Poetic gathering to honour Kavanagh


Some of Ireland's best known poets came together at the Gate Theatre, Dublin, last night for a reading of the works of Patrick Kavanagh to celebrate the centenary of the birth of the Co Monaghan writer.

The first section of last night's event was broadcast live on RTÉ Radio One, and featured Macdara Woods, Tom McIntyre, Leland Bardwell and Dermot Healy reading excerpts from The Great Hunger. In the second half, Paul Durcan, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin and John Montague were joined by the other poets to read their favourite Kavanagh poem, plus works of their own. The evening featured music played by uileann piper Peter Browne.

Last night's event was part of a festival being held to celebrate what would have been Kavanagh's 100th birthday on October 21st. Events will run nationwide up until the end of November. An Post will issue a special commemorative stamp.

The official centenary commemoration of Kavanagh's birth date will be held at City Hall, Dublin, on Thursday afternoon. It will feature actors and musicians in a celebration of the poet's life and works. They will read their favourite Kavanagh poem, and make brief speeches explaining why they chose the particular works. Scheduled to appear are, among others, comedian Ardal O'Hanlon, author Pat McCabe, broadcaster Mary Kennedy, poet Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill and actors Mick Lally and Daragh O'Malley. Their appearance will be followed by the day's main address by poet Paul Durcan.