Thursday, 20 August 2015

Poetry NI Summer Reading preview

This piece was originally published in BAM Magazine.

I was going to start this piece saying something like it is ‘an honour and a privilege’ to be working with the eight poets we have in our Summer Reading. But poetry isn’t just for the honoured or the privileged, it is open and accessible to all, especially to those willing to hunt it out. That’s what Poetry NI is all about: creating platforms for poets to showcase their work, and bringing people who love poetry together into a community, rather than an audience. In that way, we hope to make the hunt a little easier for people.

In presenting our Summer Reading, we’re bringing together eight fantastic readers to present their work: Chris Agee, Ruth Carr, Deirdre Cartmill, Kelly Creighton, Matt Kirkham, Maria McManus, Geraldine O’Kane and Lynda Tavakoli. Within lies a great range of established names and exciting new voices from across the North.

As a lover of poetry first, and an event organiser second, it’s a thrill for me to have so many poets from my bookshelf within one room for the night, presenting presses that will be very familiar to Northern Irish poetry readers: Lagan Press, Salt, Lapwing, Summer Palace Press, Templar and elsewhere.

All our eight poets are recognised not only for the quality of their verse, but also for their contribution to the arts in other roles as well, whether as editors, publishers, creative writing tutors, teachers and/or mentors. In writing poetry, one should also support poetry, as has been exemplified by our readers. It’s therefore fitting that the reading takes place in the Crescent Arts Centre, a long-time friend of Poetry NI and of Northern Irish poetry in general.

So come join us for an evening of powerful words, dazzling verse and stimulating insight from eight of the best voices the North has to offer.

[Full details and tickets at]

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