Our Chair, Tony Brady, reports from the Babble Literary Festival:
The Babble Festival Poetry Slam – held this evening – attracted a large audience in Blessings Bar, Cavan Town . Fermanagh Writers poets were in evidence. John Llewellyn James, Natasha Martin, Mary McElroy and Tony Brady read their poems in allotted slots of 5 minutes. A highlight of the presentation was an extended slot used by John D. Kelly and Teresa Kane who choreographed/performed 5 of his poems conflated into a stunning tour de force of acting/declaiming polemic/poetry on the themes of international social justice, geo-politics and fracking. Mary McElroy recited and portrayed in one of her three poems a quintessential squirm-making parody of an Oscar winning actress. This turned out to be the best judged effort by the panel comprising the 3 Poetry Divas.
Every one attending was presented by Marie Tracy with a pre-launch copy of The Babble Journal 2013. Marie and her team produced this eclectic collection of poems and prose (to be officially launched by Carlo Gebler on Sunday evening) from Cavan Writers Forum and Fermanagh Writers. Again, Fermanagh Writers are liberally represented throughout the volume comprising 59 pages. Notable among the prose contributions are Catherine Vallelly, Dermot Maguire and Marie Treacy. Our poets, who feature, include John D. Kelly, Teresa Kane, John James, Mary McElroy and Dianne Trimble.
There was plenty of time for free association among all participants and the whole evening buzzed with appreciative energy and continued well into the early hours of Saturday morning.
John Llewellyn James also recounts his perceptions of the festival:
A number of our members joined up with the Cavan Writers’ Forum to take part in the Babble Festival, held recently in Cavan. The Friday night kicked off with a lively Poetry Slam hosted by the hospitable Stephen Smith in Blessings Bar. The night was patronised by a crowd of over fifty people – impressive for Poetry on a Friday Night and featured contributions from Tony Brady, John Llewellyn James, Teresa Kane, John D Kelly, Mary McAvoy, Marie Tracey, Natasha Martin.
There were workshops the following day with the redoubtable Tom McIntyre, who inspired us to commit to our gift, sacrifice everything else for the pursuit of said. For a lot of us that is still only aspirational, family, the mortgage and that precious job predicate against us, but it is a good dream to have. We welcomed back Orla McAlinden, to further her work with us on Memoir Writing, bringing us back to earth from Tom’s heady inspiration, discussing the practicalities of writing memoirs. We finished the day with wonderful readings from poets, Ted McCarthy and Dermot Healy. The night’s events I reluctantly missed – especially an acoustic set from the brilliant Mundy, who was every bit as amazing, reportedly as I was afraid he would be.
The Sunday evening saw the launch of the Babble Journal, featuring pieces from both groups. Dianne Ascroft, John Llewellyn James, John D Kelly, Mary McElroy, Dermot Maguire, Marie Tracey and Cait Vallely are featured in the Journal from Fermanagh Writers. All bar Dermot and Dianne, who had other engagements, spoke at the Launch, hosted by the esteemed Carlo Gebler, who also read from his new book, which will be published in November.
The night finished with music from local bands, hilariously highlighted by the type of bad-dancing that only talented writers can do; the two groups initially were separated like boys and girls from the dance-hall days, but united together with increasing emboldenment as the clock crept like a dirty stop-out past the witching hour.
Our thanks to Marie Tracey, for liaising between the two groups, helping to bring us together and playing her part in making the Babble Festival and Journal a success; copies of the Journal are free and are still currently available, act now to secure yours!