Extremely delighted to be amidst some pretty exalted company on the shortlist for the Hennessy Literary Awards 2018 - and especially in the same year that the venerable New Irish Writing reaches the half century milestone.
Got some pretty cool post into the bargain, inviting me to the awards ceremony in Dublin the week after next - can't argue with that, though it is very definitely the first time my name has been on the guestlist for a party sponsored by Hennessy. Feel like a rap star.
And of course had to go and buy a copy of the paper today, because I'm not a rap star - I am a geek.
Siobhan and I are very please to announce our new show, Xenophon: From the Beginning, as part of Drogheda Arts Festival, at Droichead Arts Centre.
Featuring artifacts old, new and post-human from The Xenophon Archive, we will be employing sculpture, narrative, animation and technology to explore the interstices between art and science, and the future of the human species. There will be some new text incorporated through poetry and multi-layered journal entries.
Entrance is free, everyone is welcome, all are one and details are here.
On Saturday we had the second of our three XBorders: Accord project sessions, this one taking place in the Playhouse Theatre in Derry.
One of the group, a writer called Sue Divin who is also a community development manager in the city, took us on a guided tour of the walls which certainly blew the cobwebs away and got me thinking about physical borders and changing perspectives.
One of our other XBorder comrades, Rory Duffy, came up with a good name for us...a "puck" of writers...and this epic video to match!
We then had a seminar led by Michael Doherty, which touched lightly on his mediation work but delved into his personal history and the history of the city, and the set of historical, geo-political and personal circumstances that led him into this field of work in which he has had a long and distinguished career.
After all that we were almost too wiped out to write (what am I saying, I am never too wiped out to write) but we had a great session with Maria McManus and Freya McClements on the shifting ways in which we are all starting to think about, write about and feel anxious about borders and barriers - political and otherwise.
Then, after a long day, it was time for us to pile into the poetry-mobile and head homewards to Belfast, across a countryside sliding into dusk, the border between day and night, along roads crisscrossed with lines of communication.
I spent this evening doing a site visit and some field recordings for a new project I'm working on as part of House Taken Over, a weekend of talks, performances and artist responses within a historical home in South Belfast, curated by Hickey + Hickey.
House Taken Over is presented as part of the Sonorities Festival organised by the Sonic Arts Research Centre at Queen’s which this year has as its focus techno-human encounters and matters such as machine listening and audio coding, and forms of listening, sounding and voicing embodiment and affect.
The exhibition and events programme takes place from 20th - 22nd April 2018. Viewing is by appointment only. For more information, to book an event or to view the exhibition please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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...
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