After ten sold-out seasons at the Irish Arts Center in New York and a highly successful Irish tour in 2017, Muldoon's Picnic returns for six dates nationwide this August.
An 'omnium-gatherum' of poetry, prose and music, Muldoon's Picnic is hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon - the title 'Muldoon's Picnic’ refers to a popular 19th-century New York vaudeville show, which inspired the New York-based Muldoon to begin hosting evenings of literature and music back in 2014.
Produced by Poetry Ireland, each show on the tour presents a bespoke mix of artists from the worlds of music and literature, with guests such as Michael Longley, Lisa O’Neill, Zadie Smith, and Horslips joining Muldoon for six very different evenings celebrating creativity and collaborative energy.
The poet himself describes the experience as a direct response to that ancient impulse to perform, to share, to make one’s own amusement; "It’s one of our most basic instincts; to listen to a song, listen to a poem. Even in this era when people have their noses stuck in their tablets, it still works."
The house band for the show is Rogue Oliphant - a collective of musicians and composers that includes ex-Pogue Cait O’Riordan and veteran Bob Dylan bandmate David Mansfield.
At the Hawkswell Theatre in Sligo on Friday 2nd August, Muldoon and Rogue Oliphant will be joined by Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, one of the most prominent poets writing in the Irish language today, acclaimed Belfast writer Wendy Erskine, traditional singer and song collector Len Graham, and piano-based songwriter Duke Special.
The Gate Theatre in Dublin on Sunday 4th August offers Northern Ireland’s foremost contemporary poet, Michael Longley, Man Booker prize-winning author Anne Enright, critically acclaimed vocalist and actor Lisa Lambe, traditional music giant Martin Hayes, and local hero Glen Hansard as guests on Muldoon’s stage.
On Bank Holiday Monday 5th August at The Everyman in Cork, contemporary English novelist, essayist, and short-story writer Zadie Smith, Northern Irish novelist and poet Nick Laird, and the ‘Godfathers of Celtic Rock’ Horslips are the special guests.
On Wednesday 7th August at Glór, Ennis, Muldoon will be joined by singer, songwriter and storyteller Declan O’Rourke, musician, composer, poet and the last surviving member of the definitive line-up of The Dubliners John Sheahan, Nigerian-born, Longford-raised spoken word poet Felicia Olusanya and Irish Times journalist and cultural commentator Fintan O'Toole.
On Friday 9th August at The Dock in Carrick-on-Shannon, Belfast poet Stephen Sexton, folk singer-songwriter Lisa O'Neill, and journalist and author Sinéad Gleeson take to the stage.
The final night of the tour takes place in The Mac, Belfast on Sunday 11th August with Queen of Celtic Music Moya Brennan and virtuoso harpist Cormac de Barra, novelist and screenwriter John Banville and West Cork poet Leanne O’Sullivan.
Find out more about Muldoon's Picnic on tour here.