Back to Galway yesterday for more Cúirt readings. First we went to hear Ian Jack, past editor of Granta and present columnist in The Guardian, being interviewed by Fintan O'Toole. It's always a treat to hear two articulate people putting the world to rights. My attempts at same are always fumbles with no facts or figures at my fingertips and an inability to find the right word until ten minutes too late.
In the evening I went to hear Robin Robertson and Michael Longley. It was Robertson who I'd initially bought tickets for, as Longley wasn't brought in until later to replace the unwell Charles Simic. I ordered Robertson's The Wrecking Light a couple of months ago after an excellent review in The Guardian and was astonished and thrilled by it. Beautiful language and a dark humour make his poems exhilarating. His reading didn't disappoint. I bought his last but one book Swithering and had it signed. I'm always pathetically embarrassed about getting books signed, and didn't ask him to put 'to Nicki' as it seems so false when the author has no idea who you are. This, though, is my own hang up. A fear, I suppose, of being found wanting in some way, or needy.