Alan Jude Moore's most recent collection of poetry is Strasbourg (Salmon Poetry, 2010). He is widely published in Ireland, the UK and the USA, and translations of his work have been published in Italy, Russia and Turkey.
Moore has taken part in readings recently at The Troubadour Club, London; the Nabokov Museum in St. Petersburg; Dom Tsvetaeva in Moscow; the 2011 Dublin Book Festival; the 2010 Istanbul International Poetry Festival; & at the Henry Miller Library in Big Sur, California.
Moore has taken part in readings recently at The Troubadour Club, London; the Nabokov Museum in St. Petersburg; Dom Tsvetaeva in Moscow; the 2011 Dublin Book Festival; the 2010 Istanbul International Poetry Festival; and at the Henry Miller Memorial Library in Big Sur, California. He will also be taking part in the Five Lamps Arts Festival in Dublin this April.
His website is www.alanjudemoore.com
Poetry by Jean O'Brien and Alan Jude Moore
Thursday 19th April, 6pm, Liberty Hall Bar
Alan Jude Moore was born in Dublin. His most recent collection of poetry is Strasbourg (Salmon Poetry, 2010). His fiction has been short-listed for the Hennessy Literary Award for New Irish Writing and translations of his work have been published in Italy, Russia and Turkey.
Jean O'Brien has won the Arvon International Poetry Award and she is only the second Irish winner of the Arvon Prize since it was set up by Ted Hughes in 1980. O'Brien was awarded for her poem 'Merman' , the poem is a modern take on a mythological story of Glaucus a fisherman who became a merman by eating a magical herb, and who was rejected in love by the beautiful Scylla.
Here is a short extract:
"...I took the bait and when I caught him,
we stumbled, he landed me and pinned me down,
I looked, held his eyes, it was early the rising sun
was flooding them with hooks of golden light. I said No..."
"This is effortless writing, graceful and exact as any pirouette in its insight" Fiona Sampson - Irish Times.
Fred Johnson described her chapbook REACH as..."lively, varied and very readable..."
Writing in the Irish Times, Paul Perry said of her new collection Lovely Legs..."In a book with such a breezy title, bright cover and light tone throughout, there's a much more serious and complex undercurrent at work."
Moore has taken part in readings recently at The Troubadour Club, London; the Nabokov Museum in St. Petersburg; Dom Tsvetaeva in Moscow; the 2011 Dublin Book Festival; the 2010 Istanbul International Poetry Festival; & at the Henry Miller Memorial Library in Big Sur, California.
His website is www.alanjudemoore.com
and the birds outside on the electrical wire
sing like the choirs at
She stands by the window and says it’s spring.
Minus nine might turn to minus five.
She picks the right boots to wear
and ties her hair into an Imperial style.
This weather is not for everyone;
the Empire is frozen and the apartments are cold.
The birds outside on the electrical wire
pick at the air waiting for grass to grow.
from Lost Republics (Salmon Poetry, 2008)
So why do we do it? The audience is minimal, the books hardly sell and the money is lousy. What is it for then? Is it enough to suggest, as poets often do, that we simply must write or that we can't live without it? I'm not sure. Those reasons seem inadequate somehow. They don't suggest anything about writing well.
Joseph Brodsky's assertion was that one of the most important distinctions between humans and other species is our use of language, words to be exact, and that poetry is the "supreme linguistic operation". He assigned to poetry an anthropological function. Is that why we do it? Are poets kind of pioneers of the human condition? Metaphysical surgeons mapping the design of the species and cloaking the organs and works in shrouds of words?
Brodsky was right of course, language and words distinguish us from every other species on the planet. Poetry survives many things and so too does our language. It passes along, even if only among dozens or hundreds, to be maintained, always finding new takers and adjusting as needed.
Through language we transmit information. The more we know about it, the more we realise it is not simply an instrument to make others believe what you believe or to buy the things you want to sell. Language is knowledge. It is our defence against the excuse: but I didn't know.
As for books, launches and the process of all that: it seems for poets that with each collection, each body of work, becomes less and less a destination in itself. They become more like stepping stones on the way to the next one, like Brecht's whiskey bars. They go without asking, always looking for the next poem just up ahead.
Is it maybe as Apollinaire, the French poet, critic, futurist and occasional art thief, wrote about what purpose poetry and art serve: that when primitive man wanted a device that would go, that would walk, he invented the wheel which, of course, in no way resembles a leg.
Maybe when we launch a book what we hope for is that it will move on from us, find its own place and leave us clear to get on with the next thing; that we will grapple with the operation of language as best we can and hope to succeed in whatever way possible in reaching our anthropological goal, as Brodsky had it, whether with old devices or new ones; and that we will maintain the capacity to see things in more than one way.
Poetry should always push you towards the new or at least towards the previously undiscovered. So, it's encouraging when you go to the basement of a bar in Dublin and it's packed with, mainly young, people who for whatever reason went along to see one more book of poems slip out the door and make its way to god knows where. Long may they not be jaded.
It's a great opportunity to see many different poets from Ireland, the UK and the USA in one go and, at the same time, show your support for one of the best, and hardest working, independent small presses out there.