As a relatively recent blow-in to the Dublin arts scene, I'm still getting my head around the fact that no, it's not an elite club where you're stripped naked before entering and checked for the sacred mark, and no it doesn't have to cost 40e, be pre-booked and require you to comb the twigs from your hair and no, it isn't happening in some underground temple to Bacchus that you need a parchment map and three passwords to enter.
Of course, they're not going to come looking for you either, but that's where your adventuring spirit comes in.
wurm im apfel's rent party was last night. They're an initiative dedicated to showcasing experimental poetry in an accessible way, and they invaded the upstairs in the Cat and Cage, Drumcondra last night in order to raise money for performances and publications, with 20% going to the mental health charity Aware.
I always feel vaguely worried at poetry readings, in case the risen spectre of Keats and Kavanagh kick down the door and tell me I'm from Cavan and these events are for educated people, people who were scribbling couplets on their cot walls. However, you should have no such fear. The venue was cosy, the alcohol cheap (For future reference, the Cat and Cage are good peoples to contact if you're looking for a venue, click the link above for details) and the crowd very welcoming.
I arrived late, but managed to catch the cutting yet charming poetry of Catspupil, (who I randomly and unconnectedly ran into three weeks previously on a bus to Oxford, lending some weight to Pratchett's theory that there are only a few thousand real people in the world and the rest are extras) the amicable mellowness of Anne Tannam and my particular favourites of the night, the duo of Cliff Horseman and San Francisco-born urban nature poet Raven. Raven's the organiser of Tongue Box, a night of performance poetry held in the Cobblestone in Smithfield, and his energetic and intense poetry was a perfect counterpoint to Cliff's beat generation-style drawl. Also performing was Sarah Quigley from the Milk and Cookies, whose work I've seen and enjoyed before.
If you happen to dabble in poetry yourself or are even just curious, do follow up those at wurm, as they're doing a lot to promote their members/affiliates, whether it be by help with promotion, publication or just advice. Their next event is a poetry reading on Tuesday the 5th in the Cat & Cage, featuring the talents of Kimberley Campanello and Rachel Lehrman. Check out the link here.
It's a bad sign when you're proud to have done half as much work as you should, but my work pile of class corrections, nearly-finished stories, not-finished stories and other related nonsense is slowly shrinking. I'm currently hunting new acts for a storytelling/performance poetry night, and after that there will be PR scams... cough... strategies aplenty. On a slightly less depressing note, the website 6S (they specialise in six sentence stories, no more, no less) featured one of my scrappier bits today. It can be perused here.
They also take submissions, so if you're a hit-and-run storyteller like myself, throw six sentences together and drop them a mail.
Now I'm going to make an obscene effort to finish all my impending (doom) work tonight, and then I can celebrate tomorrow night by being a drunken wastrel surrounded by heavy metal.