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Voices in Flight, Poetry Day 2021

Compilation (Saoirse Productions) of original poetry and song,
together with images and videos by South Dublin Writers.

Masthead Eileen Casey Voices in flight 01

‘Voices in Flight’ will be available on Poetry Day, Thursday 29th April, 2021
from Youtube link:

It’s my pleasure to compile a Poetry Day 2021 event, ‘Voices in Flight’.  There is an amount of talent in South Dublin County and its writers are always generous.  The compilation promises to be a wealth of lyrical delights. It includes, courtesy of Michael O’Flanagan (a friend to poetry through decades), early footage of Phil Lynott when he performed with The Black Eagles. This glimpse into pre-fame Lynott is rare and precious and a treat for Philo fans all over the world.  Tallaght poet Pauline Fayne’s accompanying poem Philo is a wonderful, achieved piece of work. It opens with ‘Giggling teens in budgie jackets/trip hazard flares/high wedged heels’, who wouldn’t want to hear more?

There’s a ‘moving’ poem by Susan Condon, Japanese Maple which tells of relocating in a time of Covid (‘hair skims the collar of my shirt’) while  Brigid Flynn remembers a flight to Australia (New Horizons Beckon), ‘rivers like silver ribbons/widen into glistening lakes’.

Special guest and friend to South Dublin Writers is Lynda Tavakoli, a poet who is no stranger to the poetry world. Her debut The Boiling Point for Jam (Arlen House) has been received to critical acclaim, most recently on The Poetry Show, RTÉ.  Her lines are always memorable, her poem about starlings (Pathfinders) has many poetic lines, ‘nature will absorb the sludge/from their wintered bones.’  Also among the contributions are poems by widely published, widely respected award winning poets. Brian Kirk’s Evidence of Emotion;‘I searched for you on the road/the streetlights wept in your absence and war poet Michael Whelan’s Journey ‘I threw it back, the pebble that began its journey as a mountain’, reveals why they are so lauded.  With two published collections, the latter Fragments also featured on The Poetry Show, Orla Donoghue’s offering Sky Map is filled with lyrical atmosphere, ‘Will you meet me on the other side of now’, while Vivienne Kearns (Poolbeg novelist and poet) in Last Journey creates her scene with a poet’s clear-eyed vision,  ‘on the beach, the sand and rocks glisten beneath a cold sun’.  Colm McGlynn’s The Signing is an outcry against violence, a quest for peace ‘In many sacrifices made to nurture/a fragile and delicate peace process’.

‘The colour of death is magnificent/this autumn day as I wander along’ (Tony Shields’ The Cycle of Life’), is an unforgettable line while Doreen Duffy’s mesmeric ‘I will take you to the sea’ delivers an elegant opening to a compelling poem (This is only for a while). Aside from the incomparable Phil Lynott and The Black Eagles, there are two original songs on the ‘Voices in Flight’ compilation video; I can hear my heart calling is a layered piece of accomplished songwriting (‘I’ve been so long living in my head’)from a man who has truly found his calling. Tony Bardon’s song is a collaboration with Jens Stage, a Danish musician.

In 2019, I attended a sewing workshop in Mary Ryan’s house (Malahide). The Headford Lace Project, a voluntary community group, facilitated the workshop on that day, I embroidered Mary Goff’s name onto a bonnet. She left for Australia on The Inchinnan in 1849, during the Great Hunger. Sewing was so important then in terms of getting work. A seamstress had a far better chance of getting work in a fine house than a woman with no skills. I wrote the lyrics to Mary Goff, my son Dwain collaborated with the music. I think he did a wonderful job. The sewing project was originally devised by Hobart Artist Christina Henri. Her ‘Irish Roses, Brideship Lasses’ was set up to commemorate the 4,114 women and young girls who were given assisted passage under Earl Grey’s Scheme, to regenerate and boost the population of Australia.

Grateful Thanks To: all the writers included in ‘Voices in Flight’, South Dublin County Council’s Micro Residency support, Christina Henri and The Headford Lace Project, firstly for all the work they do and secondly, for their fabulous images. Thanks to an old and dear friend Michael O’Flanagan who contributed Phil Lynott’s photograph and video. Thanks to world renowned artist Jim Fitzpatrick. His series of Thin Lizzy album covers are phenomenal. To Saoirse Media Productions for a fine production. Above all, thanks to Poetry Ireland’s Poetry Day initiative, uniting poets from all over the globe. In these Covid-19 times, it’s great to feel connected. Christina Henri and The Headford Lace Project websites below:

Eileen Casey is a Midlander living in South Dublin. Her small press Fiery Arrow publishes debut collections and community based anthologies. Over many years she has nurtured and promoted writing. It gives her enormous pleasure to see writers who began their journey with her, move on to map writerly lives and navigate new directions in the literary world. 

© Eileen Casey