Ash Wednesday Poetry Series – John Cummins: Untitled

First cup of the day. House is sleepy. Kettle is boiling. Cup at the ready.

New day here I come…


The Ash Wednesday Series takes its name from the following Leonard Cohen quotation:  “Poetry is just the evidence of life.  If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash”.  As a writer, does this ring true for you?

Well, Leonard being beautiful again…sure, poetry is ash. It is also fire, rock, air. Elementals.


What makes a poem?

Still trying to find that one out…peoples makes poems.

Describe your writing ritual.

Pen. Paper. Time alone. Usually what comes out is a poem.



Is writing a compulsion, obsession or something else?

Bit of both, definitely. It is therapeutic, helps you make sense out of the non.

What makes being a writer in Dublin unique (to being a writer anywhere else)?

The chances of hearing/seeing/experiencing something inspirational are far higher in this country, not just Dublin, than any other place that I’ve visited or lived in…


The nose provides a way for understanding the world and its first impressions.  The first smells of people and places, for whatever the nose chooses to capture can become a strong memory for the mind.  Smells have a way of lingering, taking up space as though they were bodies.  What does Dublin smell like to you?

Freshly cut grass.

Whose poems are you reading now?

Seem to be reading little lately. I’d say I’m hearing more poems these days.

Describe your coffee ceremony (i.e. everything that goes into a perfect coffee experience)

First cup of the day. House is sleepy. Kettle is boiling. Cup at the ready. New day here I come…

John Cummins reciting his poem can be found here:


John Cummins has been performing spoken word/rhyme/hippyhopp around his native Dublin for almost three years now. In that time he has been a featured artist at most of the showcase nights in the city (the Glor Sessions, Brownbread Mixtape, Tongue Box, Nighthawks at the Cobalt, the Monday Echo). He has also appeared on RTE radio (Arena) and was part of Balcony TV’s Poetry Week last year. John  is the current Leinster Poetry Slam Champion 2012. He is chuffed to be invited to take part in this event and cannot wait to stop talking in the third person.

Google “john cummins dublin poet” or find out more at

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