The impending world revolution I’d been hoping for had failed to materialise and I’d come face to face with the reality that most of the organisations on the far political left, such as the one I’d been a member of, were/are very dodgy outfits in terms of the way they run their affairs. 1995 was a kind of delayed ‘gap year’ for me.
What do you consider the highlights so far?
It was Susan’s idea; she felt that there weren’t enough reading platforms for new writers in Galway. The Over The Edge: Open Readings in Galway City Library have from the beginning maintained the format of three featured readers, plus an open-mic with a limit of (usually) eight readers reading one poem each. Susan is the ideas person, I’m the executioner, as it were. It was a simply idea, like all the best ones.
What do you think about the perceived split in poems for the stage and for the page?
There is a genuine issue, but most of what has been written about this is hypocritical rubbish. There have been, and continue to be, those who attack poetry slams and open-mics (and the poetry which emerges from them) for no other reason than that they have personal grievances against the organisers of said poetry slams and open-mics. There have been those who have joined in with these attacks having themselves competed in poetry slams repeatedly. One of the sad, little bands that make up what might be called the ‘anti-slam party’ actually accepted the job of judging a major poetry slam a while ago. These people make a lot of noise but could be counted on the fingers of one hand, with some spare fingers left over. They are not to be taken seriously.
What magazines, poets, presses and/or online sites do you read regularly and recommend?