Blarney Books and Art to host 'Meet the Poets' event

Port Fairy will welcome a pair of poets who are finding words for those with no voice on the weekend.

Poetry in motion: South-west poets Anne Gleeson and Ray Liversidge are both launching their books at an event at Blarney Books and Art in Port Fairy on Saturday. Picture: Rob Gunstone

Poetry in motion: South-west poets Anne Gleeson and Ray Liversidge are both launching their books at an event at Blarney Books and Art in Port Fairy on Saturday. Picture: Rob Gunstone

In an event entitled ‘Meet the Poets’, south-west writers Anne Gleeson and Ray Liversidge will tell the stories of suffering that have inspired their latest publications.

Hosted by James Street creative hub Blarney Books and Art, the informal author interaction will launch the pair’s latest works.

Mrs Gleeson’s Small Acts of Purpose and Mr Liversidge’s Oradour-sur-Glane both attribute inspiration for the collections on historic atrocities.

“Poetry is a way of paying tribute to an event in history,” Mrs Gleeson said.

“It gives you a chance to capture how the moment in time would have felt.”

“Both Ray and I have a very narrative style of writing, we are both storytellers, so even non-poetry readers should enjoy this event.”

As Mrs Gleeson’s third published book, the 84-page collection includes sections dedicated to Belfast, mortality, personal favourites and world happenings.

“Social justice is the theme that permeates through the book,” she said.

“But while some are serious reflections, there are also light-hearted moments and collections of people who have inspired me.”

We are both story-tellers so even non-poetry readers should enjoy this event

Anne Gleeson

For Mr Liversidge, the inspiration came from a horrendous event that took place in Oradour-sur-Glane, France during the Second World War.

“The Nazis entered the village and massacred 642 men, women and children in 1944,” he said.

“It was bombed and burnt and left as an example of the atrocities of war.”

“After a friend suggested I visit the village in 2007, I took some photos and something triggered and I started writing poems about that and the occupation of Paris for six or seven years.”

Mr Liversidge who has been writing for more than 40 years said it wasn’t until he was in his thirties that he considered pursuing writing as a career.

“I’ve always had an interest in history and travelling and this village off the tourist trail was very haunting.”

Writing poetry requires “truthfulness and creativity” according to the published author.

“I use my imagination and my research,” he said. “And I read everything for historical accuracy.”

Meet the Poets starts with wine on arrival at 4pm on Saturday.