Wednesday 20th June, 2018, 7.30 pm - Tech Amergin, Waterville

An Chéad Chéim: a celebration of Ireland’s first poem

On the eve of the summer solstice, the opening event of the inaugural Amergin Solstice Poetry Gathering celebrates the landing of Amergin and the Milesians on the shoreline immediately below where the festival takes place.

The event will focus on Amergin’s famous poem, which he uttered “as he put his right foot on the land” in which he claimed identity with the place, its flora and fauna.

Five Ireland Professors of Poetry, Michael Longley, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Harry Clifton, Paula Meehan and Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin will read a poem they have written as a response to Amergin’s poem, especially for this event, poems which will be published in a special celebratory edition.

They will be joined in the celebration by Marie Heaney reading from Over Nine Waves, which takes its title from the Amergin myth, and, in recognition of the fact that the Milesians came to Ireland from Galicia, by two of Galicia’s most distinguished artists, the poet and novelist Manuel Rivas and the composer and musician Carlos Nuňez.

Film-maker Dónal Ó Céilleachair will show his short film Ailiu Iath n-hErend which is based around the original text of the poem.

Composer Eilish Butler will present her newly composed musical setting of the poem, and festival musician-in-residence Máire Breatnach will also contribute her own tributary music.