Listowel Writers' Week Fringe

Blogging Listowel's Literary Scene

UisceBots – great blog post on Jennifer Farrell

January 21, 2010 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: blogs, connections, historical, memoir, participants, tutors, workshop

Jennifer Farrell, Nuala O’Faolain and Listowel Writers’ Week are featured in this lovely piece of writing of memoir…

UisceBots is from Dublin, a blogger since April 2006. He doesn’t want anyone under 18 reading his stuff.

I admire this piece. Tis good isn’t it?

Quantitative Comparison of Listowel Writers’ Week & West Cork Literary Festival programmes

June 13, 2009 By: Paul O'Mahony Category: competition, connections, events, Reflections

After the flurry of challenging comments, comparing Listowel Writers’ Week with West Cork Literary Festival (WCLF), isn’t it time for some measuring?

I’ve gone through both programmes and offer this quantitive comparison – for what it’s worth. I suspect it’s meaning is extremely limited: I haven’t yet found a way to measure atmosphere except by total immersion.

(Numbers in brackets relate to WCLF)

Length of Festival: 4 days & about 2 hours (6 days)

No. of readings: 20 (28)

Seminars/Talks: 0 (10)

Public interviews: 2 (4)

Number of Workshops: 15 (14 [3 for children])

Children’s Programme of Events: 11 (6)

Open Mic poetry, music & song: 4 (5)

Open Mic song only : 1 (0)

Art Exhibitions: 7 (1)

Films: 5 (0)

Lunchtime theatre: 3 (o)

Evening theatre: 4 (0)

Book launches: 5 (1)

Writing Competitions: 11+ (3)

Storytelling competition: 1 (0)

Youth Poetry Slam: 1 (0)

Photographic exhibition: 1 (0)

Radio broadcasts: 1 (o)

Tours: 3 (2)

Prose: 60% (58%)

Poetry: 40% (42%)

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)

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”:

meet the bloggers on Saturday

May 29, 2009 By: jeremy Category: blogs, events, organisers

We’ve been working hard the last few days running around writing, recording, videoing and photographing. At the same time we’ve been trying to reach out online to as many bloggers / twitterers / social networkers etc we could find at the festival or in the local vicinity.

Well, we’d love to take a break for a while tomorrow and meet you!

From 2pm on Saturday Patrick, Paul and I will be sitting down in Lynch’s Bakery on Church Street (just off the Square). Walk through the door and turn right past the counter into the old bar. You’ll be able to spot us by the amount of technology sitting on the table in front of us.

Please come and say hello, have a cup of tea and a chat. There’s no agenda, no formality. Just a drop in, rest your feet, something to eat and/or drink and good conversation.

Hope you can make it, and we look forward to meeting you.

Poetry readings in John B Keane’s pub

May 29, 2009 By: jeremy Category: poems, poetry, video

Just came across these on YouTube. Whoever put them up, thanks and hope you don’t mind we’ve featured them here. If you look closely at the first one, you can make out Gabriel Byrne and John B’s son, Billy, watching intently.

The second one is hysterical!

Street theatre in Listowel

May 29, 2009 By: jeremy Category: Street drama

Last night, as part of the literary pub crawl, Abbeyfeale Drama Group performed a number of short vignettes around the town. Here is one that we captured.

Deborah Donnelly – the cow painter

May 28, 2009 By: jeremy Category: events, photographs

Deborah Donnelly "The Farmyard' art exhibition

A quick sweep around to the Seanchaî Literary and Cultural Centre to catch artist Deborah Donnelly‘s new exhibition, “The Farmyard”.

Deborah is based in Dublin and has been painting for nine years. She began painting whilst working with cattle and her love of cows has clearly not diminished since!

Deborah Donnelly "The Farmyard' art exhibition

I’m no art critic but my take is that her pictures are vibrant, brash, full of energy and full of the humour of the subject(s).

Worth a visit.

Paul managed to grab a few words with Deborah. We’ll endeavour to get that interview up online as soon as possible.

Paul interviews artist Deborah Donnelly

Gabriel Byrne and John B’s Stick

May 28, 2009 By: jeremy Category: participants, photographs

So there we were, interviewing Joseph O’Neill (bear with us on the audio snippets, we’re working to get them up asap) when who should walk past but actor Gabriel Byrne – who opened the festival last night.

Gabriel Byrne with John B Keane's walking stick

In his hand he had a walking stick. But not just any stick. This one belonged to no other than Listowel deity John B Keane and had just been handed to Gabriel by John’s son, Billy.

For a second there was quiet, as everyone comprehended the enormity of this gift. Then Gabriel reminisced about evenings past spent in John B’s pub supping pints with the great man.

Gabriel Byrne in conversation with Joseph O'Neill

John Morris art exhibition

May 28, 2009 By: jeremy Category: events, photographs

John Morris art exhibition poster, Listowel

John is a Dublin born, Limerick based (but only just over the border in Abbeyfeale), mainly self-taught painter.

He’s showing a selection of his paintings at St John’s Theatre and Arts Centre until the end of June. I’d recommend a look around (did I mention its free entry?!).

picture from John Morris exhibition St John's Theatre Listowel

more John Morris pictures inside St John's Theatre Listowel

Almost forgot. plenty more information on John’s website.

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