Poetry Reading with Martina Evans and Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh at this years’ West Cork Literary Festival.
Wed 18 July 2018
Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh’s poems in Irish have been lavished with plaudits and prizes. They blend dreams and dread visions. Collapsing ages and traditions, banshees and pookas infiltrate a modern, urban sensibility. Loss and longing co-exist in sensual images and expressions. Ailbhe’s latest collection The Coast Road, from named places – Galway and Harlem, Antarctica and Kilmalkedar – to imagined states, including ‘the madhouse behind the moon’, is a book of uncommon range and searing effect. Among its themes are language and languages, their failure and throes, and silence too.
In its variety of responses the book may be read as a guide to the possibilities of translation itself. In it, some of Ireland’s finest poets gather to spread the word and introduce a vital voice to a wider audience. Ailbhe’s poems in Irish are translated in this collection by Michael Coady, Peter Fallon, Tom French, Alan Gillis, Vona Groarke, John McAuliffe, Medbh McGuckian, Paul Muldoon, Michelle O’Sullivan, Justin Quinn, Billy Ramsell, Peter Sirr and David Wheatley.
Martina Evans’ new collection Now We Can Talk Openly About Men was published by Carcanet in June. This is a poetry collection in two parts, dramatic monologues touching on the Irish War of Independence and the Civil War from a woman’s perspective. There are two voices: a dressmaker on laudanum and a stenographer in love with a young revolutionary. The women relect with humour on how actions taken in their youth lead to betrayal.