21st March: 7.30pm
Over The Edge literary reading on Poetry and Politics
Galway’s legendary Over The Edge literary reading series brings poetry and political conflict to Belfast.
Poets Laurence McKeown, Susan Millar DuMars, and Kevin Higgins read some of their poems, discuss the relationship between political conflict and poetry, and take questions from the audience. They will start with the question: why is poetry – and indeed literature more generally – which engages directly with real political conflict, of which there is no shortage right now internationally, so rarely showcased at mainstream literary festivals? Hopefully there will be a good old argument!
Susan Millar DuMars was born in Philadelphia to an East Belfast mother. She has been co-organiser of Over The Edge since it began in 2003. Susan has published five collections of poetry with Salmon, most recently Nudes: New & Selected was launched by in in 2019 at the AWP Conference in Portland, Oregon, and at the Poetry Flash reading series in Berkeley, California. Her first full collection of short stories Lights in the Distance was published by Doire Press in 2010. In March 2020 she received a literature bursary from the Arts Council of Ireland to work on her hotly anticipated forthcoming collection of short stories.
Laurence McKeown is an author, playwright, filmmaker, and academic though sees those roles within the broader context of political activism and the role that the arts can play in that. His involvement in creative works, political education, and academia began during his period of incarceration as a political prisoner in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh (1976-1992). Whilst pursuing his PhD studies, Laurence co-wrote (with Brian Campbell) a feature film, H3 (2001, Metropolitan Films), based on the 1981 hunger strike within the prison, which Laurence participated in (for 70 days) and during which 10 prisoners died. Laurence’s debut collection of poems, Threads, was published by Salmon Poetry in 2018.
Kevin Higgins was born in London to Irish parents. He has been co-organiser of Over The Edge since it began in 2003. Kevin’s poems have been quoted in the Daily Telegraph, The Times, the Independent, the Daily Mirror, Hot Press, Phoenix magazine and on Tonight With Vincent Browne. The Stinging Fly magazine described Kevin as “likely the most read living poet in Ireland”. His essay Thrills & Difficulties: Being A Marxist Poet In 21st Century Ireland was published in pamphlet form by Beir Bua Press this year. Kevin’s sixth full collection of poems, Ecstatic, will be published by Salmon Poetry in March.
Age 18+. BYO.