Praise for Declan Burke: “Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Crime Poetry: It’s The New Black

We’re not worthy, etc. The venerable Critical Mick gets in touch to give us a heads up on a rather intriguing event planned by the Shoestring Collective, the gist of his communiqué running thusly:
“Just thought I’d help a buddy out and forward on word about this funky forthcoming event. Colm Keegan [right] is not only a poet, he also pulls off the grittiest accounts of Dublin scumbaggery that I have read. Nice little crime pieces about punching gardaí in nightclubs, drinking by the canal, racing rings around the M50 on cocaine ...”
Said Colm Keegan, who has twice been short-listed for the prestigious Sunday Tribune / Hennessy Short Story Award, being just one element of the Shoestring Collective, which features jazz, comedy, film and traditional Irish music. Oh, did we mention Ireland’s first and possibly only ever crime poet, Said Colm Keegan? To wit:
One Kick

One kick, one tiny flick
Of his two year old foot
And I was hooked
No matter what
His mother did
My chubby, soccer-mad little kid
Would feel my care
But I never,
Saw a day like this
When his broken mother’s courtroom kiss
Would be all he’d have
For the next ten years
No sun-filled summers,
No glittering careers
Just tears
And regret
For the man he bet,
And the way
one flick
One drunk and deadly
too strong kick
Can crush a skull
The Shoestring Collective goes down on Saturday, January 19th at the James Joyce Centre, 35 North Great George’s Street, Dublin 1. Tickets available on the night at the James Joyce Centre. Doors open at 7.50pm. Price €10. Strictly no admission after 8.25pm. Show ends 11pm. For further information contact: Stephen Kennedy 087 4196365 or Sandra Adams 085 111 3740.


critical mick said...

Many thanks for plugging this event, Dec! I am going to limp my venerable old ass down to the Jimmy Joyce Centre this Saturday, and plan on having me a good time unless the doormen are keeping out the ugly and unsavory. (The no-necked bastards....)

Colm has his own blog at and one of his crime stories can be found in the 2006 anthology called Caught in Amber. Worth tracking down!

Karen C said...

There's a small, but particularly good, stream of Crime Verse in these parts - coming in no small way out of the local Sisters in Crime Chapter. One of my favourite books last year was Dorothy Porter's El Dorado which was a crime fiction, verse novel. Startlingly good I have to say - for a small taste - it starts:

The little girl's
dead hand
is sticking stiffly
as if reaching
to grab an angel's

Detective Inspector Bill Buchanan
puts out his gloved
in the dead foul air
and touches the tiny
heaven-stretched fingers

It goes on to be funny, sad and tell an entire tale - great book if you can ever get your hands on it.

Uiscebot said...

Cheers for the mention Declan. I'm looking forward to Stephen Kennedys play on the night. Hopefully it'll be jammers!!