I attended my first book launch today, at the invitation of Jessie Lendennie and Salmon Poetry. The book in question was Adam Wyeth’s The Hidden World of Poetry: Unravelling Celtic Mythology in Contemporary Irish Poetry. I find it interesting—pulling apart poems to discover meanings even the poem’s maker didn’t intend to be present.
Most of the day was spent in the car—we decided not to stay overnight in Dublin to save a little in expenses—and I confess I spent much of that time asleep. The roads here are terrifying to a foreign passenger—they twist and wind around sharp corners at high speeds, and they are narrow (too narrow, in my mind, because you nearly collide with cars going the opposite way) to boot. It’s a good way to flip-flop your stomach (and I nearly lost my lunch more than once).
Here I am at the book launch. While Jessie was introducing and schmoozing, I sold books. I’m pretty good at selling things (I have a loud voice and a pretty face), and my four years as a cashier for the Omaha pools came in handy. Yay for mental mathematics!
Before the launch, Maunogh (a friend of Jessie’s who came with us) and I explored a little of O’Connell Street. I located our hotel for the Fellows’ stay later this week (so more posts about Dublin will be forthcoming—stay tuned), and no less than three Chinese restaurants within that five-block span. I also found the first Burger King and McDonald’s that I’ve seen in my stay here. Go (away), corporate America.
The book launch itself was fairly short. A flutist, one of Adam’s friends, opened and closed with small performances, and two poets featured in the book spoke a bit about their poems and even did a reading. We all schmoozed with the wine (only one glass, folks, but it was good wine insofar as I could tell), and I managed to get a signed copy.
I don’t remember much of the way there and back (remember, I sleep in cars), but it was still fairly late when we got back to Inis Diomain. Jessie gave me a lift back home, where I met back up with the Fellows (and we all promptly took naps on the couch).
Look, we’re so adorable (by we, I mean Liz, Kaitlyn, and Sam, because guess who took the photo). It was a pretty exhausting week, so none of you can judge our tiredness, nor our inclination to pass out on a couch instead of our beds.