Attended the Francis Ledwidge Poetry Awards 2011 last Wednesday night in O'Donoghues in Inchicore, where we older Shels supporters used to drink after games against St. Pats before we had that little altercation with them ten years ago. It was actually a very enjoyable evening with around fifty people in a space designed to sit eighteen comfortably.
Liam O'Meara - who is in the process of bringing out a book on Zozimus - MC'd and did a great job. Two young writers received special mentions and even read their poems. they were 15 and 17 years old and my God, the self-assurance of the pair of them and me bricking it because I was due to read later. I wrote down their names and then threw the paper away later - I think one of them was Robert Nolan.
Evan Costigan was there. He actually performed his poem without reading it, which was pretty impressive. Not many other names that I recognised. Noel King - who gets shortlisted for everything - couldn't make it, nor Triona McMorrow whom I met at Strokestown this year.
Delighted to meet the wonderfully talented Jessamine O'Connor (above) at last. Her poem 'Silver Spoon' was a deserving winner and she's definitely one to watch out for in 2012. Goddamit, she even looks like a poet - I shall have to grow my hair long.
I read my poem 'Ctrl Alt Delete' not very well. There were far too many words starting with Cl... or D... In future I shall only write poetry that begins with vowels or r's or w's. But I got through it with my usual word substitution techniques.
Have decided not to enter for Ballymaloe. Just a bit too expensive and if they don't like my style for their Moth magazine, I reckon there's not much point in entering their competition. But please don't let me discourage you - just a personal thing!