I received a lovely gift from my good friend, the poet Stephen Sexton last week. It was a beautiful copy of a lecture given by T.S.Eliot at something called a Literary Luncheon, given for the benefit of the Conservative Society. It was fantastic to discover that our own little Literary Lunchtimes fall into a long tradition of similar events. (Great minds think alike T.S.).
The next season of Literary Lunchtimes is probably the best and most exciting I’ve been able to programme since we first began hosting these events at the Ulster Hall. On March 19th, as an act of sheer indulgence on my part, we’re having a Bob Dylan themed Poetry Picnic with music from Scott Jamison of Go Wolf, words from Andy Eaton and some sort of video wizardry from Mr John D’Arcy. I may well, if time allows, roll out one of my many pieces of Dylan-themed fan fiction. I am hoping to dress up. It might very possibly turn out to be the best day of my life.
We’ve also got Lucy Caldwell, an outdoor themed Poetry Picnic for the Giro D’Italia in May and a whole week of Literary Lunchtimes programmed for the Book Festival in June including a poetry versus prose death-match and a panel debate on writing for Young Adults. We’ve a wonderful short story afternoon with Bernie McGill and Sheila Llewellyn and, in August, an afternoon with Jennifer Johnston. There’s also a very exciting high profile reading coming up in April which I should be able to let you all know about in the next week. Watch this space.
We’ve so much going on in the next few months I get a little wobbly every time I look at my work schedule. However, I’m going to take a leaf out of T.S.Eliot’s book and follow the wise advice he offered during his own Literary Lunchtime, “one can face any danger intrepidly, and even court it wantonly, so long as it’s far enough off.” Deep breath, strong coffee, am gearing up for a very busy season.
There’s more information and booking details available on the Ulster Hall website www.ulsterhall.co.uk and if you have any thoughts or suggestions for someone you’d really like to hear reading at the Ulster Hall in the next year please pass on suggestions to me as I’m always on the look out for new writers.