Thursday, May 19, 2011

Introductions Second Night

The second quartet of this years Poetry Ireland Introductions took the stage last evening in the Irish Writers' Centre. The audience was enthralled by variety in style and delivery on show. It's difficult to comment on readings when you hear each poem only once but here are a few impressions.

Eleanor Hooker from Dromineer on Lough Derg featured the lake prominently in her work which might give the impression of light, rural themes and scenes. Yes they were there but there was a wonderful almost surreal darkness breaking through in many of the poems which gave a great edge to the reading.

Susan Lindsay's poems are spare and her delivery emphasised the almost disjointed nature of the phrases and ideas. She read a couple of poems each from her Dancing on Breaches and her Late Loves sequences and finished, if I remember correctly, with her wonderful Of No Substance dealing with images and reflections of herself.

Barbara Morton read her poems without any introductions or titles in a staccato style, creating a rhythm which had nothing to do with the words hanging together, more with the words as individual assertions. The effect was mesmeric and I was left with wanting to see how these poems are presented on the page.

Jane Robinson's subject matter ranged far and wide. She had a wonderful informal sonnet about the Natural History Museum with the great whales hanging from the ceiling and a poem about the first atomic test in the desert. She included the poem about the Tube in London which she had used at the workshop with Alan Jude Moore and thanked her fellow poets for their input. She probably wins the prize for the best title of the whole Introductions 2011 with What the Stolen Handbag said to its Owner.

I really enjoyed the night, pressure off since I was not reading, and thought the four poets put on a great show. Well done.

So now it's all over!! Thanks to Poetry Ireland, judge Alan Jude Moore and the other seven poets for a great experience.

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