Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sunday at chapters in Parnell Street,

A reading organised by Seven Towers to celebrate Gay Pride

So, I like bookshops, and I like poetry readings, naturally I jumped at the chance to attend a poetry reading in a bookshop. (And yes - I bought a poetry book, but a poetry book doesn't count towards the dreaded stack of the still unread.) I went along mainly because I know Liam Aungier from my increasingly famous and talented writing group, and he was reading.
Raven kicked off proceedings. He'd arrived in fresh off the bike, complete with the helmet. A San Franciscan by birth, he's been in Dubland 8 years but hasn't really lost his home accent. His sheets were crumpled - he explained he'd normally know his stuff off - so his eyecontact wouldn't be as good as usual. The words were special though. I daren't try to quote them here, but there were definitely one or two spine tinglers among the images. Next up was Steven Conway, Phantom DJ, and one time pirate aboard Radio Caroline (otherwise known as "the boat that rocked" recently immortalised by Jack Black). He read a really moving piece from his book about the experience, got a really strong sense of the friendship and adventure on board, and the yearning we all have for some secret beautiful moment that we'll carry inside forever, feckin great. Then came the poet I'm proud to know - Liam Aungier. He read some really beautiful poems on the subjects of love and longing, I'm a big fan of his poems anyway, and really loved the chance to hear some new pieces (to me). He has kindly given me permission to let you all have a read of his poem "The Willow Tree" - see below, which has recently been chased for inclusion in a children's text book.
Next up was Oran Ryan with an excerpt from his book "10 short novels by Arthur Kruger" a really fascinating concept I thought, and the piece he read was great, a marvellous flight of fancy through death and out the other side, one I'm definitely getting once I've cleared the dreaded pile of the unread.
Finished off with Mike Igoe. I'd seen him once before at his open mic night in the Feile Bar. (But that night I'd had a couple of guinnesses in me, in an attempt to steel myself for the shaky reading I gave - my virginal open mic night), and I didn't quite fully appreciate him. The thing was, on Sunday in the queit book shop, he was able somehow to bring the same bold energy, and dramatic emotion forth. He's a performance poet - and what a performance. A great round off to a really interesting reading.
Raven runs Rá - a spoken word event in the cobblestone pub the last tuesday of every month - tonight is it's first birthday. Mike Igoe runs the naked lunch - open mic - music and poetry every second wednesday in the Féile bar. Seven Towers run open mic's in Cassidy's the last wednesday of the month - and a heap of other stuff besides.
There's no excuse not to get out and enjoy some of them, with Monday's covered by the International bar open mic, and weekends catered for by Nighthawks and Shoestring Collectives. Vibrant old scene it is...

And now - the poem... Liam Aungier's poem that you will some day hear a child say, or if you live for ages, you might hear an adult fondly quoting it, remembering back to a day in the classroom, yet to happen, where they were asked to say it off...And you can say you read it, before it ever got inked onto that dog-eared, graffitied text book.

Liam Aungier, ‘The Willow Tree’. From Apples in Winter, Doghouse books. P.64

The Willow Tree

Liam Aungier

staggered above me, shaking its many arms

at the laughing sky. Sometimes

its green cloak stole the sun, or

its winter branches clawed the stars

and trapped the half-moon in its web.

And then one day I came home

to find it gone: all its limbs

broken on the grass, gnarled roots

raised up to the air, and where

it had stood – the racing sky.


Dublin Dave said...

Very good review and beautiful poem!

Drama Queen said...

Delighted the get the poem and the performances sound fascinating.

Niamh B said...

Thanks folks - it is a great poem, wish it was mine...

beedlemama said...

wonderful poem! Sounds great. Now I want to hear all of them... am intrigued about the ones about love and longing...!