Poetry (is a) Blast!

Solas Nua featured eight poets in What’s the Story?, the book we co-published with The Stinging Fly for Irish Book Day. We are delighted by the positive reception the book has received from the public and the press. Ron Charles, fiction editor of The Washington Post, called the book ‘a pot of literary gold.Solas Nua's Paddy Meskell is here to announce a new literary initiative, a monthly Poetry Blast to showcase.

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When I think about poems, I think of dry stone walls in the west of Ireland. The stones are the words of the poem and the finished wall is the intricate pattern of lines and curves, sounds and silences, rhymes and rhythms that make up a great poem. As stones are the stuff of walls, so words are the stuff of poetry. And finding the right word and putting it in the right place next to the right word is the stuff of fine poetry.

We often call poets ‘wordsmiths’. To me, it conjures up a picture of a skilled person transforming words through the intense heat of labor, creativity and imagination into the magic and mystery that is a poem. Just like the blacksmith in my village in Castleconnell transformed metal into tools.

I love reading poems. I especially love reading them out loud.  Often, I feel that I am only skimming the surface of the poet’s intended meaning, but the sound of reading a good poem out loud is something to hold in the ear and roll around and savor.

Each month, we’ll produce a video to introduce a talented Irish poet, give some content for one of their poems, and then read it aloud. Sometimes the reading will be performed by the poet, sometimes by actors, or friends of Solas Nua. We invite you to engage with the poem and the poet by sharing your reactions and thoughts about the poem in the comments.

If you are an Irish poet and you’d like us to consider your work for the Solas Nua Poetry Blast you can reach us at contact@solasnua.org