Now that’s what I call po­etry

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Listings - CATHY DIL­LON

PO­ETRY NOW 2008 Pavil­ion Theatre, Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin Apr 3-6 Var­i­ous prices, fes­ti­val ticket €80/¤55/¤45 (ex­cludes work­shops) 01-231 2929 www.pavil­ion theatre.ie Work­shops by ap­pli­ca­tion to DLR Arts Of­fice 01-271 9531/ arts@dl­r­coco.ie www.po­et­rynow.ie

The an­nual Po­etry Now fes­ti­val in Dún Laoghaire at­tracts some of the bright­est stars of the in­ter­na­tional po­etry world as well as the cream of Ir­ish po­ets. This year there will be read­ings by Amer­i­cans CD Wright, Meghan O’Rourke and Brian Turner, whose ex­pe­ri­ence serv­ing in the US army in Bos­nia and in Iraq has in­spired his pow­er­ful, thought-pro­vok­ing work.

Daljit Na­gra (be­low), whose first col­lec­tion, Look We Have Com­ing to Dover!, writ­ten partly in Pun­jabi slang, was a big crit­i­cal hit and won the 2007 For­ward Prize, will be among the guests as will Ital­ian poet An­tonella Anneda, Ira­nian-born Mimi Khatali, Ja­maican Kei Miller and Bri­tish poet Jamie McKen­drick. The home team this year boasts Sea­mus Heaney, Bernard O’ Donoghue, and Sinead Mor­ris­sey, among oth­ers. The Ir­ish Times Po­etry Now award will be pre­sented on Satur­day af­ter­noon (April 5th) and the Strong Award (for the best first col­lec­tion) on Sun­day (April 6th).

Ir­ish Times jour­nal­ist Belinda McKeon, the cu­ra­tor of this year’s fes­ti­val, will get things started on Thurs­day at lunchtime with a lec­ture en­ti­tled Poem Spring­ing, ex­plor­ing the re­la­tion­ship be­tween in­ter­pre­ta­tion and mean­ing for the reader of a poem. Ruth Padel, as well as writ­ing po­etry, has writ­ten some of the most il­lu­mi­nat­ing prose about po­etry in­clud­ing 52 Ways of Look­ing at a Poem and The Poem and the Jour­ney and her key­note lec­ture, on Thurs­day evening should be well worth catch­ing. And the po­etry scene will be put un­der the mis­cro­scope at a panel dis­cus­sion The Quarrel With Our­selves – Who Reads Po­etry, Any­way?, or­gan­ised in as­so­ci­a­tion with Po­etry Ire­land.

Def­i­nitely the Cannes of po­etry fes­ti­vals.

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