Livestreaming poetry open mic night keeps art community strong in quarantine

Galway Daily arts Over the Edge returns after summer break

Keeping the arts community in Galway alive has been a difficult task, and the Barn Yard is rising to the task with its online poetry open mic next week.

Bard Yard combines a poetry open mic with the performance of a featured artist. Poets sign up to read one poem, and an established performer – usually a musician – performs a set in the middle.

Next Wednesday, May 18 the open mic night will stream on Facebook Live from 8pm.

This is the third online open mic since the Barn Yard was originally scheduled to premiere at the Róisín Dubh in March, but has gone online since the COVID-19 regulations were put in place.

“We were faced with the task of not only launching a new kind of open mic, but also with figuring out how to make it successful online,” says Claire VanValkenburg, co-host and organiser.

“It was designed to showcase the centuries old relationship between poetry and music.”

This month’s artist is Bríd Kenny who released her debut EP, “Doorway” in March.

All-Connacht Poetry Slam Champion Conor Quinlan is Bard Yard’s other co-host.

“I think the arts are really important right now, and creating spaces for artists to share their work will help everyone during this difficult time,” says Quinlan.

The Bard Yard was created to support artists in Galway, and to diversify open mics, VanValkenburg adfd.

“I go to poetry events, and each piece drips so heavily with emotion I find myself falling behind and struggling to give each artist my full attention,”  she explains.

“It’s really beautiful because it celebrates that time-honored tradition between poetry and music, but also it gives my brain a break and allows me to enjoy all the artists with my full attention.”

When the pubs open, Bard Yard will take place upstairs at the Róisín Dubh on the third Wednesday of every month.

But for now, you can tune in on Facebook live at Catch the next show on May 20, at 8pm.