Poets create, city celebrates

Poet Collette Bryce (front centre), pictured before her reading at the Verbal Arts Centre on Thursday night. This was Collette's first reading in the city in nine years and was organised by YES Publications, Guildhall Press and Derry Writers Group in conjunction with the UK City of Culture events. DER4013JM060
Poet Collette Bryce (front centre), pictured before her reading at the Verbal Arts Centre on Thursday night. This was Collette's first reading in the city in nine years and was organised by YES Publications, Guildhall Press and Derry Writers Group in conjunction with the UK City of Culture events. DER4013JM060
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Derry was fortunate enough to welcome two of the world’s most successful poets to our City of Culture this week past.

Not only did we host the only Irish visit this year for the UK’s Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, but our own celebrated poet Colette Bryce returned to her hometown for her first reading in nine years too.

Poet Lauriet Mary Ann Duffy with members of Derry writers group prior to her recital at St Cecilia's College.  In photo are Berni Kerr, Felicty McCaul, Julieann Campbell, Lynne Edgar and Freya McClements.  (DER4113JB035)

Poet Lauriet Mary Ann Duffy with members of Derry writers group prior to her recital at St Cecilia's College. In photo are Berni Kerr, Felicty McCaul, Julieann Campbell, Lynne Edgar and Freya McClements. (DER4113JB035)

A full house was in attendance at all events. Colette Bryce delivered a stunning reading in Verbal Arts Centre last Thursday evening, captivating the room with her warm, measured voice and great depth. Colette’s one of the strongest voices to emerge from this city in decades. I’d like to think she will be invited more often.

Carol Ann Duffy drew big crowds too. Her daytime performance saw kids of all ages enjoying her work at Waterside Theatre, while her evening recital at St Cecilia’s College was truly inspirational and created a little bit of history there too. Mention must be made of Duffy’s cohort John Sampson for his quirky musical interludes that helped propel each performance.

High praise to all involved, but primarily to local man Eamonn Baker for all his efforts in enticing the Poet Laureate and Colette Bryce to read here in 2013. We are all the richer for it.

Poet Laureate Mary Ann Duffy with St Cecilia's College principal Martine Mulhern during her visit to the school for a recital. (DER4113JB038)

Poet Laureate Mary Ann Duffy with St Cecilia's College principal Martine Mulhern during her visit to the school for a recital. (DER4113JB038)