A question of taste - Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh

Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh is an Irish language poet from Tralee, Co Kerry. She co-presents arts show Imeall with Tristan Rosenstock on TG4 on Thursdays.

A question of taste - Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh

Best recent book:

I just finished The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson, a really satisfying and engaging memoir. Working with Imeall, I’m getting to read a lot of new publications in English and in Irish — like the forthcoming Beatha Dhónaill Dhuibh by Séamus Barra Ó Súilleabháin.

Best recent film:

Is it really pretentious to say The Mirror by Tarkovsky? I saw it in Triskel recently – bewildering, moving, epic.

Best recent show/exhibition/ gig you’ve seen:

The planets must have aligned when I was in Barcelona this summer. I got to see Silvia Pérez Cruz in Teatre Coliseum. It was magical.

What formats do you access music?

I used to work in a record shop in Kerry so I feel a duty to support the record shops that are managing to survive.

Best piece of music you’ve been listening to lately:

I’m really enjoying the EP An Bóthar — music set to the poetry of Seán Ó Ríordáin, right. Mark Lynch composed the music; check them out on Bandcamp.

First ever piece of music or art or film or gig that really moved you:

‘Boys for Pele’ by Tori Amos.

The best gig or show you’ve ever seen (if you had to pick one!):

I couldn’t pick a ‘best’ but I always enjoying seeing Boxcar Bertha play around Cork.

Tell us about your TV viewing:

Imeall on TG4, of course!

Radio listening:

I listen to RnaG a lot: An Saol Ó Dheas, Sinéad ar Maidin, Rónán Beo. I really like Moncrieff on Newstalk and I listen to an outrageous amount of podcasts.

You’re curating your dream festival... which three artists are on the bill (living or dead)?

Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday. Or The Gloaming, The National, Arcade Fire.

Your best celebrity encounter:

It’s got to be Seamus Heaney. I met him in 2009 at an academic conference in Vienna when I awkwardly gave him a copy of my first book, Péacadh. He was beyond kind. Ní bheidh a leithéid arís ann.

Most expensive item of clothing you’ve ever bought:

My wedding dress. I’ve erased the price of it from my mind but regret nothing!

Tech habits: what you use, and what you use it for:

I’m more attached to my phone than I would like. Not that into apps, but the podcast app brings me much joy!

Unsung hero: Individual, organisation or group you think don’t get the praise they deserve:

Paul Casey at Ó Bhéal works tirelessly for poetry in Cork. Liú Lúnasa in Belfast. Rónán Mac Aodha Bhuí who organises An Cabaret Craiceáilte in the Donegal Gaeltacht — great for the community.

You are queen for a day — what’s your first decree?

Free healthcare and free chocolate.

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