Saturday, October 01, 2005

Mairead Byrne

Mairead Byrne, one of my favourite contemporary poets (and human beings), has a piece up on UBU web (UBU is back, rescued from the brink!). Some differences is a fabulous, funny poem/essay/talk on the difference between stand up and poetry:
One difference is: Poets get to stand-up; stand-ups get to stand up & walk
around: You see Bill Cosby come on stage, what does he do: he sits
down. Actually Bill Cosby is not a good example. Stand-ups sort of run
on stage. They claim the space. They relate to the audience. They pace
back & forth like caged lions. Poets just stand there. And they don’t have
a stage. They have a shelf. Or a ledge. Stand-ups perform in theatres or
TV studios or night clubs. Poets read in coffee-shops—or on panels.
Poets don’t have stages: they have saucers. They don’t have sets or
sound effects: they have espresso machines. Poets don’t have curtains.
And curtains are one of the best things stand-ups have. TV cameras &
microphones are 2 others.—Mairead Byrne
Byrne is funny (very, very funny) and smart. Funny and smart and very warm-hearted: a sort of golden trinity of qualities in a poet. Add on the fact that she has a killer Irish accent and well, just move out of the way… Nelson & the Huruburu Bird was published in 2003 by Wild Honey Press. Recent and upcoming publications include two chapbooks, An Educated Heart (Palm Press 2005) and Vivas (Wild Honey Press 2005).

I’ve had the pleasure of hearing her read, and in fact, reading with her, and I warn you, she’s a tough act to follow. In fact, don’t follow Byrne if you can avoid it, but warming up for her would be fun. I first heard her read this a few months ago now, at Zinc Bar. And, I just realized that she is still blogging I’m not sure why I thought she stopped and am glad she hasn’t. So check out her blog. And if you want, you can see Byrne in the flesh in about ten days when she comes to read for belladonna on October 11th. I will be introducing her, which will be my pleasure. Why? Well, for one thing, I won’t have to follow her.

Oh, and the Zinc Bar reading series starts up again this week.

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