turas teanga

the irish times, sat, oct 2, 2004

a group of poets, writers and musicians embarked on a special voyage of discovery in dublin this week.

they gathered in dublin’s sugar club on leeson Street to launch imram, the first Irish-language literature festival in dublin. their aim is “to reawaken people’s interest in irish,” said liam carson, one of the festival’s directors. he explained that imram is the old Celtic word for a voyage to another world.

“it could be an eye-opener for many people as to the wealth of contemporary poetry and literature in irish,” said broadcaster cathal pĂłirtĂ©ir, who was the fear an tĂ­ on opening night.

the festival launch was attended by poet cathal o searcaigh, who recently returned from kathmandu in nepal, and fellow poet and children’s writer aine nĂ­ ghlinn, whose books, cuairteoirĂ­ (Cois Life, for young teenagers) and lámhainnĂ­ glasa (O’brien press, for younger children) were recently published.

also among those attending were imram directors joseph woods, director of poetry ireland, fellow poet gabriel rosenstock and teacher and writer colette nic aodha.

later, raidiĂł na gaeltachta broadcaster seán o heinniĂş sang about connemara and cathal o searcaigh read a selection of his haikus, written in collaboration with a young nepalese poet, janak sapkota (“in the howl of midwinter/ the moon spreads its tender gleam/ over the raging stream”).

meanwhile, celia de frĂ©ine’s book, fiacha fola, a collection of poems about the hepatitis c scandal, was also launched this week, as part of the five-day festival, by broadcaster clĂ­odhna nĂ­ anluain. earlier this year, the book was awarded the clĂł iar-chonnachta literary prize 2004 in conjunction with udarás na gaeltachta.

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