Back from Loughrea after a whirlwind 48 hours at the Baffle Festival. I'll post about other aspects later but the winner of the coveted turnip this year was Cork's Cathleen Callanan, who had finished third in 2008. Her take on the theme 'Rumour Has It' was very unique and her delivery immaculate and she was a worthy winner with Daughters of Apollo.
Second was Ann Marie Hough, who had twice won before, with a stylishly crafted poem called 'Rumours of Rosie' and third was the wonderfully-jacketed Pat Lawless (whom I thought should have got somewhere last year) with 'Dancing with Lola.' The Peoples Choice, not to anyone's surprise, went to Joe Kennedy for his absolutely hilarious poem 'Egness' I hope somewhere someone has videoed it for posterity.
There were many other brilliant performances too. Another former winner Miceal Kearney led the way with 'Maybe'; Brian Nolan gave Adele a run for her money with a priceless interpretation of the album track; Eamonn McNally was deadpanly funny as always; Margaret Hickey had a very short but quite sublime poem involving Paul Simon; Micheal O'Riain had a very funny poem about Hell; Sean Treanor's Sceal Dochreidte - Sceal an Chreidimh had the juxtaposition of a Lennon and McCartney hit; Meabh McDonnell is always a front runner and her "Kiss' was oh, so erotic!; Amanda Younge's 'Attitude' was a passionate ode to a beaten wife; Mike Coye composed a quite beautiful ballad about Lola Montes which deserves more airings; Denise Garvey's crafted Flat Pack Fact was delivered with great style; and Steven Shields very clever poem had us all as aliens.
As for me, I was not quite in their league but considering the likes of Ian McDonald, Ray Gateley and last year's winner James Kennedy failed to make it out of the heats, I was delighted to have scraped through into the Sunday night.
But as Joe Kennedy said later, and very correctly, it really didn't matter who won - what mattered was that we got a great night's entertainment.