Why Belfast?

Emily Dedakis

The most common question that migrants to Belfast get asked is: Why Belfast?
It’s almost as if people who grew up here can not imagine that outsiders would be attracted to the place. So a group of our new neighbours set up a project to invite foreign born residents of Belfast to say what they like about the place.

Emily Dedakis (left) launched Why Belfast? at the Black Box in Belfast last week.

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Maureen Boyle

A reading in Strabane Library for National Poetry Day.

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Olive Broderick

The poet Olive Broderick is a member of the Write Down collective and one of the forces behind the Wild Geese Literary Festival. He first collection will be published shortly by Templar.
Here she is reading at the LitnetNI conference in Belfast on October 14:

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Foot Washing for the Soul

The performance artist Adrian Howells came to Belfast for the Belfast Festival at Queens and washed thirty pairs of feet here for his piece, Foot-washing for the Soul, in which he follows the injunction of Jesus to wash feet, and the example of Mary Magdalen in kissing them.

The BBC sent me along to be the recipient of one of his performances. In honour of how lovely it was the player below is in pink.

A lot of people have told me they enjoyed the broadcast interview so here is the full exchange with minimal editing, just to cover the long silences of the breathing exercises and the massage.

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Heaney at Aspects

Seamus Heaney read from his new collection Human Chain at the Aspects Arts Festival on September 22, to a huge audience that loves the man for his chatty, philosophical manner.
In the first clip he introduces older work and discusses the impact of the Troubles in shaping the intentions of Northern Irish poets.

The second clip is a reading from his new collection.

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Elizabeth Campbell

Elizabeth Campbell, reading new and published work at Belfast Central Library, over the racket of the air-conditioning, but clear enough for my mic if not my ears.

Notice that I am experimenting with Divshare, the embedding system is a lot easier than with podcastpeople.com, the site I have stored most previous audio on.

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John Baucher is Moochin Photoman.  He has just been exhibiting hundreds of portraits of Belfast people at the Waterfront Hall, pictures taken with a technique which involves using one camera through the viewfinder of another.

He staged a big giveaway of images at the close of his exhibition and I asked him to explain to me the thinking behind his approach.



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Helen Madden – prizewinner

Helen Madden, broadcaster and actor has just become the first writer to win the GQ Norman Mailer Fellowship; and she did it while studying for a Masters Degree in Creative Writing at Queens University Belfast.

The hubbub in the background is her friends drinking champagne to mark her prize and graduation, which neatly coincide.

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Miriam Gamble

At a reading in No Alibis Bookshop in Belfast on June 3, Miriam Gamble read from her first collection The Squirrels Are Dead.

Her introduction acknowledges the inspiration of Sinead Morrissey.

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Nervous Flyer – Grainne Tobin

County Down poet Grainne Tobin read from her new collection The Nervous Flyer’s Companion at the Down Arts Centre as part of a sequence of readings organised by Write Down!

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