Carnlough and the Barbican

I spent the last week in August in Carnlough, on the Antrim Coast, on Anne-Marie Fyfe and Cahal Dallat’s Coffee-house Poetry week, and what a week it was. Anne-Marie’s inspirational exercises had the twenty of us participants drafting poems infused with blueness and on all things cloud-related. Cahal’s workshops on the writing of Sinéad Morrissey, Ciaran Carson, Lucie Brock-Broido and Brigit Pegeen Kelly were enlightening, but with his vast erudition worn lightly and wittily. Our final-night readings were joyful and memorable as only the culmination of a fantastic week can be. Best of all, though, were the readings by Anne-Marie and Cahal of prose and poetry from their upcoming new books, which will be unmissable.

Here’s a bit of frippery I wrote on our trip to see the treasures of the Ulster Museum and its environs:

CINQUAIN FOR THE NURSERYMAN IN THE BELFAST BOTANIC GARDENS PALM HOUSE

Good old
health
and safety
prevents him wearing shorts,
because his legs’d get scratched by
cacti.

*

This week I managed to get along to the Red Door Poets for the first time this year, which was belatedly marvellous, then went to John Greening and Roger Garfitt’s readings at the Barbican Library. They read beautifully, from their new collections, respectively The Action and The Silence, to a small but enthusiastic audience. Here they are, afterwards (John on the left).

Roger Garfitt and John Greening

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