Written on the 11th December 2014
North West Words is a monthly get-together of poetic souls in Letterkenny’s wonderful Cafe Blend. A distant admirer of the event for some time, I finally managed to catch up with it last night and everything from start to finish about the night was a treat. And bar the excellent food, it was all free.
North West Words promotes the best of spoken word, art and music in the north west and if last night was anything to go by, it is a must-see when coming to Donegal. The Errigal Singers and the Gateway Writers Group were the main performers and carried off their respective tasks with deft aplomb. In the build-up to the performances, the room was full of giddy chatter and a palpable sense of anticipation. The staff were completely on top of things and some complementary mince pies and cream copper-fastened my promise to return soon.
The Errigal Singers were a sensation whose enthusiasm was infectious. Elegant, talented and versatile, these ladies knew what they were doing. Even when they put the ‘err’ back into Errigal over a minor mistiming, a spontaneous laugh and some banter had them back on track with their ebullient leader, Lorna McLaughlin, of The Henry Girls fame.
The Gateway Writers group were next up and read a remarkable series of self-composed verses. With an equal mix of mischief and wonder, the women used all of their wisdom and insight to great effect. I particularly enjoyed a poem called Rain Drops by Anna Greene, which made good use of pathetic fallacy. They said ‘goodbye’ to their facilitator, Denise Blake, and after a gracious speech by their chairman, presented Denise with flowers.
The night then went into open-mike mode and we were treated to a few new poems by their authors. All poems were well received, being wryly original and in one case, deliciously sardonic to none other than Santa a.k.a. ‘Satan’ (you had to be there!). The last poem of the night was read by M.C. Eamonn Bonner who then wrapped things up with a few words of thanks.
I then managed to get Eamonn, Denise Blake and Maureen Curran to say the words you’ll hear in the audio piece. A bit like the night itself, they nailed it in one go by simply saying it like it is. This was a delightful occasion, full of charm and warmth and eloquence; how lovely to see two groups of people celebrating the arts in both song and verse while having some great fun at the same time, It is everything Racontour salutes – keep up the good work folks – you’re on to a winner.
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