Saturday, December 14th will be a very special day in the lives of the Crowley family of Mullaghmarkey, Castleisland.
Then, poet Gabriel Fitzmaurice will launch his latest book, Katie, featuring poems written about his granddaughter, Katie Crowley.
Katie’s First Four Years
The poems are about the first four years of Katie’s life and were written long before his most recent book, A Farewell to Poetry, was published. Gabriel and his wife Brenda babysit their grandchildren, Katie (9), Paddy (5) and Jack (2) at the Crowley home in Mullaghmarkey.
The poems are full of good humour, excitement, tenderness, discovery, love and joy describing the very special bond between Gabriel and Katie, his first grandchild.
Katie is a third class pupil at Gaelscoil Aogáin, Castleisland. The book will be launched by Deirdre Walsh of Radio Kerry at 3pm on December 14th in Woulfe’s Bookshop, Listowel.
Entertainment will be provided by the renowned singer-songwriter Mickey MacConnell and everybody is welcome to what promises to be a very special occasion.
Regular at O’Keeffe Festival
Gabriel Fitzmaurice is a regular at the annual Patrick O’Keeffe Traditional Music Festival here in Castleisland where he conducts a poetry extravaganza. This is a no pressure event where aspiring and experienced poets can discuss and recite their work and ask for direction.
This year’s gathering attracted over 30 aspirants and practitioners of varying levels.
About Gabriel Fitzmaurice
Gabriel Fitzmaurice was born, in 1952, in the village of Moyvane, Co. Kerry where he still lives. For over thirty years he taught in the local primary school from which he retired as principal in 2007.
He is author of more than fifty books, including collections of poetry in English and Irish as well as several collections of verse for children.
He has translated extensively from the Irish and has edited a number of anthologies of poetry in English and Irish.
Songs and Ballads
He has published two volumes of essays and collections of songs and ballads. Poems of his have been set to music and recorded by Brian Kennedy and performed by the RTÉ Cór na nÓg with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra.
He frequently broadcasts on radio and television on culture and the arts.
He has been described as ‘the best contemporary, traditional, popular poet in English’ in Booklist (U.S) ‘a wonderful poet’ in The Guardian, ‘one of Ireland’s leading poets’ and ‘poetry’s answer to John B. Keane’ in Books Ireland, ‘Ireland’s favourite poet for children’ in Best Books! and ‘the Irish A.A. Milne’ by Declan Kiberd in the Sunday Tribune.