susan McKeown and daughter singing at last year's event.