Skip to content

To Cork!

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:

Cork Poetry Festival programme

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.

Published inBlogEventsWriting


  1. Heather Walker Heather Walker

    Sounds wonderful. I like to have some free time too for exploring. Have a great time. I’m sure you’ll come back with lots of books!

    • Robin Houghton Robin Houghton

      Thanks John, yes I have been there once, but can’t remember a lot about it as we were on our way further west. I’m sure I’ll have fun exploring.

  2. meg meg

    Congratulations!! I’d love to be the sort of person who could/would/had ever/would ever just get up and go like that on your own. And I’ve never been to Ireland – that’s criminal. We go flying all over the world to Australia, Japan, South America etc., and never cross the Irish Sea.. Perhaps it’s too close, like never going to The Tower of London when you live in London! Have a great time.xx

    • Robin Houghton Robin Houghton

      Haha, thanks Meg, I’ve only been to Ireland a handful of times and only briefly. There’s something in what you say about not always appreciating what’s closest to home. This year I’m having a lot of fun visiting London on a more regular basis and getting to know different areas of it. Having grown up in the south east suburbs I don’t think I ever appreciated the city properly.

  3. Antony Mair Antony Mair

    You are going to my favourite part of the world – I am totally envious,! Have a terrific time.

    • Robin Houghton Robin Houghton

      Thank you Antony! and I shall report back on the poetry scene there 🙂

  4. Sounds fantastic! I admire your spontaneity. What a good point you make about keeping mornings free, too. I hope this is really productive and enjoyable for you – it sounds like it will be. Looking forward to your follow-up blog post! x

    • Robin Houghton Robin Houghton

      Thank you Josephine – I’m certainly excited at the prospect and will enjoy blogging about it 🙂

  5. Gráinne Tobin Gráinne Tobin

    Robin, I am going to be coming on the train from Northern Ireland to the Cork International Poetry Festival on Thursday and staying until Sunday so maybe we can meet at some point if that suits you. I’m on Facebook so it’s easy to send me a message without revealing contact details to the world (though of course there’s always the data mine…) I recommend that you take the first possible chance after your writing morning to have an early lunch – early because it I=gets packed later – at the Farmgate café in the English Market. It has a poetry wall of manuscripts in the glassed-in part with waitress service. And one of the market stalls underneath it has a picture of the affable stallholder talking to Queen Elizabeth who is LAUGHING. I swear.

    • Robin Houghton Robin Houghton

      Hi Grainne, that sounds great, I’d certainly like to meet up. Let’s follow each other on Twitter (I don’t do facebook any more). And thanks for the lunch tip! All best, Robin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Robin Houghton 2024