Chairman, Galway West Labour Youth, April 5th, 1984

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Chairman, Galway West Labour Youth, April 5th, 1984

after a photograph by John Cunningham

 

The future is the thin pale youth

staring definitely into the camera. Hours

shy of his seventeenth birthday. After

the main speaker concludes,

 

he’ll play with his biro and ask

if anyone has any

questions. He no longer follows

the football results quite

 

as closely as he used to, couldn’t tell you

who’s on Top Of The Pops

this evening, but knows he’s for a

socialist South Africa,

 

if not what it means

to sit top table with a man

who once shared a cell

with Nelson Mandela.

 

He hadn’t a clue

these decades later his big ideas

would have gotten so little; that the truth

is what sense you can make

 

of a notebook from twenty years ago,

found at the bottom of a box;

your name

 

on the attendance list of a meeting

full of people you definitely

never met.

 

KEVIN HIGGINS

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Kevin Higgins facilitates poetry workshops at Galway Arts Centre and teaches creative writing at Galway Technical Institute. He is also Writer-in-Residence at Merlin Park Hospital and the poetry critic of the Galway Advertiser. He was a founding co-editor of The Burning Bush literary magazine and is co-organiser of Over The Edge literary events in Galway City. His first collection of poems The Boy With No Face was published by Salmon in February 2005 and was short-listed for the 2006 Strong Award. His second collection, Time Gentlemen, Please, was published in March 2008 by Salmon. His work also features in the generation defining anthology Identity Parade – New British and Irish Poets (Ed Roddy Lumsden, Bloodaxe, 2010). Frightening New Furniture, his third collection of poem, was published in 2010 by Salmon Poetry. Kevin has read his work at most of the major literary festivals in Ireland and at Arts Council and Culture Ireland supported poetry events in Kansas City, USA (2006), Los Angeles, USA (2007), London, UK (2007), New York, USA (2008), Athens, Greece (2008); St. Louis, USA (2008), Chicago, USA (2009), Denver, USA (2010), Washington D.C (2011), Huntington, West Virginia, USA (2011), Geelong, Australia (2011), Canberra, Australia (2011), St. Louis, USA (2013), Boston, USA (2013) & Amherst, Massachusetts (2013). In November and December 2013 Kevin also read his work in Basel, Switzerland and Phoenix & Tucson, Arizona. Mentioning The War, a collection of his essays and reviews was published in April 2012 by Salmon. Mentioning The War has been described by Clare Daly T.D as “a really good and provocative read. It will jolt you; it will certainly touch you; make you laugh; maybe make you snarl a little bit as well, depending on where you come from or what your background is.” Kevin’s poetry has been translated into Greek, Turkish, Spanish, Italian, Japanese & Portuguese. The Ghost In The Lobby is Kevin’s fourth collection of poetry will be launched early Spring 2014.

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Kevin Higgins facilitates poetry workshops at Galway Arts Centre and teaches creative writing at Galway Technical Institute. He is also Writer-in-Residence at Merlin Park Hospital and the poetry critic of the Galway Advertiser. He was a founding co-editor of The Burning Bush literary magazine and is co-organiser of Over The Edge literary events in Galway City. His first collection of poems The Boy With No Face was published by Salmon in February 2005 and was short-listed for the 2006 Strong Award. His second collection, Time Gentlemen, Please, was published in March 2008 by Salmon. His work also features in the generation defining anthology Identity Parade – New British and Irish Poets (Ed Roddy Lumsden, Bloodaxe, 2010). Frightening New Furniture, his third collection of poem, was published in 2010 by Salmon Poetry. Kevin has read his work at most of the major literary festivals in Ireland and at Arts Council and Culture Ireland supported poetry events in Kansas City, USA (2006), Los Angeles, USA (2007), London, UK (2007), New York, USA (2008), Athens, Greece (2008); St. Louis, USA (2008), Chicago, USA (2009), Denver, USA (2010), Washington D.C (2011), Huntington, West Virginia, USA (2011), Geelong, Australia (2011), Canberra, Australia (2011), St. Louis, USA (2013), Boston, USA (2013) & Amherst, Massachusetts (2013). In November and December 2013 Kevin also read his work in Basel, Switzerland and Phoenix & Tucson, Arizona. Mentioning The War, a collection of his essays and reviews was published in April 2012 by Salmon. Mentioning The War has been described by Clare Daly T.D as “a really good and provocative read. It will jolt you; it will certainly touch you; make you laugh; maybe make you snarl a little bit as well, depending on where you come from or what your background is.” Kevin’s poetry has been translated into Greek, Turkish, Spanish, Italian, Japanese & Portuguese. The Ghost In The Lobby is Kevin’s fourth collection of poetry will be launched early Spring 2014.

 

2 Responses

  1. Gabriel

    October 9, 2012 11:58 am

    Apartheid was a moral evil in that it set up the white minority as overlords over millions of black South Africans. It was morally correct for people in democratic societies like Ireland to oppose it, no matter how ineffective peaceful protests, commodity boycotts and vigils by writers and artists may have been. Those who opposed apartheid twenty or thirty years ago can still maintain an interest in current South Africa by visiting the country and enquiring into the development of political culture since the system was replaced in the multiracial elections of 1994. Student idealism dwindles as the years go by. The urge to participate in social change projects and programmes diminishes because of personal financial and family obligations. The world never turns out exactly as a 17-year-old hopes it would. Is that a good reason why most of us, in our 30s, 40s, 50s or 60s+ should just shrug and spend our time perusing the newspaper sports pages, drowning our sorrows in pubs or fluttering our disposable money on race horses?