Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Irish Successes Abroad Exhibition at ED Carraroe Library

An exhibition, compiled by the European Union Representation in Ireland, is now showing at the Europe Direct Centre, Carraroe Library until  21 February 2012.
The Irish Success Abroad exhibition was put together by the European Commission Representation in Ireland. It consists of a collection of colourful panels demonstrating the achievements of Irish people in a wide variety of areas, including sport, business, literature, music and technology, to name but a few. It is a testimony to the achievements of Irish people, companies and organisations, and serves as an inspiration for those following in their footsteps. 
Europe Direct Centres were set up by the European Commission with the purpose of making information on the EU readily available to the citizen.
There are 8 such centres in Ireland, with 2 in Galway ..at Ballinasloe and An Cheathru Rua.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Razzle Dazzle Book Launch in Loughrea Library

The launch of the 2011 edition of the Loughrea Writing Group's publication Razzle Dazzle took place recently in Loughrea Library.

Razzle Dazzle was launched on the night by Liam Nolan who also edited and introduced the book. The cover art was designed by local artist Oonagh Nolan. The contributing authors read from the book on the night. The book is available for purchase from all good book stores and local vendors.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Happy Birthday to Over the Edge

The first Over The Edge: Open Reading of 2012 takes place in Galway City Library on Thursday, January 19th, 6.30-8.00pm. The Featured Readers are Dearbhaile Houston, Damian Cunniffe & Leanne O’Sullivan. This is a very special occasion as it is now exactly nine years since Over The Edge was born in Galway City Library in January 2003.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Uncharted Territory - Oisín McGann

Oisín McGann is an Irish author and illustrator. He writes in a range of genres for children and teenagers, mainly science fiction and fantasy, and has illustrated many of his own short story books for younger readers. He posted the following on his blog recently.
On the 10th of October, Phil Hogan, the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, announced that the Library Council (An Chomhairle Leabharlanna) was being dissolved. Bad as this news was for the council, it was a far worse omen for the future of the nation’s libraries. Particularly given the burnt-earth policy that is causing libraries to close all over the UK.
In my view, the dissolving of the Library Council suggested that Mr Hogan, and the other people responsible for this decision, may not fully comprehend the value of public libraries. Perhaps this lack of comprehension is a result of the clumsy tools used when those in power attempt to assess and document that value.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

What is a Poet?

Do we read poems to find our views confirmed? Hardly. Those are the bad poems. We read poems because they express something we did not know.  Because they voice something we always felt but were unable to express. Because the best poems put into words what cannot be captured in words, which is a contradiction.
A consummate poem marks the poetic moment in which the contradiction is solved – in one verse, one line, one word, one syllable.
Günter Kunert gives the answer to a question that the poem does not pose. In other words: Kunert answers the one question that every poem poses, the question about the one who is speaking. What is that, actually, a poet? How do you recognize one?
According to Kunert, the poet is characterized by his instinct for the only right word, the only possible diction, the harmony of the metaphors, the apodictic irreversibility of what has been said. It makes hesitating and looking for words needless. A poet's studio is not an alteration shop.
Ossip Mandelstam once asked how poetry ideally would have to be. And he answered himself: “Maybe poetry does not have to do or be anything. It does not owe anything to anyone and all its creditors are forgers.” By this, he meant the ideologists of Stalinism, who put the poet in a labour camp, where he died. Some of his poems were only preserved because friends of Mandelstam had learned them by heart; manuscripts and copies were prohibited.
So there is something that poetry has to be. As Kunert writes, poetry has to be more than just a notice of a special style of writing and, as Mandelstam's example shows, it has to find a way to survive even in the most hopeless situations. Poetry also stands at the edge of the abyss, because the abyss is very often the place where poetry is written.

The Frankfurt Anthology is a collection of German poems and their interpretations. Every year it awards one of the interpreters with the Prize of the Frankfurt Anthology; in 2011, it was Günter Kunert. The above is an excerpt of a eulogy delivered in his honour.