Following a journey through waterlogged fields and final frozen remnants of the snow that blanketed the country last week, I crossed the border (X-ed the border?) and attended the first session of XBorders: Accord in the Irish Writers Centre in Dublin on Saturday.
It was a real pleasure to meet so many disparate writers from across Ireland and beyond and to listen to them reading extracts from their own recent work. We also met with and took part in an introductory session led by Maria McManus, the poet who is going to be our mentor / guide / guru for the duration of the project, and Valerie Bistany, the Director of the Irish Writers Centre.
I am looking forward to drawing on the wealth of experience and perspectives to inform my own writing, and to cross some boundaries and push through some borders in my practice in the months ahead.
I'm very pleased to have been chosed to be one of the participants in the XBorders: Accord project. XBorders is an Irish Writers Centre initiative supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. I will be part of a group of 18 writers, including:
Jessamine O Connor
Guy Le Jeune
Together we will attend three seminars in Dublin, Derry and Belfast led by Professor David Landy, acclaimed community relations worker Michael Doherty and Patsy Horton from Blackstaff Press, along with workshops with the very amazing Maria McManus, local poet and one of the innovators behind Belfast's first poetry jukebox.
I'm very inspired to be in such stellar company - and really pleased to be able to work with Susanne again in a new context (we previously worked together on Verbal Arts Centre's Reading Rooms project) and to meet Orla, who is a fellow Women Aloud-er. The project begins on Sat 20th January...and we need to bring some writing along...so less blogging, more thinking / writing ahead...