I was very honoured to read at the recent launch of the Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing at the Linen Hall Library, Belfast.
Bob Collins, Chair of the Arts Council, Connor Shields, CEO of Community Arts Partnership (CAP) and Chelley McLear, CAP Project Coordinator addressed the audience at the event and local poets Deirdre Cartmill, Paula Cunningham and Chris Morrow read their work from several CAP anthologies.
I read a selection of my haiku and senryu that had been published in the last three anthologies, The Poet’s Place, Moment and Still and explained how delighted I’d been to discover, several years ago, that Seamus Heaney was a great haiku enthusiast and he had penned several over the course of his writing career. The final haiku I read at the award launch was one I had written last September just after learning of his death.
The event was also a good opportunity to catch up with some local writers, including Colin Dardis, Geraldine O’Kane and Patricia Devlin-Hill and to chat about haiku with Damian Smyth, Arts Council Head of Literature and Drama.
The award is part of the most recent CAP Poetry in Motion Community’s project, ‘Making Memories’. It is supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Heaney family to encourage and recognise new writing from our wee corner of the world. So if you are a budding or newly established poet from the North – check it out here!
Back: Chris Morrow, Connor Sheilds
Front L-R: Marion Clarke, Deirdre Cartmill, Chelley McLear