My train to Dublin was at 4.20pm. I was in town by 2.30. This was not an accident. I was on a mission. My intention was to visit the Limerick City Gallery of Art which is located about a hundred metres from the train station. This beautiful old building dates from 1906 and is located on Pery Square in the city. The exhibitions change every few months. So each time I am home I make a point to pay it a visit to check out the latest display.
With my stylish black suitcase from Penneys rolling behind me I entered. The ground floor exhibition was an installation called ‘A consequence of – without stilling’ by Maud Cotter. Don’t ask me to explain what it means. I haven’t the foggiest. I enjoyed it very much. I never try to understand an artist’s motive. I just enjoy how serene the space is.
What was this though? The back room of the ground floor – which houses the permanent collection from the gallery – was set up for a speech of some sort. I peered in the door and saw a sign for the Limerick Writers’ Centre. This could only mean one thing. A book launch.
I sidled over to the security guard at reception and asked him what the launch was for. He told me that it was for a book of poetry called ‘Racing down the sun’ by Ron Carey. I asked him was it open to the public. He told me that it was.
I entered with my suitcase in tow. I didn’t know anyone in the room – I guessed they were supporters of the writer. Then I spotted the head of the Limerick Writers’ Centre. I recognised him from two years previously. In June 2016 I was at the launch of a book in the Loft, for a work called ‘It’s a queer city all the same’ – an anthology of LGBT writing from Limerick, to which I had contributed two pieces. That would be my alibi if anyone questioned my presence here today.
Copies of the book were for sale to the left of the room. I bought one, and then helped myself to a glass of white wine. It would have been rude not to. It’s a book launch.
There followed some speeches after which the writer took to the podium to read from his latest work. Born in Parnell Street around the corner, Ron Carey now lives in Dublin. ‘Racing down the sun’ is his second collection published by Revival Press. The poems range from personal pieces about family relationships to converted churches, to welcoming Richard Harris into the family home. They were engaging and quite moving – particularly the poems about his family.
After reading a selection of the poems, he signed copies for the audience.
He signed my copy. I glanced at the clock. My train was departing in quarter of an hour.
I read poetry on my journey back to Dublin.
You can buy the book at the LINK