Congratulations to John D. Kelly who won first prize in the Poets Meet Kelly Hungry anthologyPainters contest run by Hungry Hill Writing. The contest was adjudicated by Cherry Smyth. His poem, Brush With A Past, is included in the Poets Meet Painters anthology.

For more information about the contest and the anthology visit Hungry Hill Writers website.

Our Chair, Tony Brady offers his thoughts on the poem:

Celebrating a Fermanagh Writer’s poetry success. 
An Appreciation.

There are many examples of poets looking at and being inspired by a painting and composing a complimentary and revelatory poem: W.H Auden for example. His poem – Musée des Beaux Arts –  begins:  “About suffering they were never wrong the old masters….” and conveys the indifference of the various watching characters in a Pieter Breugel painting. A masterpiece: it depicts the Fall of Icarus in fateful plunge to earth when his man-made waxen wings melt as  he soars towards the sun.
John D. Kelly’s winning poem  – Brush With A Past – which appears in Poets Meet Painters – a recent Anthology published by Hungry Hill Writing, is inspired by perceptions of looking at a tondo* – one in a series by Etain Hickey. Copies of the Anthology are obtainable at 4 euro each including postage from

Reactions such as: “I see my pointed reflection….” and “…a loss that happened in the warp of the timeline between the past and present of your face.” – are contained in his poem – free form verses in five four line stanzas..

He conveys sensations: “….. tasting of linseed; being tongued; your eyes – stare” and the completing line “..the water welling in the corner of your innocent eye.” The engagement between the painter, her medium and the observing poet, all visualised in a circular close up
appreciation of a woman’s face. There is not a trace of indifference rather an intensity of compelling communication.

From the Anthology we also learn that Etain Hickey specializes in highly decorated and lustred ceramics and has exhibited both nationally and internationally, with recent exhibitions in London and Brussels. Her work is included in private and public collections including the Crafts Council of Ireland, The Ulster Museum and Fujita Museum Japan. She lives, works and has her gallery in Clonakilty, West Cork. Etain explores her love of colour and pattern in her ceramic wall dishes using rich glazes and lavish decoration techniques incorporating gold.For this exhibition she will be making a new collection of both her abstract wall dishes
and Tondos’ portraying women with decorative hair styles or head dresses which are often symbols of prestige and status in both modern and ancient times.

Her work can be seen at:
Etain Hickey Collections
40 Ashe Street,
West Cork

* A tondo is a Renaissance term for a circular work of art, either a painting or a sculpture. The word derives from the Italian rotondo – “round.”