The 5th Blackwater International Poetry Festival took place in Castletownroche last weekend.

This prestigious event attracted poets from Ireland, Europe and the United States. Run over 4 days, activities centred around a number of comfortable venues in the village, namely: The Spinning Wheel, The Castle Arms, The Rockforest Bar and Castletownroche Community Centre.

Readings in the aforementioned venues generated lively reaction with visiting poets using the festival as a sounding board for new material.

Fringe activities included, the poetry bus, a children’s poetry workshop and a crash course on the Irish language.

On Sunday evening, there was a Skype link up with Dallas, Texas.

Gene and Margo Barry are credited with establishing the festival and undoubtedly their energy and enthusiasm have been critical to its ongoing success.

They are however, quick to admit, that hosting an event on this scale wouldn’t be possible without venues, sponsorship, the support of locals and a huge amount of goodwill – all of which are forthcoming.

The majority of those who visited Castletownroche last weekend were doing so for the first time and their festival experience proved overwhelmingly positive – in a very encouraging development all expressed a desire to return to this north Cork venue in the not too distant future.