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Poets Express, 11th July 2009

Dear all;

Alas - this is not my review (Still typing mine) but here is the one from Kylyra Ameringer..

Poets Express 2009 was everything I ever wished it could be. We gave Bantry an introduction to performance poetry like they never imagined, and, more importantly to me, the night offered a fantastic opportunity for all of us to network with each other.

Shaky Dawg came on at 6:30 with a blistering set that had everyone's toes tapping. It was their debut performance, and they went all out with their sound and show (they have, in fact, got offers for 2 more gigs - yea!).

I was sad to announce that Cah-44 couldn't make it; he had to cancel at the last minute due to some injuries and difficulties. All the guests were disappointed to hear he couldn't come down, as well as the audience, and we all wish him the very best and a speedy recovery! VisionGhost also did not appear. We had a great night anyway, and so many people who wanted to read we ran late (eek!) and I had to turn some people away.

The night started out with an open mic slot filled by our caterer for the evening, Bantry's own Poetry Chef, Rowena Doak. Not only did the woman take several days off from her work as a pastry chef at the Maritime Hotel to bake us up a variety of goodies that had everyone's mouth watering, she got up and shared her work publicly for the very first time, and did a fantastic job.

Dale Mawhinney was up next, and charmed the audience right away with his set. He and his dad travelled all the way down from Belfast on the bus for the show, plus they hauled a number of Dale's original paintings to hang up in the hall and sell for an amazingly cheap €20 each (I just had to buy one; now I've got an ORIGINAL Dale Mawhinney to hang on my walls!!).

Erik Rhodes, author of 'Oasis of Love' and 'The King, The Father, and The Mother', stood up to fill our next open mic slot. Erik lives locally in Ahakista, and came early to help me out as much as possible. He'd been wavering on the idea of getting up and sharing his work, and I was so happy when he said he'd do it.

Tom Jordan from Cork, who agreed to act as our event photographer, was up next and blew me and the audience away by picking up a guitar and giving us an amazing example of his musical and vocal skills as well as a few of his written poems. He spent the rest of the night buzzing around the hall, getting photos of everyone and everything from as many angles as he could manage. He's going to ping me the JPEGs, and they'll be posted soon!

Next was Tómas Ó Cartháigh, author of 'Passing By Our Planet' and 'Writings in Rhyme'. He really nailed his set, and the audience was delighted with his work. Tómas travelled all the way down from County Offaly for the show, and I can't thank him enough for making the trip to share his incredible work with us.

AndyN from Manchester was my next special guest. We had fun with Andy; he asked me to do a poem with him he wrote especially for the night, 'Thank You Ky'. He showed his versatility and skill by moving between simple spoken word, poetry with backing music, and multi-poet pieces (he got me and Antonionioni up to help him on some chanting on his last number).

My assistant for the night, Síofra Martin, did a special presentation next. Síofra's work was chosen to be included in Eurochild 2009, and she read off one of her original poems in Irish for us. The audience loved her, and I'm so proud we found a special spot for her.

Next we moved to announcing the winners of Kids Express. A lot of the kids who were short-listed made it to the night, and I know those that didn't win were very disappointed, but to soften the blow they received special goodies baskets from our caterer, Rowena. Síofra helped me announce the winners (and boy, was I glad for her help!).

Ruby Sullivan won the 8-12 year old category with her poem 'Across The Water' and gave a performance that had some of us professionals shaking in our boots! This is a young lady to keep a watch on, fellow poets! She's writing incredible poetry at a very young age, and she's absolutely fearless on stage.

Erin Barclay was our winner in the 13-17 year old category for her poem 'The Journey'. Erin wasn't there on the night (she had tickets to Oxygen) but her mom, Jane, took the stage to give a performance of her piece. I was amazed at her mom's composure and delivery; she did her daughter proud.

Both Ruby and Erin received an engraved trophy, a framed winner's certificate, and a surprise gift from New Street Jewellery. So the fabulous trophies that looked so good on my mantle are gone, but I know they'll be well appreciated by the winners.

Future Dialogue took the stage for our intermission, giving the audience a wonderful few acoustic guitar songs while everyone was grabbing more goodies and stretching their legs.

Scream Blue Murmur was our first act up after the intermission, and they surprised both me and Dale Mawhinney by requesting we read some material out with them on their last piece. They showed exactly why they've toured the world with their poetry; they engaged the audience, had fun, and were so relaxed with their set (and reassuring to me, who was freaking out a bit!) that you knew hours of rehearsal were behind their flawless performance.

Our next open mic time was filled by Antonionioni from Manchester, who surprised the hell out of me by flying over for the event. I've seen him before while in Manchester, and I was really looking forward to what he was doing for the night. Antonionioni's moved into using a lot of sound and music behind him, and his performance didn't disappoint. He got a bunch of us up at the last minute to help him on some chanting on his final number - what a gas! He also had some CDs of some of his new material, and I was lucky enough to get one. The man is doing notable work, and he's agreed to come back to Ireland to do some recording with us in the studio - can't wait!

Andrej Kapor took the stage next. Andrej came down from Dublin at the very last minute to give us a 10 minute set, and what a set it was! Energy and charisma are the two words that spring to my mind immediately when I think about what he did, and I can't wait to get up to Dublin this autumn to hear him some more.

Local performance poet Adam Ormes took our next open mic slot. Adam gave me a text the day before the event, and was such a kind fellow that when he came in a bit late and saw how busy I was, he wrote me a little note and slipped it quietly to me so the performers on stage weren't disturbed. I had no idea what to expect from him, and when I peeked out from behind the backdrop in front of the stairs where I was stationed I was gob-smacked to see him up on the chairs in the middle of the audience, banging away on a drum and being a complete pro.

The AMAZING Derek Fanning was up next, and I MEAN amazing! He started out with a few short limericks, then moved into some songs. Let me tell you, the man deserves his reputation as 'the voice of Birr'. He sang unaccompanied, and the range and control he exhibited blew everyone away. Derek took a break from his very busy schedule as a journalist in County Offaly to come down, and had copies of his books 'The Tunnel: An Epic Poem' and 'Journey Through Elvish Realms: A Mountaineer's Tale' as well as a few copies of his CD to pass around.

Our last open mic time was filled by a mother and son duo, Kerry and Thomas. They just walked in to the venue, found me, explained how excited they were when they heard Poets Express was bringing performance poetry to the area, and I squeezed them in at the last minute. They're 'in-your-face' approach surprised some people, and gave us a great example of some yet another style of performance poetry.

Finally it was my turn to close the night and give a few poems of my own. I started with 'Interview' (of course!) and followed up with 'Clutched and Frosted' because I just love to do that piece. I wrote a special finale for the night, called 'Poets Express' and we got as many people as we could up to help out with it. The whole hall was echoing with 'Poets Express!', 'Poets Express!' and it was a great end to the night.

Shaky Dawg got up for a few more numbers (they were only going to do one, but the audience demanded another) to play us out the door and top it off with a bang! I heard nothing but positive remarks as people came out; they loved it and can't wait for next year.

My crew worked like crazy to clean up the hall; everybody pitched in - Gordon from Scream Blue Murmur even came back special to help the guys haul the heavy equipment out to the vehicles. We were a bit late getting over to Currivan's who hosted our after-event gathering. All the poets came down, and we were so thankful to the staff for staying on late, being so cheerful, and serving us some of the best food in Bantry plus plenty of wine and beer. I was ecstatic to move around, talk to everybody, and find EVERYONE was networking. We made connections with each other and we all got invited to visit each other's areas for more performances. More than that, every single one of my guests told me they'd be willing to come back again next year! We partied hard til around 1a.m.; then my taxi came to shuttle me back out to the house. I heard some people went on the prowl for more fun (they had some GREAT stories to tell today!).

So what happened today, you ask? Well, I invited all my guests to a special recording session out at the house. My brother Tor, our brilliant engineer for the night and guitarist in both Shaky Dawg and Future Dialogue, brought all the equipment back late last night and re-wired everything so we could get in today. Not everyone could show up for it, which was completely understandable - so many had to make LONG journeys back to get into work tomorrow. Tómas, Derek, Antonionioni, and AndyN all made it, and we had fun with an easy afternoon of recording and grilling out - I made burgers and brats. It was a wonderful wind up, and gave us more opportunity to talk and laugh together. And I really hope the people who couldn't make it can get me some MP3s to blend in - you promised, remember!

I hoped for a good show. I hoped we'd get along together.

I never expected the comradeship, the genuine enjoyment in each other's work and company, and the strong network that developed in such a short time. I'm exhausted today, and a bit hoarse, and so thrilled I'll still probably have a hard time falling asleep tonight. We WILL be back next year, and I promise it will be even smoother and better than this year!

Wed, 15 Jul 2009 01:07 pm
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Here is my review..

Poets Express Review 11/07/2009

Hosted by the beautiful Kylyra from ‘Dark World International’ -
Poets Express is the first of a annual night off Poetry performance hosted in Bantry, Southern Ireland.

‘Dark World International’ for those not in the know is a independent label in Southern Ireland that has being in force since 1993 or so I think and has released a host of albums by acts as varied as Deemed Psychotic, Future Dialogue, Tor’s Angst, Kylyra and Dream Quest to name but a few that
over my dealings with them has produced a body off work that has never ceased to surprise and delight as it jumps all over the musical landscape.

I first met Ky from Dark World International back at the end off 2007 over the net and had a great time with her and her brother, Tor over in Southern Ireland in September 2008.

Since then, the pair of us had swapped stacks of poetry over the net, and pushed each other without even realising into totally different directions.

Fast forward to 2009, Ky agreed for a poets event in Bantry in the true Dark World International fashion where it would not be a performance poetry night like what I was used to in Manchester where it would just be one man or woman with
a mike but designed to push the boundaries just that little bit more,

The difference was evident off with the opening act, Shaky Dawg which was I believe was Dark World itself’s latest signing which was designed to do something different.

Sounding like honest to god like Johnny Cash fronting Nine Inch Nails, the band were great and surprised me in a really good way with their opening track ‘Road Trip’ which sounded like a road trip that Jack Kerouac could well have gone down
if he had being alive in 2009.

After a wonderful start like that, it certainly left me wondering how
unpredictable this nigh t was gonna go in a good way like my own night ’Poets and..’ frequently does.

First up on the open mike slot was a young lady called Rowena
Doak who Ky described as her best friend and as the Poetry Chef as she was looking after the refreshments that night.

What really impressed me bout Rowena (besides the fact she made some lovely food) had never performed her poetry before and if my memory was correct had never even showed before to anybody. I found her poetry was sparse in a good way and clearly were very personal which are not always
a good idea to share but I liked the honesty in her writing and made me think she should certainly carry on writing.

After that in the first major slot was a young poet from Belfast
called Dale Mawhinney who I was advised by Kylyra had designed the logo for Poets Express and had had a number of exhibitions in Northern Ireland.

I missed part off his set as I am ashamed to admit as I was ordering cake from Rowena and tormenting a bit, but I felt Dale I felt delivered a confident set which went off in different ways which I wasn’t expecting frequently. This included most memorably for me a long introduction poem which I recalled him telling me after was heavily influenced by Spike Milligan about the first seven days of man. Nice stuff.

Another open mike slot followed by a local writer called Eric
Rhodes who I was advised had wrote and published two books
to date ’Oasis of Love’ and ’The King, the Father and the

Eric I felt delivered some really thoughtful pieces during his
short slot which I felt shown a lot of skill in more
page based poetry than actually the performance
which I have no objection to as I felt it added a
nice balance and contrast to Dale’s set.

I found out afterwards this was Eric's first reading
and in places, if I am honest his nerves did show a little,
but that is no bad thing as I can well remember
my first few readings and I was a good deal more
nervous than he was. A small tip for him in
Future would be to keep doing these open mike
slots to help him get these nerves.

I myself found doing these on a number of occasions
During my early performance days to build up my
Confidence as I think he does really have something
there and it would help there.

There was another open mike slot after that from
a gent called Tom Jordan who I think was from
Cork City who was the official photographer
for the event. Tom’s set surprised me also as he was
Walking on stage he borrowed an acoustic guitar from
I think the soundman (Tor again), and he did just
one poem and one song, both of which had a very
haunting sound to it, which I would like to have
heard more.

Tomas O’Carthaigh from Country Offaly the author
of two books to date ‘Writings in Rhyme’ and ‘Passing
By our planet’ was next. I had had some dealings
with Tomas from the website Write Out Loud
and on the social networking website facebook previously,
and was looking forward to seeing what he delivered.

Tomas has a very unique style certainly which in
places of my own style from a couple of years
when I wrote a lot of very philosophical,
short poems. On his set, he delivered these with
agust and on more than a few of them certainly
were pieces which could have being read again and
You could have got a totally dfferent meaning from.
Nice stuff.

I followed next. I’m not ging to write about my
own set in a great depth a I don’t think it’s
particularly fair I write aout my own set much.
I will add for the record however I thoroughly
enjoyed doing the set and think the mix off
Music I had with my pieces and
guest vocals (Ky and my friend, Antonioni)
surprised and delighted the audience in equal doses.

Straight after that, we had a very short reading from
Siofra Martin who had recently won the Eurochild
award for best young poet 2009.

Siofra I felt was fantastic and showed stacks more
courage and ability than I would have done at her age,
and I would have certainly liked to have heard more.

The Kids Express winners were announced next
and like with Siofra, I felt the two winners
(Ruby Sullivan and Erin Barclay) both wrote
brilliant, thoughtful poems which had to
be among some of my highlights of my night.

That was officially the end of the first half,
although the Dark World act ‘Future Dialogue’ did
then provide a interlude with their more acoustic
based offerings. Sadly I however missed their set totally
as I was talking outside to a lot off people.

The second half was started by a 4 piece
performance troop called Screaming Blue Murmur
who I was advised had toured Australia, the United States,
New Zealand and Kuala Lumper to name but a few places.

Their mixture of poetry, acoustic music and drumming and singing was a sight to be seen and bloody hard to describe, although It was excellent and well worth checking out.

My friend, Antonioni followed next on the open mike stage and he
did three spoken word tracks backed with music which I felt got
a excellent reaction from the crowd, in particular the last song
Body Song which got half off Shawky Dog, Ky and me as a

The night was rocking by that point, and a last minute addition
to the set, Andrej Kapor was next who I believe was a friend off
Cah-44 who had to pull out of the show owning to personal

Andrej’s set for a headline act perhaps seemed a bit
briefer than a lot of the other acts, this was understandable
perhaps because of the notice, but to give Andrej credit
I felt he rose to the occasion and held the audience
beautifully in the palm of his hand.

There was another open miker after that, Adam Ormes
who I believe came from Bantry itself. Adam’s set
was surprising probably in part because he didn’t go
to the stage itself and instead jumped onto the seats
in the audience and launched into a song with a
couple of quick poems straight away. It was a brave
move all in all, I felt in hindsight and one that
I felt worked as it proved the point that material
can be read anytime, anyplace.

Derek Fanning, author of ‘The tunnel’,
‘Epic poem’, and ‘Journey through elvish realms’
and a journalist was the last invited guest after that.
Derek followed the musical approach by Adam
by launching into a solo song with a amazing voice
to start off his set, which I am sure he also closed his
set with.

In-between Derek in contrast to what he was
led to between from his published stuff launched into
a set that wasn’t filled with some long, epic poems - instead reading much to my surprise with limericks and short poems.
to give Derek credit, I loved them and thought his delivery
was pitch perfect, and enthralled me. Excellent stuff all round
which went down a storm with the audience too.

Kylyra should have finished the night after that, but much to my
surprise there was a last minute open mike slot from a Australian
mother and son I think called Kerry & Thomas.

Kerry & Thomas delivered a short set with a venom that surprised me in contrast to nearly everybody else. There is nothing wrong with venom in a set, but the duo however made two major mistakes which affected the quality of their set hugely.

First, they delivered that went well beyond the 5 minute slot
that they were meant to do. The point behind shows
is simply the fact that slots are split into set times. If
everybody went and did double what they were meant
to do, we could have being there until three or four
in the morning.

That of course is a minor thing as it does happen,
but their second error which was a major flaw, and something
all poets should bear in mind as a general tip was well they
really fell down was they delivered a very adult set
with a fistful off bad language which was ill-advised
considering this was advertised as a all ages show
and there was a number of children still in the audience.

Ky herself finished off the night and bought it to a
suitable close with a 15 minute or so set with three
Pieces ‘Interview’ which purred with a defo.
Grace Jones feel, ‘Clutched and..’ which was dedicated
to the beat poets and felt like it too before concluding with
the more playful ‘Poets Expresss’ which bought the night
to a suitable close. (I know Shaky Dawg
Came back out for a few more songs but I
was gone by that point).

On the whole, I felt it was a excellently ran night
with a lot of stirring performances from
nearly everybody there. I don’t know yet whether
this will be a ongoing concern but I think it
will be!

I look forward to it and encourage everybody
To get involved for 2010!
Fri, 17 Jul 2009 12:39 am
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Turns out the first song from Shawky was actually called 'Rogue Trip'.

Apologises to all!
Fri, 17 Jul 2009 05:47 pm
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most of the night's recording are up here:

Sat, 8 Aug 2009 11:51 am
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