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A Green Art: An Afternoon of Irish Poetry, Words, Film & Music – At London’s Southbank
Presented in Partnership by The Irish Cultural Centre (Hammersmith) & The National Poetry Library
Roam across the poetic landscape of the Emerald Isle in this celebratory afternoon of mesmeric and musical readings and a film screening.
In the first half of the event, Cherry Smyth and Craig Jordan-Baker perform If the River is Hidden, a live version of their book which charts the journey of two writers from the source to the mouth of the Bann, Northern Ireland’s longest river.Through a dialogue of prose and poetry, the history, landscape and divisions that have come to define the north of Ireland are explored and challenged. Smyth and Jordan-Baker are joined by violinist Aoife Ní Bhriain and flautist Eimear McGeown.
Their performance is followed by an extended reading from the mesmeric Irish poet, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin.The winner of the Patrick Kavanagh Award, the Irish Times Award for Poetry, the O’Shaughnessy Award, the International Griffin Poetry Prize and the 1573 International Poetry Award, she is regarded as one of Ireland’s greatest poets.In May 2022, in a special ceremony on Ní Chuilleanáin’s 80th birthday, President Michael D Higgins conferred the gold Torc, marking her election to the position of Saoi of Aosdána, the highest honour an artist in Ireland can ever receive.
After a short interval, film director Sé Merry Doyle introduces his feature-length documentary, Patrick Kavanagh – No Man’s Fool. The film is a rich visual journey, exposing the contradiction that existed between Patrick Kavanagh’s public persona and his poetry – and won the award for best documentary at the Boston Irish Film Festival.
The mesmeric Irish poet Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin was born in Cork City in 1942, educated there and at Oxford before spending her working life as an academic in Trinity College, Dublin. She was a founder member of Cyphers, a literary journal. She is currently regarded as one of Ireland’s greatest poets; she has won the Patrick Kavanagh Award, the Irish Times Award for Poetry, the O’Shaughnessy Award of the Irish-American Cultural Institute which called her “among the very best poets of her generation”; she won the International Griffin Poetry Prize and the 1573 International Poetry Award, one of China’s highest literary honours.
Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin is a Fellow and Professor of English (Emerita) at Trinity College, Dublin. She served as Ireland’s Professor of Poetry from 2016 – 2019. She was married to the poet Macdara Woods, who died in 2018. In May 2022, upon her 80th birthday, in a special ceremony, President Michael D Higgins conferred the gold Torc, marking her election to the position of ‘Saoi’ of Aosdána, the highest honour an artist in Ireland can ever receive.
“Eiléan Chuilleanáin is the Vermeer of contemporary poetry. Her luminous interiors achieve great visual beauty, but should not be mistaken for exercises in escapism. They are sites where history and the individual brush against each other, force fields of action and radiant understanding . . . one of the most distinctive and rewarding bodies of work in contemporary poetry”— Aingeal Clare, The Guardian
A Special Screening of The Feature Documentary
“Patrick Kavanagh – No Man’s Fool”
Director Sé Merry Doyle
Sé Merry Doyle’s feature length documentary ‘Patrick Kavanagh – No Mans Fool,’ won the ‘BIFF Award ‘for best documentary at the Boston Irish Film Festival. The film is a rich visual journey, exposing the contradiction that existed between Patrick Kavanagh’s public persona and his poetry. The main locations of the film are Kavanagh’s native Inniskeen, in County Monaghan, and Dublin, where he spent most of his life. Against all the odds he survived great poverty and ill health, to deliver a canon of the most powerful and evocative poetry ever to come out of Ireland.
Contributors to the film include the actor TP McKenna, writer and Dermot Healy and poets John Montague, Leland Bardwell, James Liddy, Eiléan Ní Chuileanaín and Eiléan’s late husband, the poet Macdara Woods. There is also an appearance by Patrick Kavanagh’s one time girlfriend Deirdre Manifold. Kavanaghs’ poetry is read by Gerard McSorley; the film is narrated by Stephen Walsh and the music was composed by Ger Kiely. Read more about the film by clicking here.
The Documentary Film Director Sé Merry Doyle will introduce this screening
About Sé Merry Doyle
Sé Merry Doyle set up his company Loopline Film in 1982 to make creative documentaries. His award winning film ‘Patrick Kavanagh – No Man’s Fool’ was a celebration of the poet’s centenary. The film was financed by RTE and the Irish Film Board and won ‘Best Documentary’ at the 2005 Boston Film Festival.
‘If The River Is Hidden’
Poet, Cherry Smyth and Author, Craig Jordan-Baker, will be joined will be joined by the wonderful fiddle player Aoife Ní Bhriain and the sublime flautist, Eimear McGeown to perform ‘If the River is Hidden’, a live version of their book which charts the journey of two writers from the source to the mouth of the Bann, Northern Ireland’s longest river. Through a dialogue of prose and poetry the history, landscape and divisions that have come to define the North are explored and challenged.