Guest Performer: 16th March 2012: Máighréad Medbh

Spoke is delighted to welcome Máighréad Medbh as our guest performer on 16th March 2012.

Máighréad Medbh was born in Newcastle West, Co. Limerick. Her debut collection,The Making of a Pagan (Belfast: Blackstaff Press, 1990), explored the vicissitudes of childhood and the socio-political environment in poems where formal design matches experience. The conviction that poetry emerges from one’s body moved her to become one of the pioneers of Irish performance poetry in the early nineties. She worked with music, rap and dramatic styles, developing a reputation for quality and originality, both of text and delivery. In recent years she has been writing in different genres and text takes precedence, but her readings are still dramatic events.

Maighread Medbh in performance

Máighréad Medbh

Other collections are: Tenant (Cliffs of Moher, Co. Clare: Salmon, 1999), a narrative sequence set during the years of the Irish famine; Split (in ¡Divas!, Galway: Arlen House 2003); When the Air Inhales You (Galway: Arlen House, 2009); and Twelve Beds for the Dreamer (Dublin: Arlen House, 2011). Máighréad has also produced a CD, Out of My Skin (2002). Her work has been included in a wide range of anthologies and a serialised story for children, set to music, was commissioned byIreland’s Lyric FM in 2007.

Máighréad has written three novels and the first book in a planned four-volume story for young people. A book of aphoristic dialogues on the subject of solitude is soon to be published by Dedalus Press, Dublin.

Recently described as ‘a unique presence in the Irish literary scene’, Máighréad will be performing mostly new material on March 16th.

For more information and updates, see:

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Spoke #1 debrief

Thanks to all the performers for a great first Spoke!  We had personal calamities in poetry and prose, a severed thumb, poets standing up for classical learning and improbable Old Testament fertility, crosswords, phone sex, love and butterflies, attics, blood donations, suicides, and nights in white satin.  Special thanks to our guest Jill Battson (catch her in Cork at O’Bheal on Monday 20th February if you’re down that way) and to the Irish Writers Centre.

We’d love to have the odd musician as well as spoken word artists, so if you sing or play, join us on Friday 16th March at 7.30pm. BE SPOKE for a great start to your holiday weekend.

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Guest Performer: 17th February 2012: Jill Battson

Spoke’s guest on Friday 17th February is Jill Battson, Canadian poet and poetry activist.

Jill Battson

Jill Battson is an internationally published poet and poetry activist who is Poet Laureate Emeritus of Cobourg, Ontario. She was responsible for creating and running the successful poetry reading series The Poets’ Refuge and has initiated and produced many poetry events including The Poetry Express – a BYOV at Toronto’s Fringe Festival; Liminal Sisters – a language poetry event; The Festival of the Spoken Word – a five day spoken word festival; Fightin’ Words – poets in a boxing ring; The Poetburo Slams and the hyper- successful Word Up – a series of interstitial poetry spots airing on MuchMusic and Bravo! which spawned a CD with Virgin Records and an anthology with Key Porter. She was the poetry editor for Insomniac Press from 1999 to 2001.

Jill is widely published across North America and the UK. Her first book, Hard Candy, was received to great acclaim and nominated for the Gerald Lampert Award. She has written several plays and solo works, including How I learned to live with obsession as well as Ecce Homo and Hard Candy – enhanced monologues for dance and voice. Jill has written the libretti for two short operas, Netsuke and Ashlike on the Cradle of the Wind, produced by Tapestry New Opera Works, and produced an electro acoustic sound art project, LinguaElastic, as part of the Canadian Music Centre’s New Music in New Places series. Dark Star Requiem, for which she wrote the libretto, premiered at Toronto’s Luminato Festival in June 2010. Her new project, Sleeptalker, will soon appear on stage. Jill’s third book of poems, Dark Star Requiem, was recently published by Folded & Gathered Press. Her new book, The Ecstatic Torture of Gratitude, has just been published by Guernica Editions.

Join Jill at Spoke at 7.30pm on Friday 17th February in the Irish Writers Centre, 19 Parnell Square, Dublin 1.  Free admission, free wine, perform your own work.  To sign up to perform at Spoke: arrive punctually at 7.30pm, and sign up.  Sign-ups can’t be taken by email.  You’ve got to be there.  We welcome spoken word artists, writers and musicians of all kinds.

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Introducing Spoke

Spoke is the new open mic evening in the Irish Writers Centre, Parnell Square, Dublin 1.

We’re inviting spoken word artists, writers and musicians to come along and perform their work on the third Friday of every month. If you’d like to perform, please join us punctually at 7.30pm to sign up.  You can’t sign up by email: you’ve got to be there.  There’ll be about 16 5-minute open-mic slots available: first come, first served.

There’ll also be a guest act each month. In February we’ll be joined by Jill Battson, poetry activist, from Toronto.

The first Spoke hits the road on Friday 17th February.  Doors at 7.30pm. Free admission.