The Irish Writer’s Centre, last evening 06/01/2012, hosted along with Dublin City Council a celebration of women’s poetry, music and literature to mark Oíche Nollaig Na mBan (Women’s Christmas). The event was presented by June Considine.
And what a night it was.
The event was bi-partite in structure, with readings by three poets and story-tellers to begin, a brief interval filled with music was quickly followed by three more readings by three more women writers. The first half was decidedly poetic, with readings in English and Irish by Celia de Fréine, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill and Eilis Ní Dhuibhne.
Celia De Fréine read In Relation to Each Other, Dearbhail , Celia Óg , and Ophelia. Dearbhail was indeed heart-breaking, the tale of the murder of Dearhbail by jealous women.
Eilis Ní Dhuibhne read two tales , The Man Who Had No Story and The Blind.
Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill read from a few collections, Including from my favourite Pharaoh’s Daughter, with translations by Paul Muldoon, Michael Hartnett, and Dr. Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin. Poems read included , The Language, Dán do Melissa, and Closure.
Interval over, the business of literature reared it’s head in the shape of Mary O Donnell ,who read from a WIP about Northern Ireland , alongside two poems which were tremendous and indicate a wonderful talent in two quite distinct areas of writerly discipline.
Sarah Clancy charmed the crowd with her Argument Poems , which included Ringing in Sick To Go Mermaid-Hunting, Cinderella Backwards , and Riot Act.
Mia Gallagher topped the evening off with some reading from her upcoming book.
This should not have been a unique evening in the calendar. There are hints of more such evenings being planned, the audience was mixed between the sexes and they were always interested. It was utterly charming, eclectic and beautifully balanced. I expect that people who wish more detail on the music and books can contact the Irish Writer’s Centre directly. Kudos to the board, volunteers and organisers for a great evening.