I got so envious of my friends going on tour with their bands I decided it was high time I go on a research and reading tour. Big big thanks to Rob McLennan, Dennis Dennisoff, Dale Smith, Ryerson English, Christina Milletti, and NeMLA for making the readings possible. After presenting on a wonderful creative panel at NeMLA, I took part in their Flash Readings Series - a really cool idea for an academic convention where writers are set up during the breaks to read while people relax, have a coffee, etc. Then on to NYC where I was lucky enough to scour The Strand for those hard-to-get books and where my pal, poet and editor Claire Farley found this treasure - Dale Smith's The Flood & The Garden.
I was warmly welcomed into the Multicultural History Society of Ontario to conduct some research for my project. I listened to hours of fascinating interviews with women who emigrated to Canada. The staff there set me up with a lovely space and it was a joy to work there. While in Toronto, I was thrilled to read in the Ryerson New Writing Series with Lana Pesch, and Moez Surani. For Easter weekend I headed off to Ottawa on the train to read at the Factory Series with Claire Farley, and Sarah Burgoyne, whose collection Saint Twin just came out and you should definitely buy it.
Because of my whirlwind trip, I missed out on the centenary celebrations of the 1916 Rising in Ireland. I was really pleased to have work included in both The Stinging Fly's Centenary issue and Poetry Ireland's "Rising Generation" issue. Both good books worth checking out. My poem "i measc mo dhaoine" was also featured in a mini-edition of The Stinging Fly's "In the Wake of the Rising" issue published in conjunction Solas Nua and distributed in Washington DC for Irish Book Day.
Still busy times ahead! I am moving house - which is just as well because I was concerned I would run out of things to write about. This month I am very excited to convene a panel of stellar readers at the biennial conference Association of Canadian Studies Ireland held in Maynooth University. Myself, Kathleen McCracken, Connie Voisine and Dimitra Xidous will be reading at the "Canada in Ireland" panel on Saturday, May 14th, which focuses on the work of Canadian poets living in Ireland and poets with personal connections to Canada.
There is another brilliant collaborative event coming up as part of the Bealtaine festival. On May 17th in Book Upstairs I will read in The Next Generation night with my aunt, Mary Morrissy, poet, Enda Wyley and her nephew Ciaran O'Rourke, a fellow-Rising Generation poet. Mary's new book Prosperity Drive has been launched to rave reviews so it will be a treat to hear her read on the night.
And finally! There are some lists to pay attention to. I Am Where has been shortlisted for Best Poetry Pamphlet in the Saboteur Awards in the UK. Please vote here!
The awards will occasion my reunion with the wonderful Megan Nolan, who is also shortlisted for her collaborative work "And No Animal Is Without Enemy" - you should vote for this too! some mark made, a limited edition publication edited by Sue Rainsford and featuring a trove of excellent work, made the long list for Best Anthology. There are still some copies available to purchase through the some mark made website.
Fave part of my research this week was discovering Sonia Sanchez. Check her out: