The final in my series of interviews with those poets reading as part of Poetry Ireland Introductions series 2013.
One of this week’s featured poets is Caoimhin Eoin Mac Unfraidh, who reads on Tuesday 11th June at 6:30pm at the Irish Writers Centre, Parnell Sq., D1.
Philip Cummins: What is your earliest memory of poetry at home or in school?
Caoimhin Eoin Mac Unfraidh: I rang a haon, Scoil Lorcáin, bhuaigh mé an triú áit i feis na scoile nuair a d’aithris mé an dán ‘Buail ar an Doras’ ós ard. Bhronn Bean Uí Conchúir mo dhuais orm. Dhá Toffos.
PC: Is there a particular poet, poem or book of poems that was, for you, like discovering rock n’roll for the very first time? Can you describe what it was like?
CEMU: Robert Graves. There was always a poetic influence in our house and I enjoyed poetry from my schoolwork but it wasn’t until -seeing me reading Graves’ ‘I, Claudius’ as a teenager -my mother mentioned that he was a favourite poet of hers, that I actively sought out non-curricular poetry. She had mentioned his poem ‘The Naked and the Nude’ as a good example and I went to some trouble to find it (pre-Google). I was delighted by the cleverness of it.
PC: Which poets do you think best characterize the qualities that are found in your own poetry?
CEMU: It is surely for others to say. I have not deliberately copied a particular style and I doubt an impartial observer would detect one.
PC: What was your first “Eureka!” moment in writing and publishing poetry; the moment when you realized “Hey, I’m actually on to something here!” in terms of your work coming together and first getting accepted and published in magazines and journals?
CEMU: Bhuaigh mé roinnt comortaisí i mBÁC agus mé ar scoil i gColáiste Eoin. Bhí formhór m’iarrachtaí cumtha i nGaeilge agus bunaithe ar ábhair a bhí bainteach le stadéir Laidne agus le stair na Róimhe. Fuaras tacaíocht ag pointí tábhachtacha ó mo mháthair agus ó mo mhúinteoir Laidne, a spreag mé leanacht orm ag scríobh. Spreagann said beirt fós mé.
PC: Finally, if you could own and keep just three collections of poetry on your bookshelf- excluding, of course, your own- which collections would they be and why?
CEMU: Robert Graves, Complete Poems, Volumes 1-3,
Nuala Ni Dhomnaill’s An Dealg Droighin
Peter Denman’s Epigrammata.
These three volumes would ensure that all poetic needs are nourished. I would slip Gabriel Rosenstock’s haikus in as well to make a sneaky fourth volume.
Caoimhin Eoin Mac Unfraidh reads as part of the third in a series of three readings as part of the Poetry Ireland Introductions readings series on Tuesday 11th June at 6.30pm at the Irish Writers’ Centre, 19 Parnell Square, D1.
Also reading with Caoimhin are:
Venue: The Irish Writers’ Centre, 19 Parnell Square, D1
Time: Tuesday 11th June @ 6.30pm
T: (01) 8721302