10 weeks of poems, blog posts and dinners came to a wonderful and glorious conclusion last Wednesday at the Ranelagh Arts Centre. Ash Wednesday – a day for religion and a day for sport (apparently there was a clash of Champions’ League titans – Man U (ah Rooney, still the bane of my existence, all these years later) and Real Madrid (ah Ronaldo – always second best, even in lists of my banes) – was also a day for poetry.
The Ash Wednesday Poetry Series culminated with a wonderful reading at the Ranelagh Arts Centre. Surrounded by flowers, all of them roses (consistency is a fine thing where flowers are concerned), candles (most of which hung off a cloths horse – next to “Donuts in a Can”, that has got to be the best idea I’ve ever had), and pictures of roasted pork shoulder, the poets featured in the series gave beautiful readings of their work to the sold out (ahem…that’s right – SOLD OOUT!) audience. Poetry is just as Leonard Cohen says it is, and all the poems performed on the night proved that it is indeed full of ash – each poet, flesh and blood evidence of lives burning well.
I would like to extend my gratitude to each of the poets – Laura Cleary, Andre K’Por, John Cummins, Patrick Chapman, Kerrie O’Brien, Sarah Maria Griffin, Gabriel Rosenstock, Stephen James Smith, Colm Keegan, and Anne Tannam – for filling a bare chalkboard with their poems, and for indulging my questions about coffee ceremonies, poem-making, and Dublin smells with really wonderful and charming answers. Special thanks to Davy Lyons who gave the evening an added grace with his songs and Leonard Cohen covers. Gratitude and thanks also to Terry Connaughton and everyone at the Ranelagh Arts Centre for offering up that lovely room in the Ranelagh Arts Centre for the reading. To Daniel Ryan for helping me make the room a lovely space to read and hear poetry in. And finally, to Nick (at Nick’s Coffee Company) for the chalkboard, and the chalk – a wonderful support throughout the full undertaking of this project. Please come and have a cup of his coffee – I’ve said it before, but I will say it again: it is the longest relationship I’ve had with anything since moving to Dublin, and it continues to be one of the happiest, day in, day out.
Metaphorically speaking, burning well is a lovely state to be in. So to keep all that lovely glow and heat going, the Ash Sessions will return to Nick’s Coffee Company on March 10th – details about this event will be up shortly. In addition, a call for submissions for the next Ash series (which will be all about poems and coffee cups, for those that love poems and coffee cups) will also be launched in the coming weeks. More details on this project will be shared during the Ash Sessions event on the 10th. Hope to see you all there. It will be a glorious afternoon of music, poems…and pork.
I would be remiss if I did not give a small bit of my gratitude to whoever it was that invented the clothshorse. Seriously one of the best ideas of I’ve had – ambiance to the power of 100, if I do say so myself.