In our final interview of the week, we have Dublin writer Brian Kirk. Brian’s work has been published in issues #3 and #5.
How long have you been writing?
Since I was 18 really, but have only really actively sought publication in the last 8 years.
What was your first publication?
A short prose piece in the anthology County Lines, a portrait of life in South Dublin County, published by New Island in 2006, edited by Dermot Bolger. First poem published in the anthology Night and Day in 2008.
What have been the most significant developments, negative and positive if you like, in poetry in Ireland over the last 10 years or so?
The most positive is the amazing growth – against all odds – of new poetry journals and webzines. The Bush of course, but also I’m thinking of Bare Hands, Wordlegs, Poetry Bus, Penny Dreadful and many more.
The most negative is the supposed argument re page poetry versus performance poetry. It’s all poetry – if it’s good it doesn’t matter what you call it!
What do you think needs to happen, and what would you like to see happen, in Irish poetry over the next few years?
Hopefully there will be the continuation of these new journals and the expansion of even more places to hear and read poetry in the country. My main hope would be that more people actually start reading poetry…
We often hear in Ireland about the pull of ‘either Boston or Berlin’: what do you think, are we European writers in the English language or are we wholly steeped in the Anglosphere?
Personally it doesn’t matter to me that much – it’s the quality that counts. When I was young I adopted a young person’s pretentious distaste for “English” writers, but that was just bunkum. I was always very much influenced by American poets too, but these days I take the good wherever I find it, whether it be works in translation or the work of friends.
Finally, if you had to recommend one regular poetry event in Ireland to someone, what would it be?
I’ve seen some quality poets at the Brownbread Mixtape on a few occasions, but there are other places too like Nighthawks, and of course the annual Poetry Ireland Introductions readings at the Irish Writers’ Centre. But I would say that, wouldn’t I?
Brian Kirk is a poet and writer from Dublin. He has been shortlisted for many awards including Hennessy New Irish Writer Awards in 2008 and 2011. His work has appeared in many journals and anthologies. He was selected for the Poetry Ireland Introductions Series 2013. He blogs at: http://briankirkwriter.com/.