Poets Express: A Bar, and Bawdy Bards, Outside Bantry!

A few scenes from the 2010 Poets Express in Bantry and Kilcrohane

Tomás Ó Cárthaigh at Poets Express
Tomás Ó Cárthaigh at Poets Express

As expected, Poets Express was a success, but with a different crowd than anticipated.

Being held in a bar, maybe it is to be expected that a certain amount of indifference may be shown, but all the same it went very well.

The highlight perhaps was the acoustic room: where everyone who was there was there for the poetry, for the music, for the art.

The evening kicked off watching Germany pulverise poor Argentina, in a result that was 4-0, boding well for all things German that night!

The sound of the vuvuzelas is every bit as bad at ten yards as it is on the television!

The evening started off with Andy N, performance poet from Manchester running the proceedings. With him as part of his act was Jeff Woodruff.

We had, among the hard chaws, a guest, in the form of an Israeli woman whose work blew me away to be straight.

On my right, was a local woman who wrote in rhyme, and thought her poetry was nothing because of it. She was so wrong, it is so much in the peasant poet tradition of Ireland, and a style that is struggling for air in the current anything goes climate of verse writings.

Three challenges was set: a title given, a first line given, and a picture given, and a verse had to be written on all three.

Mine was:
Monster in my Cupboard
Goddess of Gluttony

The acoustic room was ran by Eric Rhodes, who ably ran the camera recording proceedings, while Dannan Martin ran the camera for the main stage.

Jude Cowans simple ukelele music, and original songs were a highlight, followed up by Tom Jordans excellent compositions in Irish, and sets from the rest of us, myself included.

I was on the main stage then in my turn, and I read out a few poems from the Danders in Dublin series, one I’d written at the workshop and a few I’d written the preceding evening in Bantry.

I got a good reaction from the crowd, especially a few older people who appreciated the style of poetry I do.

Its great to know my fanbase will be dead by the time I’m middle aged!!!!

Stephen James Smiths set I caught, and bits of the Lonely Schizophrenic and the closing tunes from Shaky Dawg.

The visuals in Video Room were mesmerising, if only Id time to actually sit down and watch them for a while.

The culinary highlight was the German burgers outside… I ate two of them!!!

The night did not stop there, it was off to poetry HQ, where a nights drinking, dirty songs and general camaraderie ensued.

There was a serious case of ethnic tensions between the Nord and the Soud Cuntree as three Dubs tried to get the “Nordie” to stay in the basket.

Its a long story, involves lots of alcohol, and a dog basket.

The following day, all decamped to Kylyras house, where a podcast was recorded, or readings and discussions of poetry.

I got back into town (thanks to Tony Baxter!) and missed my first bus, but no matter, I still sauntered around Bantry and climbed a few of the higher streets and got a few good shots and stories.

On getting my bus, I got the train on time, and set out for Dublin.

A tragic double suicide delayed my train, cost me by bus to Kilbeggan, and made me stay the night in the big smoke. It also inspired a few darker poems on the said topic.

Roll on next year!

Poems written while delayed by the tragic deaths:

Death on a Traintrack

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