Publishing (and Performing) Poetry

“Are you excited,” my mother asks me, clearly excited herself. I was, I guess, but I hadn’t yet seen them for myself.

The first box of the paperback version of Fás | Growth had been delivered to my family home in Dublin, but between living in Cork, to going on holidays to Portugal, I hadn’t yet seen a physical book, or had a chance to feel it.

When I did, it was a surreal experience. I’ve spent so much time working on online projects, that I almost forgot what it was like to see the physical result of my writing. Blaiseadh Pinn was when I last saw my name on the title of a book, and anything else afterwards was in newspapers or magazines. All positive milestones, no doubt, but there’s something special about seeing your own time, only yours, on a book cover. There was a little moment of pride, mixed with relief that it turned out okay.

Thankfully, I was honoured in being asked to read some poems from the new collection (including one new poem in Irish) and act as MC at ‘Oíche Fhilíochta’ (Poetry Night) in Dublin, reading alongside two wonderful and inspiring Irish-language writers, Réaltán Ní Leannáin and Mícheál Ó Ruairc. The event took place in Third Space in Smithfield, and had a full house. Fás | Growth was available for sale after the performance, and I’m thrilled and so grateful to say that the books sold out!

It was wonderful to chat with many of those who came along, as well as both Réaltán and Mícheál, and I’m grateful to Seán Ó Coileáin for asking me to host the event. Réaltán’s poetry is beautiful, powerful, and accessable. She brings you into a different world with her literature, whether it’s a childhood memory or her journey through cancer (which inspired the title of her blog, Turas Ailse). Mícheál’s style is lyrical and so well-composed, showing art, humour, and humanity within his work. I was honoured to be in their company.

It has been a few years since I last took part in a literary event like Oíche Fhilíochta, and I was delighted to be there. I’m working on The Irish Outlander at the moment (in between a day job, regular travel, settling into Cork, and even the occasional coffee break) and hope to have that out early next year, but I hope there’ll be more opportunities to meet fellow writers, bookworms, and the odd Gaeilgeoir as well.

Fás | Growth is now available in paperback from MKB Publishing, available to buy online via Amazon


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