Back to perform with us is Erin Fornoff, 16:35-17:00 Friday; 17:10-17:35 Saturday . If she’s new to you/ you’d like a reminder, read on:
In her own words:
“Erin Fornoff is a ‘story-telling poet’ hailing from the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina and a new Irish citizen. She has performed her poetry twice at Glastonbury and at dozens of festivals across the UK and Ireland, and opened for two Irish tours with Hollie McNish. Her first full poetry book, published by Dedalus Press, came out in October 2017 and was shortlisted for the Shine/Strong Award for best first collection in Ireland, and her chapbook ‘Folk Heroes’ came out with Stewed Rhubarb Press in 2015. She has featured on BBC3 The Verb, at Hozier and James Taylor concerts, and in a years-long collaboration with street artist Joe Caslin as well as commissions for numerous charities and causes. Her poems have been included in Best New English and Irish Poets 2016, won the StAnza Digital Slam, and have been commissioned by RTE on the theme of ‘cultural revitalization of Ireland’ for national broadcast and live performance at Dublin Castle. Her poem ‘Hymn to the Reckless’ featured on posters and curriculum nationwide for Ireland’s National Poetry Day. She was co-founder and programme director of Lingo, Ireland’s first ever spoken word festival. Her video poem ‘Home’ was featured in film festivals around the world and won its category at Berlin Underground Film Festival in 2019. In her other life she runs a nonprofit and worked on Obama’s 2008 campaign.”
I keep listening to Erin Fornoff’s “Home” like I can’t help myself. She’s absolutely captured what it means to live far from where you’re from and, while I am technically physically closer to my family in South Wales than she is to hers in North Carolina, hiraeth is hiraeth, and that mingled guilt and stretched-heart feeling with the knowledge that you’re truly home in your new place while retaining another far away is so beautifully expressed I want to press it in a book. She has a real talent for capturing family and the liquid nature of relationships and belonging, awkwardness nestling alongside familiarity in a flow of complex language delivered so simply and sincerely it’s like being read a story by your favourite aunt. I may have got a bit immersed; do excuse me… Anyway, I really want to experience this live, and luckily I soon will!
(Erin also reached out to offer advice and support for this blogging role, which she’s done herself before, and I was unspeakably grateful for that – thanks so much!)