Some interesting thoughts on translation and the Irish language from the Cork-based poet Louis de Paor in an interview with Alan O’Riordan in the Irish Examiner: “CAN a poem ever really be translated? The Cork poet Louis de Paor covers this ground in the introduction to his latest volume, The Brindled Cat and The Nightingale’s… Read More Reclaiming The Past And The Present
Sometimes we need reminding that – whatever our origins – we are not just Irish but Celts too, one of the indigenous peoples of north-western Europe. From a report by the Irish Times newspaper: “At the Festival Interceltique, President Michael D Higgins was warmly received as the only head of state of a Celtic country.… Read More Festival Interceltique 2014
Would I be right in suggesting that Gabriel Rosenstock and Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill are probably the two greatest living Irish poets? There are many contenders for that title but when looks at the breadth of their works it is hard to imagine a more deserving rival than those two doyens of Ireland’s literary scene. Sometimes I prefer Rosenstock,… Read More Gabriel Rosenstock, Margadh Na Míol In Valparaíso
I’ve always been interested in clandestine military, political or religious groups, be they revolutionary movements, secret societies or arcane cults. Growing up in Ireland one is imbued in a culture where such organisations are integral to the social history of the nation, at least from the 18th century onwards (and arguably much earlier if one… Read More The Fatal Strain: Cultism
Today’s Irish Times has a lengthy examination by Úna Mullally of the Irish arts scene that is well worth reading: “Imram, the Irish-Language Literature Festival takes place from October 11th to the 20th, and offers a dynamic programme. There are familiar names participating: Louis de Paor, Dairena Ní Chinnéide, Micheál Ó Conghaile. And there are… Read More Imram 2012, Leonard Cohen And More
A quick post to mark a review by Theo Dorgan in the Irish Times of a new biography of the Irish poet Mícheál Ó hAirtnéide (Michael Hartnett), who also happens to be one of my favourite wordsmiths, not least for his legendary description of the English language from his collection “A Farewell to English”: “The road is not new. I am not a maker of… Read More Mícheál Ó hAirtnéide
A brief post to mark the passing of Professor Dáithí Ó hÓgáin, a man who brought academic rigour to the popular promotion of Early Irish Literature, Mythology and Folklore. From the Irish Times: “The funeral takes place today of folklorist and UCD emeritus professor Dáithí Ó hÓgáin. Prof Ó hÓgáin, originally from Bruff, Co Limerick, but living in Bray, Co Wicklow, was a professor… Read More Dáithí Ó hÓgáin – Ar Dheis Dé Go Raibh A Anam
Nice report from the Derry Journal on the recent All-Ireland Poetry Slam competition held in the Maiden City and its winner, Irish poet Séamas Barra Ó Suilleabháin. The only thing that mires the article is the apparent inability to record the champion’s name correctly: Seamus Barra O’ Suilleabhain is not Séamas Barra Ó Suilleabháin. “A captivating poet performing only… Read More An Irish Slam!
The Irish Times carries a very personal report celebrating the weekend’s Oireachtas na Samhna, the annual Irish language and culture festival, this year held in Cill Airne: “IT IS the time of Samhain and I am heading south to Killarney. Every year at this time I find myself on the road to somewhere. The reason – Oireachtas na Samhna.… Read More Oireachtas na Samhna
Interesting news in the Scotsman highlighting the international dimension that is increasingly important to the two main Gaelic languages, Irish and Scottish. In this case it is the latter as a Canadian Gael is awarded for his Scottish language poetry and writing. “AN international dimension was brought to this year’s Royal National Mod in Stornoway… Read More Hail To Nova Scotia
The people of Wales have been marking the celebration of their native language and culture in this year’s Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru or the National Eisteddfod of Wales. For the last week festivities focusing on literature, poetry, art and music have been held in Wrecsam (Wrexham) with nearly 150,000 people in attendance. As the BBC reports: ‘Organisers of the National Eisteddfod… Read More Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru – Oireachtas Náisiúnta na Breataine Bige
One of my favourite poets is the Scottish writer Somhairle Mac Giolla Eoin (Somhairle MacGill-Eain / Sorley MacLean) so its nice to see this tribute and discussion over at Alison Ní Dhorchaidhe’s blog.