Having made his mark in the Highlands and Islands of Scoland, poet Aidan MacEoin can now be heard reciting his verse in some of Glasgow's most attractive haunts. I first came across him in The Hidden Lane Cafe, where he is the inspiration behind their Groovy Tuesday Evenings. Described as:
"an eclectic evening of poetry and music - a collaborative fusion of words with rhythm and imagination. The only prerequisite is that you accept the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth."
When Jim and I went along one Tuesday evening we weren't quite sure what to expect. We were a wee bit worried about encountering a band of sombre and mightily cultured wordsmiths. However, Aidan, along with his sidekick, Jim Ferguson set the tone for a very entertaining get-together, where people have the opportunity to read their poetry in a friendly setting.
More recently we encountered Aidan in Tchai Ovna, tea house also in Glasgow's West End - a chilled out setting for Aidan's renditions of some dramatic spoken word accompanied by music. He also encouraged a bit of audience participation when we got the chance to choose a poem a selection of poems from his broadsheet "Know Your Onions", which includes around 20 of his compositions.
It proved quite difficult to make a choice as there's little doubt, this man has a way with words. Even the shortest of these poems push the imagination and make you think about their message. Like one of the poems chosen by two young women:
Rolling sea surf sound
Reminds me of you
Ebb and flow
The notion of rhythm and movement is a theme that Aidan seems to draw on very effectively as he does in the poem I chose:
Now I know the groove
Inside your heart
Tearing you apart
My love, lost lost soul.
Rejection is a humbling experience
To be felt by all of us
The rythm of the soul
Is what, it is beating
Some of his poems, like The Groove, make you think about how vulnerable we can be and others have a lighter touch that brings a smile to your face, such as:
I wake to the prism of light
yellow buttercups gently sway
Along your meridian line
I gently touch your chakras
Then passionately merge them
Aidan's poety is clever stuff allright but there is something accessible and unpretentious about it that makes it very attractive and possible to enjoy at many levels.
Your man, who hails from Co. Clare in Ireland, not only writes great poetry but he has the charm of the Irish in abundance, with his ready smile, twinkling eyes and great brogue. When he recites his poetry these characteristics do no harm and he draws his audience in with perfect ease.
Aidan has performed at Celtic Connections and the Edinburgh Festival and has worked with musicians in both Ireland and Scotland including Leo McCann, the acclaimed button box player. Iain Copeland and Seumas MacLennan of the Peatbog Faeries collaborated with Aidan to produce a CD 'Rustic", which contains stories, music and poetry. buy at Music in Scotland and in 2002 he published his first volume of poems: 'In The Boat I Don't Yet Have'.
Aidan is full of enthusiasm and determination and has plenty on the go including a few interesting projects in Glasgow that will encourage more performance poetry by budding and experienced poets. Meanwhile we've got plans to include him in some of our projects.
Hope he's going to be hanging about this town for a while.
You can see Aidan at The Hidden Lane Cafe, 1103 Argyle Street on Tuesdays at 7.30 p.m.