We - the Irish part of the Italo-Irish Literature Exchange - had our first planning meeting on Saturday 7th September at the Irish Writers' Centre.
Writer Catherine Dunne, a founder of the exchange who took part in the 2012/2013 events, met with us to guide us as we plan our trip to Italy. As did IWC Chairman Jack Gilligan.
The seven writers chosen for next year's exchange are: Mia Gallagher, Noel Monahan, William Wall, Liz McManus, Nuala Ní Chonchúir, Afric McGlinchey and Seán Hardie. (See the 'Meet the Writers' links in the sidebar on the right, on this blog, to learn more about each writer.)
Liz McManus was appointed Group Leader and she will liaise with our Italian counterparts in Onoma on all aspects of organising our trip and the events we will take part in in Italy.
Nuala Ní Chonchúir was appointed Secretary and she will keep this blog up-to-date and provide minutes from the meetings.
Items discussed at our inaugural meeting included: funding the trip (grants and fundraising possibilities); pinning down our travel dates (most likely we will travel in May 2014); having our work available in Italian in a booklet at our events; the types of events we want to stage in Italy to showcase Irish writing; whether we will adopt a theme for our trip; structuring our days while in Italy.
All in all, it was a very productive first meeting. We learned a lot from hearing about Catherine Dunne's experience on the 2012 trip to Nogarole Rocca and Verona, and we each left with a task to complete by 30th September.