Three of Northern Ireland's most highly-regarded poets read in one of Belfast's most historical buildings to launch new collections.
Deirdre Cartmill, Maria McManus and Myra Vennard read from their work at the First Presbyterian Church (non-subscribing) in Rosemary Street on Tuesday, 24 September. First Presbyterian is one of Belfast's most famous churches, having played a key fair in many public debates since the 18th century.
Moy-born poet and scriptwriter Deirdre Cartmill read from her second collection of poems, The Return of the Buffalo. Maria McManus, the Enniskillen born writer, read from We Are Bone and the most senior of the trio completed the evening with poems from her new gathering, Blind Angel.
Following on from her Lagan Press debut, Midnight Solo, Deirdre Cartmill's The Return of the Buffalo is a book about love and loss, mortality and grief and the coming to terms with a less than perfect world. More celebratory in tone, We Are Bone, sees Maria McManus returning to her roots in Fermanagh to produce poems at once through provoking and affirming the importance of place. A stylistic and structural development on her debut gathering, Reading the Dog, the poems show a poet of ambition and reach. Deeping the achievement of her last collection, Easter Saturday, Myra Vennard's Blind Angel is a collection of elegies, while the world is shot evoked is shot through with pain, it is also a world where the poet's eye and ear and place order and meaning on the randomness of existence to produce a kind of consolation and acceptance.