St.Mary’s Abbey, Dublin: Kevin Higgins & Karl Parkenson, Thursday Oct.20th


Kevin Higgins and Karl Parkinson


A chance to see two top poets in action so why wouldn’t I make my way into town at all costs (2.20 on the bus from Lucan) to hear them.

Karl Parkinson in fine form with a chapbook to sell (‘a sacrament of song’, published by Wurm Press, and priced at less than the busfare from Lucan). He read or delivered without script his ‘Listening to classical music while thinking of some great artists and their suffering’ a great composition and one I’ve mentioned before on this blog. Also, among others, his inspiring The Positivity Manifesto. The language in this poem is pure Karl Parkinson: arresting, sparkling, compelling…. How I hate him! And his stuff  delivered with his usual unusual dramatic gestures.  A true performer.

Kevin Higgins told us he was a bit fed up of reading from his new book (‘Frightening New Furniture‘, published by Salmon) so most of his stuff tonight was new stuff including a terrific poem entitled something like ‘The People Who Protested Lightly and Then Went Home’… so many of these types of ‘protest’ I have seen in my time. Especially in my late-and-not-lamented time as a teacher. So nice, the teachers, when they are (were) protesting. Nothing French about them. Thanks, Kevin, you hit the nail on the head. Also the amusing poem inspiredby his wife asking him, in an off-hand way, what he would like done when he… er… passes away. The line that struck me was the one about any poet who shuffled up to the mic in the church and asked to read/sing a tribute… well. Kevin wants those people to be buried with him. Apart from the humour, I take this to be a dig at those shameless ‘tribute’ readings and concerts put on to boast the reputations of the living than rather than honour the dead. Well done Kevin.

Yes, a chance to see two top poets but, with all due respect to them, what absolutely bowled me


The Chapter House, St.Mary's Abbey


over was the venue, St. Mary’s Abbey.  Enormous in its day (around 1550, though founded in 1139) only the Chapter house remains. It’s up a little side street  ‘Meeting House Lane’ off Capel Street and as long as I have been in Dublin (like, from birth) I’ve never been in it, and had only vaguely heard about it. Too much history attached to it to deal with here. All I’ll say is you MUST go there  for the next reading organised by Wurm im Apfel (see Facebook or their new website which will be on Nov. 25th with Dave Lordan, Cah-44 and Claire Fitch on the bill at 6pm. The acoustics are absolutely great and they prove that those monastery builders knew a thing or two about sound long before HiTech  systems came along. So YOU remember to come along and get great music, poetry… and a history lesson! (Wrap up well, as it can be a little chilly if you rely only on the hot poets to keep you warm).

Much thanks to MC Kit Fryatt. What a great reading and well attended. And it started at the civilised time of 6.15 and finished  about 7.30… Other venues please note!!!


    1. I hope you stick with the 6.00pm start. 8.00 usually turns into 8.30 and eventually 9.00 or even 9.30! Lots of people depend on buses and some even like to get some sleep at night … it’s the poetry they want, not so much the ‘nocturnal’ lifestyle! Great show and I’m looking forward to the next one.


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