Kenneth Nolan has been running ‘The Merg’ from 1.30pm to 4pm on Saturday afternoons since the beginning of 2016. Kenneth’s dedication to this event is paying dividends as its popularity grows. The event has established itself and become a mainstay in the Tallaght Library calendar. With 12 new dates already confirmed for 2017.

‘The Merg’ showcases the crafts of poetry and spoken word, while providing poets and writers with an opportunity to perform their material.

It’s “an advance sign up open mic for poets & prose writers held in Tallaght”, as Kenneth’s Facebook page tells us.

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David Richardson

Contributors at a recent session were Tony Devlin, Bernadette O’Reilly, Eamon MagUidhir, Rob Buchanan, David Richardson, Poraic Cahill, Mervyn Ennis, Michael Whelan, Natasha Helen Crudden, Alice Kinsella, Alan O’Brien, Kevin Bateman, Berni Dwan, Seamus Murtagh, Jim Hyde, Daniel Wade and Eileen Keane.

Kenneth himself kicked off the proceedings. Among his impressive pieces, he prefaced one with an apology about the poem’s narrative voice, the powerfully bellicose imagery necessitating contextualisation. “Like burning hell in in a warrior’s belly…I am treacherous, always prosperous.” From a poem called ‘Equinox’ which concerns itself with the darker side of the human condition.

Seamus Murtagh hadn’t taken to the stage to perform since July, when he did a set at Kevin Bateman’s Periscoped Merlin Woods show in Galway. His own work required some interpretation too as it could have been construed as contentious.

Of ‘The Merg Sessions’, Seamus says:

“It was a true growth experience. I hadn’t performed live since Merlin Woods, which was all old material. For ‘The Merg’ I wrote anew and thread the waters of experimental content, style and delivery. I was quite nervous beforehand because one of the poems is very controversial and pushes the listener outside the realms of comfortableness and political correctness, but as I finished the final words and received applause and heard “excellent” from a poet, I knew the muse had served well.” The poem in question by Murtagh is punchy, with a softness to the last two lines including a suggestion to “make love”.

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“All in all, it was a fantastic experience,” continued Seamus. “The Merg really helped to in still an inner confidence in my work and vision. Hearing others read and recite was entertaining as well as inspiring, so I would highly recommend anyone to attend and experience Merg for themselves.”

You can catch the final ‘Merg Sessions’ of 2016 on Saturday the 12th of November.

Dates for 2017 are as follows:

January 14, February 11, March 11, April 8, May 6, June 10, July 8, August 12, September 9, October 7, November 4, December 2.

Check the listings before you attend. Kenneth announces them on Twitter and Facebook. They take place in Tallaght Library on a monthly basis. If you want to perform at the MERG sessions, this event can be booked in advance by contacting Kenneth at themergsessionstallaght[at]gmail[dot]com. Attendance is free for everyone.

If you want to perform at the ‘The Merg Sessions’, this event can be booked in advance by contacting Kenneth at themergsessionstallaght[at]gmail[dot]com. Attendance is free to all who wish to watch or participate.