August is mad for the poems, mad for them. It was almost impossible to choose what to feature, with stellar line-ups popping up all over the country. I couldn’t possibly mention everything, so these are just a few of the highlights. If you want more, or can’t make these, then do a teensy bit of research, there is honestly so much on and this is my big bad wish list of things I want to be at.
Brining Poetiquette to the Five Glens Arts Festival
Just go – take my word for it. This is an astounding line-up of spoken word performers, with headliners Anthony Anaxagorou, John Cummins, Abby Oliveira and Stephen Murphy all taking to the stage. There’s music from Archaic Revival and Special Guests, and a couple of surprise acts on the night. The event is run by some of the best folk (wonderful artist Chelsea Murphy and, her almost just as wonderful husband, the poet Stephen Murphy) and I know they’ll put on a show to be reckoned with. Doors open at 8 with the first act on at 8.30pm in the Glens Centre in Manorhamilton on Saturday the 22nd of August. Tickets will be available in advance through their website and are a steal at just 10 euro each.
A home for those poems…
The struggle to get published continues and we’re all constantly (those of us that fight that struggle good and hard) opening rejection emails. So do not be deterred. Sure 90% of your work might be ignored, but it’s worth it for the 10% that gets the wink. If you don’t keep sidling up to publications, you will never get the wink. So g’wan get your poems some winks and try submitting to the folk at Irish Pages. Their deadline is the 31st of this month, so you have 30 days to get your act together. They’re looking for all sorts of thing for their latest volume titled After Heaney (Vol 9, No 1). If you don’t try, you’ll never know.
Robert Pinsky is in the house…
Yup, that’s right 3 time US Poet Laurete is shaking his poems out on our turf. An astounding poet who has achieved everything. And I mean everything. He’s appeared on the Simpsons for goodness sake! Although that might not sound as swanky as a Poet Laurete, it’s a fine thing indeed when a poet manages to cross over into popular culture. So get yourself to Kilkenny Arts Festival to see this poet read. You can have a gander at some of this poems here. What’s more all the details of his reading are here.
I want people to hear me roar…
The Muse Open Mic is a big open stage for everyone from the polished poet to the downright jangle of nerves that is a first time reader. Run by Orla Martin, it is a supportive environment that wants to encourage people to take to the stage with their words. It’s a free event and you can bring along your own poems. It’s on this Wednesday the 5th of August, from 7 to 9.30pm, in the Workman’s club. It’s an open mic and you have 3 minutes to shine! So go and be shiny.
Just buy my poetry already…
There’s not really a big retail market for poems, but there are many, many competitions with big cash prizes and you never know which one might decide yours is the poem for them. Competitions are a great way to get your stuff recognised as you can get listed and all that good stuff. This month the Dromineer Literary Festival is running an impressive competition. You can enter as many times as you like and you might win €500. The judge is Thomas McCarthy and you can find out the submission details here.
A lovely auld book….
This month I had a poem of Paula Meehan’s stuck in my head, or rather the memory of it. But I couldn’t decide quite how it went and I wanted to read it really badly. So I hunted it down with a little help from Theo Dorgan and Paula Meehan, who were kind enough to send it to me. It was as, if not more, beautiful than I had remembered. The poem was “When You Left The City You Carried…” and was featured in her collection Pillow Talk. Now, we all know how beautiful the words of Paula Meehan are, so I recommend tracking that book down and getting yourself a copy. Here’s a helpful little link to it on Amazon.
And that’s it for August’s Poetrybeat. I’m off to go lie down in a field and recover. But do get out to things, there is so much happening this month and it’d be a shame to miss any of it.