Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Problem With Having Every Live Reading Recorded

The problem with having every live reading recorded these days, either in audio or video, is that if you read a new poem, which you have not yet submitted to a journal or a competition, it can get released on the web before the end of the week -   thus invalidating the requirement that the poem be previously unpublished. Most organisers of readings allow you to object to your segment being broadcast/posted, but to object sometimes seems curmudgeonly. It has long been a tradition that a poet could try out new poems on a live audience before submitting them for publication, but this is now becoming increasingly more difficult to do. At the Munster Literature Centre we video record events for archival reasons and if anything ends up on the web it is months or years afterwards.
I now NEVER read a poem to a live audience unless it has already been published.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Keats-Shelley Prize for Poetry 2013

I am happy to be the recipient of the 2013 Keats-Shelley Prize for Poetry. Since the age of twenty I have been finalist for various literary prizes including the Hennessy Awards, The Patrick Kavanagh Award, The Strong Award and the Keats-Shelley on a previous occasion. This is the first time I have actually won something and while at fifty years of age I am not as likely to let my ego run away with itself as it might have done if I had won as a twenty year old; winning is still sweet.
The English novelist Salley Vickers, whose first name derives from her father's admiration for W.B. Yeats, was the judge who generously chose my curiously simple poem 'Madra' (Gaelic/Irish for 'dog') as this year's winner. Congrats too to the runners-up this year Will Kemp and Polly Atkins.
Eleanor Fitzsimons took first prize in the essay category and in the competition's sixteen year history we are the first Irish winners. A link to download my poem can be found here: