Ailish Kerr talks poetry, sale performance and … potassium.

There’s something about getting up of a crowd and baring your feelings as a carefully constructed string of words. Waving your arms around and shouting. It’s actually rather appealing. Spoken word or performance-based poetry is a cathartic, purchase raw and passionate art form and there’s a pretty serious scene for it in Dublin right now. It has been growing rapidly over the last couple of years with more events, more supporters and people standing up to call themselves  what they really are – Poets. A poetry revolution is happening and this generation’s incarnation of X, Y, Z, ‘Millenials’ or what-have- you seem to respond  more to spoken word. Maybe it’s the ADHD, iPod shuffle or the endless access to the media online culture that plays a part in why we respond more to the multi-sensory, in the moment, emotional and evocative nature of poetry which is performed rather than written down.

Poetry becomes a party. A place to meet friends and have a fantastic time. A shared experience. Rather than something learned in a stuffy classroom to be recited and repeated. Now, there’s rarely a night when you can’t find spoken word somewhere in this fair city. A good place to start is The Monday Echo on every Monday in The International Bar, doors at 7pm with the show at 8pm. The acts features are usually a mixture of poets, musicians and bands with an open mic afterwards. Aidan Murphy who runs The Monday Echo and MCs for it is really the driving force behind the movement, aiding the growth of the scene itself and giving new poets a place to perform. Along with this, Aidan also runs Slam Sunday, the highlight of spoken word in Dublin which is on the first Sunday of every month in the Accent Café. Another sweet event for budding poets to watch out for is Rath Rhymes, an afternoon of poetry again, on every Sunday of each month in Martcade. It ends a good hour before Slam Sunday too, so no need to worry about clashing titans there. For hard-core spoken word fans, check out Lingo Festival which runs from October 17th-19th. This three day festival offers incredible live poetry from the likes of Dublin’s own stellar act John Cummins (with band!) and international poets such as Polarbear (UK). Considering all this, maybe bring along some Lucozade and bananas to keep your sugar and potassium levels up and of course, a pen and paper. Without doubt you’ll be inspired to write.


-Ailish Kerr