Writers are as valued by the Irish as a busload of athletes would be by Americans. The land of Joyce and Yeats and Hamilton and McCourt treasure these artists as symbols of what is good about the country. So reading in Howth, with Dublin’s lights on the other side of the bay, is a gift to an unknown American author. Adding to the evening was sharing the stage with Annie Deppe, an American poet loved by the Irish, and Jessica de Koninck, a New Jersey poet capturing Pushcart nominations and accolades for her first works.
In this waterfront town, people join the Stonecoast in Ireland residency audience each day for readings by their beloved Irish writers. They are readers of poetry and fiction who carry their own poems in a pocket or their heart. We talk the universal language of the heart—love, friendship, loss, joy, God, peace, dreams. Then there is time for Guinness or Irish whiskey or wine or hot tea and talk. So much talk.
If you love poetry, look up Annie and Jessica. Their American stories will make you smile or feel the quiet that can come with just the right choice of words.