Saturday, October 20, 2007

Begnal, Lisk, Salerno reading at NCSU, Thursday, November 1

I will be giving a poetry reading on the North Carolina State University campus in Raleigh, NC, on Thursday, November 1st, at 7:00 pm. It takes place in Tompkins Hall room G118 (that is, room 118 on the basement floor of Tompkins). I will read alongside Tom Lisk and Chris Salerno, who, like myself, have recently published new collections of poetry.

The reading is sponsored by the online journal Free Verse, which has published my poem “Bettie Page,” as well as the supplement of Irish-language poetry I edited, entitled “Véarsa Saor: New Poetry in Irish with Translations.” Free Verse editor Jon Thompson will make the introductions.

This reading is free and open to the general public, and everyone is welcome.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Begnal cancellation for Ancestor Worship launch

Unfortunately, I was not able to make Ireland in time for the launch of Ancestor Worship (see previous post) on Friday. Due to heavy rain causing “low ceilings” in New York on Thursday the 11th, my American Airlines flight to JFK, from where I was supposed to connect to an Aer Lingus flight to Shannon, was cancelled (after having boarded the plane and then sitting on the runway for two hours). The second flight they put me on kept getting delayed for the same reason, until I ended up missing the last Aer Lingus flight of the night, meaning there was no way I could get to Galway in time for the launch on Friday the 12th. Nothing like that has ever happened to me before. Apologies to those who came out on my account.

However, the event did go on, as Dave Lordan, Knute Skinner, and Billy Ramsell were also launching books at the same time, and it was by all accounts a great success. My friend the poet Alan Jude Moore (pictured at the launch) stepped into the gap and read some poems from Ancestor Worship, and I’m told he got a good response. My thanks and appreciation go out to Alan, and to Kevin Higgins and Susan DuMars of Over the Edge who set up the event, to Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop, and also to Salmon Publishing. I still plan to get to Galway for a reading sometime in the near future.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Ancestor Worship book-launch, Oct. 12

Ancestor Worship is being launched in Galway (Ireland), this Friday the 12th.

Over the Edge hosts the launch of four new poetry collections at Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop:

Ancestor Worship by Michael S. Begnal (Salmon Poetry), Fifty Years: Poems 1957-2007 by Knute Skinner (Salmon Poetry), The Boy in the Ring by Dave Lordan (Salmon Poetry) and Complicated Pleasures by Billy Ramsell (Dedalus Press) will be launched at Charlie Byrnes Bookshop, Middle Street, Galway on Friday 12th October, 6pm.

All are welcome, and refreshments will be served.

For further details contact: 087-6431748 or e-mail

Ancestor Worship
12.00 Euro Paperback 130 x 204mm 72 pages ISBN 978-1-903392-54-3 September 2007

Unusual routes become strategies. Mike Begnal is Irish-American, he writes in English and Irish, he can invent a hybridisation of style. Ancestor Worship is an extension of this, it can take on a new romancing and deciphering: the warm blood / that flows through to this age, / dangerous and violent in veins... Likewise a journey or pilgrimage can be undertaken somewhere, from olive-green felt couch to olive sky. The essential is no one has been quite there before, along the genealogy or amid the furniture. --James Liddy