20 – 29 May

DWF 2009 Brendan Kennelly: Reservoir Voices

Brendan Kennelly is one of Ireland’s most distinguished and best loved poets. In this short video he talks about his new collection RESERVOIR VOICES and reads four poems from it, ‘Hope’, ‘Lie’, ‘Proposal’ and ‘Peace’, plus his classic ‘Begin’ at the end. This is an excerpt from a film made by Pamela Robertson-Pearce of Kennelly’s reading at the Abbey Theatre in the Dublin Writers’ Festival on 7 June 2009.

Much of Brendan Kennelly’s poetry gives voice to others and otherness. Whether through masks or personae, dramatic monologues or riddles, his poems inhabit other lives, other beings and other ways of being in the world. The riddling poems of RESERVOIR VOICES add a further dimension to these explorations, inspired by an autumn sojourn in America where he would sit by the edge of a reservoir, trying to cope with loneliness by contemplating black swans, blue waves, seagulls, trees and rocks.

The speaker of each poem is the title. This film is posted with permission from Bloodaxe Books, publishers of RESERVOIR VOICES (2009) and of FAMILIAR STRANGERS: NEW & SELECTED POEMS 1960-2004 (2004) from which ‘Begin’ is taken.

Brendan Kennelly: Reservoir Voices from Neil Astley on Vimeo.