Cork Spring Poetry Festival 2015 kicks off tomorrow (12 Feb), with a fantastic line-up of local, national and international poets over 4 days. Guests include Don Share, Jo Shapcott, Lavinia Greenlaw and Peter Fallon but, as well as the big names, the festival includes debut launches from the winners of the Fool For Poetry chapbook competition, a focus on independent literary journals in Ireland - The Penny Dreadful, Poetry Bus & Southword - and the Prizegiving for the Gregory O'Donoghue International Poetry Competition, won last year by Breda Wall Ryan.
Personally, I'm looking forward to the Don Share reading, along with UK poet, Liz Berry. I've only recently discovered Berry's work and it is gorgeous - no surprise then that her debut collection, Black Country, won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. For a taster, read about Liz Berry's process for writing her poem, 'Sow', on Campus.
I'll be reading a couple of poems at the Poetry Bus showcase on Thurs 12 February, at Cork Arts Theatre. Poetry Bus is the editorial and creative vision of Peadar O'Donoghue and Collette O'Donoghue - an annual anthology that seeks out new and emerging voices in poetry, the ones that might not get a hearing elsewhere. Poetry features alongside selected artwork, reviews and essays, even a CD of music and spoken word performances - all in a high quality paperback format. It's hard to think of another literary print publication that ticks all those boxes. It's a labour of love and I'm delighted to see Peadar & Collette's hard work and dedication being recognised at Cork Spring Poetry Festival.
The Poetry Bus Showcase includes readings by Melissa Diem, Sorcha Ní Mhealláin, Fióna Bolger, BeRnzy Mac, Liz Quirke, Bec Gimbler, Brendan McCormack, a poem film by Melissa Diem, and a discussion with the editors.
Showcase starts at 7pm - tickets available from Cork Arts Theatre.