Delighted to be part of the Open University's Dublin Culture Night again this year on Friday 18th September, and this year I'm joined by fellow OU teacher Siobhan Campbell and a host of talented OU alumni including Margaret O'Brien, Evan Costigan and Serena Lawless, all in the delightful surroundings of The Winding Stair bookshop. We'll even have an open mic - what more could you ask for.
Desmond Swords: If you need an MC for the open-mic, i don't mind helping out by voluntarily organising and co-hosting it with some of the sustainable community team here at the Iveagh flats. Or get just the right person to do it, if i'm unavailable on the night. Hosting an open-mic is not for the inexperienced or fainthearted. The first open mic i attended in Dublin, Write and Recite, was a psychological four year WaR that left some with intense emotional shell-shock and intellectual meltdowns resulting in clincial interventions and enforced health-care at the Central Mental Hospital in Clonskeagh.
There is a fine art to it, that i learned over the four years i attended open mics and regularly created and hosted events. My first creation was with the closest you can get to witnessing the real Patrick Kavanagh in the flesh onstage; the long-time poet-actor who has played Kavanagh in his own prose and poetry on the stage for three decades, Pj Brady. I came up with the idea, filled in the arts council forms, got the grant, and now the Patrick Kavanagh Celebration every September above in the Palace bar on Fleet Street, is part of the cultural fabric of this city.
I was the original poet-in-residence hosting an open mic in the Monster Truck Art Gallery, after shamefully and drunkenly blowing it at WaR by getting the event banned from the Duke pub after five weeks there, in what the MC Gerry MacNamara hoped would be a permanent residency, and having to find a new place to practise, found an art gallery full of recent NCAD graduates.
Before Kit Fryatt and her partner in rhyme, the English avant-garde pioneer of contemporary verbal experimentalism, Dylan Dyldo Harris, took over the role some months after the original NCAD hippies and useless accountant artists that created Monster Truck, dissolved the admin and went their separate paths as artists.
I am no longer a new addition to Ireland's poetry family and Dublin community of wonderfully talented verbal ranters and rhymers representing all class, manner, type, and degree of filidh education in the wordsmiths carrying on in the wake of Famous.
The Ballaghy bard, Mossbawn magus, He that needs no name because, when alive, i always thought, watching him from the sidelines as he silently noted me with the perfect poetic eye he had, that was like no other in what it did - it was obvious to any outsider that there was just Him and a lot of people i still fail to recognise, orbiting around him in such a way that one thought, this is cultural magic, proper faery stuff.
Heaney a living container of that s/he sidhe energy of faery force that, i think, all luvvies are after imitating, lake tha bug mawn, sho a wuz, bak in the day. Wen i was a new alcoholic on the alcoholic block, that Dublin poetry can be when you go to all the right pubs and know all the right intellectual Dublin thinkers that drink. Is alsm sayin, yeh. peace owt be by the power invested in me from a lot of potentially very emotional, angry and upset people that an open-mic can turn into behind the smiley facades and upside-down smiles we can all grimace at times wen sat there, thinking, 'look at that tossa up there hosting the open mic. Ooh de dee fink thee aw loik', sho a shed. speekin tha bog mawn paddyeez-esque slangwij that's peroppa woppa popular in Bubbalin Dubalin tewn these days, wen yiiza fram tha Leburtaze, loik oi ahm sho oi awm. Like s/m fb friend, the very talented Florida poet-singer, Dublin resident, Canci Song, CanciOfficially beautifully there as good as any. I just heard it earlier and thought, wow, great stuff.