Attended the first of the two Poetry Ireland Introductions readings at the Irish Writers Centre last night. Four very capable and different poets had ten minutes to read (it was fifteen last year - cutbacks?) and show the 60-70 strong audience why they were selected by Alan Jude Moore (wouldn't you love to have Jude as a middle name? So obscure...)
In the unenviable position of being first up was Ainin Ni Bhroin, who selected three longish pieces. Listening to her brilliantly observed narratives on everyday life, I was brought back to the age old question as to what is poetry and what is prose. Because for the life of me, all three of her pieces read like essays. Wonderfully interesting pieces, I have to add, and I suppose if you saw them written on a page, they'd be poetry!
Next was Kimberly Campanello, an American girl, who read some pretty powerful stuff, though mixing sex and religion is often a good recipe for powerful. I have to say, I'm no shrinking violet but she scared the crap out of me. I also have to say, big prude that I am, I don't like the c word in poetry. I think it tends to overshadow all the good stuff.
Next up was Trim's own Michael Farry, the lone representative of the downtrodden sex to be selected this year. Now, I have to say I'm biased because I love Michael's stuff and even the fact that I'd heard many of the pieces before didn't detract from my enjoyment of the performance. I think he got the mix just right between serious and humour. His own version of the night is here
Finally, we had Donna Sorensen (above) who immediately roused my hatred for being selected for Stinging Fly, Southword and Poetry Ireland Review. But grudgingly I have to admit she showed why such august publications have gone for her poetry. Very assured reading and her worldwide travels have obviously given her much subject matter, for her ten minute travelogue was fascinating.
And I hereby have to apologise to the remaining four readers - Eleanor Hooker (M. Dip?) Susan Lindsay, Barbara A Morton and JS Robinson - who are reading at the Irish Writers Centre next Wednesday night 18th May at 6.30pm. For uz'll be down in Cornwall instead. But, as Eleanor said, we can always catch them on You Tube.