After a fantastic January event we're glad to announce the inspired pairing we have lined up for February: Eric Langley and Kerrie O’Brien.

Tue 27th February - Eric Langley and Kerrie O'Brien

Eric Langley is a lecturer in Shakespeare at University College London. His debut poetry collection, Raking Light, was published by Carcanet in 2017 and was shortlisted for the Felix Dennis Award for Best First Collection at that year’s Forward Prizes. His poetry has appeared in PN Review, Blackbox Manifold, and New Poetries VI (Carcanet, 2015). He has two academic monographs – Narcissism and Suicide in the Work of Shakespeare (2009), and Ill Communications: Shakespeare’s Contagious Sympathies (forthcoming 2018) – with OUP.

'Meaning is discovered between spaces, silences heard between sounds, in the work of [this] vitally alert poet.'  Ian Brinton

'Eric Langley’s poems energise the mind by means of virtuoso orchestration and exhilarating rhythmic daring and control. You feel that if you look away from the line for even a second you might end up driving into a ditch'  Peter Hughes

Kerrie O’Brien is a poet from Dublin. Her debut collection of poetry, Illuminate, was published by Salmon Poetry in October 2016 and was made possible by a Literature Bursary from the Arts Council of Ireland. She was the editor of Looking at the Stars, a limited edition anthology of Irish writing that raised over €21,000 for homelessness in Dublin. She holds a BA in History of Art and Classics from Trinity College Dublin.

'Like Keats, she has hit the ground running. The lack of bitterness, the embrace in the collection of the gift of life, is surely something new. She works in a sort of separate realm of her own'  Sebastian Barrie

'Kerrie O’Brien’s gorgeous poems in Illuminate are full of light and colour but also of powerful silences. The pieces engaging with painters have a sort of touching delicacy in the face of grandeur. I adored this book. It’s like carrying Paris around in your pocket'  Joseph O'Connor


I take the raked light 
that cuts up black bright, 
burnt beyond the violet: 
a heat-seeker of

heart-change, of any second thought; 
and as each freckled error
pops and comes to catch,
it picks up pentimental.

And, in the beam’s fetch
the urgent silt sits up.
Its sketch lifts; it shifts;
makes surge-lines break, and drift.

The underdrawn in emergency.
Sure, there is plan enough down there.
Sure there is pain and error.
All gridlined, all locked in hotshock.

Eric Langley


Certain mornings
I would be the only one
To see the first streams of it

Tumbling through stained glass
Smattering everything
Red gold rose blue.
The beauty almost frightening.

Yves Klein would daub his women
And hurl them at the canvas.

Living brushes
Haphazard and outrageous –
Same effect.
Different every day
This glittering cave
Big beautiful lit up thing.

It knew and knew
Why I had come.

Falling like water
Blue gold rose red
My river walk,
My morning prayer.

I would step into it slow
Circling the altar
Gold cross flickering
In the centre
Anchored, rooted still.

As above, so below
Eyes closed
Filling my heart
With the warmth of it

Until my body was
Sunlight and roses
And the fear
Fell away in petals

Would you believe it
If I told you
Nothing felt separate.

Kerrie O'Brien

Event Information and Venue

We continue at our new home of CB2 for Autumn 2017-Summer 2018. Events will be on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 8pm. Doors open from 7.30pm; ask for the sign-up sheet to secure one of our strictly-2-minute open mic slots. (N.B. it's first-come-first-served, though slots may well still be available at 8pm). All events are £5 / £4 concessions, payment by cash on entry. The venue is the lovely CB2 Bistro Café on Norfolk Street, which has a great bar/café where you can get all manner of drinks, cakes and savoury delights with a discount on meals for CB1 Poetrygoers. Here is our venue information page. Now, we realise there is a slight possibility of confusion, so to be clear... we are still called CB1 Poetry, but we are at CB2 Café and not at our origin/namesake of CB1 Café, formerly of Mill Road. Good to get that off our chest...