Here's how their slam works. Whoever signs up for reading gets their name put into a hat and then the readers read in that order. Ten slammers took up the challenge last night and three were picked for the second round: Denise Heneghan, Brendan Murphy and Steve Murray, which took place after the guest reader.
The original lineup included Mary Madec, Denise Heneghan, Leonor Silvestri, John Walsh, Susan Millar DuMars, Miceál Kearney, Steve Murray, Dave Rock, Brendan Murphy and Carolyn Kimbel. Oh, and me too. I hope I've not forgotten anyone - there was so much to take in.
Denise, Steve, Brendan and Miceál
The range of poetry was quite wide, from formal poems like sestinas to freewheeling free verse and the subjects ranged from marriage proposals through computers to the changes in Croke Park (allowing rugby to be played on the hallowed turf of GAA, for those outside of Ireland) and the state of humanity and beyond. So, quite a diverse range of writing and styles!
Kevin's set itself made for interesting hearing. His loose easy style of reading and humoured delivery belies the actual work that must go into his writing and these poems from his future collection, Time Gentlemen, Please! went down very well with the appreciative audience, which itself reflected the rich diversity of Galway, from students to those involved in all aspects of the arts. It's great to see poetry so warmly supported in Galway in this way.
Kevin and his Mum, Mary
While there I also got a chance to speak with the three of the four Galway poets whose work has been selected for the Poetry Ireland Introductions series: Mary Madec, Aoife Casby & Susan Millar DuMars, two of whom slammed on the night. They were looking forward to their Poetry Ireland Masterclass at the end of February and their actual readings which will be in Aprilish (another date for my culture vulture diary).
Aoife , Mary and Susan
I also spoke briefly to the slam winner Denise Heneghan, about the sources that we draw on for writing and how to fit writing into the demands of family life.
And lastly a quick wave to Miceál Kearney without whom I wouldn't have known about North Beach Nights, which as it happens derives its name from the inspiration of the original sessions organised by the beat poets in San Francisco back in the 50s.
Finally - my apologies if I've anyone's name spelled wrong or incorrectly given - leave a comment and I'll come back and fix it! And yes, I know the formatting isn't what it should be - Blogger seems to have a mind of its own lately! Grrr!