Poetry Corner: Launch of Sea Journey

Poets in Profile Nov 2013 - Book Launches and Martin Egan_02

Some people are sound poets and some people are page poets, and some are both. The one common denominator for each of them is that they all like attention and money and there’s one tried and tested way to get both at once. You need to put out a book, and that means, you’ll need to have a book launch.

Launches, like performances, are a given of the literary life and few experiences are quite so nerve-wracking as the build-up to a launch. It’s something all authors have to go through, but in the relatively lo-fi, low-cost world that most poetry publishers inhabit, it is a very hands-on process for the writer.

NewsFour spoke with Martin A. Egan (pictured) who is at time of writing, anticipating the launch of his debut collection Sea Journey from Lapwing Press. Martin is a singer, songwriter, painter, stand-up comedian and long-time performance poet. Although he has been writing and reading his words since the beginning of his career, Sea Journey is his first collection.

“I began my career doing spoken word, and only began song writing because my whole family were musicians.” He went on to develop a significant career in music, writing the song Casey for Christy Moore, and achieving Platinum record status for his work in the late 1990s.

In discussing launches, Martin’s mind is naturally drawn back to the launch of his first and only album (thus far) The Tune which was launched in Whelan’s in March 2010. “At a good launch, it’s simple. People show up, they have a good time, they buy a copy of whatever you’re launching, album or book, then they go home and go ‘what the hell did I buy this for?’” He laughs readily as he delivers his punch line.

“When it comes to the book launch, my old friend Mary Coughlan will be launching it (I’m in one of her books Bloody Mary), and myself and Darragh from the band The Jimmy Cake will be performing. The book is a limited edition, each copy signed and hand-sewn. It’s dedicated to victims of abuse everywhere.”

He explains that the core theme of Sea Journey is water: sea water, rain, river water, mountain pools. “There are some intervals away from that but returning to dealing with matters of grief, and frozen emotion is a big part of it. One poem, ‘Cowardice’ is about how men cope with grief and loss. I remember when my sister died, she killed herself and I put myself in the position of the rock, the strong one. I remember resenting other people’s effusiveness. A lot of the book is going through matters I didn’t deal with while they were happening.”

Sea Journey by Martin A. Egan was published by Lapwing Press on November 28th.

By Rúairí Conneely