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dlr Poetry Now 2011

February 24, 2011

The countdown begins here to dlr Poetry Now 2011, which kicks off exactly one month from today in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin. Have you seen this year’s programme? We’re looking forward to another great weekend of readings, talks and events. And hoping, of course, to see you there…


Derek Mahon in The New Yorker

March 9, 2010

The New Yorker this week published a new poem, “The Thunder Shower” by Derek Mahon. Read it here. Hopefully it will be among the poems Derek reads at dlr Poetry Now, when he’ll share the stage with Rosanna Warren on Friday, March 26th at 8.30pm.

‘I know you’re the blues/ because loving you/ may kill me’: Kevin Young’s ‘Ode to Pork’

February 20, 2010

For those of you who might like a taster of what’s to come at this year’s dlr Poetry Now, below is a clip of the fastastic Kevin Young reading his poems at the 2008 Dodge Poetry Festival. Here he reads four, all from his latest book Dear Darkness; poems that, as the San Franscisco Chronicle has it, ‘seethe with energy and ambition.’ While the book turns around the death of the poet’s father it does so in a manner that is as celebratory as it sorrowful, amounting to a moving portrait of Young’s whole family and his upbringing in the Deep South. In particular, Dear Darkness is studded with a number of wonderful odes, not to nightingales or Grecian urns, but to Louisiana delicacies – Grits, Gumbo, Sweet Potato Pie to name but a few – that will have you literally scanning the yellow pages for a Smoke Pit. Here, along with ‘Aunties’, ‘Flash Flood Blues’ and ‘Ode to Boudin’, Young reads the devilish ‘Ode to Pork’:

‘Adam himself gave up
a rib to see yours
piled pink beside him.
Your heaven is the only one
worth wanting—
you keep me up all night
cursing your four-
letter name, the next
begging for you again.’

You can hear Kevin Young read with Vona Groarke and Catalan poet Joan Margarit at dlr Poetry Now 2010 on Saturday 27th March at 6.30pm.

Poetry in the Gutter…

February 18, 2010

No, not another post about poets giving up on poetry – quite the opposite. If you’re in Dublin this evening, The Gutter Bookstore, located in Cow’s Lane, is having its second poetry night from 6pm to 7.15pm. There’ll be readings of poetry – writers reading their own work, and also writers (and readers) reading the work of other writers. They also hope that some poets will take part in a discussion of craft. It’s a free event, so swing by if you’re free and in a poetry mood. A good warm-up for dlr Poetry Now in just over a month. 


The End of the Poems? Paul Muldoon on Giving Up.

February 17, 2010

No, he’s not giving up, thankfully. But in an interview published earlier this month, poet and critic Paul Muldoon – who will give the keynote address, as well as reading from his own work, at dlr Poetry Now 2010 – does some pretty frank talking about the responsibilities of the poet when it becomes clear that the poetry isn’t working anymore. He could “absolutely” stop writing poetry, Muldoon tells Nancy Sheehan, a reporter with the Telegram (a local paper in Worcester, Massachusetts); he thinks that “probably poets should think much more about stopping than they generally do.” Muldoon has a few good friends who would be willing – at least, he says, he hopes they would be willing – to take him aside and say (in Muldoon’s own imagining of those fateful words): “You know what? You may have been OK at one point along the way but you’ve absolutely lost it now and you should just stop.” 

And the news gets worse: 

One of the terrible facts about writing poetry is that actually one almost certainly disimproves as one continues…Most people who write poetry get worse. There are various other callings, one thinks, for example, of math. Most people involved with math, from what I understand, peak if they peak at all, earlier in their careers. And poetry, for whatever reason, it’s hard to write decent poetry in the first place and it’s very hard to continue to write it.

Well, there you have it. And that’s Muldoon “in very good form”, as he tells the interviewer earlier in the piece, prompting the question of how a gloomy Muldoon might put it all…

The interview (read it in full here) contains some other nice detail, including Muldoon’s feeling for snow (as Peter Høeg might put it) and his thoughts on the title of his forthcoming collection, Maggot. Most readers are bound, straight off the bat, to think of the lesser-loved larval crawler, but there’s more to it than that, says Muldoon; a maggot is also “a capricious, whimsical thought, a piece of music – a dance tune usually – so there are other things going on.”

There’ll be plenty going on, no doubt, at all three events featuring Paul Muldoon next month at dlr Poetry Now – catch his keynote address Six Irish Poets on Thursday, March 25th, his cameo in Landmarks, our event to mark the 40th anniversary of The Gallery Press, on Saturday March 27th, and his own reading that evening (along with Homero Aridjis and Anne Stevenson). All three events will take place in the Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire, and all three events are sure to demonstrate, in no uncertain terms, the unstoppable phenomenon that is Muldoon the poet and thinker on poems

More details at And up to date here at the festival blog as the countdown to dlr Poetry Now 2010 begins. 


Introducing dlr Poetry Now 2010

February 9, 2010


We’ve just launched the programme for dlr Poetry Now 2010. Poets from Ireland, the UK, Mexico, Albania, Spain, the Czech Republic and the US will come to Dun Laoghaire on the weekend of March 26th to 28th for a four-day event that will be all about poetry. Have a look at the line-up; we hope to see you there. In the meantime, we’ll keep in touch with you here.