Tuesday, 27 August 2013

North West Words

North West Words is a monthly reading series that takes place in Café Blend on the last Thursday of every month. Burtonport poet, Eamonn Bonner set the series in motion in the spring of 2010. There was already a tradition of Café Blend being used as a venue for poetry readings, book launches and music events so it was the obvious home for the series.
A typical NWW event will have a published author, maybe with a book launch, an emerging local writer, a local musician. There have been poets, fiction writers, dramatists, memoirists, local historians, travel writers. We have had poetry in English, Irish, Spanish, Russian. On occasion a particular writing group will present a group reading. Audiences are warm and appreciative. Pauline and her staff at Café Blend serve teas, coffees, wine and food all evening.As well as the support we get from Café Blend, NWW is also supported by Eason and Click Computers in Letterkenny. The County Arts Office and DLDC have also supported NWW at various times but largely the operation runs on donations for a raffle from the audiences each event.
North West Words publishes a quarterly free magazine which is distributed across Donegal. There has been a schools poetry competition each year and last year the first Donegal Creameries North West Words Poetry Prize for adults was launched. Since its second year NWW has gone on the road around the county presenting events in Falcarragh, Buncrana, Burtonport as part of the Earagail Arts Festival and local festivals.
In July this year NWW ran a weekend of readings workshops and discussions and we plan to do something similar next year.
Why do I say we? A team of people work to bring NWW events and two Garden Room Writers are on that team, me and Nick Griffiths. So there is an overlap. I look after extra events like the competitions and the writing weekend and Nick is the man behind Poetry for Spaces, more about that soon.
This Thursday local Historian Helen Meehan launches her book about Ethna Carbery/ Anna Johnston Mc Manus; poet and wife of folklorist Seamus Mc Manus. Donegal Town poet Anna Colhoun joins Helen in the reading and there will be music from Mary Ann Mc Donnell. There will also be an Open Mic.

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