Prize-winning Irish poet for Chichester's Open Mic

BBC arts correspondent, musician, book critic and prize-winning poet C.L. Dallat is the guest at Open Mic Poetry being held at the New Park Centre, Chichester on November 30.

C L Dallat
C L Dallat

Spokesman Barry Smith said, ‘We’re really privileged to have such a prominent figure from the international arts scene as C.L. Dallat as our headline guest this month. Cahal Dallat hails from Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, Ireland but now lives in London where he reviews literature and the arts for the Times Literary Supplement and the Guardian among others. He is a familiar figure on BBC arts programmes, having been a regular contributor to Radio 4’s weekly Saturday Review since 1998.’

C.L. Dallat’s first poetry collection, Morning Star, was published in 1998. Winning the Strokestown International Poetry Competition in 2006, Ireland’s most prestigious poetry prize, gained him international recognition. He gives lectures, readings, workshops and performances in England, Ireland, Europe and the USA. Musically, he is a multi-instrumentalist with a particular liking for the button-accordion and mandolin, which he plays regularly at London’s famous Troubadour club.

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Barry said, ‘Cahal will be reading from his latest collection, The Year of Not Dancing (Blackstaff Press), as well as giving our audience a taste of his latest poetry before it is published in a new volume in the near future. His ground-breaking debut collection saw him hailed as ‘the unsung genius of Irish poetry’ (Guardian). The Year of Not Dancing is a profoundly autobiographical book. The collection is dedicated to the author's mother, who died when he was eleven. Her death becomes the focus for a poignant but unsentimental exploration of family relationships and legacies across three generations.

'Poised between past and present, between growing up in a small town in the Glens of Antrim and the worlds of adulthood and parenthood in London, The Year of Not Dancing explores the bonds of family and belatedly seeks to come to terms with loss through the redemptive power of memory and love. This tender, candid, and beautifully crafted collection confirms C.L. Dallat as one of the most exciting voices in Irish poetry.

Barry added, ‘After the reading by our special guest, local poets will have their turn to read some of their poems to our appreciative and supportive audience. We’re very happy to also welcome those who prefer just to sit back, listen and enjoy some wonderful new poems.’

Open Mic Poetry, Wednesday 30 November, 7.30pm, Jubilee Hall, New Park Centre, Chichester. Entrance £4 on the door. Information: [email protected] 07813244731

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