Resound, December 9th at the Half Moon Theatre

Resound performing at Triskel Christchurch as part of the Cork Midsummer Festival

I’m performing as part of Kate Ellis’s Resound project in Cork’s Half Moon Theatre on December 9th. I’ve really enjoyed working with these talented, challenging people. It’s a great way to bring the year (almost) to a close.

“a musical co-op of some of the most interesting musicians working in Ireland today … creating walls of sound using strings, guitars and vocal effects that are beautiful and disquieting. Poet Billy Ramsell recites his work over Ellis’s precise and fluid bowing, while visual artist Rory Tangney charcoals on a white backdrop behind the musicians. Resound in some way embodies an important aspect of the festival – the communal overlap of skills and themes – while staying faithful to individual artistry.”

Sinead Gleeson, writing in The Irish Times on Resound’s performance at this summer’s Kilkenny Arts Festival.

All-Ireland Poetry Slam, November 30th at The Old Oak, Cork

Séamus Barra Ó Súilleabháin: rousing voice, worthy champion

I’m guest reader at the final of this year’s All-Ireland Poetry Slam. The final rotates between the four provinces, but this year it’s Munster’s turn to play host and battle commences in The Old Oak on Friday the 30th of November at 8pm. (Admission Free).

Eight competitors have triumphed in their provinces to reach this climactic verbal combat, which as I understand it comprises three rounds:

Round 1: all eight say a poem and four are eliminated

Round 2: four semi-finalists say a poem, two are eliminated

Round 3: the final two say a poem and a winner is declared

Whoever comes through this process has a tough act to follow in last year’s champion, the hair-raising Irish-language performance poet Séamus Barra Ó Súilleabháin, who despite his north Kerry roots was representing Connacht on the night. We forgive him.

2012 Competitors

For Connacht – Lisa Allen & Miceál Kearney

For Leinster – John Cummins & Seán Dennehy

For Ulster – Mel Bradley & Peter Francis Fahy

For Munster – Cathal Holden & Fergus Costello

Judges: Matthew Sweeney, Leanne O’Sullivan, Madeliene D’Arcy, Padraig Trehy and Conal Creedon.

Féile Bheag Filíochta, Ballyferriter

I’m heading to the Féile Bheag Filíochta this weekend in beautiful Ballyferriter. This bilingual event is surely the country’s greatest ‘Little Poetry Festival’. It has a great welcoming atmosphere and for me always represents an opportunity to connect with friends old and new agus gan amhras mo chuid Gaeilge a chleachtadh freisin. Reading this year are Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill,  Paddy Bushe and  Bríd Ní Mhoráin. I’m doing a little bit of em-ceeing on Sunday morning. Can’t wait.

New Irish Poets at Poetry International

I’m delighted to add two poets I’ve long admired to the Irish section of Poetry International: the multi-award-winning young Irish-language poet Simon Ó Faoláin and Peter Sirr, who’s such a vibrant and long-standing presence on the poetry scene that he needs no bigging-up from the likes of me. I think it’s nice when possible to match an ’emerging’ voice with a more established one.

Simon Ó Faoláin

Peter Sirr