I’m just back from readings in Belfast and Dublin. I also got to meet many wonderful poets.

The trip was funded by Cultivator Cornwall. I read at the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast, with Maureen Boyle, Csilly Toldy and Heather Richardson, and at a sold-out event in Dublin’s Botanic Gardens, with Jane Clarke and musician James Mahon. This was part of the Dublin Book Festival. And thanks to Dublin Book Festival for the photo.

I also really enjoyed meeting with Siobhan Campbell, Mary O’Donnell and Jean O’Brien, and thank them for their generosity, fun and wisdom. I went to an exhibition of Seamus Heaney’s writing ‘Listen Now Again’, at the National Library of Ireland in Dublin, paid a quick visit to the W.B. Yeats Museum in Sligo (Sligo is a fantastic place, I’d love to go back), and got to sign a few books and meet new readers, which is always a joy.

It was a busy time but inspiring too, and I drafted several poems in response to the trip, the discussions, the readings, the people I met and the things I experienced.

I also learned a lot about putting a tour together. It’s a lot of work for one person, particularly when you’re the person also performing, but I’m grateful to Cultivator and to Siobhan, Jane and Maureen for helping me find gigs, venues and for making it all happen. I had a wonderful time and have had expressions of interest from other venues in Ireland, so here’s to returning.

Dublin Book Festival also wrote a blog about our event, with lots of great photos.

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