May 14th, 2007 at 7:44 am
Posted by pc in Poetry Events and News

First All-Ireland Poetry Slam team announced

On Friday the 11th of May 2007, history was made as 2 regional winners from each province sized up their compositions at McHugh’s pub in Belfast, the oldest building in the city. The eight poets had only 2 minutes and 15 seconds to perform each of their pieces in rounds one and two. Then four went through to the final round; Gerard McKeown (Ulster), Colin McKeown (Ulster – unrelated), Noel Sweeney (Leinster) and Brendan Murphy (Connaught).

The excellent organising from Mark Madden (Creative Writer’s Network) and dazzling MC work from Chloe Poems made this a truly great event, and benchmarks the beginning of many to come. The intention is for the annual event to alternate throughout the four provinces.

First and second places went to Brendan Murphy and Gerard McKeown, who now represent the Irish team. They’ll be up against the Welsh, English and Scottish at the BBC Radio Four Slam Championships in July.

Videos of the performances can be viewed here

One Response to “All-Ireland Poetry Slam”

  1. 1
    sweeney Said: @5:29 pm 

    a poetic review by Noel Sweeney

    11 am. Amen. I feel no care: the resonance of last night effervescent in the memory.

    Almost a tangible presence. I Can Taste It!

    And in flat 3B Library Building the competitors billet its all calm now, you see the Galway crew have set themselves free.

    The remainder of the provinces are somewhere all at sea: in a swell of dreams.

    So listen to this ( i humbly axe), to this my mid-morning post party post mortem; who did what and why? and why the heck not.

    All did their best, pulled up their socks: sharp on the delivery: at a rate of knots.

    Defying pigeon holing attempts by judges to put Jacks (and Jill) in a box. In a city where

    there, I is told they rear their young on milk from a Fox.

    The process; though racus was peaceful. You can shout it from roof tops,
    from steeple: Go, Tell All The People.

    Tell them what you found

    tell them of the colours of the sounds of the sound of the sounds (sound?).

    Found under ground

    ’twas a good measure pressed together shaken down overflowing.

    To palm a coined phrase, and cliché: Mind Blowing

    Checking out the seeds sown to keep the keep the poetry growing

    and echoes of answers through its branches are flowing; some so delicate in structure

    You’d swear ’twas snowing.

    How each got a chance in the ebbing and slowing, the scatter of pace tooing and froing

    Taps turned counter clock-wise: all gushing, still glowing.

    With that look on their face: keeps you wondering: is that everything showing?

    Then the tuff got going, stations held tunes up ended: perpetual succor; some people offended?

    Don’t worry in the next round someone can mend it, bend it like, and if they cant

    Well then feck-em.

    And did any one notice the M.C. sweating? ahh bless him.

    Theres no f****** messing when your out on the see if your sterner than, or even matched

    to others stuff – it could be all bluff?

    Well come and have a go then if you think your hard enough?

    Come and have a go we ain’t heard enough.

    Come and have a go where having a go is good enough.

    If at first you don’t succeed, well then cheat the insecurities that plague you.

    For busting rhymes will not save you.

    But busting rhymes will not leave you:

    In the lean times chimes and rhythms and lines from poems heard in pubs and homes can remind:

    that you are not alone.

    Others struggle too.

    Others struggle through.

    Others struggle true.

    Others struggles few.

    Others struggles?

    When the word is sharp: bubbles burst.

    Should it matter who burst first?

    The well versed; the rehearsed?

    The tight; the terse?

    The page; the stage?

    The clown; the sage?

    The bold, the brave, scruffy flockers, the well shaved, the well behaved according to their own

    function. Call it what you want, hard work or divine unction. It all has function. Remembering what

    is often counted is rarely reckoned and if the eye a heavy task master what of the ear?

    I can’t hear you ask.

    Can you measure a task that’s elusive as herding cats? I mean how do you compare

    ratt-a tat-tat to row, row, row your boat? Is committing to rhyme committing crime? How free is

    verse in this tersest tent of a body that contains, stains and has reins upon us? But hats of and in

    the ring: it was a beautiful thing. All upped their game and not no one was same, well deserving of

    their two minutes fifteen seconds of fame – some so bold not to fill it, others pushed it to the limit.

    I wanted it to last forever so as to brazen my name where grace in the place allowed me to feel no

    shame, and with the good will rising you couldn’t help but – BE!!!

    And it’s the fans you thank for fueling the flame to Mark Madden for building the frame.

    All spent on this chase it well worth the change. Riding the range of influence in poetry’s name, oh

    what a game. What a game.

    05/27/07; 5:29 pm

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