Lifting poetry off the page

Young Irish writers are bringing poetry to a whole new audience through spoken word performances, writes Paulie Doyle

17th March, 2019
Geoff Finan and Emmet O’Brien are part of the new generation of poets who perform their works live in pubs and clubs. Bryan Meade

A quote from Seamus Heaney is written in bold, black letters across a white wall inside 11 Parnell Square East: “I rhyme/To see myself, to set the darkness echoing.”

Beneath it, in a corner of the front room of the Georgian building that is home to Poetry Ireland, lies a slab of Tesco-brand lager, bought by 21-year-old Dubliner Emmet O’Brien. He’ll share these cans with some of the 130 or so people who...

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