Okay, last night was my 15 minutes (literally) of fame. Selected as part of the Introduction Series, Andrew Caldicott, Jessica Colley, Martin Dyar and myself had to read for 15 minutes each in front of an audience of around 80.
Michael Farry attented and has a much more objective account of proceedings than I could ever do here. Andrew was up first and didn't disappoint. In all he rattled off 14 shortish poems, all with a little kick in them. Hoping the knot he put in his son's balloon string would be large enough, for example.
Jessica followed - she seemed nervous but spoke well. There's a lot of depth in her work and sometimes you would like to have the words in front of you to link pieces of poems together. Her poems demand more than simply a cursory listen - they should be studied to truly appreciate them.
Martin was Martin. I don't know much about the art of poetry but I have a sneaking feeling this guy is going to be mega. Fabulous poems, laced with humour, great performance and dammit, he's good looking too. And to top it off, a really nice chap.
I went 4th. I'd practised the 15 minutes about a dozen times in the mirror and guess what, never stammered once. Then when the real thing comes along, my insides turn to mush. But I got through it all reasonably well - just one major hesitation on the word 'dogs.' I tried forcing it out - it wouldn't come. I tried bouncing it out - d-d-d-d-d-d -but it wouldn't come. In the end I just said "Feck it - animals" which got a laugh.
Did 5 poems, two about Wicklow, Seligman Az, Villanelle Villanelle and a short funny one to round it off. Think it was about 14 minutes, which was long enough for me!
Delighted to meet the legendary PJ Nolan at the event last night, a poet I've always admired, even though sometimes I don't get all the layers! Looking forward to tonight's bash...