Paul Durcan is cool. Very cool.
One and a half hours are very short when you have fun…
Great reading, thanks to Paul Durcan!
And Brendan, if you send me those pics on your camera, I’ll share them here for all to see! Your D B
While the Hunters Moon is winding down we’re all still refining costumes, eating sweets and stoking the fires of scary Halloween traditions. I bet I’ll be called to do some face painting shortly, seems to be my part in this family at this stage!
But let me quickly tell ya what’s on around the corner, since I love the written word in the first place I have to let you in on those events, even if not Dock-based!
There is a Special Halloween Written Word Weekend event at Knockvicar Organic Gardens, Co. Roscommon today, on Monday 31st October 7-9pm. Bring a scary story and share it around the clay (c)oven. It is Free admission, and don’t forget, the clock went back for the hour, so we’ll be having pitch darkness for our scary-ness alright! unfortunately, my most scary story book is in french, so I’ll have to rustle up something till 7pm tonight yet!
And then, drum roll and fanfare, speaking of my passion for the written word – Paul Durcan is coming to The Dock on Wednesday the 2nd of November at 8.30pm! Anyone who attended one of Paul Durcan’s electrifying readings can testify to the unique flavour of his work, … and what a flavour! Listen to him!
Paul Durcan’s Ireland is the one we inhabit. At times he is ready to celebrate the bizarre and the ordinary; at other times he is full of a surreal rage against both order and disorder Colm Toibin
Last time at The Dock he read to a full house, so make sure you get that ticket soon, otherwise you may be on the wrong side of the door, that wouldn’t be fun, not alone for the cranky weather! See you on Wednesday, I guess Carrick’s poets will be in the crowd once again and it will be another poetry event at The Dock to remember! Welcome Paul Durcan!
Your Dock Blogger
Unfortunately I didn’t make it to the Mike Nielsen Quartet on Friday even though I am a bit of a Jazz lover, so any of you guys need to let us know how it went, shame I had to miss it! But I DID manage the All Ireland Poetry Day celebration at The Dock, and boy, a great night it was! Amazingly many people turned up for the stormy night that was in it, and plenty of people took that mike and stepped into the lime light with their work! Well done youse all, amazing poems are out there, a couple of times I had genuine goose bumps creeping up on me under my cardi, and I wish all the shared poems could be printed and re-read again… Am I onto something here?!
The MC was a new face to me, she did a sweet job, so there is always some surprises with the crew/ staff/ casual staff/ volunteers at The Dock, maybe one of those days I’ll introduce all of them to you here in the blog if you like?!
Great readings from our main act 3 poets, some shared laughter for Gerry Boland’s bold thoughts and dry humour, great images from Michael Herron’s poems and a stretch of memory lane from Mary Guckian, bringing us to the days at her childhood farm and sharing Dublin snap shots of her current life with us. Some books got sold, so it turned out good for them on that level too, I have to admit I also left some money there and my book shelf has another addition of a poetry collection once again. Special acknowledgement goes to Anne Mc Combe, Michael Herron’s partner, who came to read for us on his behalf as he had to watch over his sick mother, she did an amazing job and it came across how intimate she is with his written work, I was so very glad she made the effort for all of us!
Keith in the sound box was at work once again as it was pointed out by the MC, good to realize how many hidden hands are busy for us when we come to what we think is ‘just’ a poetry reading, all the better to acknowledge the silent working hands in the background too!
The open mike session after the interval was cheerful and happy, Eileen O’ Toole made sure that everybody got the extra big applause, and the feel in the audience was a jolly and relaxed one all along. This was the fourth celebration of the All Ireland Poetry Day in The Dock, I made only last and this year’s but I’ll surely be there next year too! Great night out, thank you all, guys!
Your Dock Blogger
For the ones amongst you wondering: yes I do know that for real one spells open mike really open mic, but I think my own version of spelling this looks rather much better. So one more time: after the main act of Gerry Boland, Mary Guckian and Michael Herron reading for us this Thursday night, there will be an open mike session for anybody from the audience who is up for reading a bit from their own work!
Your D B
Welcome to the All Ireland Poetry Day on the 6th of October, celebrated and hosted for the fourth time at The Dock in Carrick! More a night than a day, it being dark at 8.30 by now, but all the more reason to come out and play this Thursday evening!
This years’ main act consists of three local (and published) poets, Mary Guckian, Gerry Boland and Michael Herron will be reading from their collections of work. This will be followed by an ‘open mike’ session, where new and emerging and some not so new writers will get a chance to step into the limelight that evening too, even in the spur of the moment! We have at least two and a half confirmed writers taking that mike; Orla Parkinson and Eileen O’Toole are game to let us in on their new writings, which will be very exciting! And as a matter of fact, anybody in the audience is encouraged and welcome to do the same, this is ‘open mike’ after all, so feel free to bring your own work along that night and rise to the occasion!
Last years’ reading was amazing, some poems that had come out of the Poetry Workshops at The Dock have been read aloud for the very first time, you could have heard a pin drop in that room! Those events are great ones for surprises, some line may strike a hidden chord in your heart, and suddenly life seems to pause to be fuller and brighter, but maybe that is just me loving poetry and all!
Bring along your love for the Written Word, and if you have own work you want to share – yes please, that too (!), admission is free that night, all the better for that!
Love to see you there; it will be a great night!
Your Dock Blogger
Guys, guys, guys,
I just had a peep at the new What’s On Guide for September – November, it’s going to be exciting times! it certainly brightened my Monday morning, so all of you can start getting eager and await the arrival of our little brochure in your letter boxes this week…
A couple of very new things for music – and film lovers, a handful of fine shows/ gigs throughout the shorter days of the autumn ahead, Culture Night in town, a rare opportunity (which is still a puzzle as none of you cracked the question with the Sony Walkman on Facebook yet), something for the connoisseurs of selected poetry, another guided tour through the galleries … and the list goes on … and oh yeah, The Last Wednesday is hosting De Dannan, lets better book a bit earlier this time as to not be the crowd on the wrong side of the door again…
Last but not least, Me, the new Dock Blogger, once you have that web link in print I count on you folks to log on, to comment, to keep in touch, very much looking forward to that!
Your Dock Blogger
Wow, what a Reading!
But first things first: the preshow talk with Alice Lyons, unravelling Muldoon’s poem The Coyote. Alice did her great job as usual, even though initially it seemed rather weird with the Pulitzer Price winner in the room, but Muldoon is so modest and humble and so refreshingly humorous and down to earth that I certainly lost that initial “weird-ness-feeling” pretty soon! Lovely poem by the way, you might want to look it up; I felt like all the different layers of my life washing over me while we talked about the poem, some sort of depth that is not easy to put into words…
The actual reading took place in one of the galleries, sharing the place with Napier’s polar bear as it happened, and more and more people trickled in to be part of an impressive audience – certainly at 2pm on a Saturday, as Muldoon noticed, while we could have been in the cinema also. But then again, “Cowboys vs. Aliens” turned out a rather dreadful movie as he assured us, so maybe he saved us the tenner for that!
I can’t begin to go into his work and poems here, I’ll be typing through the night and the next day… but sitting up front I did notice how emotional he felt reading a handful of poems about a hurricane in the past, about his wife, about his daughter – the Footling and the circumstances of her birth. What a lovely glimpse to see a big man like him feeling so softly towards his family and his home…
Hurricane Irene is supposed to be hitting New Jersey by this evening, just as I am typing this, may Muldoon’s family be safe and well, along with everybody else!
Paul Muldoon made us laugh, and listen, and think, he made us take time out and feel between the lines, between the words… an afternoon very well spent.
Thank you Paul, very much so!
Your Dock Blogger
The first my friend told me about Paul Muldoon was that he has a glorious head of hair, that he makes quite an impression in any room he’s put into, and that he is outstanding and great craic to watch and listen to.
Michael H. Miller from The New York Observer put it that way: Paul Muldoon is one of the great readers alive today. His voice alters with every change in tone and he’ll often pace around a room, his whole body responding to his intricate rhythms.
So much for saying it all in one short sentence, all the other important and official stuff about Muldoon you can google or read in the Dock’s What’s-on-Guide and I assure you it makes for splendid reading!
Before the summer I took one of the morning classes in the Dock, “Understanding Contemporary Poetry”, we unravelled a couple of Muldoon’s poems, and after an initial resistance something just clicked and fell into place for me. (and by the way, this is the right moment to say, lets hope that Alice Lyons will run more of her poetry classes! A great teacher, she makes it easy to be inspired and to look at poetry in a whole new manner. So yeah Alice, if you ever read this, please go on, I am sure some other crowd will agree!)
Anyway, we unpacked his poem “The Loaf”, which I initially just did not like, and it is amazing what you can discover when you look at a poem as a group of people!
I give you a couple of hints before the poem; certainly found them useful myself!
The Irish built the canals for the Raritan and Delaware Rivers in New Jersey, it was basically a terrible job on very little pay, lots of them died due to hard labour and hunger or starvation. If I remember it right Muldoon’s apartment overlooked one of those canals to evoke that particular detail of Irish history in him.
Those italic lines that end on an –ick are built like a sea shanty; probably deliberate as to refer to the Irish navies and their history; a shanty has always been a kind of song that workers/ slaves sang/ sing during their back-breaking work.
LICK in the very last line might refer to lick = hard work, as you find it in a dictionary, which was a new one for me too.
That’s the clues, now the poem; let me know what you make of it!
When I put my finger to the hole they’ve cut for a dimmer switch
in a wall of plaster stiffened with horsehair
it seems I’ve scratched a two-hundred-year-old itch
with a pink and a pink and a pinkie-pick.
When I put my ear to the hole I’m suddenly aware
of spades and shovels turning up the gain
all the way from Raritan to the Delaware
with a clink and a clink and a clinkie-click.
When I put my nose to the hole I smell the floodplain
of the canal after a hurricane
and the spots of green grass where thousands of Irish have lain
with a stink and a stink and a stinkie-stick.
When I put my eye to the hole I see one holding horse dung to the rain
in the hope, indeed, indeed,
of washing out a few whole ears of grain
with a wink and a wink and a winkie-wick.
And when I do at last succeed
in putting my mouth to the horsehair-fringed niche
I can taste the small loaf of bread he baked from that whole seed
with a link and a link and a linkie-lick.
From Moy Sand and Gravel by Paul Muldoon published by Farrar, Straus, Giroux 2002
Now you finally get to see him read it, I hope some of you get inspired to check him out and come along to his Poetry Reading in the galleries this Saturday 27th August at 2pm.
Ah, the new press release is just in, just in time for my blog, (thank you Claire from The Dock)!
So at 12.30 on the morning of the reading, Poet and Curator for The Dock, above mentioned Alice Lyons will lead a ‘preshow talk’ that will offer an introduction to the work of Paul Muldoon in a friendly and informal atmosphere. Those attending the reading are highly encouraged to take part. That to me seems like a well-rounded event at this stage!
I’ll be certainly going to see and hear for myself, so I might see you there!
Tickets are 10Euro, including the Preshow talk and are available at the box office in The Dock on 071 96 508 28, so business as usual…
Looking forward to Saturday,
Your Dock Blogger