Rather unlike me but I decided on the spur of the moment to go to the Cork Poetry Festival! Having followed a tweet about it, I looked to see how possible/expensive it might be to go, and before I knew it I’d booked travel, accommodation and all the sessions. Within a few days of booking, this arrive in the post:
So why Cork, of all the festivals? It was a combination of factors. The dates work for me. The cost of attending all the paid-for readings and ‘in conversation’s (many are free) came out at around £80 (if I had wanted to take part in a daily workshop or a manuscript appraisal then that would have cost extra).Many of the poets reading there are completely unfamiliar to me, plus there’ll be a magazine launch, a young writers showcase and a competition results night…lots of exposure to new voices and outside the comfort zone of familiar faces. Another thing I liked was that all the readings are in the afternoon and evening, leaving the mornings free. This gives me mornings to write, and maybe do some exploring – although I may just want to have lie-ins or hole up with hot chocolate in the bar. With so much new stuff to take in it will be nice to have unencumbered headspace each day, and by turning it into a writing retreat it becomes even more of a justifiable expense. I’ll just have to make sure I don’t take too much stuff, so I can bring back a bunch of books without breaking the weight-limit for the plane.