Skip to main content

A Hollywood Star Reads My Poems

A Hollywood Star Reads My Poems

The closest I’ve got to fame is vicariously, through my late brother Peter Caffrey, who was a well-known actor in Ireland and beyond. I’d follow him onto film and tv sets, to theatres big and small and, Peter being Peter, to many a wild party. In his early days, which coincided with the same for many who have gone on to wider acclaim, I got to peep behind his coat tails at people like Jim and Peter Sheridan, Liam Neeson, Gabriel Byrne. When I organised a memorial evening for Peter in aid of the Irish Hospice Foundation, Gabriel was one of the first to respond to my request for a paragraph to put in the souvenir programme.

That was more than ten years ago and when, recently, I was in search of endorsements for the back of my forthcoming poetry chapbook (The Untethered Space, published by 4Word Press) it was a distant memory. My first request to a well-known poet was politely (and understandably, given that they are inundated with same) turned down. I wondered if I knew anyone famous, not necessarily a poet, whose name would have recognition beyond the world of poetry. Gabriel came to mind, and before I could dither too much and lose my nerve, I sent an e-mail off more in hope than expectation. Back came the reply the same day that he would, of course, read the manuscript.

I was over the moon, couldn’t quite believe it, but sent it off and waited in some trepidation. He loved it, and was generous enough to write something for the blurb. He also went beyond the call of duty, and read my short memoir “Still Life”, a link to which is in my gmail signature. Not many people do that unprompted, and I am always touched when they do.

Today is Gabriel’s 70th birthday. He is, to quote Joxer Daly in Juno and The Paycock, a daarlin' man Happy birthday, Gabriel Byrne. May your shadow never grow less.

Still Life may be read here:

If you would like to buy a copy of The Untethered Space (£5.99 plus postage) you can order it from the publisher (4Word Press) at this link or by using the Buy Now button below.



Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Remembrance of Things Past

For a long time, for me, July was always associated with childhood holidays to Bettystown, a seaside village 30 miles north of Dublin, much changed in the 50-odd years since. Then, half our circle of family and friends – cousins, close neighbours, various dogs and cats – would decamp to the rented holiday houses we’d live in for that feral month, creating memories that bring a smile to this day. Long swims in the sea, dar-dar in the burrows (cops and robbers to you, perhaps), pillow fights and midnight feasts, games of spin-the bottle and tennis marathons played out on rickety grass courts; the days went on and on, the memories for even longer. Those holiday memories were, I think, the greatest gift our parents gave us. They provided us - two boys, three girls – with many shared moments of laughter and recollection, and forged a bond between us that remains unshaken. It can’t have been too much fun for my mother. I have no idea how she and Dad coped with the five of us and the af

Sending your baby out into the world No, I don’t mean the extra place at the table that you keep laying when on auto-pilot (even though he’d been at university for two terms by then) or the open bedroom door signifying she is no longer in residence that you close quietly for a while. Just until you are used to her absence. I got over that, as we all have to do when our children leave home. I’m talking about sending the last proof of your manuscript off to the editor/s and thence to the printers from where it will come back to you as a beautifully bound work of - well, work. After a lot of to-ing and fro-ing, during which you keep spotting more and more little errors or misjudgements, you finally have to accept that there is nothing more you or the editor can, or should, do. Time’s up. You have to let go now and trust that you have given it your best shot. I’ve never been in this position before. The Untethered Space is my debut chapbook and it’s exciting and terrifying in e