Poetrybeat |5| Feat: Erin Fornoff

This month is going to be mad. Poets don’t do summer holidays, they do poetry and this July is no exception. So get yourself to a poetry event, read a poem, write a poem, get jiggy with a damn poem. Here’s July’s poetrybeat round up to show off some of the fabulous things you might want to do.

The Ultimate Books Upstairs Reading….


When people find that you’re into the old poetry, you get invited to a lot of readings. After a while, a lot of them blend into a big mushy heap over angsty teenagers and old men waxing lyrical about their dogs. But NOT THIS ONE. I read the line-up and I already want to be there. MC’d by the incorrigible Dave Lordan and featuring the crème de le bloody crème of Irish Writing. Get a ticket now, go and be impressed by people like Colm Keegan, Stephen Murray, Michael Naghten Shanks, Kerrie O’Brien, Ciaran O’Rourke, Kate Quigley, Angela Carr, Susan Millar Du Mars, Karl Parkinson, Jean O’Brien, Maeve O’Sullivan, and Dimitra Xidious. Excuse me while I just go sit down and think about all those people being in one room. It’s the 10th of July. Details and tickets here.

Something a little different for all you spoken word lovers…


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Clara Rose Thornton is a force to be reckoned with, and I personally wouldn’t fancy doing the reckoning. She is curating this fabulous sounding night – which is an exploration of the lesser-known connections between members of the Irish and African Diasporas. Headlining the event will be Jess Kavanagh, Nigerian and Irish soul-jazz singer, with Clara providing spoken word on the night. Clara’s pieces will be spoken word interpretations of Billie Holiday Classics. There’s also talks on the subjects of legacy and racism, and a Jazz Trio squashed in there too. So for all your jazz, poetry and activist needs – get down to the liquor rooms on July 8th at 19:30 for a special night. There’s an event page here for further details.

If you happen to be rocking around Cork…


The Ó Bhéal readings are a bit of an institution in Cork. And every Monday this July there’s a reading that will get your poetry endorphins sky high. So check out the line up at this link  and pop along to see why this night is such a success. Some of the poets that will be on stage this month are: Clara Rose Thornton (she’s literally everywhere!), Nell Regan, Evelyn Casey, Mary Glasgow and Thomas Carty. Each night begins with an ominous sounding Poetry Challenge (so pick those poetry brains) at around 9.30pm and the guest performers will dazzle you at 10pm. It’s free in and at the Long Valley Bar in Cork. G’wan!

Send them your poems…

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Crannog is one of those publications that’s good to have on the auld poetry CV. They are open for submissions to their October issue in July. So dust off some of those poems and send them in. They might just be looking for your verse. Details on how to submit are right here.

Enter this here Poetry Competition….

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This is probably the best advertised poetry writing competition in the history of Irish writing. New Irish Writers are asked to submit unpublished poems and maybe win a big old cash prize. Which is a very poetic dream. This is a great competition for new voices to be heard, this year it’s judged by Dave Lordan and is worth a shot for all those ready to take a chance on their poems. Here are some details.

A little something, something to read…

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I had the ridiculous joy of being at Erin Fornoff’s launch. It was a little bit magic, there were tears and harmonies and Erin’s formidable brand of poetry. I took away her poetry pamphlet (which is only five euro and therefore a bargain ) and have been reading it ever since. Erin is a renowned performance poet and has opened for people like Holly McNish and been an integral part of the Lingo Festival team. Her poems are just as striking and real and beautiful on the page as they are on stage. Folk Heroes is a gorgeous book, and you can contact Erin (here are her details) to get one! It contains poems, like August in New Orleans, which are quite simply magic. Above is a video of Erin performing August in New Orleans (should you need any more convincing).