Ambushed by irresistible poetry from 13 different directions

Sean Keane

Reporter:

Sean Keane

Carol O'Coill, Anne O'Connor and Elinor Mountain pictured at the launch of the Poetry Broadsheet during the Kilkenny Arts Festival last week. Photo: Pat Moore.
Kilkenny’s Arts officer, Mary Butler and those involved in bringing out Kilkenny Poetry Broadsheet No 14 staged a coup at the Parade Tower of Kilkenny Castle on Friday evening by getting American poet laureate and one of the world’s best selling writers, Billy Collins to launch the impressive collection of poems.

Kilkenny’s Arts officer, Mary Butler and those involved in bringing out Kilkenny Poetry Broadsheet No 14 staged a coup at the Parade Tower of Kilkenny Castle on Friday evening by getting American poet laureate and one of the world’s best selling writers, Billy Collins to launch the impressive collection of poems.

He was witty, engaging and spoke of the need to get poetry out of the classroom and into public places and said the broadsheet was a perfect way to do this. He regaled the audience which included Kilkenny’s Minister for Rural Affairs, Ann Phelan, by saying he agreed with inserting poetry on the back of cereal boxes.

“People have a resistance to poetry, so give them no time to resist it - Ambush them with poetry so they don’t have time to deploy their anti-poetry deflector shields,” he said before unashamedly, reciting some of his own work which was an absolute treat.

This latest instalment of the broadsheet is hugely impressive and it is the last poem on the broadsheet that caught my eye first, composed by actor, Rachael Hanaphy-Pigott:

Apple of his eye

I fell for him

To the dirt

Of disappointment.

Every piece in this A3 piece of paper is strong, worthy of inclusion and worth investigating.

Established poet Gerry Moran returns to one of his favourite themes in the 14th instalment of the broadsheet - The bond between father and son. “Burying The Cat” is superb and personal.

The farmer’s son from Inistioge, Larry Cotter’s nine liner, Who I Am, is a gem and is now posted on my fridge. Reading it is a good way to start off the day.

Another beautiful piece comes from the hand of Nuala Roche and already being a fan of her earlier work, her take on Steve McQueen’s role in the Great Escape is fascinating and unexpected.

The Last Walk by Noel Howley is sombre and a familiar story.

Michael Massey is one of our finest writers and his piece, A Lot Can Happen Between The Bridges allows you to travel with him on his nature trail.

To Mary Butler, Niamh Brophy and Julianne Morgan, well done.

As always design is excellent by Atticus with a thoughtful illustration by Ale Meecado.

Editor, Enda Coyle-Greene did a great job.