Wednesday, 11 June 2014


Aula magna del complesso di Santa Caterina in the University, Bologna
Our day 7 blogger is Noel Monahan

Monday 9th June - evening event & Tuesday 7th June, morning and home

Mia, Afric, Valerie and Noel at Via de Poeti, Bologna
Sounds of Words/I Suoni della Parola is the final event of the Italo- Irish Literature Exchange 2014. It is hot and the evening sun is relentless. Instinctively, we head for the water-hole outside the Aula Magna, Rita pours cool glasses of water for us and we are informed Bologna University is the oldest in the world. The hall inside reeks of final examinations going all the way back to the twelfth century.

Refreshments before the reading, Afric tucks in
The programme for this evening is presented differently. On every chair you find a paper-wallet full of information relating to the Irish and Italian writers and poets. I am taken by its presentation, the detail right down to green ribbon. By now we are familiar with the proceedings, the translations are ready to go, the running order is set, Tanya, the interpreter leans over and the sounds of words ring out in Italian, English, Irish and Roman dialect.

Writers Silvia Secco, Afric McGlinchey, Gino Scatasta, Alessandro Dall'Olio and William Wall
Questions and answers at the end of the readings lead to a lively exchange of ideas on education and the role of the poet. Back at 77, the Italian Writers’ watering-hole, we drink beer, wine, nibble on cheese, bread, prosciutto … They are a lively bunch and there is real integration. We should stay in contact with 77.
Liz Kirwan and Valerie Bistany
Not only do we talk about DISPLACEMENT, we live it. We get lost on the way back to the Ospitalita. Tuesday we return home. Last minute shopping and we head to the airport. Back in Dublin, I run off with someone’s ham, wine .. and think it’s the after-shave I bought for the boys. What was that theme again? DISPLACEMENT.

Our interpreter Tanya, with all of us and Grupo 77, the Italian wrtiers we read with, outside 77 Wine Bar
Since this is the final report on the trip I feel I should comment on the generosity of spirit of all. We hardly knew each other at the beginning. I certainly feel I was enriched by the experience. Our thanks to Valerie and The Irish Writers’ Centre for making it all happen. When will we meet up?

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