The muse is hovering over Munster. Eigse na gCuige, the Gathering of the Clans, took place in Cork this weekend. It brought together poets, playwrights and scholars from Munster and Ulster and, in the words of the poet-playwright, Patrick Galvin, chairman of the Munster Literature Centre, enabled them to explore the enjoyment of the written word.
If you were wondering what the two provinces had specifically in common, Ted Crosbie of the Examiner had the answer when he spoke at the event.
Although the circumstances were nearly 50 years apart, writers from Northern Ireland and Cork had a particular background in common: one of "civil strife, death, injury and, as the great writing of Corkery, O'Connor and O Faolain were honed on the anvil of the troubles which christened this area Rebel Cork, so Ulster events have been concentrated and distilled with 25 years of civil strife", he said.
Participants included Marie Heaney, Evelyn Conlon, Eoin McNamee, Bernard Mac Laverty, Patrick Galvin, Danny Morrison, Hugo Hamilton, Mary Leland, Cathal O Searchaigh and Medbh McGuckian.
There were readings by writers from their own works and papers on Frank O'Connor and Kate O'Brien among others. Jurys Hotel and the Granary Theatre were the main venues.
The event was supported by the Arts Council, Cork Corporation, Poetry Ireland, the Irish Writers' Centre, FAS, the British Council, Marks & Spencer and Cork University Press.
The President, Mrs McAleese, offered her support by agreeing to perform the closing ceremony.