‘Re-voicing Classics: an Evening of Poetry’ Review

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On Wednesday 30th March, the Canada Room at Queen’s hosted ‘Re-voicing Classics. An Evening of Poetry’. The evening began with an expression of the special debt owed to Michael Longley who for many years has seen the ancient mind so vital in our own world. This sense of the beauty and passions of antiquity followed in a series of readings from Erin Halliday, Ross Thompson, Manuela Moser and Stephen Sexton, who included work by Caitlin Newby. Each also shared with the audience their inspiration from the great poets and Classical myths.

So it was that Ovid’s wonder at nature’s fecundity and Sappho’s meditation on the enfolding nature of love were joined by evocations of the dismaying fall of Icarus in the loss of Russian cosmonauts and the imagining of Orpheus as a burned-out aging rock-star. The unique agility of poets writing in the North of Ireland in conveying the powerful emotions of the ancient mind while seeing the same elegies, tragedies, epic struggles and sensualities around us all was evident in the work of the readers who are set to carry on a great poetic tradition. It was difficult not to sense the shade of Louis MacNeice as somehow present, delighting with us all at so many ‘things being various.’ And wonderful to have the Classical tradition, literally, at the heart of Queen’s again!

John Curran


You can check out our Gallery for more photos from ‘Re-voicing Classics: an Evening of Poetry’ Gallery

And for an extra special treat, head over to our Blog to read one of the classically-inspired poems, re-voiced and presented at our evening of poetry – Ross Thompson’s Selene

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