Poetry Boat Trip with Dr Derek Coyle
We’d a fantastic evening on the river yesterday with Dr Derek Coyle from Carlow College/St Patricks. Our trip upstream to Bestfield involved Derek leading a creative writing and poetry workshop as we travelled. For inspiration, Derek focused writers attention on the surrounding wildlife and retold local stories that highlighted the unique history and heritage that the river Barrow holds. It was in the haunted lock of Bestfield that we moored in with a group of holiday makers travelling the Barrow onboard a hired Narrow Barge from Barrowline Cruisers, which are located in Vicarstown, county Laois. They were making the return trip up river with local lock-keeper, Billy O’Neill. Here, one of the passengers retold the story of the lock’s haunted status and explained the mysterious banging that often occurs on the hull’s of vessels as they pass through. To get the creative juices flowing, Derek and passengers recited poems themed with water by Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes and Elizabeth Bishop to name a few. This certainly worked and throughout the return trip back to the Jetty at Graiguecullen in Carlow, both pens and eyes were fixed firmly on the worksheets in hand. While a great evening of nature, history and poetry was had by all, most left having either penned a verse or two, or gained a collection of themes upon which to build. Many thanks to all who attended and to Dr Derek Coyle for facilitating a fantastic evening.