Launch of Fuíoll Feá in the Unitarian Church 8 February 2013 10 February 2013 – Posted in: Uncategorised, Book launch
Cois Life organised a very enjoyable and unusual evening in the Unitarian Chapel, St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2 on Friday 8th of February to launch Fuíoll Feá: Rogha Dánta / New and Selected Poems by Liam Ó Muirthile. This is the first major selection of Liam’s work from his various collections to be published and the first bilingual book with English versions of all the poems. Gabriel Rosenstock – a renowned poet himself and master translator – produced most of the translations but some versions are by other hands such as Paul Muldoon, Peter Sirr and others.
It was a night of both music and poetry. Master of Ceremonies Cathal Póirtéir presented the evening’s events with a depth of understanding and considerable practical skill as befits a scholar and seasoned radio producer and handled the transitions from poetry to music seamlessly. Peter Browne’s piping rang through the beautiful old building and then Liam read some poems and then Gabriel read his translations of them. The musicians were Peter Browne, Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh and the doyen of sean-nós singing, Iarla Ó Lionaird. Liam mentioned that the recordings of some of the poems and their translations on the CD which accompanies the book were made in Iarla’s studio.
Liam thanked Gabriel not just for the translations but for comvincing him to undertake the project and said that it reflected their long friendship. He also thanked the other translators of work in the book and those to whom poems were dedicated. He mentioned two people in particular who are no longer with us: Michael Davitt, another INNTI poet, and indeed as Gabriel said ‘a giant’ of poetry and Bob Welsh, former Professor of English in the University of Ulster, who died recently. Bob, said Liam, was one of the few who had a deep understanding of both the English and Irish language traditions in Ireland. The 150 or so strong audience at the event probably felt that these two were present in spirit on this special night for Irish literature. The audience was varied and represented all age groups – lovers of poetry and music. Academics were out in force – Prof. Alan Titley congratulated Liam and Gabriel afterwards and a number of second year students of English from the National University of Ireland, Dublin said they enjoyed the night also. Cois Life is – as always – grateful to the Arts Council and Foras na Gaeilge for their continued support. Also a special word of thanks to Kevin Robinson of the Unitarian Church for all his help.