Lucky to be here, and honored to have met so many writers I’ve long admired, like Ron Rash (pictured above) and Tess Gallagher (yes, I finally said hello, and she was so kind) and newer discoveries, like Tania Hershman, Madeleine D’Arcy, and Nyk de Vries (a Friesian writer I predict will soon take the U.S. by storm). Does feeling lucky already mean I didn’t hunt for four-leaf clovers?
No, I did:
(A tiny one, my favorite kind, from Kinsale.)
I’m writing from Cork, the arts-loving Irish city that is home to the Munster Literature Centre and the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Festival. It seems like every street in this city has a book store or a performance space, and the readers and audiences at the festival have been wonderful so far. Here’s a photo of Owen Hill, reading last night from his funny and quirky collection, LooseEnds:
The reading stage was designed by a local set designer, which I thought was a cool touch. Every night Patrick Cotter, the festival director, has spoken powerfully about the story and its importance as an art form, and so far we’ve heard from Tania Hershman, Robin Black, Claire Keegan, and Aidan Mathews.
There are signs all over town about the festival:
It’s kind of hard to see, but the bottom middle book image is Mattaponi Queen. It’s a thrill to see my book in Ireland, home to so many important short story writers, and to hear so many fantastic (and famous) writers read their work. This morning I saw Tess Gallagher at breakfast, but I was too shy to say hello. Last night I had drinks with Louis de Bernieres!
I hope to take some better photos today, but here are a few more.
From the Butter Museum:
At the Cork Museum, we learned that Cork was once home to giant deer:
I’m off to a reading now, but I’ll try to post again soon.