Niall O'Sullivan

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

Spalding Gray – The Evacuation of Phnom Penh

Content Warning: The video above features descriptions of genocide For most performers, water is a means to keep the throat from drying out. They take occasional sips from branded bottles. No thought is given to its significance. The glass of water placed on Spalding Gray’s desk for the entirety of each of his monologues was […]

Pauline Pearce – Hackney Riots 2011 (NSFW) 

In 2011, Mark Duggan, a young black man, was shot dead by armed response officers in Tottenham, North London. Anger at the events sparked off riots and looting that spread throughout London and other English cities over a number of days. Many expressions of outrage at the riots were conspicuous for the privilege of those […]

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 […]

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