Monday, 7 April 2008

Poetry Now Review

Well a great weekend again. Congratulations to all involved in the running and organising.

I'm sorry I missed the opening address by Ruth Padel. It sounded worth listening too.

The Prize for the best collection was won by Harry Clifton Irish Times/ Poetry Now award for "Secular Eden," a collection only published in the US so hard to get hold of. Books Upstairs who had a stand in the foyer sold out in no time!

The workshops were good and well attended. Could have done perhaps with a little more time. My guys said my poem was "A Tour de force with joyous movement" which is pretty cool. We had a discussion on semi-colons versus dashes and how/whether to pronounce the h in where or Thailand.

Seamus Heaney said Hello to me too in the crowd, which was a thrill. (I know, I know)

And I got my first freebie as a result of this blog (keep 'em coming) a free ticket to the final reading on Sunday. Thanks Belinda. This reading was astonishing. I missed the introduction from Mr Stinging Fly, Declan Meade, which was supposed to be educational. First was Brian Turner, a US poet who was in Iraq so his poems are understandably, suffused with thoughts about the war. Then Sinead Morrisey who read some quite difficult poems which may have been easier to follow if we'd had the text. That's an idea. What about surtitles for poems? There are, in my opinion reading on the page poems and listening poems and you should know which is which. Plus she uses words I know I should know but I don't. Not good in a reading. She read the poem 'Through the Square Window,' which won this year's National Poetry Competition,a great achievement. Then Kei Miller, a Jamaican poet living in England. I could listen to him all day.


PJ Nolan said...

ahhh - ye beat me to it ;-) I'll be posting some Poetry Now stuff later round mine. Bit worded out just now!

Ruth Padel was indeed excellent. Good point re Sinead Morrissey, although I'm not sure surtitles are the answer. As you say, some poems/poets are just stronger when read/performed, some aren't. The Strong reading was very interesting from that point of view.

Emerging Writer said...

Thanks pj. Who won the Strong Award?

PJ Nolan said...

dave lordan - boy in the ring- salmon poetry

great performance ; sort of cut'n'paste ex-goth trousertown balladeer with a cold bag of chips on his shoulder. or something. some cliche too though. Interested to see how the work reads on the page.

Jonathan said...

James Winn comments on Turner's poetry in this week's Chronicle Review.

Winn also posts about war poetry every Wednesday on the blog of Cambridge UP (where I work).