Monday 16 September 2019

Creative Writers play role

Drogheda group present a series of poetry sessions, giving a taste of traditional life down the years

"They leap into our minds as real people, joyful and hurting, as we listen to their poems, these farmers and ladies, monks and bards, who lived so long ago," says Roger Hudson of his montage of ancient Irish poems Dawn of Irish Poetry that Drogheda Creative Writers will present in the Governor's House at Millmount on Thursday 15th August from 4 to 6pm.

Taking up President Michael D. Higgins challenge last year that the Fleadh Cheoil should celebrate the great tradition of Irish poetry as well as those of music, song and dance, this is an embellished version of the reading at the Red Door Project last year when an enchanted audience listened to the oldest vernacular poetry in the world. They encountered the farmer relieved that the storm means no fear of a Viking raid tonight, the aging court beauty lamenting her lost looks, the monk worried for his eternal soul as his mind wanders during mass and their infectious love of nature. Long dead but so real.

We start with the Song of Amergin dating back, some think, to 1500BC, the time of the invasion of the Milesians as recorded in the Book of Invasions. Amergin was the first ever poet on Irish soil and the first named poet in Western Europe. More than appropriate for he is reputed to be buried under Millmount where we are performing, at the centre of the territory of which he was chieftain.

A whole vernacular literature developed after him, passed on by word of mouth until it was written down by the early Christian monks in the 3rd and 4th centuries AD, largely destroyed by the Vikings in the 8th. and rescued again in the 11th century by a new generation of monks and scribes to surprise us afresh today. We owe the excellent translations to German-American scholar Kuno Meyer.

Reading the poems are: guest poet Bob Shakeshaft and Sheila Hudson, Brian Quinn, Dermot O'Neill and Roger Hudson. Featured poet Marie MacSweeney will read from her The Lament for Art O'Leary by Eileen O'Leary in the original and her own translation. The we will sample work of poets from the Irish tradition from Blind Raftery and George Moore to Yeats and Kavanagh and match them with a few of our own. All powerful stuff.

Admission free. Refreshments.

Island of Peace and Poetry

A chance to relax among the hurly burly of the Fleadh and listen to a few soothing, amusing, sad or stimulating poems, songs and stories in the peaceful atmosphere of the Garden of Remembrance beside the Augustinian Church in Shop Street. Drogheda Creative Writers invites passers-by to drop in and join them as they continue their celebration of the Irish poetic tradition from earliest times. There will be three sessions all from 2.30-4.30pm. Everyone welcome. Admission free.

Monday 12th August

Beyon the trail has poems from last year's Poetry Trail and more with Guest Poet from Dublin Phil Lynch.

Tuesday 13th

Tales and poems of town and country brings stories and narrative poems about Drogheda and environs with popular young adults' author Nicola Pierce.

Saturday 17th

Foree-for-all open mic an opportunity for visiting writers as well as locals to share some of their work with us with Guest Poet Eamonn Lynskey.

A range of local and guest musicians will lighten up the entertainment mix

Poets expected include Dawn Staudt, Ann Nolan, Roger Hudson, Dermot O'Neill, Connie McEvoy, Aidan Murphy, Sheila Hudson, Francis Atkins, Des Parkinson, Marian Clarke, John O'Rourke Brian Quinn, Susan Connolly, Bob Shakeshaft

Musicians: Larry Staudt, Conor …… Tom Anderson.

Roving Rhymers of Drogheda

Watch out for our pop-up appearances at other venues in Drogheda during the week of the Fleadh. So far scheduled are the AIB Bank in Dyer Street, Scholars Fleadh Village in King Street and Waterstones in Scotch Hall but there may be more.

And don't miss Dawn off Irish Poetry - Our celebration of Ancient Irish Poetry at 4pm on Thursday 15th August in The Governor's House, Millmount. Come visit with the ordinary folk of the Middle Ages in old Ireland of long ago.

Drogheda Independent