It’s been a busy couple of weekends with the writing – both in terms of scribbling words and attending events – with the launch of the fourth edition of The Incubator journal last Sunday, and the launch of the Community Arts Partnership (CAP) poetry anthology this Sunday.
Last week, I enjoyed an afternoon of wonderful readings from a mix of Irish writers – north and south of the border – and had the pleasure of meeting and introducing acclaimed short story writer, Danielle McLaughlin, whom I interviewed (through the power of the internet!) for the most recent edition of the journal.
The editor of The Incubator is Kelly Creighton – poet, short story writer and soon to be published novelist – and she was also in attendance in Belfast today for the CAP launch. Kelly was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Prize for New Writing, with the overall winner of the prize being Stephanie Conn, and I have to say – I’m very happy indeed to be included in an anthology with them, along with a plethora of other talented Northern Irish poets.
With the arts under real pressure in Northern Ireland at the moment – as the government continues to axe funding left, right and centre – these events are, I think, all the more important in showing the powers-that-be that not only do we have a wealth of artistic talent in this country, but there’s an army of support behind it.
The arts benefit everyone and, I’d also like to mention here that the arts website Culture NI – which I often write freelance articles for – is also at risk, and could be shut down in April if the cuts go ahead as planned.
Core funding for Culture NI has been withdrawn and after 10 years, it would be a real shame to see it go. If you have a couple of minutes, I’d really appreciate it if you could show your support by clicking this link to help us save it: #SaveCultureNI
To the arts! 🙂