Niall O'Sullivan

high brow, low brow, none of that stuff in the middle

The Lectern : Revisited

Apologies for not posting in a while, as my life got busier and my blogs became essays, productivity ground to a halt. So, let me share a quick observation to get things back on track. The lectern has come in for a bit of stick on this blog, particularly with regard to the barrier it […]

August Kleinzahler – Sleeping it off in Rapid City

In the last post we looked at how an all pervading sense of decorum, reverence and importance impeded a Derek Walcott poetry reading. In this post we look at how a similarly renowned poet manages to overcome these stifling conventions. August Kleinzahler’s reading takes place at Harvard University. It is part of the Phi Beta […]

Derek Walcott – UCSD Convocation

In the first blog in this series, I wrote about literary poets buckling under the weight of poetry’s importance. It’s not the poets’ fault, the literary poetry scene has been led this way by a publicity stategy built around prizes. It has been led this way by vague and toothless criticism from journalists who feel […]

John Berryman: Dream Song 29

This performance of Dream Song 29 by John Berryman defies many of the metrics I have claimed make a good poetry reading: Dial down your intensity when performing in an intimate setting. Try to minimise distracting physical gestures and tics. Don’t drink too much before reading, in fact, try not to drink at all. For […]

  • insta-haiku (hover over picture to see the poem)


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