Thursday October 1st was All Ireland Poetry Day (which, to my mind, conjures up images of poets hurling poems around Croke Park) and a special reading was organised in Chapters Bookshop, Parnell Street, Dublin for the occasion by Seven Towers from 3.00 to 7.00 and MC’d by Sarah Lundberg.
I shared the first hour with Ann Morgan, Bernie O’Reilly, Karl Parkinson and Anamaria Crowe Serrano and Darragh O Neill. Ann read that ‘Cooking’ poem (must get the name of it) which makes one’s mouth water and Bernie gave some of her short spare observant lyrics. I am a big fan of Karl sinceI first heard him at the Write & Recite sessions (organised by Gerry McNamara). What great stuff! ‘Listening to Classical Music but Thinking of Great Artists and How They Suffered’. Anamaria obliged from her ‘Femispheres’ collection (Shearsman Books 2008, www.shearsman.com) with, among others, ‘On Reading Pablo Neruda’ which she really brought to life with a passionate rendition. Very good in itself, this is one which benefits more again from a reading (as does any poem, but some gain something extra).
Darragh (new to me) read some very clear, descriptive and singularly intense pieces which I’d like to hear again to appreciate. I read a few including an ‘Anniversary Poem for the October Revolution’ which I wrote in 2006 after a visit to Hungary where celebrations and commemorations were everywhere, it being the anniversary of the 1956 revolution (or counter-revolution, as the communists termed it). It’s sad now to think of how many people died then fighting Communism and how Communism itself died 30 years afterwards, but at that time it did not look as if ‘the Iron Curtain’ would ever lift.