First, I have for some weeks been a part of the committee of the Cuisle International Poetry Festival, the annual event that transforms Limerick into a Mecca for versification. Headed by City Arts Officer Sheila Deegan, the committee includes Aosdána member Ciaran O'Driscoll, noted poet Mark Whelan, and tireless arts supporter and educator Bertha McCullough. Each member has extensive experience in the area; I am proud to have been asked to join their esteemed company.
Second, I am off to Ljubljana tomorrow to help represent Ireland at Mladé Rime 2012. This festival focuses on young poets -- having heard a selection of these in past years I can only look forward to what I am going to experience!
Joining me will be Eileen Sheehan, the excellent poet born in Co. Kerry (living in Killarney). I last met her at the Éigse Michael Hartnett, where she kept the boisterous crowds in check with humour and finesse. I am very much looking forward to our visit to Slovenia, a rich and historic country I have heard so much about from returning travellers.
Eileen will be reading Thursday and my own turn is Friday. So, if you happen to be in town, drop by the "canteen at the trough" (Menza pri koritu).