Women Aloud at the Belfast Book Festival

Belfast Book Festival CakeOn Tuesday I was at the Crescent Arts Centre for the launch of this year’s Belfast Book Festival. I was there as the Women Aloud NI representative, as Jane Talbot (founder of the Women Aloud movement, who also has an event in the festival program) wasn’t able to make it.

As it happens, there are quite a few other Women Aloud women taking part in the festival, which runs over the course of eleven days (9 – 19th June).

Keith Acheson, director of Crescent Arts, says 2016 has more of a focus on women writers than ever.

I’m personally very excited to take in as many events as I can. There’s a good range, in both genre and price, with many events being free.

Belfast Book Festival Speaker

Jan Carson

See a digital version of the program here.

Event News: Women Aloud 2016

International Women’s Day 2016 is fast approaching (faster than I realized, in fact), so it’s time for me to tell you all about the project I’m involved with, in celebration of it.

Women Aloud EasonsOn March 8th, as part of Women Aloud NI, I’ll be reading at an event at Easons bookstore in Belfast along with a great selection of other writers of all kinds (pictured above).

There are more events than just the one I’m at – including ones linked with Women Aloud, but happening outside NI – so, have a look at the full list to see what’s happening nearest you.

If you want to come along and hear me read, specifically, here’s more details of the event I’ll be at:

Location –  Easons, 20 Donegall Place, Belfast, BT1 3BA
Time – Full event runs from 12 noon until 2pm. I’m reading at 12.40 on Platform 2.
Price – Free! Booking not required.

View the event on Facebook here

Tales from a Book… Launch

Book LaunchA couple of weeks ago, I had the launch event for my latest book: The Love Poems. This is just a little wrap-up of how that went.

So, most importantly, there was cake. And also some people came.

It was a small gathering, but I feel it worked quite nicely – the art gallery that hosted was warm, welcome, and cosy. (If you ever find yourself in Bangor, Northern Ireland, I highly recommend you check out The Blackberry Path.)

The Love Poems is dedicated to my partner, and the event fell on the anniversary of our first date, so – as a bonus – my partner read a poem dedicated to me, after I’d completed my author readings. You can view my readings as well as his in the video, below.

Positivity, Possibilities, and Pushing Myself

Following up on my last blog post, I can now tell you that not only will my work be in the exhibition, starting Thursday, but I’ve been asked to read at the event, too. And, if that’s not enough, I’ve also been told there’ll be a photo-op with the Mayor. Exciting times!

This has really come out of knowing the organizers. In previous years I considered entering a poem but, in the end, I shied away. This year, however, I was greatly encouraged, and it’s made all the difference.

On that note: I went to the local poetry recital I blogged about, as planned, and I’ve decided to enter the FSNI competition after all.

My partner has been telling me I need to push myself/self promote more, and I have to admit that I think he’s right. Even if I don’t come anywhere near winning either of the competitions, I’m already glad I entered. Even if my artwork doesn’t sell, I’ll have still made it, and I’ll be able to keep it and show people.

This week, and going forward, I’m feeling positive. If there’s something I want to do, I’m going to go for it. Who knows where it will lead me?

Poetry, Poetry, and More Poetry

Poem on Canvas For some reason, and not that I’m complaining, my life has had rather a lot more poetry in it than usual. I’ve recently finished reading two poetry books (By the Roadside, by S. J. McConnell; and Lords of the Hill, by Amos Greig) and am about to start a third (The Night is Darkening Around Me, by Emily Brontë).

In addition to that, I’m off out to the Belfast Heat of the All Ireland Poetry Slam later tonight (not competing myself, this time). And on Monday, I’m planning to attend a local recital of poetry as part of the FSNI Competition series of events (but, again, going just to listen. Not competing in this, this year).

One thing I am competing in, however, is the Third Annual Bangor Poetry Competition. As such, I’ll have an illustrated art canvas with my poem on it (pictured), on display and available to buy at the Blackberry Path Art Studios. The launch event for this (which I will, of course, also be attending) is on Thursday, September 10th. To anyone in the local area, it looks set to be a great evening. Wine, poetry, art, and live music, all for free! More info here.

P.S. Did you see the poem I posted on this blog, just last week?

Book Launch Wrap Up

Book Launch Cake My book launch for Four Season Summer went ahead as planned at the end of last month, and I’d very much call it a success. The venue (Scooby Brew Cafe, Bangor) was filled to capacity, there was cake, readings, and signings. It was even in the local newspaper (County Down Spectator, Bangor Edition, Page 60).

Below is a video of the readings I did – two from Four Season Summer, and a poem from my first book, Still Dreaming. I stumbled a bit over reading the first section, because there were children present, and I was trying to censor/tone down some bits on the fly. But you get the general idea.