Galway poets celebrate Cúirt

Fred Johnston.

Fred Johnston.

FIVE GALWAY based poets, who have been vital to the development of the Cúirt International Festival of Literature, will each read five poems at a special event for this year’s Cúirt.

25 Poems For 25 Years - Galway Celebrates Cúirt will takes place in the Town Hall Theatre on Sunday April 25 at 5pm with readings by Fred Johnston, Rita Ann Higgins, Mary O’Malley, Moya Cannon, and Eva Bourke.

Fred Johnston founded Cúirt as a poetry festival in 1985 so it is appropriate that he should be reading at this event. The festival was then called Cúirt Fhilíochta Idirnáisiúnta na Gaillimhe, which was inspired the floating ‘courts’ of poetry in 18th and 19th century Ireland.

In the 1970s he founded The Irish Writers’ Co-operative with Peter Sheridan and Neil Jordan. In 2002 he founded The Western Writers’ Centre in Galway. He is also a critic, novelist, playwright, poet, and translator.

Rita Ann Higgins was born in Galway and divides her time between the city and An Spidéal. She first came to attention in 1986 with her collection Goddess On The Mervue Bus. The collection was widely praised with Paul Durcan saying: “There are not many books of poetry of which I can say I can remember the day, the month, the year when I read them. Rita Ann Higgins’ Goddess On The Mervue Bus was such a book.”

Rita has published eight collections of poetry; five with Salmon and three with Bloodaxe. Later this year sees the publication of a book of her essays and poems with Salmon. Forthcoming from Bloodaxe in 2011 is a new collection of poetry. She is a member of Aosdána.

Mary O’Malley lives in Moycullen and has published six books of poems. The latest, A Perfect V, is available from Carcanet. She has won a Hennessy Award, the Laurence O’Shaughnessy Award for Poetry in the US, and is a member of Aosdána.

She broadcasts, lectures, and reads her work in Europe and the USA. She is currently working on a memoir of childhood and place and is finishing a new collection of poems entitled Valparaiso.

Eva Bourke has published five collections of poetry - Gonella, Litany For The Pig, Spring In Henry Street, Travels With Gandolpho, and The Latitude Of Naples. Her New and Selected Poems is due out next year. She is a member of Aosdána.

Together with Borbála Faragó, Eva has she produced Landing Places, an anthology of poetry by 66 immigrant poets to Ireland. Published by Dedalus Press, it will be launched in Sheridans on The Docks on Saturday April 24 at 4pm. All are welcome.

Moya Cannon was born in Donegal but now lives in Galway. Her work is informed by the landscapes and seascapes of Galway, Clare, and Donegal and how humanity is shaped by its surroundings.

Her first poetry collection, Oar won the inaugural Brendan Behan Award. Since then she has published two further collections, The Parchment Boat and Carrying The Songs.

Tickets are available from the Town Hall on 091 - 569777.


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