Lingofest Dublin On This Weekend

Quick till I tell you: There was a free-to-attend event on in the Bistro Bar of the Workman's Club on the quays at one pm today, Sahhherdeee, 18th of October. There are more than a few events taking place over the weekend, and the performance poetry in the packed-to-capacity little upper room of the pub was top notch. Check out the full programme here in PDF.


The first spoken word festival in Dublin, the Lingo Festival, takes place over this very weekend. The organisers make the claim that Irish spoken word (which I suppose is spoken Hiberno-English) is on a par with any other spoken word on the planet. I'd be in agreement. We have a tendency to transliterate our native tongue into Ang-ul-a-zay, so we do to be sure.
For instance, you will hear an Irishman say "I've a fierce thirst on me" if he's worked up a hankering for a pint of the cool black sour alcopops with the creamy head on it.

This is a transliteration (is that even the right phwackin' word?)* of the Irish "Tá [noun] orm", (which is "is / to be [noun] on me," "there is [whatever] on me". We use prepositions like verbs in Irish. So something is nagging AT our conscience, we have a terrible hunger ON us, blah blah blah, blooh blooh blooh! We do other stuff too. It's not quite as direct as the more germanic Anglo-Sassanaigh peoples speak. One part poetic, one part paddywhackery. So if you have the desire in your head to be sounding like a paddywhackin' Irishman, you'll want to be putting in a few more prepositions than is required for the effect.

No sign of a lack of concision at the event this afternoon. Bern kicked things off with some super music and poetry. I only caught her last piece, a song featuring the River Boyne, plastic paddies, and some terrific lamentations that were both profound and parodic in their patriotism.
Photo courtesy of Bern.
She covered a lot of ground in that one song, from folklore that pre-dates Christianity to the Great Recession. Very impressive. She had a certain Diane Keaton quality about her too. Check out her Facebook page for details of other gigs and her music.


Corman Lally performed. His poems were superbly delivered social commentary. One great piece took the Americans to task for claiming Irish heritage - another "plastic paddy" dig, perhaps - through President Obama's discovery of his Moneygall Offaly ancestry.
Clara Rose Thornton is an American in Ireland. A fellow Chicagoan, one hopes that she was not too offended by the Obama-bashing before she took to the stage. Although there was no muffling at the event, she was a clear and confident performer among a soft-spoken bunch, and she has the talent to reinforce her charisma. Clara has a sense of both meter and theatre; her work, absolutely tremenjuss on the page, is even better when seen live. Although there was plenty of humour from the poets, there was little glib about Thornton's work. Just a Show is available to view on Vimeo, to give you an idea of the sorta thing she does. Her poetry added an international element, ending things on a definite and powerful high.

If you can catch any of the Lingofest events in Dublin tonight or tomorrow, go go go!


*No. No, it's not.