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May Day Poetry & Coffee


Record Break Café. Photo by Gerry Doyle

Record Break Café. Photo by Gerry Doyle

Hello, my lovelies!

I will be doing a poetry reading at the Record Break Café in Ennis, on May 1st at 8pm

Come on – join us for some poetry & damn fine coffee at Sinéad’s lovely café in the Lower Market area.

Location of  Record Break - Ennis

Location of Record Break – Ennis

Dublin in Poetry


This is a bit of fun!

http://poetry4u.org/submit-a-poem/

Tweet a twittery poem to Poetry Ireland, and it may get used on a Dublin-related app …

What part of Dublin do you want to write about?

I’ve already done mine … no surprises there.

Statue of Oscar Wilde Merrion Square  Dublin

Statue of Oscar Wilde Merrion Square Dublin

April – The Cruellest Month?


April is the Cruellest Month‘ wrote T.S Eliot in The Wasteland.

It was if you were on the Titanic.

Titanic.  c. titanic.ie

Titanic. c. titanic.ie

For me, though, April has been peachy so far.

poeticdiversity in Los Angeles has published my flash fiction Down in the April 2015 issue.

You can read it here:

http://www.poeticdiversity.org/main/prose-fea.php?nameCode=KarenJMcDonnell&date=2015-04-01

Many thanks to editor Marie Lecrivain for her continued support.

The Nobel Room, Writing, and Radio


The Nobel Room, Farmleigh  Photo - OPW Ireland

The Nobel Room, Farmleigh
Photo – OPW Ireland

Two weeks ago I attended a poetry workshop with Theo Dorgan in Farmleigh House, where he is the artist in residence. Well, lucky us – and lucky Theo who gets to hang out there for a  while!

The Nobel Room commemorates Ireland’s four Laureates for Literature – Shaw, Yeats, Beckett, and Heaney. Here is a link to the OPW site, if you want to see more of Farmleigh.

Needless to say, we didn’t have the workshop in the Nobel Room … but we were in the study. Just six of us and Theo. With tea and coffee on tap and lunch provided downstairs in the Arkle Room (which may originally have been a tack room?). Terri, who joined us for most of the workshop, works in Farmleigh. After lunch, she brought us on a tour.

The Spring sun was waiting for us in the conservatory. We oohed and aahed over the Blue Room and the Nobel Room, and the artwork. I was nearly drooling in the Library. Such a lovely room. A real ‘Goldilocks’ library: not too big; not too small. Terri didn’t need us to tell her how lucky she is to work in such beautiful surroundings. And she’s also got the Phoenix Park at the end of the drive.

The workshop was fantastic. I always get gems of wisdom, or pointed in interesting writing directions, at each new workshop I attend. And I love the interaction with other writers. The day’s worth was reflected in the fact that I was awake half the night, thinking of new ways to rewrite work I had presented to the group.

Many thanks Theo – and thanks to John, Tom, Jean, Victoria and Terri – for a day I won’t forget.

 

***********

On the Diploma in Radio front –

Well, what busy bunnies we all have been, both before AND after Easter. Assignments delivered up. And live shows for the past two weeks. In addition to co-presenting The Brekkie Show each morning, I  also presented two solo shows. One about Easter , with classical music, the other about Irish traditional music.  You’ll get podcasts of all our shows at wildatlanticwaves.wordpress.com

I’ve podcast the two solo shows, and given playlists. You’ll find them on my new website: karenjmcdonnell@wordpress.com 

I’ve linked in readwritehere to the ‘BLOG’ page, and I’m in the process of updating all my writer’s ‘stuff’ there too.

It would be great to get your comments on the website, so do pay a visit.

It doesn’t have a Nobel Room … but nobody’s perfect!

First Interview!


 

Ready to launch

Ready to launch

My first interview …

A short chat with Lorraine Higgins about writing …

https://lorraineghiggins.wordpress.com/2015/03/24/lorraines-interview-with-3/

Thanks, Lorraine!

 

World Poetry Day – Greetings!


And what else would I be writing about on World Poetry Day?

Tourists are puttering down the roads and swerving over white lines. Traffic on the road outside my house trebled last Sunday. Yep! If it’s after St Patrick’s Day, Ireland Inc. must be open for business.

In  beautiful Ballyv, the Soda Parlour has reopened. I’m just back from my first cappucino of the season. Sadly, the SP wasn’t involved in the ‘Poem for a Coffee’ deal that’s happening around the globe today. Bummer.

I got a great dose of poetry during the week, however, at the reading in the Library in Gort, South Galway. Now, you Yeats heads will know that Gort and the Coole Park residence of Lady Gregory played an important part in the great man’s life. And his connections with south Galway continued with the purchase of Thoor Ballylee.

This week, as part of  Yeats2015,  the ‘I will arise and go now’ Festival has been taking place in Gort. It finishes tomorrow with a parade on a Yeatsian theme.

As part of the festival, Galway’s Over the Edge Readings paid a visit to the library on Wednesday. The three featured poets also read some Yeats before their own work. Susan Lindsay, Marion Cox and Christopher Meehan gave sparkling readings. The traditional Open Mic afterwards was fun.

I was particularly taken with Chris’s work.  Here is a link to four of his poems in the Galway Review. He read ‘Shifting Pianos’ on the night.

Marion Cox also organises the Lady Gregory Autumn Gathering at Coole Park, so keep an eye out for those events later in the year.

Nine Bright Shiners - published by Dedalus Press

Nine Bright Shiners – published by Dedalus Press

Great Poetry News! – It was announced today that Theo Dorgan has won the 2015 Irish Times Poetry Now award, in its tenth anniversary year. Dorgan’s previous poetry collections include Greek, The Ordinary House of Love and What This Earth Cost Us. One of my favourite poems is his ‘Night Walk with Bella’. You can read it here. I may have given you this link before – but, what the hell. I’d also urge you to seek out his non-fiction, broadcasts, and essays.

Theo Dorgan is presently Writer in Residence at Farmleigh House in the Phoenix Park in Dublin. Once owned by the Guinness family, the house was bought by the State in 1999. I found out last week that I’ve got a place on a workshop with Theo at Farmleigh next weekend. Happy Days!  I just need to get some of those drafts to a more presentable stage. (In between other writing commitments and the small matter of a Diploma in Radio Production.)

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the workshop took place in this room ….

Farmleigh Library. Photo C. OPW Ireland

Farmleigh Library. Photo C. OPW Ireland

I can but dream.

 

Speaking of dreaming and suchlike: it being World Poetry Day, I have to leave you with a poem. And it being Yeats2015, it has to be the birthday boy himself. There are so many, many poems. I’m in a ‘heart’ mood, so I’ll leave you with …

THE FOLLY OF BEING COMFORTED – WB Yeats (1902)

One that is ever kind said yesterday;

‘Your well-beloved’s hair has threads of grey,

And little shadows come about her eyes;

Time can but make it easier to be wise

Though now it seem impossible, and so

all that you need is patience.’

Heart cries, ‘No,

I have not a crumb of comfort, not a grain.

Time can but make her beauty over again:

Because of that great nobleness of hers

The fire that stirs about her, when she stirs,

Burns but more clearly. O she had not these ways

When all the wild summer was in her gaze.’

 

O heart! O heart! if she’d but turn her head,

You’d know the folly of being comforted.

 

 

A Website is Born!


Dear Reader

I’ve set up a new website – as part of my media course.  And I’ve linked this blog to it. This blog ain’t going anywhere – it means too much to me!

You will also be able to access podcasts of my work and read lots of other interesting writer/blogger/broadcaster news.

I’d love if you’d drop over and say hi!  at    karenjmcdonnell.wordpress.com

 

karenjmcdonnell.wordpress.com

karenjmcdonnell.wordpress.com

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