Irish Authors Reading and Open Mic Night

Thursday, March 5, 2020 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Before Irish Fest Camden kicks into high gear with its second annual Pub Crawl on Friday, March 6, followed by the following day’s main event at Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site, those wishing to enjoy a quiet, more reflective take on the Irish culture may do so at the Irish Authors Reading and Open Mic Night.

The kickoff event to Irish Fest Camden weekend will take place Thursday, March 5 at Books on Broad, located at 944 Broad St. in downtown Camden. The evening begins at 6 p.m. and end at 8 p.m. The public is invited to attend a free evening of prose, poetry and storytelling featuring Belfast, Ireland native and poet Adrian Rice and Irish-American author Ray McManus. The evening also includes an open mic in which the community is invited to participate by reciting a favorite poem, the telling of a story or, even share an Irish/Celtic-themed song. Participants in the open mic portion of the evening are asked to call Books on Broad at 713-7323.

Born in Belfast in 1958, in 1999, Adrian Rice was awarded the prestigious US/Ireland Exchange Residency Bursary, which led eventually to a Writer-in-Residency stint at Lenoir-Rhyne University, Hickory, North Carolina, in 2005. Adrian and his wife, Molly, and young son, Micah, now live in Hickory, where he teaches English at Catawba Valley Community College and from where he commutes to Boone for Doctoral studies at Appalachian State University. Rice also plays mandolin for The Belfast Boys, a dynamic Irish traditional music duo, alongside Belfast-born singer-songwriter Alyn Mearns. Rice’s poems first appeared in Muck Island (1990), collaboration with Ulster artist, Ross Wilson, copies of which are housed in the Tate Gallery, and The Boston Museum of Fine Arts. The Mason’s Tongue (Abbey Press, 1999), was shortlisted for the Christopher Ewart-Biggs Memorial Literary Prize by the Irish Times, and translated into Hungarian by Thomas Kabdebo. Hickory Haiku was published in 2010. The Clock Flower was launched in Belfast in 2012. A reissue of The Clock Flower, with additional poems, was published in 2013. A new full collection, Hickory Station, was released in 2016. A poem from Hickory Station, Breath” was a Pushcart Prize nominee. In 2017, The Strange Estate: New and Selected Poems (from 1986-2017) came out in print. McManus, a professor of English at USC-Sumter, where he teaches Southern Literature, Irish Literature, Creative Writing and also directs the South Carolina Center for the Oral Narrative, is the author of three books of poetry: Punch (2014), Red Dirt Jesus (2011) and Driving Before You Were Born (2007). He was co-editor of Found Anew (2015). McManus’ poetry has been published in the SC Review, the Cold Mountain Review and Talking River.


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