27 February, 2007


Tuesday morning, February 27

The bus is leaving for Cork in twenty minutes, and I am going to let it go without me. I’m not on the program tonight, and while Cork was my favorite stop last time around, I’m feeling the need for a time out.

Things kicked off yesterday with a meet and greet at Waterford City Hall. The usual formalities from the usual dignitaries, enlivened by the occasional spark off a live wire. I read Dad’s poem, Rites of Passage, which appears at the front of the new anthology. It’s not a piece I was familiar with, but I enjoyed reading it. I told somebody yesterday that I have put a lot of miles and a lot of years between myself and my father’s name— for this week, I am going to give myself permission to lean into it. For the Dome reading, I lead with another poem of his, A River Runs Through Her. Then four of my own: Launch, Jars of Clay, Vertigo and Catching Up to Her At Last.

There were ten performances in all. Everybody was great, but the energy of the second half ran especially high, starting with poems from Michael Crummey and finishing with Ron Hynes, who brought the house down with “Sonny’s Dream” and “Dublin with Love”. Joel Hynes was also electrifying.

We had a mad bus ride back to the hotel pub. Imagine fifty or so Irish and Newfoundland writers, musicians and entourage barreling down the twisting road together. It was the Mad Hatter’s tea party on wheels. In fact, when Patrick and I were debating over breakfast the pros and cons of heading to Cork today, the thought of a two-hour or longer reprise of last night’s commute was a moment for serious second thought! Fifteen minutes was a great bit of craic. Fifteen minutes more would probably have me hitching it on the side of the road.

Back at the pub, a music session got underway. I felt about six years old, wanting to stay awake for the music so badly, but falling out of my chair with sleepiness. My coach was about to turn into a pumpkin. I called it a night, and was glad for it this morning. The crowd went on well into the wee hours. I heard they even hauled out “Danny Boy” in the end, which you know is the beginning of a downward spiral.

At that point, “even Des went to bed,” someone reported. Far gone, for sure.


Blogger Rattling Books said...

Sounds like quite a time. In case those Newfoundland authors don't think to mention it you may be interested to know that some of them have audio recordings available as digital downloads from rattlingbooks.com (Michael Crummey, Lisa Moore and Joel Thomas Hynes). And while not an author with us the voice of Ron Hynes is the principal voice on Hard Light: 32 Little Stories by Michael Crummey.

Hope you'll check us out and spread the word to people there that downloads are easily accessible from Newfoundland to Ireland.

I'll be watching your blog for more news of the tour. Thanks for the peek into it.

Tell Holly Hogan she should give you one of our Poetry Buttons.

safe travels,

8:03 AM  

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