I thought the prospect of hearing Claire Kilroy & Derek Mahon reading was too good to miss. Thought it would be hard to get in. Even urged Adrian Roche (oral historian) to be sure and pre-book tickets - in case we’d be turned away at the door. Bandon is close to Cork city - there would be many who’d travel out for such a powerful draw. The Town Hall in Bandon would be packed…
Twenty people… plus three late-comers… I’m still shocked. Certainly it was an intimate event. I can’t get my head round why there were so few there?
Before & during the event, I used Twitter.
Tweeted about 22 times, used the hashtag "#engage". Imagined there was an audience out there on the internet - interested in the work of Claire Kilroy & Derek Mahon… I also took photographs on my iPhone & shared them via Twitter.
The reading was in a small room, three rows of stacking chairs.
The walls of the Town Hall room held an exhibition of paintings by Angie Shanahan - a "shedload of sheds" I called it. A lovely collection of paintings (officially called "Towards the Edge"). In the middle of his reading, Derek Mahon asked "is the painter here?" She was. And I met her briefly afterwards.
After the reading…
people left, but a few stayed on for talk. That’s when Cape Clear island came into the mix. I met a woman from Philadelphia. We talked about the paintings, the sheds. We both agreed that the collection of shed was great - much better than an exhibition of disparate paintings without theme. She told me about her son’s photographic exhibition. She said she lived now on Cape Clear. That’s when I remembered my one visit to Cape Clear and the storytelling festival I’ve wanted to go to.
I turned round and there was Chuck Kruger - the founder of the Cape Clear Storytelling Festival. I’d met him once before but couldn’t remember where. We chatted. I got this idea: let’s use AudioBoo to share the storytelling that takes place on Cape Clear Island to the masses via Internet…
Full of enthusiasm at the prospect I couldn’t resist showing Chuck Kruger how AudioBoo worked. An impromptu interview with him in which I must have seemed like a crazed obsessive. Now that I look at Chuck’s bio & track record as poet, short story writer, novelist & organiser of that festival, I must have sounded like a bubbling teenager meeting a celebrity. You can listen to the converation with Chuck Kruger here.
Such a rich evening. Finished off with a plate of chips in The Courthouse Take-away. Drove back to Glanmire very satisfied with myself. An intimate time - packed with surprises.
Why did so few travel out from Cork for it?