So, I'm here in Cork, again, at the Cork International Short Story festival (formerly the Frank O'Connor International Short story Festival) and I am just so happy to be here! To be amongst like-minded short story folk, listening to amazing writers read their stories and talk about stories - til Sunday night - is just, for me, sublime.
The festival kicked off with the wondrous Helen Dunmore, here she is. (I forgot to take my proper camera, tomorrow's pics will be better, I promise!)
latest blog post for more on that).
I was thrilled to finally meet my online friend and fabulous writer Ethel Rohan, who is reading at the festival on Friday - originally Irish, she now lives in San Francisco. We have published each other - I chose one of her stories when I edited Southword and she asked me to contribute when she was guest editor at Necessary Fiction, so it is just great to finally meet her and once again have that wonderful experience when an online acquaintance is just as great - if not more so - in person!
And then... the final readings of the evening, by Orfhlaith Foyle and Peter Murphy, Irish writers who knocked me - and the rest of the audience, I think - sideways with their astonishing prose. I felt flattened, in the best way, by their dark and powerful stories. Just astonishing. Seek them out! (You can read an interview with Orfhlaith on Nuala Ní Chonchúir''s blog here.)
Then we, as tradition dictates, retired to the local tapas bar to unwind. I am still wound though! Too much stimulation. Okay, must muster my strength for tomorrow. Check out the Cork International Short Story festival website to see what's in store...