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Aine MacAodha ~ Poetry and Lens

Aine MacAodha

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Omagh, North Ireland, Ireland
Writer/poet,avid photographer with a great interest in Celtic Myths, Mysticism, crystal healing, orbs in photography, Chemtrails, the sky above and the beauty in the Irish landscape . I live in Omagh North of Ireland where the Sperrin Mountains are my inspiration in any season. I have three poetry books published titled 'Where the Three Rivers Meet' and 'Guth An Anam ~Voice of The Soul and my latest Published by Lapwing Press Belfast, 'Landscape of self'~ You can find my links at top of my blog.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Recent residency at The Tyrone Guthrie Centre

My recent residency/writers retreat at The Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Newbliss county Monahan was in June when I spent just four blissful days but wasn't my first time at Annaghmakerrig; affectionly known as the big house. My first time there was due to Omagh District Council offering me the Tyrone Guthrie bursary back in 2000 and it was my first time to be among such a diverse group of talented artists. I first came to know of Annaghmakerrig by a good friend and fellow Derry Playhouse writer member Bridie Canning (RIP) who told me to look up and read about this eden away from all the stresses of life and to consentrate on my writing which was difficult to do at home with then three teenagers and working part time and newly divorced; so I relished every minite of the two week residency. Since then I have tried to get back at least once a year. The first time there I put together my first book of poems titled, Where the Three rivers meet.

The big house
 Sir Tyrone Guthrie bequeathed his family home and estate to the State with the proviso that it be used for the benefit of artists. It was an inspired decision and one that has positively reshaped the cultural landscape of Ireland forever.

My room was very comfortable with a writing desk overlooking the lake, a large window that opened out wide so that I felt I was out of doors, a large fireplace with pictures of the Guthrie family and every morning early I would see a hare or a deer sauntering through the shrubbery, thats the thing, you sit down to write and one is distracted too by the beauty of the lake as the misty rain often starts at the far edge of the lake and takes it's time before reaching the window. A full bookcase with every poet one could think of there at my disposal to read, and read I did, often late into the night with no sounds except the creaking of the old floors cooling down. No TV, phones or radios, complete peace. I was thankfull for the time to gather another collection and get it into some order before publishing it although there is still editing to be done at least the bones are there.

Mrs Warbrigg. She was a companion to Lady Guthrie, stories of her roaming the corridors made me weary at first, I stayed in her room at the top of the house once and every creak I heard I swore it was her, but no, it was just the sound of a cooling floor, I think....

Tyrone Guthrie bust.

 The garden beautifully kept by Geraldine Sheerin the Organic Gardener, just to wander through the garden and get the wave of various herbs and plants assalt the nostrils was uplifting.  The Chefs' would serve the platters of leaves and herbs with freshly baked bread all an art in itself. The only stipulation was when the gong rang out at 7pm all the artists would sit down together for dinner and a chat, often someone would start a song or read a few paragraphs from their works. Most of the day was your own to do your work, such a serene place surrounded by a forest and a lake it was easy to relax and write, draw or sculpt or just ponder on your next creative venture.

The beautiful garden

A view out to the forest and lake.

Thanks to all the staff including,

Patricia Donlon Director (resident)

Mary Clerkin Finance Officer

Ingrid Adams Resources Manager

for their warmth of welcome.


Annaghmakerrig 2002

The big house greets with an air of mystery,

petitioning to the gods a poem or song

to touch all our yesterdays.

The lake pretends to scowl at night and

wraps the waiting horizon in thought.

The ruthless breeze is laden with insight.

Songs find their way through the air.

The hearth inherits the fallen spruce,

whilst artists gather their cares.

Spoken signals gather like crochet,

fermenting works that ooze out in dreams,

and filter into daylight

(c) Aine Mac Aodha

The big house as evening falls.

The lake

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