Listowel Writers' Week Fringe

Blogging Listowel's Literary Scene
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The Plan for Blogging #LWW10

May 14, 2010 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: 2010, historical, starting up, video, workshop

This is the news. We are going to blog this Festival – the Listowel Writers’ Week Festival 2010.

From now on there will be fresh content here almost every day. During the Festival, there will be a blogfest – a stream of posts. We intend to do our best to bring you some of the flavour of Writers’ Week – no matter where you are.

This is the 40th year of the Festival. The founders would expect us to share the goodies with the whole world – not simply keep the excitement in Listowel.

Of course, there’s no way to capture the atmosphere of Listowel during Writers’ Week and export it. You need to be in the bars, on the streets, at the workshops soaking it all up. But not everyone can do this. There are people all over the world who can’t travel to Co Kerry Ireland at the start of June. Some can’t afford it. Others are not well enough to make the journey. Others have other commitments. There’s no end to the reasons why most people won’t be in Listowel.

However Listowel can reach out wherever the internet goes. We can write reports and analysis of the proceedings. We can bring you news and gossip. We can put up podcasts – audio recordings (and the technology has made this much easier this year). Even video is coming …

Help us. Please give us a hand. Lend us your time & talent.
We’re about to publish the names of people who’ve volunteered to be in the team that’ll produce this publication. An email, postcard, Tweet, Facebook message – even a phone call will do.

Wouldn’t it be great if each of the literary workshops got someone to report on how it went – the feast of content we’d have for posterity.
How good would it be if we could get each of the tutors to offer us a short piece – in their own individual style?
Posterity matters – the legacy of Listowel Writers’ Week deserves to be honoured. We’ll do our best for you.

Video footage from Listowel Writers’ Week 2009

March 06, 2010 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: participants, poem, poems, poet, poetry, Song

Gabriel Byrne & taxi driver

George Rowley sings

Pauline Fayne reads “Carol

John McCarthy reads

Two doves mating

Emerging Writer publicises Competitions

February 03, 2010 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: 2010, blogs, competition

New blogpost from Emerging Writer.

Time to get ready to enter your writing for Listowel Writers’ Week competitions…

Joy of Writing too…

Google Alert for Listowel Writers’ Week

October 27, 2009 By: ana Category: blogs, connections, journalism

Magic. It’s magic the way Google Alert brings stuff to your attention.

Whenever anyone, anywhere, publishes anything about Listowel Writers’ Week, I get it within hours. I don’t have to go looking for it. I can relax in the confidence that if Listowel is out there being talked about or written about, I’ll be in the loop.

This is how I came to discover a your Irish student journalist.

Robert Babington from Tralee: his blog is “The Write Stuff” - so he knows his Wolfe.

All he did was mention the woman who questioned Seamus Heaney @ LWW08. But Google Alert introduced us and I left his a comment on the blog.

I feel I’ve discovered a talent who could go far, who will go a long way. He’s even on Twitter.

Bloggers have been on summer holiday in Limerick, staying in UCH

August 16, 2009 By: ana Category: audio podcast, blogs, connections, preparations

We’ve been resting & recovering in Limerick with some Summer Music on the Shannon.

It’s been just like the Riviera. Crowded, hot, exciting and exhausting…

We’ll need a holday to recover from living with people from so many countries. Limerick has become a cosmopolitan place. Visitors from Canada, USA, Japan, Norway, UK, Spain, Italy, Kildare, Germany… and so on.

Like any hothouse there has to be a common language. It’s been music.

If you want to find out more about how hot Limerick’s been, try this link – when you have time on your hands.

We look forward to resuming normal service here soon – when we’ve recovered. Rest assured, we’ve been telling them in Limerick all about Kerry.

[One thing for sure, we hope Listowel Writers’ Week 2010 – the 40th festival – will be live streamed – broadcast live on the internet. After what they did in University Concert Hall, it should be possible…?]

Enda Kenny Opened Exhibit at the Lartigue Museum

June 11, 2009 By: Laura Category: painters & paintings, photographs

Enda Kenny opens exhibition, “The Orbit of Salt Water” oil paintings by Michael Flaherty at the Lartigue Museum.

"Enda Kenny in Listowel"

Enda Kenny at The Lartigue

- on Thursday 28 May 2009 @ 1200

Kerry Cancer Support Group were there

June 11, 2009 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: connections

We bloggers wanted to pick up, and publicise, what went on around the programme during Listowel Writers’ Week.

Jeremy Gould was particularly keen on this. His enthusiasm rubbed off on me.

It was an accident that caused me to meet people fundraising for Kerry Cancer Support Group. I got a slow puncture, and had to inflate a tyre.

dsc03325I couldn’t help noticing a big coach. Beautifully clean with a small group gathered in front of it.

They welcomed me over. Spared no effort to tell me about the work they do:

They collect people from Kerry who need to go to Cork for cancer treatment. The bus is specially kitted out so that it’s comfortable. Has toilet & fridge on board.

dsc03326

But they’re not funded by the HSE, the health service.

They have to raise the money themselves. HSE centralise cancer services in Cork. Who pays for transporting people over there for treatment?

I thought that sort of stuff was paid by the taxpayer, via HSE. I was shocked.

I promised to publicise this. Perhaps this blog can do some little good.

Sean Lyons: winner of Strokestown poetry competion 2009 performed

June 11, 2009 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: events, historical, organisers, participants, poem, poet, preparations

Historic records will say Michael Lynch introduced Gabriel Byrne who opened Listowel Writers’ Week 2009.

But those of us who were there know another story…

Before 745 pm, the room was jammers. People were turned away at the door. It was Sean Lyons from Kerry, winner @Strokestown International Poetry Festival 2009 of

The Percy French Prize for witty – possibly topical – verse

who was first to speak. The vital, warm-up act, stilling the crowd.

And with what did Sean Lyons, member of Listowel Writers’ Week (organising) Committee strive to quell the cacophony of conversation in Listowel Arms Hotel ballroom?

A gong? A shout? Tinkling of a glass?

No.

A poem… no ordinary poem… his winning poem from 2009 Strokestown Poetry Festival. [Even that didn't shut the crowd up.]

Thank you Sean. We are privileged to publish it here, in all its glory…

A middle aged man goes shopping for trousers

I went shopping for trousers the other day.
Though I’m not getting any taller
The waist band on the present slacks
Is definitely getting smaller.
I don’t like shopping as a rule
I find shop assistants snotty
And I feel a tad embarrassed
When they measure my once taut botty.
‘Does Sir dress to the left or right?’
One asked me like a riddle.
When you get to my age, son, I said
‘You leave it in the middle.’
‘Upstairs, sir,’ he remarked,
‘Is for the more ample figure.’
And as I climbed the cursed steps,
I swear I heard him snigger.
I made a super human effort
To hold my beer belly gut in
But even I could not deny
The pressure on the upper button.
The salesman here was another one,
With muscles trim and hard
I cursed again the Mayo cuisine,
The black pudding fried in lard.
I cursed as well the drinking days
When with other knaves and fools,
Instead of running around racing tracks

We vegetated on high stools.
We drank our pints and placed our bets on the races on the telly
Totally oblivious to the time bombs
I was placing in my belly.
Time bombs yes, you heard me right
That clung to my hips like rubber
And reappeared in middle age
As great big blobs of blubber.
By now my face was turning puce
From holding in my breath
When the salesman produced his inch tape
And gave my pride the kiss of death.
‘A forty two sir, I suppose,
Could do you at a pinch.’
With bravery above the call,
I sucked in another inch
But the inch tape doesn’t lie.
It’s much more honest than me
The salesman did a final check,
‘We’ll say a forty three.’
‘A forty three it is,’ says he,
I didn’t say a meg.
He muttered then as he rubbed his chin,
‘We’ll take six inches off the leg.’
The trousers bought, the next dread thought,
Was more than I could bear.
Through gritted teeth, I asked me man:
‘Where’s the underwear?’
That grin again, it crossed his chin,
With the tiniest of flickers.
‘Would Sir prefer the traditional style,
Or this season’s thongs and knickers?’
‘I’ll try the thongs,’ says I, ‘bedad.’
His face paled with the shock.
He handed me a piesheen of silk,
Thin as the second hand of a clock.
”What’s that?’ I cried as I looked down,
At the sliver in his hand.
‘It gives support in work and sport,
For today’s more active man.’
‘Where I come from, young man I said,
We ate butter and drink milk.
And our smalls are made of cotton blend,
Not lace or puncy silk.
And this is more of it as well,
Like miles and pounds and punts
If the Lisbon Treaty’s ever passed,
They’ll ban string vests and Y fronts.
And one thing more,’ I said,
My voice was getting louder.
‘You can keep your under arm deodorant,
I’ll stick with talcum powder.
It served me well in courting days,
Like hair spray and nylon ankle stockings
And I don’t have to take your guff
Or your not so gentle mockings.
So, take your trousers, sir,’ I said,
‘And your fancy fol der dols,
No garment from this shop,
Will ever chafe my walls.’
And with that, I turned my back,
And went down the stairs again,
My heart was light, I was right
Because inside I know I’m thin
But self delusion soon gave way
I realised with dread
I’d gone straight from baby fat
To bloody middle age spread.
The lads were right, their inch tapes true,
No lies, no tittle tattle.
As I left the store, I knew for sure.
The bulge had won the battle.

Kerry County Library on line…

June 08, 2009 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: connections

It was about 0035, in J B Keane’s pub on the Thursday morning, when I met Patti Ann O’Leary.

She told me about www.kerrycolib.ie, said it was full of local history. So I looked…

It’s a treasure trove, and who works there?

None other than Michael Lynch, chairman of Writers’ Week.

Wheels within wheels…

Poets Corner, thursday evening

May 30, 2009 By: jeremy Category: poets, songwriting, video

Up at the New Kingdom bar on Church Street, George Rowley compered an open mic night for poets, singers and musicians on the Thursday and Friday of the festival. Here we have a short films from the first of those evenings.

Apologies for the lack of credits to the artistes, if you put me right as to who everyone is I’ll update the page.

02/06/09 UPDATED: Apologies to Pauline Fayne and John McCarthy. Credit where credit’s due (though I still don’t know who the singer is).

MC George Rowley gets the proceedings going with a song:

Pauline Fayne reads “Carol”, written in memory of Tallaght Poet , Carol Carpenter:

Musical interlude. Singer / song names unknown:

John McCarthy reads “Two Doves Mating”:


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