Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Salmon

This Friday, I'll be presenting a salmon-themed poetry reading in Portrush as part of Verbal Arts Centre involvement with 'Stories of Salmon Leaping', a cultural heritage project being delivered by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure and partners, aimed at raising awareness of the salmon, its story and its lifecycle.

I'll be sharing poems looking at salmon in and out of the water; in rivers, creeks, Pacific currents and beyond; salmon in the hand, on the slab, and cooking it, in the poetry. With verse from Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, Raymond Carver and much more, the poems explore mankind's connection with nature, looking at salmon not only as a source of sustenance and income, but of the magic and majesty of the fish, and of the wild tales their journey inspires.

This poetry reading will be the prefect excuse for me to dig out all my old fish puns... although really I've haddock up to here with fish puns. I'm really just making them up for the sheer halibut.

http://theverbal.co/blog/story/2015/fishy-tales-and-poetry-for-salmon-project-events

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Poetry Never Sleeps

It's been an extraordinarily busy last couple of months with poetry events and opportunities for Geraldine​ and myself. Months of blessings and excitement, getting to read alongside many great poets that we admire and are honoured to know, discovering new names, and helping to push poetry to the masses and extend the platforms for people to share their work through.

Over the summer we've had the chance to be a part of The John Hewitt Society​ International Summer School, Stendhal Festival of Art​, EastSide Arts​ (thanks Maria McManus​ and Bronagh Lawson​) and the Bounce! Arts Festival Weekender (thanks Chris Ledger​ and all at Arts & Disability Forum​).

There's been poetry written for great causes with Sofa Sessions raising money for NIAMH Wellbeing (well done Tracy Dempsey​), and poems for World Suicide Prevention Day this Thursday (organised by David Armitage​).

We've seen Rory Jones​ and David Braziel​ win the Belfast heat of the All Ireland Poetry Slam, and am excited to see who will advance through from the Bangor heat at Aspects Festival at the end of this month. And then there's the judging of the Funeral Services Northern Ireland National Poetry Competition to come on top of that!

There are plenty of possibilities out there for poets at the moment, and it's a dream come true to see poetry expand into so many areas. Thank you to all the facilitators, event organisers, directors and fellow poets for making this a great Summer of Poetry, and for keeping it rolling into the Autumn!

The dates of all the madness:

Thursday 30th July, 10pm
John Hewitt Summer School, Armagh
Purely Poetry

Saturday 8th August, 12-3pm
Stendhal Festival, Limavady
Poetry NI at the Garden Shed Stage 

Wednesday 12th August, 7.30pm
James Brown & Sons, 300 Newtownards Road, Belfast
FSNI National Poetry Competition – Belfast reading

Sunday 23rd August, 7.30-11.30pm
Duncairn Arts & Culture Centre
Sofa Sessions #9: Wellbeing Special [fundraiser for NIAMH Wellbeing] 

Thursday 27th August, 7.30pm
Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast
Poetry NI Summer Reading

Friday 28th August, 
St Martin's Church,  Newtownards Rd, Belfast
Poems from a Pulpit - 'What else........'
(Part of 'Still Bunker' at Eastside Arts Festival)

Friday 4th September, 9.30pm
Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast
Purely Poetry presents: the Belfast heat of the All Ireland Slam

Sat 5th September, 6.30pm
Lyric Theatre, Belfast
Bards at the Bar
(part of Bounce! Arts Festival)

Sunday 6th September, 4-5.30pm
Lyric Theatre, Belfast
Poetry Workshop
(part of Bounce! Arts Festival)

Monday 7th September, 7pm
John Gray & Co, Central Ave, Bangor
FSNI National Poetry Competition - Bangor Recital

Thursday 10th September, 10am
City Hall, Belfast
event for World Suicide Prevention Day

Thursday 10th September, 7pm
The Blackberry Path- Art Studios 26 Grays Hill, Bangor
Third Annual Bangor Poetry Competition (and Autumn Open Art Exhibition)

Friday 18th September, 11.55am
Ramada Hotel, Portrush
Stories of Salmon Leaping Symposium 

Friday 18th September, 10am-11pm
various sites, Cathedral Quarter, Belfast
‘Poetry Postcards’, Culture Night Belfast

Saturday 26th September, 7.30pm

Festival Marquee, Bangor Marina
Poetry NI presents: The North Down Heat of the All Ireland Poetry Slam
(part of Aspects Festival)


Friday 2nd October, 9.30pm

Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast
Purely Poetry open mic night