Some poetry readings are good, some great and then there are some like last night's in the Riva Townhouse, Dundalk. It was most enjoyable. John Noonan and the group had organised a great mix, starting with members of the local writers group who read poetry and prose with an obvious enthusiasm and enjoyment which was, as they say, infectious.
Some good material as well, including the excerpt from the bitter-sweet story about the children digging to Australia and the poem with Selfish Mother as part of the title.
Then local poet, the well-known and well-regarded Barbara Smith read. Barbara is a fellow-Doghouse poet (Can I say that yet?) and her second collection is being published this year. She read some older poems and some from the new book including one from a series on Antarctic exploration which is coincidentally an interest of hers. Great material.
Then singer, school principal Kevin Stanley as Leonard Cohen. Cohen's words are so good and they were sung so well that you want to attack your own poems and cut them back to the basics.
Follow that! Well I had to. I read twelve poems chosen for their readability. And they got a great reaction. This was one of the best audiences I have read for. They reacted to every nuance and giggled, laughed or were silent in response to words and lines.
The poems were a mixture of old and new, I included two new "Perth poems" to see how they sounded. The one about the West of Ireland weather expert all at sea in Australian weather went down very well with the audience seeing the humour from the very start.
I read my Auschwitz poem since Holocaust Memorial Day was marked last Sunday and despite, or maybe because of the fact the the audience was very gender imbalanced - mostly female - I did my "male guilt" poem called Innocent. All very well received.
A great enjoyable reading, thanks to all concerned!