February 16-22, 2004: Molly Freeman and Adrian Rice

week of February 16-22, 2004

Molly Freeman and Adrian Rice

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Molly Freeman

Bio (auto)

Molly Freeman is from North Carolina Her heritage is Irish and Cherokee She holds degrees in Theatre Arts Education and English As a Second Language Now living in Belfast, she works as a freelance drama director/educator and creative writing instructor Her poetry has been published in various magazines and journals She contributed to A Conversation Piece (Abbey Press/MAGNI, 2002), edited by Adrian Rice and Angela Reid, a major new anthology featuring fifty poets on fifty artworks from the Ulster Museum Her first poetry publication, Mill Hill, is forthcoming
Freelance Poetry and Drama
Abbey Press, Newry/Belfast Northern Ireland
Belfast Lough Sea & Shore Environmental/Arts Project 2003
St James’ Primary School, Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland 

The following work is Copyright © 2004, and owned by Molly Freeman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Fried Green Tomatoes

Walking behind my mother
Through the tall wet grass –
As a child I ran through
At her heels,
Taking no notice
Of what was under my feet
Or the whipping lashes
Of the grass branding my bare legs
Now wading in the shallows
Of the thigh-high yard grass,
I think of the wet sting
And dirtying my stylish
Thirty-something retro blue
Tennis shoes
Walking way, way behind
My mother,
Who still bare foots
& hightails the trails
And lays back the grass
Like a bushman
She wants to show me something
Wiping the bugs off my legs,
I reach her The whole time I think Calamine And she smiles at my faded courage
And points at her green tomato vines.


He dumped me today No forewarning His black boot on my head
Making me little
To squeeze me into the
Blue-black Hefty trash bag He double-tied me
In with his leftovers
And his beer cans
Settling in
And getting used to the smell,
I was shocked still –
Freeze frames of his eyes,
His mouth, when he said
Like scripture
There was somebody else.

Adrian Rice


Adrian Rice was born in Belfast in 1958 He is a poet and editor He was educated at the University of Ulster where he graduated with a BA (Hons ) in English and Politics and a MPhil (by research) in Anglo-Irish Literature Being an established poet on both Irish Arts Councils’ ‘Writers-in-Schools’ schemes, he teaches creative writing workshops in schools, colleges and community groups throughout Ireland His first sequence of poems appeared in Muck Island (1990), a collaboration with leading Irish artist, Ross Wilson Copies of this limited edition box set are housed in the collections of The Tate Gallery, The Boston Museum of Fine Arts and The Lamont Library, Harvard University His second poetry sequence, Impediments (Abbey Press, 1997), also earned him widespread critical acclaim He edited Signals (Abbey Press, 1997), an anthology of poetry and prose that was a Times Educational Supplement ‘Paperback Choice’ He has also edited four anthologies of children’s poetry, art and drama-Life of the Lough (1999), Sea and Shore (2000) Around the Lough (2001) and Lough Views (2003) In 1997, he received the Sir James Kilfedder Memorial Bursary for Emerging Artists In autumn 1999, as recipient of the US/Ireland Residency Exchange Bursary, he was Poet-in-Residence at Lenoir-Rhyne College, North Carolina, during which time he received the Key to the City of Hickory His first full poetry collection-The Mason’s Tongue (Abbey Press, 1999)-was shortlisted for the 2001 Christopher Ewart-Biggs Memorial Literary Prize and was nominated for the 2001 Irish Times Poetry Prize He is co-editor of a major new anthology entitled A Conversation Piece: Poetry and Art (The Ulster Museum in association with Abbey Press, 2002) His recent publications include The Tin God (2002), a cultural/industrial heritage study of the Cans Metal Box factory, Portadown and Insights (2003), an anthology of poetry from the Dungannon Visually Impaired Group His new volume of poetry, The Moongate Sonnets, is forthcoming He has just been appointed as Visiting Writer-in-Residence at Lenoir-Rhyne College, North Carolina for 2005
Freelance Poetry and Drama
Abbey Press, Newry/Belfast Northern Ireland
Belfast Lough Sea & Shore Environmental/Arts Project 2003

The following work is Copyright © 2004, and owned by Adrian Rice and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Big Picture

.for Raymond Armstrong

Outside the window,
B-movie rain falls in floods Someone must be on my roof,
Sending those buckets down
Other hands have the house surrounded
With cranes and booms;
The gardens tracked,
The cameras dollying along
While the key grip corners the gaffer,
The continuity girl works
With an awkward shoe,
And the best boy does what best boys do
I suppose they are waiting on me Well, they can wait I’m not coming out What’s happening is happening inside
.From The Mason’s Tongue

Silent Argument

.for Ian Duhig

It is not unheard of for me to entrust
My barnet to the hands of a barber
Who has years since lost his hearing
And I have noticed how he seems more
Than a trifle nervous when his friends
Appear for a short-back-and-sides
In ear-splitting whispers, he reveals that unless
He delivers a cut-above-the-rest, they never cease
Talking about him at the club for the deaf
.from The Mason’s Tongue

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