The 2019 Amergin Solstice Poetry Gathering: Éigse na Gréine will take place in Waterville, Co. Kerry from Thursday 20th to Sunday 23rd June. As with the inaugural festival in 2018, we open on the eve of the Summer Solstice and we close with a St. John’s Eve Open Mic Bonfire. In between there will be three days and nights of poetry, music, talks, film, workshops, open mic and good company in the midst of possibly the finest sea-and-landscape in Ireland.
Readers will include Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Bernard O’Donoghue, Moya Cannon, Seán Lysaght, Gabriel Fitzmaurice, Maura Dooley (England), Thomas McCarthy, Bríd Ní Mhóráin, Grace Wells, Jan Gavúra (Slovakia), Martín Veiga (Galicia/Cork), Sean Hewitt, Geraldine Mitchell, Ger Reidy, Aonghas MacNeacail (Scotland) and Gerda Stevenson (Scotland). Our musician-in-residence will be the wonderful guitarist Steve Cooney. Lorcán Mac Mathúna and others will present PreabMeadar, a musical exploration of classical Irish poetry, as well as a sung version of Laoi Aimhirghin. Professor of Medieval Irish John Carey (UCC) will speak on “The Voice of Amairgen, and Ireland’s Myth of Itself”. The RTÉ Poetry Programme presenter and current affairs journalist Olivia O’Leary will speak on “Poetry, Politics and the Planet”. Professor of Psychiatry Kay Redfield Jamison (USA) will speak on the link between poetry and mental wellness. We will have six workshops, details of which will be announced soon.
The Song of Amergin or Laoi Aimhirghin, with its repeated identification of the human with the natural world, can be read today as an ecological manifesto. This will be the theme of our 2019 gathering, infusing the readings, workshops, talks and other events which will, we are confident, make the 2019 festival as memorable as the inaugural one. Mar a bhí anuraidh, beidh áit shuntasach ag filíocht na Gaeilge agus ceol Gaelach le linn na féile, agus taispeánfar scannán Gaeilge faoin bhfile Gàidhlig Somhairle MacGill-Eain.
Bígí linn, mar sin, ón 20ú go dtí an 23ú Meitheamh 2019, to celebrate contemporary poetry where Irish poetry first came ashore and recited itself into our consciousness.