The Irish Writers Centre's Takin the Mic is joined by Poetry NI for a special edition of the monthly spoken word open-mic on Friday 3rd November at Smock Alley Theatre.
We're bringing poets down from NI for a Northern Takeover (completely friendly, mind you!) with Helen Hastings, Mel McMahon, Amy Wyatt Rafferty, Paul Daniel Rafferty, Carla Rachel, Mel Bradley, Csilla Toldy, Linda McKenna and co-headliner Tory Campbell.
They will be joining hosts Geraldine Dardis O'Kane and Colin Dardis alongside Dublin's co-headliner Rob Doyle and a bevy of local talent, including the usual open-mic for writers, spoken-word artists, comedians and musicians.
Please note that Purely Poetry at Crescent Arts Centre is now on Firday 10th November, moving to the second Friday just for this month.
We had a great time in Omagh last night for the first ever poetry slam at The Omagh Literary Festival: Honouring Benedict Kiely. We were very much uncharted territory for us, so we were delighted and impressed by the quality of poetry on display.
Congratulations go to Nathan Elout-Armstrong (pictured front centre), our slam winner, whose poem on why you should never date a poet just pipped an excellent showing from runner-up John Harding and fellow finalists Paddy Montague and Sarah Grimes.
A big thank you to Strule Arts Centre for providing an excellent venue for us, and to the board of the festival for inviting us to host the slam, especially Gerard McCabe who assisted us with judging. Special thanks also to Omagh poet Aine MacAodha who was our guest reader and fellow judge, who gave an excellent reading of her work to an appreciate hometown crowd.
Nathan Armstrong: "I'm deeply grateful to the lovely people at Poetry NI, Strule Arts Centre, Omagh and everyone who came along to The Omagh Literary Festival: Honouring Benedict Kiely. It was the first slam of its kind ever to be held in Omagh, and nobody could have asked for a warmer, more lively inaugural event. Winning the competition was fantastic of course, and I'm really proud. Almost as proud as I am to be a part of such a thriving and vibrant, creative community. It's great to see the Arts going from strength to strength. Long may it continue."
Margaret Geelan, Festival Director: "Many thanks to Poetry NI for hosting our inaurgural Poetry Slam at our Literary Festival in Omagh on Saturday night. We were very pleased to have such a good turn out and to be entertained by the participating poets with such a great variety of poems. We hope to have Poetry Slam again at our festival next October. Congratulations to Colin and Geraldine and all the poets."
As part of Belfast Print Workshop's 40th anniversary celebrations, Poetry NI have collaborated with BPW and artist Raquel Amat Parra for a specially designed one-off book, featuring new work from Emma McKervey, Tory Campbell, Geraldine O'Kane and Colin Dardis, which will be on display at the 40³ Exhibition at the Crescent Arts Centre Gallery.
The book, 'Soot into the Grooves' was designed and made my Raquel, combining poetry with lithography, drypoint, screenprint and chine-collé printmaking techniques.
A free Bookmaking Workshop took part in the gallery space before October's Purely Poetry, with Raquel displaying screenprinting techniques, allowing people to try it out for themselves.
BPW will also be hosting their 40³ Exhibition at the Crescent Arts Centre Gallery, from Friday 6th October to Sunday 29th October, 10am - 7pm. A special opening event will take place on Sunday 8th October, 3-6pm. A comprehensive exhibition and series of participatory events highlighting the extraordinary range of technique, imagery and vision of both past and current printmaking community. 40 Years, 40 Prints, 40 Printmakers is a testament to BPW’s printmaking facilities, showcasing the legacy and spirit of a thriving network of artists.