The programme for the Belfast Book Festival 2019 has just been announced, and once again, Poetry NI are delighted to be a part of it. (Link below for booking.)
Poetry NI Presents: Incoming
Tuesday 11 June 2019, 8-9PM
Join Colin Dardis, Linda McKenna, Geraldine O’Kane and Ross Thompson for a showcase of forthcoming work from four of the most promising poets Northern Ireland currently has to offer. With a multitude of awards and competition listings between them, this reading will offer a snapshot of the full-length collections to come in the year ahead and manuscripts in progress. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to catch a sneak preview of four singular and remarkable, emerging voices.
Poetry NI Presents:
The Belfast Book Festival Poetry Slam
Tuesday 11 June 2019, 9:30-11:30PM
Open to all poets, we invite you to take the mic and enter our annual poetry slam competition. Share your work in front of a lively and appreciative audience, with new readers always welcome. To enter, just register at the start of the night; names will be drawn out at random, with each poet invited onstage to read. The winner will receive the Brain Bailey Memorial Cup, in tribute to the much missed poet and pioneer of the Belfast live poetry scene. Available slots will be limited to 22 due to time constraints, so it’s first come, first served! For full rules of entry, please see our Slam Rules page.
Write To Mental Health Workshop
Saturday 15 June 2019, 12-2PM
Poetry NI’s Geraldine O’Kane and Colin Dardis present a poetry workshop designed to encourage and celebrate creativity, providing the opportunity to experiment with writing in a supportive and constructive atmosphere. Together, you will explore aspects of mental health and creativity through a series of writing exercises to stimulate mindfulness and wellbeing. Suitable for those already writing or those who have a desire to write.
Co-host Geraldine O'Kane shares their thoughts on March's Purely Poetry Open Mic night:
Purely Poetry peeps, as the song said 'and as I recall it ended much too soon ... Oh what a night'... You packed to the rafters, thankfully you were all good, no swinging shenanigans ensued!
Our host with the most poems in the world treated us to a brand spanking new one, hot of yesterday afternoons press! We had eight magnificent first timers and three of them were Brian's, we always knew they would take over the creativity world! Our fourth Brian was very brave to declare he hates poetry (he did make it out alive)!
We had a few overarching themes running through the night love of the sea, sexism, NI's landscape, death, mental health and the moon! Other things on your collective mind were Mr Gooser, the charitable boss from heaven or hell (depends on your perspective, I guess), the eternal reflection of the razorblade, swallows at shallow heights, snow, closed accordion of sacked pleats, what is a mouse prayer, a tiny lament, chicken speak, the boxes we are born into, wild swimming, bullying, home is where you love.
Lines we loved:
The first coffin I carried was my own...
Home I returned with five kids and four boulders...
Their eyes slid off me like a human banana skin...
My despair brings me home in an odd way to you...
I'm barely human but am not a tree...
Her story lies between the opening and closing of the eyes of men...
I cut my roots and grew beautiful... (Not connected to the above poem but we ❤ the synchronicity)
Take away thoughts:
Why are we fighting like a mosh pit?
Did you know stardust can cry itself to sleep?
Are we drowning in a sea of grief?
You don't have to be isolated to be alone?
50 Whiskeys in your Rice Krispies is the way to start the day! (drink responsibly, people)
We miss you already, you attentive lot... Roll on 5th April!
Many thanks to our readers on the night: Laura Morgan, William Howard, Michael Wilson, Rebecca Jane McConagall, Peter Adair, Rich Cathcart, Helen Hasting, Elizabeth McGeown, Brian Rooney, Richard Waring, Linda McKenna, Ryan McLean, Brian McCordie, Dan Eggs, Denise Donnelly, Will Donnelly, Brian McKirky, Rainbow, Laura Hutchison, Ellie Rose McKee, Chris Thackaberry and Mark Brownlee.
Today is the 80th anniversary of the passing of Irish poetry legend WB Yeats.
To mark the occasion, we're throwbacking to a playlist of fifteen poets from Northern Ireland reading their favourite Yeats poems, that we curated alongside Lagan Online, as part of the Yeats2015 project.
The full list is:
Maria McManus - Leda and the Swan
Kathleen McCracken - The Second Coming
Ross Thompson – Broken Dreams
Geraldine Dardis O'Kane - The Song of the Old Mother
Chris McLaughlin - September 1913
Stephanie Conn – When You Are Old
Colin Dardis - A Coat
Deirdre Cartmill - The Rose of Final Battle
Adrian Rice – The Pilgrim
Olive Broderick - To a Child Dancing Upon the Shore
David Braziel – He Wishes For The Clothes of Heaven
Jenny Cleland - The Lake Isle Of Innisfree
Ray Givans – An Acre of Grass
Joseph Allen – Her Praise
Gary Allen - Remorse For Intemperate Speech
27 January is Holocaust Memorial Day, a day to everyone to remember the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust, and the millions of people killed by Nazi Persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur. 27 January marks the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.
Poetry NI and sister project Lagan Online have marked past Holocaust Memorial Days with the release of online chapbooks from writers within Ireland and beyond, reflecting on issues that remain as poignant and as relevant today as ever. All are downloadable for free, just link on the images below:
Info on events, projects, submission calls, readings, publications and other news.