Word for Word: Still more to savour this summer
The Yeats Festival Season continues this month with readings and events in Sligo, among them Aloud , an evening of poetry and music featuring, among others, Gerard Dawe, Niall MacMonagle, Katie Donovan and James Harpur . It’s at the Hawk’s Well on August 3rd (8pm, €15/€13).
Seamus Heaney will read from his work at the same venue the following evening (8pm, €20), and on August 5th there will be a Yeats Summer Suite of Music, Spoken Word and Dance with music from The John Carty Festival Band and an excerpt from Meadbh - The Crimson Path read by poet Ann Joyce accompanied by the band and Melody Urquhart and the Melody Academy of Dance (8pm, €15/€12).
There’s an opportunity to hear Yeats’s poetry set to the music of Turlough O’Carolan at St Columba’s Church, Drumcliffe, in the shadow of Ben Bulben (August 1st, 7.30pm €10), and much more. treadsoftly.ie
Roger Gregg takes his Bee Loud Glade cabaret to the Big House Festival in the gorgeous surroundings of Castletown House in Celbridge on the bank holiday weekend with a show called You Can’t Do That Here. It’s one part of what sounds like an appealingly leftfield but accomplished line- up at this “Cultural Carnival of Musical Adventures, Theatrical Treats and Hidden Gems”. The playwright, composer, audio-producer and actor, who specialises in giving classic and contemporary poems the rock ’n’ roll treatment, is also at the Derg Inn in Terryglass, Co Tipperary on Thursday, August 15th, as part of Terryglass Arts Festival. bighouse. ie/terryglassartsfestival.ie
The Kilkenny Arts Festival always has a strong literary programme and this year it includes a reading by Kevin Barry and Ron Rash (Tuesday 13th, Watergate Theatre, €16/€14). Impac winner Barry (City of Bohane, Dark Lies the Island) is always worth catching but the addition of Rash, whose short story collection, Nothing Gold Can Stay, has received a lot of praise, makes this even more appealing. To celebrate the centenary of Yeats’s September 1913, Prof Denis Donoghue and Prof WJ McCormack will explore the world of the poem (Parade Tower, Wednesday 14th, €13/€11); there will be a reading by American novelist Rachel Kushner and British novelist Elizabeth Day (Parade Tower, Friday 16th, €13/€11), and an evening of poetry, music and song will round things off on Sunday, August 18th (Rivercourt Hotel, 3pm, €20/€17.50), with Paula Meehan, Colm Tóibín , Niamh Parsons and Scullion.
The Dromineer Literary Festival isn’t until October but in the meantime, as part of The Gathering, the festival committee is hosting a reading by and an interview with former US poet laureate and Pulitzer prize winner Kay Ryan. US-born, Galway-based poet and memoirist Mary Mullen will also read at the event at Nenagh Arts Centre (Saturday, August 24th, 7.30pm, €12/€10). dromineerliteraryfestival.ie/nenagharts. com
Skibbereen Arts Festival this month has a reading by Dublin performance poet Colm Keegan (Friday 2nd, 7.30pm, venue TBC, €10) and a 12-hour poetry marathon, organised by Working Artists Studios, with well-known poets (and people attending, if they like) reading their own, or their favourite, poems. Afric McGlinchey and Kerrie O’Brien will be among those reading. (Working Artists Studios, Saturday 3rd, noon- midnight, adm free).