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One aftermath of Listowel Writers’ Week

June 03, 2009 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: connections, events, organisers, participants, poet, preparations, starting up

There can be no one aftermath.

I sat upstairs in the English Market this afternoon, going back through my “Moleskine notebook (lined).

I used a green highlighting pen. Put names in hand-drawn boxes, and circles around intentions. Every time I carry through something I planned, I give myself a big tick (fulfilling my bottomless love of positive feedback).

I put the date on every page, the place I was, the time…

Now it looks like a live animal.

I’d forgotten how rich the notebook became during Writers’ Week. There are drawings and prose contributed by others – people willing to take up my book and mark the page.

I was incredibly excited going to Listowel.

I was incredibly tired leaving for home. The journey to and the road home are part of my LWW09 experience.

First Moleskine entry reads

Listowel Arms Hotel @ 1450 on Wed. 27 May.

  • Booked in to the hotel (put name on list) for 2010
  • The family manage the hotel between them.
  • Met George Rowley & James McGrath sitting in bar.
  • George’s story of mental illness [all in his book]
  • Met Colm Toibin, told him of blog – he listened, I shook his hand.

The last entry [43 pages, 4 days & 4 hours later] reads:

M Sweeney – reading with…

The End.

For me now, the challenge is to walk the space between being an archivist (valuing the Moleskine as a document of record) and an artist (stretching, moulding & sculpting the Moleskine, so that it reaches out to the imagination of others).

I’m a hoarder and long-winded. I talk&write and write&talk and sense&listen.

I wonder how others are processing the experience?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if people who read this immediately write a comment & share insight into the joy of ending

- flashing on the inward eye… (pardon me William Wordsworth)

2 Comments to “One aftermath of Listowel Writers’ Week”

  1. There I was in the middle of writing a post on how I’m feeling and dealing with the aftermath of Listowel Writers’ Week 2009 in general, and our intense blogging of same in particular, when I was interrupted by 1) the phone ringing 2) my wife wanting to check her e-mail 3) the image of a glass of cold white wine 4) the sun blazing in the window, all of which resulted in you getting there before me Paul!
    I’m still coming down from the high of writing like mad in the moment at various launches and readings during the festival, meeting lots of wonderful people – writers and non-writers, and performing poetry live to a variety of audiences.
    I even got to write a line of poetry – which is a lot for me, given that I’m lucky if I get 5 poems finished in a year.
    So. Now I have to rush off to cook dinner. Drat! Life keeps interrupting my blogging

    • Patrick,
      The notion of both of us writing on the same topic, at exactly the same time, intrigues me. I find such happening happen to me all the time, which leads me to suspect it’s mainly a matter of noticing.

      Serendipity rules eh.

      Another thought visited me: we have no editorial policy. We’ve never even discussed the idea of an editorial policy. That suits you because of your anarchist self; it suits me because I’m curious to see what’ll happen if I have no authority; it suit Jeremy because he lives the social networking open dream…

      I wonder what you two will say to this.

      If we had an editorial policy, we might also have a division of roles. We might have our individual areas and then there would be no danger of our writings colliding… and I wouldn’t like that.

      Your 5 poems a year balance nicely with my 205 poems a year (a conservative estimate). Outputs of equal value I imagine.


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