I was becoming very sad…my last day at Bantry but was also really excited/nervous. Simon had got me tickets to hear Kevin Barry read that evening for my birthday. I had also managed to grab a few minutes with Kevin. I’ll upload the interview I did with him but in those 20 minutes, there are a huge amount of advice and tips for would be writers. He was very generous with his time and extremely easy to chat with, which is good.
Derek, our friend had recommended that we go listen to Gerard Dawe read from his new book “Selected Poems”. so, when I finished up with Kevin, we made our way to Bantry Library. Slightly late but brave, we skulked at the back until a nice librarian offered us a seat. When we went up to buy his book, Simon got chatting with Gerard. Gerard is a fellow of Trinity College Dublin, he is associate professor in English and Creative Writing, and inaugural director of the Oscar Wilde Centre for Irish Writing at Trinity College. Turns out, he is also childhood friend with Simon’s Uncle, Eon, who now lives in Canada. Yes, we know, Ireland is such a small place. Simon was chuffed with this connection!
The main event was at 8:30 with Kevin Barry and Sri Lankan author, Romesh Gunesekera. Claire Kilroy compered the event, she did a fantastically relaxed job of it! Kevin read from his new short story collection “Dark lies the island” He read just one story, everyone loved hi. He reads as well as he writes, very dramatically and full of humor and emotion. It was one of my favourite moments of Bantry 2012. Romesh read from his novel “Prisoner of Paradise”. Afterwards, Claire interviewed them with some questions from the audience. Kevin and Romesh seemed to gel really well together, even though their writing is totally unconnected. They gave lots of practical advice and wisdom, Kevin was the same as when I spoke with him-motivating and encouraging.
Was beyond sad to leave the next morning early. But, I will absolutely be back, that is a promise! Bantry is a superb little town, people are friendly, food is delish and the literary talent is pretty good too!