5 months on, either I'm getting better at this blog thing or my life has speeded up alarmingly (which it has). I'm back in Aarhus for a lengthy experiment at the synchrotron there - so lots of time for this sort of thing....
since February, I've been busy sorting out the "difficult second album"; it now has a publisher (the wonderful Dedalus Press) and a name "Safe House", and a very eye-catching cover (good man, Pat!). Still under wraps though as publication date is October. Feel rather nervous, much more than for the first collection; is that the sound of sharpening knives.....?
A most enjoyable weekend in Kanturk (County Cork) to read at the Arts Festival over St Paddy's Day. A cosy crowd in the library applauded local young poets; Other highlights were an art exhibition in a car showroom (ideal space), an exhibition of Patrick Casey's marvellous B&W photos (incl one of Brendan Kennelly and John B Keane) and a great concert by accordianist Liam O'Connor (fastest fingers in Guinness Book of Records!)
Upcoming gigs include The Yeats Summer School / Festival, a lunchtime reading on Friday 30th July and a National Poetry Day reading in Armagh on thurs 7th October (venue tba). Sandwiched between these two is a lengthy trip down under. First stop is Beijing for a physics conference and a couple of readings arranged by the good folk at ILE and local embassy staff. then on to Melbourne for a reading in Collected Works (the best wee poetry bookshop in the world!); then up to Sydney for the Australian Poetry Festival, hopping across the pond to Palmerston North to give a lunchtime lecture (Science and Poetry - not so different?) at the museum Te Manawa and a reading the same evening in Wellington. Next day the luxury of a ferry/train journey to Christchurch for the Writers Festival: 3 gigs here, a reading, an interview of Liam McIlvanney, author of a post-Troubles thriller "All The Colours Of The Town", and a Simon Cowell personation in the late-night Poetry Idol! Then down to Dunedin to repeat the lecture and back north to Palmerston North for a final reading. Grateful thanks to Culture Ireland for assistance with the international travel!!!
A final plug, this time a reading by visiting aussie poets that I am organising on Thurs 23rd Sept, 7.30 in the Irish Writers Centre; supported by The Australian Embassy and Poetry Ireland, it promises to be a great start to the new season!