I have always tended to avoid the north inner city Dublin area of Phibsboro (the first b is silent) I lived for many years in the nearby Oxmantown Road / Arbour Hill area and the traffic snarl ups on the NCR outside St Peters Church were to be avoided at all costs. Also their local football team, Bohemians, currently have bragging rights over my football team Shelbourne.
But I put such prejudices aside on Saturday night. As a shortlistee in the recent Phizzfest Awards (and therefore anthologised in print) I was invited to read in Hedigans as part of the Phizzfest Community Arts Festival.
The evening in Hedigan's was split up into three sections. Firstly we had a reading from local group Mater Dei. Then we had a reading from the immensely talented Prufrocks. And finally us.
Woman Rule Writer, Nuala Ni Chonchuir, has posted up pics here My God but what a talented quartet the Prufrocks are. Nuala herself; Barbara Smith who blogs here (one of the first blogs I picked up on, though she's been a very infrequent poster of late!) Jaki McCarrick, whose name pops up very frequently in journals and poetry magazines; and Galway's Maureen Gallagher, equally as ubiquitous and who very graciously gave me unofficial fourth prize at last year's Baffle festival.
Maureen came second in the Phizzfest competiton and had another poem shortlisted; Simon Leyland, who was a Poetry Ireland Introductionser with me last year, also made the anthology, as did one of my favourite poets Noel King, who had a very unsettling and hard-hitting poem.
Winner was a lovely lady from Tipp, Ann Dempsey, in her seventies and her first published work. You can read her lovely Dart poem here.
Many thanks to John Brennan for a great evening.