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  • Writer's pictureHiram Larew

Manchester UK Festival 2024

Updated: Dec 1, 2023

Larew's poem, Achill Sound, was recently set to music by UK songwriter Geoff Wilson. And, Geoff's song -- with his recitation of the poem -- was then accepted for the Manchester Open 2024 Festival (Feb - Apr, 2024).

The poem was written during a writing residence at the Heinrich Böll Cottage on Achill Island, County Mayo, Ireland. After being first published in Words for the Wild, the poem then appeared in The Echo World, A New Ulster, the 2019 Bridgewater Anthology and Verse Virtual. It is included in Larew's collection, Mud Ajar (Atmosphere Press, 2021)

Here's a sneak preview of Geoff's wistfully wonderful song -- ACHILL SOUND by Geoff Wilson (

And here's information about the Manchester Open 2024 -- Manchester Open 2024 - HOME (

Here's the text of the poem. Note: The Irish Potato Famine occurred between 1845 and 1849. And, in order to get to Achill Island from mainland Ireland, travelers cross over Achill Sound.

Achill Sound

When the roads curve like sound

and dip as if lifting to bow

Whenever all thoughts round or cluster

or when hearts call down

is Ireland

And as rich when poor was

or as wise as bare heads in snow seemed

and as twigs so frail broke into song

and as true as any blight or potato could be

was Ireland

So when sand laps the senses

or salt drips the edges as dreams

Whenever hope streams through such heavens

and moss comes home

or hearts beam down

is Ireland.


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