Music & Poetry:
Joe Horgan & Antony Owen: The Year I Loved England
The Year I Loved England has a Jack Kerouac feel of beat beauty.- Fred Voss
The Year I Loved England is a collaborative collection of poems with photographs by Rangzeb Hussain. It is an exploration of the urban experience, of immigration, conflict, loss, unemployment, survival and hope. A packed house sat enthralled as Joe Horgan and Antony Owen read their powerful, sensitive and beautiful work. This was not poetry for the faint-hearted, touching, as it does, on the myriad problems of life in inner-urban areas, but the beauty and honesty of the words, allied to the sometimes stunning images by photographer, Rangzeb Hussain, created an atmosphere and mood that was celebratory. (for more on the poets, see below)
and Music: West Cork based supergroup(!), The Sean Gnóstics, fresh from their triumphant debut at the Skibbereen Arts Festival, sent emissaries to represent the band and to preview their forthcoming album, Geantraí, Goltraí.
And as usual, our usual open mic session took place afterwards, with songs and poems from Kenny Dread, Francesco Biondini, Simon Lockwood & son, among others. Thanks to Joe Horgan & Antony in particular and to all who came and who performed. Also thanks to Cian Heffernan and the Culture Night People of Cork County Council. See you next year!
Joseph Horgan is a past winner of the Patrick Kavanagh Award, has been awarded an Arts Council Bursary, has been writer in residence at the Heinrich Boll cottage on Achill Island and the Irish Writers in London Summer School and shortlisted for a Hennessy Award. He is the author of two previous poetry collections and a prose work that was chosen as the RTE Book on One. He is an enthusiastic collaborator, having worked with visual artists, musicians and poets on published work. Paula Meehan has called him a ‘singular voice in Irish poetry’ and Seamus Heaney his poetry as being ‘alive with lyric flashes.’
Antony Owen is an English poet, author of two previous collections and a renowned reader of his work. His work has been filmed, set to music and anthologised. He has been a finalist in the Wilfred Owen Story competition and the Shine Journal poetry competition. As a result of his war poetry he was chosen by Amnesty International as a UK representative at their 50th Anniversary celebrations. He runs the UK side of the Cork-Coventry poetry exchange and his exhibition of poetry and photography has been shown at the Hiroshima Peace Museum. Billy Ramsell has said of him that ‘he is one of a handful of younger poets unafraid to write for these violent times. He is a serious talent.’
The American poet, Fred Voss, the English novelist Anthony Cartwright, the Irish poet Billy Ramsell, the music legend Horace Panter aka Sir Horace Gentleman of The Specials, and Tariq Jahan, community activist whose son was killed in the 2011 UK riots have already acclaimed the work pre-publication. Joseph Horgan and Antony Owen will read extensively from the work with photographs from Rangzeb Hussain on display.