Poem of the Week S01 E17 : Barry Avenue 1951, written and read by Richard Halperin

International’s Men’s Day can be a bit of a contentious holiday but behind what might be perceived as patriarchal self-aggrandising, but for me, the actual objectives of the day lean more towards building a broader and more inclusive definition of what it means to be a man by striving towards a world of equality between genders. With this in mind, I was delighted to be joined in studio this week by Irish-American poet Richard Halperin. His poem, Barry Avenue, 1951, paints a very tender portrait of an alternative masculinity, of a vulnerable and loving father-son relationship with a matriarch acting like a kind of pillar for both.

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Poem of the Week invites you to listen to contributors recite some of their favorite poems and talk about what these poems mean to them. Presented by Morgan O’Reilly, this podcast series, originally broadcast on Near FM 2017/18, features some of Ireland’s most exciting new voices such as Jessica Traynor, Kate Dempsey, Kenneth Nolan and Alan Jude Moore alongside local people and community activists from the North Dublin area, this series offers a unique and diverse range of contributors.

Each week the featured poem will also commemorate a significant date in the calendar year fostering new and challenging perspectives into poems you thought you knew. The poems have been selected with the advice and support of Ireland’s former Professor of Poetry, Paula Meehan.