Saturday 24 March 2018

'Poetry Slam' at old courthouse is one of proven hits of festival

FREE-FLOWING poetry does not consign to the rigours of any law but it does take place in a very legal setting at Kanturk Arts Fest.

When Kanturk Courthouse closed for business a few short years ago it was the last presiding judge, Michael Pattwell - himself a poet - who returned to reopen the court as an unique poetry venue.

Since then, the annual 'poetry slam' has proven one of the great hits of the festival. Here, one well known poet leads the way before the floor is opened to those who have penned a few stanzas and would like to give them an airing.

This year, a poet and historian from Kentish Town in North West London, Anthony Keating, returns as the 'presiding judge' on Sunday, from 7-9 p.m.

Coming from a Kanturk family who moved to London in the 1950s, Anthony is now resident in Macroom, but has always had a keen sense of the dual nature of his identity, a duality which instilled in him the sense of being a perpetual 'inside outsider'.

Proud of his Kanturk roots he is unequivocally a Londoner, a citizen of that great bastion of mongrel sanity.

He first found his creative voice in the Camden punk scene of the late 1970s, and his work has appeared widely in journals in Ireland, Britain and America.

You can join the fun at Kanturk Courthouse on Sunday, where there are cash prizes for participants; the entrance fee is €5 and cushions are advised.