Poets Live – Marion McCready, Romual Kabore, Afric McGlinchey
Review by Annie Brechin.
A landmark in Poets Live history – the first evening of poetry and dance. We were treated to two excellent writers and one very beautiful dancer. It definitely opened up the interpretation of what could be called movement poetry.
Scottish poet Marion McCready started us off with quietly visceral poems of birth and landscape from her forthcoming book, Tree Language. Poems where roses were not described romantically but rather as “uterine”, “fists of women who have gone to war”, where the poet admitted “I have been known to birth a mountain whole” – poems which evoked the elemental in her rugged native landscape. Some beautiful turns of phrase stood out, such as in a poem about a hunting trip to the Isle of Lewis, during which “a gulp of birds” troubled the air.
The amazing Romual Kaboré danced to an invisible but palpable rhythm. His movements skillfully built tension, intermixed with poses/pauses which were not so much mysterious as revelatory. Falling and rising, increasingly twisting, frantic mechanic movements framed a jerky grace. Balancing between swells of movement, he presented a living sculpture.
Afric McGlinchey’s first line “Do not lie to a lover, but on the other hand do not tell him the whole truth” gave us a wonderful indication of the dry wit and sage advice which was to follow. Ranging from problems of mothering sunburnt teenage rugby players to suspected Bodhran-playing goat rustlers and rants about exes, Afric was amusing but also moving. Her Zimbabwean upbringing was another source of inspiration, notably in the poem “On the Soles of Their Feet” (an obvious Paul Simon reference), where the narrator observed as someone coming back to the country changes that had taken place, new cars and consumer goods, among a backdrop of diamond smuggling. But there were also personal moments – I particularly loved the predawn skinny dip with frogs! She rounded off the first half with a glorious Molly Bloom pastiche.
Afric restarted in the second round with a Paris love poem, lifting what could have been a cliché into a meditation on memory and reimagining. She touched on immigrant poems and also an interesting experiment in alphabetical form. Her final work, “Aspects of the Cat”, proclaimed, as resonated with all of us cat-lovers, that they “are essentially spies”, but at the same time recognized them as “alchemists” and sacred. Romual danced again, a more frantic violent piece which at one stage appeared to involve even a death, but one in which the body was redeemed by action. Marion closed out the reading with some lovely poems about the Canal du Midi, describing irises with their “yellow tongues”, and wild poppies which “move like an opera”, are “earth’s first blood” with a “lipstick dress”.
Marion McCready lives in Argyll, Scotland. Her poetry pamphlet collection, Vintage Sea, was published by Calder Wood Press (2011). She won a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award in 2013 and won the Melita Hume Poetry Prize (2013). Her first full – length collection, Tree Language, will be published in the Spring 2014 by Eyewear Publishing. Her website can be found here – http://sorlil.wix.com/mmccready and she blogs here – http://sorlily.blogspot.co.uk/
Afric McGlinchey’s début collection, The lucky star of hidden things, based partly on her upbringing in Zimbabwe, was published in 2012 by Salmon. Published translations of her work have appeared in Irish, Spanish and Italian. She has been invited to read and give talks at festivals in South Africa, Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe and Italy as well as Ireland. A Pushcart nominee, Afric received the Hennessy Emerging Poetry Award for 2010 and the Northern Liberties Poetry Award for 2012 and was placed and commended in a number of other competitions. Afric lives in West Cork, Ireland. http://www.africmcglinchey.com
Romual Kaboré was born in Burkina Faso in 1989 and studied dance at CDC la Termitière in Ouagadougou. Since 2012 he has been a member of La Compagnie Herman Diephuis, performing in “Objet principal du voyage.” In 2013 be began a collaboration with Oliver Tarpaga and Bernice Lee, called “Let Me Be” and is working on “Encore et corps” with Boukson Séré and Sergio Argiolas. He was awarded a Ville de Paris/Institut Français international residency in 2014 and is presently working on the choreography of his first piece, “Romual sans D.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WO_D1haLEd8 http://romualkabore.blogspot.fr/p/biographie.html