Sunday, June 16, 2013

It's Bloomsday in Ireland, and Anam Cara Is Announcing the Winner of the Anam Cara/ Poetry Competition

The winner is Caroline Bracken (Bray, Co. Wicklow, Ireland) for her poem "The Gypsy Girl." Caroline has won a place in Leanne O'Sullivan's "Lining Our Thoughts: A Poetry Workshop " to be held from 20-26 July 2013 at Anam Cara.

From Leanne:

"I admire the magical simplicity in 'The Gypsy Girl'. I am reminded of a phrase from Anne Stevenson's poem 'Making Poetry' where the poet encourages us to inhabit poetry in order to make it - to take voyages over voices, weathers, different skins and times. When I read 'The Gypsy Girl' I felt as though I had traveled and in a wonderful way was left wanting to read more."

The Winning Poem:

The Gypsy Girl

She took a wrong turn some time back,
Way back.
Way before Giza,
Where she tried out a sarcophagus
For size.
The pharaohs were compact creatures
It seems,
Like herself.
Way before Cape Agulhas,
Where the ships graveyard
Drew her.
Like the lighthouse,
Red and white.
Way before Lake Erie,
And that house on stilts,
Not natural
For a girl raised in a house
On wheels.
Way before Rethymnon,
Waving at a drowning man
On Triopetra beach.
Way before Beirut's extreme heat,
Which suited her sallow skin.
She couldn't be sure,
Where she went wrong,
But it was somewhere
Way back, on the road
Between the River Suir in Clonmel,
And Dublin.

Congratulations, Caroline!

More about the workshop:

Lining Our Thoughts: A Poetry Writing Workshop
A Week-long Residential Workshop Retreat
Arrival: Saturday, 20 July 2013
Departure: Saturday, 27 July 2013

"Coming from the Beara peninsula myself, I am delighted to be leading this poetry workshop, my first one in Anam Cara. I spend much of my time in Beara and do all of my creative writing here. The poet Michael Longley said that if he knew where poems come from he'd go there. I often think that many of my poems come from the Beara ground itself, whether I am writing about the place or some other hidden fire inside me. Walking the roads and fields always clears my mind and allows the poems to show themselves more freely than anywhere else. My previous collections take their titles and themes from places on the peninsula, such as the ancient Cailleach BhÊarra and the more modern ruins of the old Allihies Copper Mines. During this workshop, we'll be taking advantage of this rugged and inspiring landscape to begin to write and also to help move our poems and ideas along. Whatever your subject matter, creative focus, or sense of home, this elemental peninsula is sure to work its 'rough magic' on you.

"Each morning workshop session will be a mix of discussion and writing exercises exploring various craft topics, sharing work and giving feedback. I also encourage you to bring work you may have started at home to work on during the week. Each afternoon, you can work on your own, have a one-to-one session with me, enjoy the peace and creative stillness here at Anam Cara or we will plan an outing together - it might be a walk or a visit to one of the extraordinary sites in Beara -- with a notebook of course!

"What follows is a broad outline, and covers some topics that we will be working on together. I have also suggested a timetable for the week, including workshop hours, individual writing time, and one-to-ones with me. The exact sequence may change depending on the needs of the participants."

Workshop topics:

What makes a poem work? Everyone is encouraged to bring a poem or two that they admire to the first session for group-discussion.
Imagery: Imagery is a reader's foothold into the world of the poem. We will look at how imagery works to build the foundations for an expressive piece of writing.
Perspective and Tone: We will look at how poets use subtlety, nuance and persona to allow readers interpretation within the poem.
Metaphor and Simile: We will explore how to use metaphors to enliven and make the language of our poems more unusual.
Ekphrasis: From the Greek ek (out) and phrasis (speak), this form of poetry uses art, furniture, or any inanimate object as inspiration.
Storytelling: The Irish poetic tradition is rich in narrative and we will explore how stories work within the context of the poem.
Rhythm and Form: We will look at not just the ways we use rhythm and form in poetry, but also how we can lend our ear to the music within free verse, becoming more sensitive to the words we choose.
Revision and Editing: When are poems finished? How do you know when to let go? We will also be discussing competitions, publishing and how best to show your work to the wider world.

Leanne's Bio:

Leanne O'Sullivan comes from the Beara Peninsula in West Cork and is the author of three poetry collections, published by Bloodaxe Books -- Waiting for My Clothes (2004), Cailleach: The Hag of Beara (2009) and The Mining Road (2013). She has been the recipient of several awards, most recently the Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary Award (2009, nominated by Michael Longley), The Rooney Prize for Irish Literature (2010), The Lawrence O'Shaughnessy Award for Irish Poetry (2011), and the UCC Alumni Achievement Award (2012).

Lining Our Thoughts: A Poetry Workshop retreat is limited to a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 12 participants on a first-deposit-in basis. For more information and/or bookings, please contact Sue at

If you would like more information on retreating to Anam Cara to work on your own project at a time during the year that would fit your schedule, again contact Sue at

No comments:

Post a Comment