Friday, April 09, 2010

The poet below is Ailsing Fox.

I heard her first in 2004, not long after I'd arrived in Dublin in search of something. An 'itch' and poetic kink had led me there, armed with only a photocopy of the final results from a Building Studies and Drama BA, and a bill for several outstanding sums from the student hardship fund I'd been unwilling and unable to repay.

One's exit velocity from Edge Hill University in one's home town of Ormskirk Lancashire, where Seamus Heaney and Paul Muldoon taught from 2001-4, had enough momentum to bowl me, a bicycle and two panniers containing all my worldly goods, onto the now defunct Liverpool–Dublin fast ferry.

I'd decided that researching the bardic history of poetry in Ireland and trying my hand at writing it in Dublin, was the only sensible option for a man with a professional Building Studies qualification and interest in performance who, at 43, was fast approaching middle age.

I alighted at the North Wall and cycled along the coastal path to my sister's home in Baldoyle: a beachhead from where to launch one's assault upon the literary citadel of Dublin, and float or implode in urban Ireland’s poetry flame HQ.

I met Aisling Fox within the first few weeks, below in the basement of Brogans pub on Dame Street, where Gerry McNamara hosted his Write and Recite poetry night and poets gathered, trumping one another and self-trumping ourselves. Competitive, but in a healthy and natural, Irish way, in which the rational of us being there in the first place, seemed equally mixed between tragedy and the comedic premise that meant one either sunk or swam.

Fox had not been long back from having spent a few years in a Latin country, Cuba I think, and demonstrates her command of Spanish in the video.

A tour de force recital, from a very talented woman at the peak of her live skill.

Unfortunately, one's time in Dublin led me to sink into madness and unhappiness when I realized the competition was just too good for me to ever make it as a professional ditty maker. Luckily, I now work as a university lecturer, teaching Cognotive Assonance to the poetically disabled of America, in Boston and Chicago.

Have a nice day.

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