Poetry by the Weir

WORDSMITH: Ron Houchin is a visiting poet from the United States

Sligo’s reputation as a hub for the literati continues this weekend. ‘Poetry by the Weir’ is a poetry reading event which is organised by Sligo based author Gerard Beirne and will take place this week in Osta Cafe on Sunday, August 5.

At this reading, audiences will be treated to poems from local author and Hennessey Award winning poet Una Mannion as well as Ron Houchin, an American poet and author of eight publications.

Although a native of Ohio, Ron Houchin has a curious affinity with Ireland, having visited here more than 25 times.

In an interview with the Honest Ulsterman, Ron said that his love of Ireland comes from “I loved the idea of Ireland before I ever knew much more about it than that it was an underdog country taking on a world power for its freedom. I used to wear a green badge, as a middle schooler, that read “Honorary Irishman.”

“No one gave me that honour I just loved it before I ever saw Ireland, the same way that I loved and saw the face of my oldest daughter before she was born. Now, I have an Irish publisher, Salmon, and friends on both coasts of Ireland.”

In terms of Poetry on the Weir, Gerard refers to it as an “irregular, regular poetry reading.”

“I like the idea of having someone read from Sligo and then to have someone like Ron coming from outside to Sligo to read their work,” he explained.

One of the more interesting things on the night will be the contrast of both styles.

“They are very contrasting which I think will be interesting and it also will bring a good variety to the audience,” Gerard said.

Poetry by the Weir is in Osta Cafe on Sunday, August 5 and starts at 5pm and admission is free.

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