I’m delighted to reveal the cover image for my first poetry collection After The Fall (Salmon Poetry)! Jessie and Siobhán at Salmon have excelled themselves with the cover art. It fits so well with the book I can’t hardly believe it and couldn’t be more pleased.
The book will be launched at 6.30pm on Thursday 9th November at the Irish Writers Centre on Parnell Square and I’m honoured that the excellent poet, Alan Jude Moore, will launch the collection for me on the night. This collection is a culmination of over ten years of work, writing and publishing poems, talking about poetry, workshopping poems - feeling dejected and elated at various times along the way.
I’m really looking forward to the night and beginning to think about the people who have helped me along the way. They are so many in number, but I won’t get into naming them just yet. I’ve been doing a few readings recently, testing out the poems I might read at the launch and it’s been very interesting seeing how audiences react to different poems. I took part in a reading/panel discussion at the Red Line Book Festival in October which focussed on preparing first poetry collections. The event was ably chaired by Nessa O’Mahony, poet and editor, and included Eamonn Lynskey and Phil Lynch on the panel along with myself. It was a really enjoyable evening, chatting about our individual experiences and approaches. The atmosphere was so relaxed I felt we could have talked all night.
I also read in Cavan Library at an event called At The Edge which is run by poet and writer, Kate Ennals. I read alongside Cavan poet, Mairead Donnellan (pictured below), who I’d met before at Bailieboro Poetry Festival in 2015. It was a lovely evening, with a large turn out, despite bad weather. Unfortunately Afric McGlinchey couldn’t be there due to ill-health, which was a shame as I enjoyed the her two collections. Myself and Mairead were asked to read an extra poem or two which allowed me to read some poems I wouldn’t normally have read. We also got to hear Kate Ennals’ Westport Poetry Competition 2017 winning poem, Poem, I want from you and there was some excellent work read during the open mic section. I was very pleased with the audience reaction to my poems and would recommend this reading series to anyone in the area who might be interested.
To whet your appetites further here’s a look at the back cover also. I was delighted by Breda Wall Ryan’s endorsement of the collection. Breda is a fellow member of the Hibernian Writers Workshop and award winning author of the collection, In A Hare’s Eye (Doire Press).
On Friday last, 3rd November, I took part in a reading as part of the Dublin Book Festival at Smock Alley Theatre. “Debut Poetry Collections” was chaired by Doire Press’ Lisa Frank and feature three debut poets; myself, Amanda Bell, author of First the feathers (Doire Press) and Emma McKervey, author of The Rag Tree Speaks (Doire Press). We each read two poems and discussed various aspects of putting together a poetry collection, taking in subjects such as form, theme and rejection along the way. It was an interesting event attended by a sizeable and engaged audience.
Finally, I’d like to invite you along to the launch on Thursday 9th November 2017. Also, launching her second collection with Salmon Poetry is Dublin poet, Anne Fitzgerald, whose work has garnered significant praise over the years. I hope some of you can come along to celebrate with us.