Belfast Book Festival
Join writer Craig Jordan-Baker, musician Eimear McGeown and poet Cherry Smyth for a unique evening performance based on their pilgrimage of the Bann river in 2021.
Their work, If the River is Hidden (époque press, 2022), reflects the shape of the Bann in a hybrid, prose and poetry form: long, sinewy poems bridged by a lyric essay. This hybridity speaks to the third space emerging in the North, as well as how belonging starts with the words we inherit.
What is hidden? The river’s pagan past and its associations with An Bhanna, the Goddess; the Mesolithic treasures offered to the river; the histories of sectarianism and the divisions in towns along the river’s course; the pollutants destroying the Bann’s ecology; how the blood of belonging streams through us, even for those no longer live in the North of Ireland, or who never did.
‘If the river is hidden
So is what enters it.’
Craig Jordan-Baker has published fiction in New Writing, Text, Firefly Magazine, Potluck and the époque press é-zine. His drama has been widely performed in the UK and he has had work commissioned by institutions such as The National Archives, Brighton Museums and the Theatre Royal Brighton. Craig lives in Brighton and is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Brighton. The Nacullians, Craig’s debut novel, was published by époque press in 2020.
Irish flautist Eimear McGeown has steadily built a reputation as being one of the world's most versatile exponents of both the classical and Irish flute. She has appeared as a soloist throughout the USA, South America, South Korea, Japan, China, The Philippines, Russia and Europe. Two of her most notable solo performances have been on BBC's Last Night of the Proms and the World Premiere of Dave Morris’ Concerto in the Library of Congress in Washington DC.
Cherry Smyth is an Irish writer, living in London who has written the following poetry collections; When the Lights Go Up, One Wanted Thing, Test, Orange and Famished. Famished tours as a performance in collaboration with vocalist Lauren Kinsella and composer Ed Bennett. Cherry was nominated as a Fellow for the Royal Society of Literature in 2022 and is also a Hawthornden Fellow. She is Associate Professor in Creative and Critical Writing at the University of Greenwich.