My Cultural Life: Paul Muldoon

Armagh-born Paul Muldoon is the author of 14 collections of poetry. He has lived in the US for many years where he is Professor in Humanities at Princeton University. He hosts Muldoon’s Picnic Irish Tour this August 10-14.

BOOK: The Letters Of Thom Gunn

What I’m loving at the moment is The Letters of Thom Gunn, a mineshaft into the multilayered life of one of the great English poets of the second half of the 20th century. I use the term “mineshaft” advisedly, since it was the name of a gay club Gunn frequented when he visited New York.

For most of his 40 years in the US, Gunn lived in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco and taught at Berkeley – the perfect combination of leather and literature.

FILM: The Northman

I’ve been to see The Northman five times, partly because it was written by my friend Sjón, the wonderful Icelandic poet and novelist, and partly because I’m a sucker for all things Viking. And, boy, does this film embrace all things Viking, particularly their seeming inability to control their baser urges and ramp up their instincts to rampage.

Whatever the splendid 2014 British Museum exhibition on the Vikings may have done to rehabilitate the Norsemen and present them as a kinder, gentler nation has been totally negated by The Northman.

MUSIC: Weird Al Yankovic

The music I’ve been listening to and loving this past while is often connected to live concerts I’m about to attend – Willie Nile, The Who, Declan O’Rourke, Crowded House, Lake Street Dive, Clannad, not to speak of the outrageous, and outrageously talented, Weird Al Yankovic.

EVENT: Metropolitan Opera

Video of the Day

I’m very much looking forward to the new season at the Metropolitan Opera [NYC]. I buy cheap seats in the family circle, where the acoustics are actually superb, so I think nothing of leaving at half-time to get my beauty sleep.

On the card in the autumn are Idomeneus, Medea, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Peter Grimes, Don Carloetc The Hours. I’m sorry to have to miss Blondie in Long Island on August 10 – the very same night Muldoon’s Picnic opens at The Lime Tree in Limerick.

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