Imram, Irish language and literature festival presents
Oirféas Nua
Mícheál Ó hAirtnéide: Comóradh 20
A New Orpheus
Michael Hartnett: A Bilingual Celebration – Twenty Years On.

Saturday 19 October 

Dé Sathairn 19 Deireadh Fómhair
Smock Alley Theatre, Exchange Street Lower,
Temple Bar, Dublin 8

Cailleadh Mícheál Ó hAirtnéide scór bliain ó shin, file dátheangach a ndúirt Seán Ó Tuama faoi: ‘His poetry in Irish exudes an intimate lyric magic; indeed his poetic voice is more lucid, more natural perhaps, in his Irish poems than those in English.’

Déanfaidh an compántas Guthanna Binne Síoraí comóradh agus ceiliúradh anocht ar ‘Lorca Luimnigh’, mar a thug Heaney air. D’fhéadfadh gur fhág A Farewell to English ina dhílleachta teanga é, gan glacadh leis go hiomlán ina dhiaidh sin i saol an Bhéarla ná i saol na Gaeilge ach oiread. Páirteach sa chomóradh anocht beidh Cathal Quinn agus Gabriel Fitzmaurice, an damhsóir Sibéal Davitt agus an ceoltóir Michelle Mulcahy.

Michael Hartnett was born in County Limerick in 1941 and died in Dublin in 1999. ‘Eigse Michael Hartnett’, an annual commemorative festival established in 2000 takes place each year in Newcastle West, County Limerick, in his honour. He wrote in both English and Irish and published translations from many languages. Like many others, he emigrated from rural Ireland to England in the 1960s. He returned to West Limerick in the mid-’70s and moved to Dublin about 10 years later. The Gallery Press has published his major collections — A Farewell to English and A Necklace of Wrens (poems in Irish with translations into English), as well as Poems to Younger Women (1989), The Killing of Dreams (1992), Selected Poems (1994) and his acclaimed trilogy of translations of the 17th century poets O Bruadair, Haicéad and O RathailleCollected Poems appeared posthumously in 2001, A Book of Strays in 2002 and Translations in 2003.

‘I’ll never forget reading his first short poems…they had a kind of hypnotic power, as if a new Orpheus has emerged from Newcastle West. He was Limerick’s Lorca’. So wrote Seamus Heaney of Michael Hartnett, who died twenty years ago. Tonight Guthanna Binne Síoraí stage a bi-lingual multi-media reading of this unique and influential poet who was steeped in the Gaelic tradition, a man ‘who lived his art’, as noted by Gabriel Fitzmaurice – who will read poems in Irish, and share his memories of his friend. Cathal Quinn will read poems in English. Gabriel Fitzmaurice will read poems in Irish, and share his memories of his friend Michael. Sibéal Davitt will respond to the texts and to music by Michelle Mulcahy on the harp, fiddle and concertina. Screen projections by Margaret Lonergan.

In association with Poetry Ireland.

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