The Full Convention
It has been 40 years since Tom McCarthy's first collection The First Convention
was published by Carcanet. He says that it seems like yesterday. So we're bringing Tom together with one of our most respected and radical poets, Mary O'Malley, the “deeply romantic” vision of Leanne O'Sullivan and acclaimed uileann piper David Power. The Full Convention will illuminate what Tom describes as the “condition of poetry, a permanent and universal condition, one of those whole–person to whole–person encounters that keep us human eternally”. Hosted by poet and broadcaster, Vincent Woods.
Thomas McCarthy was born in Co. Waterford in 1954. He was educated at University College Cork and worked for many years at Cork City Libraries. He is the author of several collections of poetry, most notably The First Convention, The Sorrow Garden, The Lost Province and Merchant Prince, as well as two novels and a collection of essays and diaries. A former Editor of Poetry Ireland Review and The Cork Review, he has directed Poetry Workshops at Arvon Foundation, Listowel Writers Week and at Molly Keane Writers Retreat. He has won the Patrick Kavanagh Award, the Alice Hunt Bartlett Prize, the Ireland Funds Annual Literary Award and the O’Shaughnessy Poetry Prize (Minnesota). He lives in Cork, but has spent more than thirty summers by the sea in the neighbourhood of Ballyferriter, Co. Kerry. He is a member of Aosdána.
Poet Leanne O’Sullivan is from the Beara Peninsula in West Cork and was educated at UCC. Her acclaimed first collection, Waiting for my Clothes, was published in 2004. Two more collections, have appeared since – Cailleach: The Hag of Beara and The Mining Road. She was given the Lawrence O’Shaughnessy Award for Irish Poetry in 2011, and received a UCC Alumni Award in 2012. Her work has been included in various anthologies, including Best Irish Poetry 2010, Selina Guinness’s The New Irish Poets and Billy Collins’s Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry. Leanne was the recipient of the 2009 Ireland Chair of Poetry bursary and in 2010 was awarded the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. Formerly a writer-in-residence at UCC, she was appointed lecturer in creative writing in 2016.
Mary O’Malley was born in Connemara in Ireland, and educated at University College Galway. She lived in Lisbon for eight years and taught at the Universidade Nova there. She served on the council of Poetry Ireland and was on the Committee of the Cúirt International Poetry Festival for eight years. She taught on the MA programmes for Writing and Education in the Arts at NUI Galway for ten years, held the Chair of Irish Studies at Villanova University in 2013, and has held Residencies in Paris, Tarragona, New York, NUI Galway, as well as in Derry, Belfast. She is active in environmental education, specifically marine. She is a member of Aosdána and has won a number of awards for her poetry, including the 2016 Arts Council University of Limerick Writer's Fellowship. She writes and broadcasts for RTÉ Radio regularly.
Vincent Woods was born in Co. Leitrim in 1960. His plays include John Hughdy/Tom John (Galway, Druid Theatre Company, 1991); At the Black Pig’s Dyke (Druid Theatre Company, 1992); Song of the Yellow Bittern (Druid Theatre Company, 1994); Fontamara (adaptation from the novel by Ignazio Silone, Collins Barracks, Dublin, Vesuvius Theatre Company, 1998); and A Cry From Heaven (Dublin, The Abbey Theatre, 2005, published London, Methuen, 2005);and for radio, The Leitrim Hotel. His poetry is collected as The Colour of Language and Lives and Miracles, with drawings by Charles Cullen. He has won several awards, including The Stewart Parker Award for Drama, 1993; the PJ O’Connor Award for Radio Drama, and the M.J. McManus Award for Poetry. A member of Aosdána, he is a broadcaster and regular host on RTÉ’s Arts Show.