Adam White is from Youghal, Co. Cork. After many years working as a carpenter/ joiner in Ireland and in France, he studied English and French at NUI Galway, where he began reading and writing poetry. He has recited his poetry at venues in Galway, Tipperary and Cork, at the Electric Picnic, and at venues in Italy, England and France. His first collection, Accurate Measurements, was published by Doire Press of Connemara, in April 2013, and shortlisted for a Forward prize for best first collection. At present he is living in Normandy.
Do all your poems work as slam pieces or read poems? Do you think there are some that work on the page only and some out loud only?
Yes, I left Galway in the summer of 2010. I got a two-year contract at the uni in Angers, and moved up to Normandy after that. We moved further north this September (following the work), and now live just outside Honfleur, which is just across the river from the big city/port of Le Havre. But the aim is to get more work down south and move again in the summer. With a bit of luck it'll be the last move.
Down south for the summer, the opposite of the snowgeese. Are you carpentering?
When I say down south, it's not the south of France I mean! More the south of the north of France.
No carpentry right now, no. I did a year of that in Brittany a while back, but now it seems (like Ireland) to be a bad time for the building trades, and anyone I called up said they were not taking anyone on, more letting people go. So I got some work teaching English at a secondary school. I did spend July in Germany though, reroofing a house my brother just bought. That was great. Great weather. A lot of work. We worked for a month without a day off.
Your carpentry inspired some poems. Has your teaching?
No, the teaching hasn't inspired any poems. The teaching is too much working with the head and not enough working with the hands, whereas that's where many, or most, of the poems come from.
Are you writing? Are there other English language writers around?
Writing away, yes. I quickly had an idea for a second book, so have got stuck into that. Not that I'm writing lots, or quickly, but I do feel I'm going somewhere with it. I've only been in this region since September, so don't know many people, and don't know any writers. The only English language writers I ever met in France were in Paris. They run monthly bilingual readings.
What have you got coming up?
Not much coming up now really on the poetry front. Lisa at Doire is trying to get some people they've published into readings/festivals, but nothing is sure for now. I've heard of a couple of bilingual festivals in France, but have yet to contact them. Just writing now, and after all the stuff that went on in August, September and October (a lot of flying), which was great to be involved in, it's actually nice to get back to normal life.
Lastly any tips for new writers?
Thanks very much and a Happy New Year
To read an earlier interview with Adam by Paul McVeigh see link. Includes a poem Accurate Measurements