Sea Batteries: Poetry & Music at ILFDublin

"I really don't know why it is that all of us are so committed to the sea. I think it is because, in addition to the fact that the sea changes and the light changes and ships change, we all came from the sea. And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch it, we are going back from whence we came." - John F. Kennedy, 1962 .

The horizon offers the islander the possibility of escape; the waves a reminder of how fragile humans are next to the force of the ocean. Global warming is a major looming crisis of our time, and Sea Batteries asks what must we do to face it?

As part of the 2019 International Literature Festival Dublin (ILF), I’ll be featured onstage in Dublin’s Smock Alley Theatre alongside musician/composer Brian O’Brien, and Justin McCann. I’ll be reciting my poems set to music, with the recurring theme being that of the ocean and Ireland's role and legacy as an island. The music is composed in the style of Irish traditional music, with elements of contemporary classical, the music features uilleann pipes, flute and piano.

The poems will range thematically from the exploits of the first settlers on Irish shores through to to Celtic monks right up to the contemporary plights of S&R operatives and the imminent effects of climate change on our coastline.

The show's named 'Sea Batteries' after a poem I wrote in 2015 in honour of the men who built the granite piers at Dun Laoghaire. The title's a double reference: firstly to the phrase 'assault and battery', which certainly comes to my mind whenever I see waves crashing off the shore; and secondly to the fact that the East and West Piers are referred to as 'batteries' - meaning they served as military fortifications as well as a safe harbour during their long history. The poem after which the show is named was originally in 2015 in the Henessey New Irish Writing page of Irish Times .

More updates to follow.

Fringe Spoken Word at Dublin Fringe Festival

As part of the Spoken Word Edition of Dublin’s Fringe FUSE Festival, wherein creative works-in-progress are put through development, myself and five other poets from Dublin’s spoken-word scene, including Trudie Gorman and Emmet O’ Brien, took part in a workshop curated by actor, playwright and spoken-word artist Emmet Kirwan, before performing our pieces live in the Workmans’s Club in Dublin’s City Centre.

Poem 'Gallóglaigh' published in the Scum Gentry

Thrilled to say that my poem ‘Gallóglaigh’ was published today in the alternative-lit website The Scum Gentry. My thanks are due to Ross Breslin, the editor-in-chief at TSG, for publishing it.

Just to fill you in, the Gallóglaigh (or ‘galloglass’, meaning ‘foreign warrior’) were a corps of elite mercenaries from the Hebridean Isles in Scotland, commissioned by Gaelic chieftains to aid in the fighting against Norman invaders during the 12th century. Over the ensuing centuries they were deployed almost continuously to Ireland and mainland Europe as a mercenary force, right up until the early 1600s. Their prowess in battle earned them a fearsome reputation overseas; even Shakespeare referenced their ferocity (albeit anachronistically) in the opening act of Macbeth, while the German Renaissance painter Albrecht Durer sketched the image which thumbnails this post. My poem is written from the POV of one such fighter, adrift on the battlefield after the fighting’s done. 

Featured on Scott Tyrrell's Spoken Word map of UK and Ireland

The privilege is all mine to have my face included in this masterwork by Newcastle-based poet, artist and BBC Slam Champion Scott Tyrrell: a comprehensive map of the poets and spoken-word artists in both Ireland and the UK. It features over 300 spoken word artists and took over 4 months to complete. This project was clearly a labour of love for Scott, and serves as a fine testament to the sheer length and breadth of creativity operating in these islands. As Scott himself says, only water divides us. All respect to him for putting this together. It can be purchased on Etsy in either poster or tea towel form:

Scott’s work can be viewed here

Poem "In the Ivy Exchange" published on the Scum Gentry - Alternative Arts website

My poem "In the Ivy Exchange", inspired by my job as a security guard in Chapters Bookstore in Dublin, has been published on the Scum Gentry - Alternative Arts website:

O Bheal at the Cork Harbour Festival 2018

O Bheal at the Cork Harbour Festival 2018

Deeply fascinated with the sea, Daniel’s poetry interrogates themes of voyaging, homecoming and the urgent role played by the ocean in much of Ireland’s historical and contemporary struggles, as well as the far-ranging legacies of exploration, boat-building, shipwreck and rescue operations. Many of Daniel’s poems are featured in a monthly column entitled ‘Poems from the Coast,’ which was written in conjunction with Coast Monkey, Ireland’s premier maritime and coastal heritage website.

Inner Voices Concert at The National Concert Hall

The National Concert Hall Inner Voices Concert is a yearly showcase wherein members of staff take to the stage and demonstrate their musical prowess, whether it be in the classical, jazz or rock genres. The concert took place in the NCH's newly-furbished upstairs venue known as the Studio, which was also the venue wherein 'Embers and Earth' was launched. 

As a member of FOH (Front-of-House), I performed my poem 'Colossi', the first track off the 'Embers and Earth' album, with musical accompaniment. The musicians I performed with included Paul Wade on piano (and composer of 'Colossi'), Jim Tate on bass (who also appeared on the album) and Daire Cavanagh on trumpet.

The concert took place on August 22nd, 2017.