April is National Poetry Month in the US and beyond and sees the celebration of Ireland’s own National Poetry Day on the 28th, with events and readings around the country, over and above the usual poetry news happenings. Let’s dive in!
Readings by Michael Longley (12 April) and Paul Durcan (17 April)
April brings a rare opportunity to hear two of Irish poetry’s elder statesmen read and discuss their work. Former Ireland Poetry Chair, Michael Longley reflects on Ageing and Memory at the Edmund Burke Theatre at Trinity College Dublin, on Tues 12 April, as part of Trinity Week. He will read selected work by various poets, from his own published work, including The Stairwell, winner of the 2015 Griffin International Poetry Prize, and from new work. Paul Durcan will be in conversation with Dermot Bolger at the National Museum of Ireland on Sun 17 April, remembering Major John McBride — a relative through his mother’s family and an almost forgotten figure in the Easter Rising. Described as a ‘private reading’, Durcan will share his memories of McBride, the McBride family, his own family and read poems in their memory. More information and booking details for both events at Poetry Ireland.
Writing Workshops With Kimberly Campanello (16 April) & Nessa O’Mahony (27 April)
If you’re a budding poet, there are two opportunities this month to work with an established writer, without putting a dent in your pocket. Kimberly Campanello is conducting two poetry workshops in The Chapter Room, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Kilkenny on Sat 16 April. In her role as 2016 Broadsheet editor, she’ll be covering poetic technique, generating and editing new work, as well as personal feedback and an insight into the Broadsheet editorial process. Each session costs €15 and can be booked via Kilkenny County Council. Later in the month, Nessa O’Mahony explores family history and the past as a means to kick-starting new writing or a memoir, with a creative writing workshop in the historic setting of Castletown House, Celbridge, Co. Kildare, on Weds 27 April, in association with the Open University. Places are free but numbers are limited – more info and tickets available from The Open University.
Cúirt International Festival of Literature 2016, Galway (17- 24 April)
La Malinche Readings – A Poetry Exchange Between Ireland and Galicia, Spain (21-23 April)
In the first of a series of cultural exchanges between Ireland and Spain, La Malinche Readings brings the voice of contemporary Galician poetry to Ireland in the work of Elvira Ribeiro, with translations by Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary Award recipient for 2016, Keith Payne. The first event takes place at Books Upstairs, Dublin, on Thurs 21 April, and includes Anamaría Crowe Serrano reading her translation of the work of Mexican poet, Elsa Cross. Elvira will give a bilingual presentation on Contemporary Women’s Poetry at the Irish Centre of Galician Studies, at UCC, Cork on Fri 22 April and will read along with Keith at Cork City Library on Sat 23 April, as part of the Cork International Book Festival 2016. More information at Eventbrite.
Poetry Day Ireland (28 April)
And rounding off the month is Poetry Day Ireland on Thurs 27 April, our very own national day to celebrate the poetic arts! The theme for 2016 is Revolution, whether that be artistic, political, social, or personal, as poetry has always closely reflected social change and transformation in Ireland. Organised by Poetry Ireland, the day aims to bring poetry and the spoken word to every school, venue, café, and street corner around the country. Keep an eye out for the Poetry Day posters featuring great examples of Irish poetry, old and new, on the DART, to brighten up your daily commute this month. For a full list of events, or to register your own event, check out all the Poetry Day details at Poetry Ireland.
Poetry Events Around Ireland
Other events to look out for around the country:
Psoken Word (Clonakilty) Monthly readings and open mic night, first Tuesday of the month.
Purely Poetry (Belfast) Monthly open mic night, first Friday of the month.
The Monday Echo (Dublin) Weekly Poetry & Music Performances, every Monday.
Ó Bhéal Poetry readings & Open Mic Nights (Cork), every Monday and featuring Mary Kennelly, John W. Sexton, Ron Carey, Tom Moloney and Ruth O’Callaghan.
Staccato (Dublin) Monthly poetry and fiction readings, with open mic, last Wednesday of the month.
Over the Edge Poetry Reading & Open Mic (Galway) Monthly poetry readings and open mic, last Thursday of the month.
A-musing (Dublin) Comedy, poetry and spoken word, last Sunday of the month.
Stanzas (Limerick, 22 April) Monthly literary events.
If you have a poetry event coming up in May or a regular event that you’d like to see featured here, send details to [email protected] by 25 April, for inclusion in next month’s Poetrybeat.