Cork International Poetry Festival 2016

Contemplating the Muse

No. 9 

Linda Ibbotson

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
Ernest Hemingway.

Having reminisced in my previous blog article upon my idyllic experiences of the Abroad Writers Conference held in Lismore Castle 2013 I have now recently and blissfully enjoyed the poetic events at the Cork International Poetry Festival   10 – 13 February 2016.

I felt as if in a poetic retreat,  four days of creative stimulation, inspiration and relaxation held mainly in the Cork City Library and Cork Arts Theatre thanks to the Munster Literature Centre and director Patrick Cotter along with his team, especially Jennifer Matthews. Here a few photos from the events I attended.

Main photo: Patrick Cotter opening the festival with the Irish Examiner Tuesday Poem event at the Farmgate Cafe, English Market. Inserts: Jennifer Matthews, Louis Mulcahy and Linda Ibbotson reading their poems published in the Irish Examiner. Other readers included Roisin Kelly, Gerard Smyth and Madelaine MacNamara.



An extensive programme of poetry readings included poets from around the globe such as Tomica Bajsic-Croatia, Paisley Rekdal-USA Bronwyn Lea-.Australia, David O’Meara-Canada to name but a few. Here, a plethora of poets are gathered together at the Cork Arts Theatre for readings and events along with visitors, some of whom participated in Masterclasses given by Deryn Rees-Jones and Gerard Smyth  and the Manuscript Makeover by James Harpur.

Other readings and events included widely known and well respected poets such as Moya Canon, Thomas McCarthy, Matthew Sweeney, Ailbhe Darcy, Kyle Dargan,  Thomas Lynch, Vona Groarke, Michael Cody etc the list is endless…….


Doireann Ni Ghriofa reading at the Cork Arts Theatre.

In addition to the readings and events which included The Penny Dreadful journal showcase, The Irish Examiner Tuesday Poem readings there were two book launches. Paul Casey Virtual Tides  and Afric McGlinchey Ghost of the Fisher Cat, both published by Salmon Poetry.


Paul Casey reading at the launch of his new collection as mentioned above. Paul is the organizer of O bheal, Cork’s weekly poetry event.


Further events were the Gregory O’Donoghue Prize- Winner- Leila Chatti, the Prebooked Readings and Fool for Poetry Launch where the two winners of the chapbook prize; Tania Hershman and Victor Tapner  gave readings and IMRAM, a music and bi-lingual event that explored the landscapes,history and people of Cork. Poets Louis De Paor and Liam O’Muirthile read in Irish and Thomas McCarthy in English accompanied by guitarist Enda Reilly with artist Margaret Lonergan creating on screen projections of the poems featuring art and archive images, an event curated by Liam Carson.



Leila Chatti on the left and the ‘Itinerant Poetry Librarian.’




Tomica Bajsic and Gerard Smyth during questiontime after their respective readings at the Cork Arts Theatre.







Tomica Basjic




Kyle G Dargan





Paisley Rekdal



Wonderful to meet again  John Minihan, official photographer, renowned for his black and white images of Samuel Beckett, Princess Diana and Jimmy Hendrix etc. Here he is photographing the selected readers in the The Penny Dreadful event hosted by Marc Euclio O’Connell ( The Penny Dreadful) L to R- Roisin Kelly, Elaine Cosgrove, Richard Hawtree, Cal Doyle and Sarah Clancy.




Readings from the Penny Dreadful event. Main photo: Marc Euclio O’Connell ( The Penny Dreadful)  Inserts- Roisin Kelly, Elaine Cosgrove, Richard Hawtree, Cal Doyle and Sarah Clancy.

Paul Casey’s Virtual Tides and Afric McGlinchey’s Ghost of the Fisher Cat Both collections published by Salmon Poetry.The Cork Arts Theatre, and me relaxing a moment for a photo!





Off to bleed over my typewriter now!

I do hope you enjoyed a glimpse of the annual festival held in this  poetic corner of the Emerald Isle and am looking forward to you joining me in my next adventure!



Photographs- My own.

Patrick Cotter and my reading. Photo credit-Afric McGlinchey.




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8 Responses to Cork International Poetry Festival 2016

  1. Diane McPhail says:

    Thank you for such a beautiful visit, Linda.

  2. Dr Niamh says:

    Really looks like a great event. beautifully reported and photographed.

  3. Valerie says:

    Wonderful images and account of the festival, generously done. Brings back memories – thanks, Linda!

    • Thanks Valerie for your lovely comment. It is a festival that is organised incredibly well thanks to Munster Literature Centre. Great that you were reading at the Cork International Short Story Festival 2014. I am really delighted it bought back memories for you and hopefully in the future we will meet!

  4. Linda, you’re a treasure!

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