Coming up on this week’s RTÉ Poetry Programme (Saturday 30 September, 7:30 pm, RTÉ Radio 1): Frank Ormsby joins Olivia O’Leary to talk about his new collection and Luke Kennard champions the prose poem.

The Poetry Programme: Olivia O'Leary talks to Frank Ormsby

Born in 1947 in Co. Fermanagh, Frank Ormsby lives in Belfast and was Head of English at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution until his retirement in 2010. He has been a central figure in the poetry of Northern Ireland for the past forty years, editing The Honest Ulsterman from 1969 to 1989. He joins presenter Olivia O’Leary to talk about his views on poetry – he prefers poems to be accessible – and to read from his new collection, The Darkness of Snow (Bloodaxe). Poems in the collection range from vignettes of his childhood, to musings on impressionist paintings, to attempts to deal with the onset of Parkinson’s Disease with black humour.

Listen: Frank Ormsby makes a call for poems to be accessible.

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Luke Kennard is a poet, critic, novelist and a senior lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham. His fifth collection of poetry, Cain (Penned in the Margins), was shortlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize 2017. He joins Olivia to champion the prose poem and reads one of his own, My Friend, from his collection The Migraine Hotel (Salt Publishing), which begins: ‘My friend, your irresponsibility and your unhappiness delight me. Your financial problems and your expanding waist-line are a constant source of relief. I am so happy you drink more than I do and that you don’t seem to enjoy it as much…’

Listen: Luke Kennard reads My Friend

 The Poetry Programme, Saturday 30 September, 7:30 pm, RTÉ Radio 1 - list to the show after broadcast here. The Poetry Programme is a Rockfinch production for RTÉ. Series Producer: Claire Cunningham. Executive Producer for RTÉ: Clíodhna Ní Anluain.