Fermanagh Writers recently hosted the Fermanagh launch of Funeral Services NI’s annual poetry contest.
Fermanagh Writers can be justly pleased and satisfied with the poetry recital they hosted on 28th July, their part in the rollout of the Funeral Services Northern Ireland Poetry competition, organised and presented in the Collage Collective premises, Enniskillen before an appreciative audience. Every seat was filled and several audience members stood at the back of the room. We were pleased to welcome representatives of FSNI and appreciate the work they did to promote and organise the event.
John Monaghan, Fermanagh Writers’ Vice Chair, coordinated an eclectic fare of poetry readings, comprising the themes of humour, love, joy, angst and human connection. Given that the theme of the 2015 competition is Light, aspects of the phenomenon in nature and human experience, contrasted with Darkness, were explored and presented in a variety of ways, conveying insights that our poets expressed from their range of personal experience. The final competition judging and Award ceremony will take place at the Stormont Northern Assembly building in late September 2015.
Following the readings, the audience joined the participants in taking refreshment provided by the promoters. Their unobtrusive professional photographer recorded the evening’s proceedings, from the introductory welcome by FWs Chair, Tony Brady, to the concluding group photograph gathering together all concerned in staging the event.
Thank you to poets: John Monaghan, John L. James, Kitty O’Shea, Bob Baird, Jenny Brien, Ruth Leonard-Cramond, Pauric Dolan (including his music accompaniment), Dermot Maguire and Natasha Martin.
Thank you also to Helen Daniel, Dianne Trimble, Thomas McGovern and Anna James (a previous winner of this Competition), for attending in support of their fellow Fermanagh Writers.
Fermanagh Writers recently held their 2014-2015 AGM in Blakes of The Hollow. Tony Brady was returned as Chair to serve a third term. He thanked the Management Committee and acknowledged its support over the period under review. He noted the increased membership and regretted two departures.
He welcomed the re-election of serving committee members: John Monaghan (Vice Chair), Dianne Trimble (Secretary), Bob Baird, John L. James and Tony Viney. Peter Byrne’s dedicated long term service as Treasurer was recognised and acknowledged by all Members. John L. James was elected Treasurer. Natasha Martin was elected to serve as Assistant Secretary.
In his Report, the Chair recalled the achievements of members whose work has been published and the group’s accomplishments during the past 12 months:
Poetry: Tondo by John D. Kelly in Hungry Hill Poets. A poetry Collection: Honeymoon in Coalisland by Angela McCabe.
Prose: Dianne Trimble’s collaboration in the book Against All Odds by Robert Donaldson. A Collection of Short stories and a novella Twists and Turns of Time by Cait Vallely.
History: Dermot Maguire’s A Townland Miscellany.
Performance: Seamus Carolan’s winning the Bard of Armagh prize for the second time.
Fermanagh Writers continued its outreach to the public by arranging and delivering seven open writing workshops in Fermanagh House. These offered poetry, TV/Film scripting, critiquing, character and plot development, methods for marketing, and writing skills. The workshop programme, featuring accomplished writers and poets, was funded by The Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
In the coming year, Fermanagh Writers will continue to participate in Community cultural activities such as Enniskillen Flive Festival, the Celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, National Poetry Day, Poetry Day Ireland, tourism promoted initiatives and cross-border literary events. Plans are underway to launch a free magazine to be called Corncrake. It will contain contributions by accomplished local writers and encourage young people to contribute and have their work showcased.
In conclusion, the Chair praised the dedicated editorial work of Gordon Williams, and underlined his contribution the group’s development from its early days.
Here’s a few more photos from our evening in Blakes on St Patrick’s Eve:
Our Chair, Tony Brady, recounts our celebration of St Patrick’s Day:
Responding to an invitation from the voluntary and dedicated Project St.Patrick Committee, which is supported by the residents and businesses of Fermanagh, with assistance from Fermanagh District Council and Waterways Ireland, Fermanagh Writers stepped up to the plate in Blakes and delivered a programme in celebration of St Patrick’s Day that was advertised to 2000 households.
Ken Ramsey, Jenny Brien, John L. James, Tony Viney, John Monaghan, Simon Campbell, Natasha Martin, Kitty O’Shea, Dianne Trimble, Bob Baird, Tony Brady and members of the public honoured, reverenced, alluded to, satirised, parodied, applauded and commemorated St. Patrick in a variety of prose and poetry contributions on this special evening organised by our Vice-chair, John Monaghan.
Ken Ramsey was Master of Ceremonies: his pithy connective introductions ensured a continuous interest and participation of what resulted in an entertaining, all round presentation for everyone concerned, encores included.
Congratulations to our member, Angela McCabe, on the release of her first poetry collection.
Tony Brady discusses Angela’s book:
I have just come into ownership of the publication: Honeymoon in Coalisland. Fifty three of Angela McCabe’s poems are contained in over eighty four pages of this selection: some of them have been read at past gatherings of Fermanagh Writers. The volume retails at 12 Euros – £10.00 sterling – 15 US dollars. It is produced by Alba Publishing, London.
Angela McCabe’s poetry comes from rich and varied experiences with people from her own and other cultures, rooted in the detail of lives seemingly ordinary yet reaching out to others. She currently works as a therapist, studies Tibetan philosophy and art, helps with a Mongolian/Tibetan Charity, writes short stories, screenplays and has made an award-winning short movie. Her poems have appeared in magazines, journals, the national press, on national radio and have won prizes including The Leitrim Guardian Award for Poetry. This is her first Collection.
“Angela is always listening and watching. In quiet elegies curtains are made, cows sink up to their shins in mud; stitching and mending are always on the go. Colours abound. Kitchens fill with memories. In a rare collection of domestic and landscape verse, Angela enters the spiritual world with a great physical and musical resonance.” Dermot Healey
30% of profits from sales of Honeymoon in Coalisland will go to Jampa Ling Tibetan Buddhist Centre, Bawnboy, Co.Cavan, Republic of Ireland. A Registered Charity No: CHY10119.
Our Chair, Tony Brady, starts the New Year with thoughts about the year past and the one to come:
While welcoming 2015 and aware of its challenges, let’s recall Fermanagh Writers 2014 achievements. Prizewinning poets: John D. Kelly, Mary McElroy, Seamus Carollan. Published authors: Dermot Maguire, Dianne Trimble and Cait Valelly. Angela McCabe published a Collection of her poems: Honeymoon in Coalisland (Alba, London). Remembering too the joyful/serious Rudyard Kipling festival event directed by Teresa Kane with FWs readers in Ballinamallard, its river and bankside. Our contribution to the ancient cultural ritual held in Lisnaskea’s Upper Lough Erne Festival. Marie Tracey via Cavan Writers again promoted cross-border evening in Blessings Poetry Slam. Our readings in the Ardowen Theatre and Bridge Enniskillen Centre, all coordinated by John Monaghan and Bob Baird. The curragh boat building with Tammy Swift and rowing on Lough Erne by some of our members. Including here the on-the-water kayaking organised by Tony Viney accompanied by his unsinkable canine Barney.
2015 will see Fermanagh Writers continuing to participate in local cultural activities and renewed further enterprise funded by Northern Ireland Arts Council. A third Anthology is taking on a distinct shape. The Management Committee will consolidate the suggestions towards formulating and applying a standardised critiquing protocol for its Tuesday readings sessions of poetry and prose. Our established values: appreciative critical integrity, acceptance of difference, respect for broad based opinion, will sustain and carry Fermanagh Writers through to this time next year. Ably serviced by our ever patient and indefatigueable Secretary.
“We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. “ T.S.Eliot.
A Happy New Year to all our Fermanagh Writers.
Seamus Carolan has won the Bard of Armagh contest for the second time. He had already been inducted into its Hall of Fame several months before his November win. We congratulate Seamus – it’s quite an achievement. We also look forward to him dropping into one of our sessions in the new year to give a recitation of the winning poem to his fellow FW members.
Tony Brady has recently released his unpublished manuscript, Near and Dear To Someone, on Wattpad. Currently the book is only available on this platform. Below is Tony’s description of the book:
“A sixteen years old Gloucestershire farm worker, happy in his work of caring for a herd of 500 pigs, learning about the shameful secret of his origins, is advised to work for others “greater deprived than himself.” While in Lourdes, Pyrenees, France, he meets Raoul Lievens, a Jesuit priest who becomes a mentor. With his encouragement, the young man sacrifices his job and friends and moves to Belgium.
He works initially as a cleaner in a Sanatorium caring for patients with pulmonary tuberculosis and learns to speak French and Flemish. He is taught basic laboratory skills and is accepted to study tropical medicine in Antwerp. He qualifies as a clinical technical assistant but is refused entry to the former Belgian Congo. He returns to England and spends the next ten years nursing in London hospitals and ultimately a world famous hospice. The thirst for knowledge, search for love, applied practical pity and compassion employed in mitigating the suffering and misfortunes of others, defines the author until he is thirty.
This is the fourth book in a series called – Scenes from an Examined Life – it is dedicated to my late lifelong friend Raoul Lievens. The first book in the series, made it to first place on publisher Harper Collins open site: authonomy.com.”
To read a copy of the memoir go to http://www.wattpad.com/story/26692483-near-and-dear-to-someone
Tony Brady reports on our Scriptwriting Workshop with Tim Loane:
Following Carlo Gebler’s classes in our Arts Council of Northern Ireland funded series of engaging eminent lecturers, Fermanagh Writers welcomed Tim Loane in Fermanagh House on Saturday, 15th November, to conduct a half day workshop on creative radio, film and television scriptwriting. The event was fully booked in advance.
Tim’s attractive style of approach to group interactive dynamic participation was soon in evidence. Participants were paired off and set various tasks to help them explore the essence of good storytelling in scriptwriting. Soon, with his guidance, everyone was writing short scenarios.
Feedback we have received from participants clearly shows that they enjoyed Tim’s teaching methods and found the material easily applicable to their own writing. Participants were very enthusiastic in their praise of the workshop.
At the conclusion of the afternoon our Vice-Chair, John Monagan, thanked Tim and made a presentation to him of Fermanagh Writers’ Seamus Heaney Tribute Booklet.
I came away reluctantly, but sure of the workshop being of continuing great value and a true learning experience. Tim Loane’s workshop is in the master class catagory. On behalf of Fermanagh Writers, I thank him for the generous sharing of his skills and commend him to writers’ groups everywhere.