Jane Clarke on RTE One TV's Nationwide
Nationwide: Wicklow Mountains, RTE One TV, Friday 23 October 2020, 7pm
An interview with poet Jane Clarke opened RTE One’s Nationwide on 23 October. This edition of the programme is devoted to things to see and do around the Wicklow Mountains, including the Miners’ Way long distance path.
Former miner Robbie Carter told his story of the explosion in the last working mine at Glendasan, and Jane Clarke read her poem that he inspired – ‘Foxrock Mine’. They were both filmed on location at the disused mine.
'Foxrock Mine' was one of a sequence of new poems the Jane Clarke wrote especially for the BBC Radio 4 programme she presented in May 2020, The Miners’ Way, in which she walked the 19km path and interviewed people connected with the mine along the way: former miner Robbie Carter, as well as local historian Carmel O'Toole and sheep farmer Pat Dunne - also interviewed on Nationwide.
‘MINERS’ WAY/REPORT NIALL MARTIN
We visit the new 19km walking route around the mines and miner's village in the valleys of Glendalough, Glendasan and Glenmalure in Co. Wicklow and we are shown around by a miner who was badly injured in an explosion at the mine in 1957.’
Watch here. First item.
Beautiful half-hour BBC Radio 4 feature presented by Irish poet Jane Clarke. She reads 'Birthing the Lamb' from When the Tree Falls, along with a new sequence of poems. The Miners' Way was chosen by Antonia Quirke for her Pick of the Week of 3 May on BBC Radio 4, beginning with Jane reading her poem 'Birthing the Lamb', followed by a clip from the end of the programme. The new poems Jane wrote especially for the programme are 'Christmas Morning', 'The Crusher', 'Mullakor', 'Pit Ponies of Glendasun', 'Foxrock Mine' and 'The Pay'.
‘Irish poet Jane Clarke lives in Glenmalure, a remote and rugged valley in County Wicklow, Ireland. The valley marks the start of the Miners' Way, a long-distance path developed by a local community group, traversing three Wicklow valleys, Glenmalure, Glendalough and Glendasan, and taking in six old, disused mine sites. The Miners' Way has inspired Jane to write a sequence of poems responding to this rich natural and cultural heritage. As she walks the Miners' Way, Jane meets some of her neighbours - local historian Carmel O'Toole who shows her one of the old mining buildings, farmer Pat Dunne who tells her how sheep farming in the valleys has changed over the years, and mountain leader Charles O’Byrne who knows the area like the back of his hand. She also visits Robbie Carter, one of the few people who can talk first-hand about working in these valleys in the mining industry, which came to an end in 1957. Now in his 80s, Robbie became a miner at the age of 16. He describes his life as a miner in the mid-20th century and the story of a fatal mining accident in January 1957 when a workmate died. Robbie was seriously injured and never worked in a mine again. The poems in the programme by Jane Clarke include ‘Birthing the Lamb’ from her 2019 collection When the Tree Falls. All other poems are new works inspired by the landscape, heritage and stories of the Miners’ Way.’
The programme is no longer available to listen to, but details are here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000htr0
ARTICLE BY JANE CLARKE IN THE IRISH TIMES
Jane Clarke wrote about the Miners' Way of Glenmalure, Glendalough and Glendasan in The Irish Times of 1 May ahead of her BBC Radio 4 feature. Her article is here. It includes one of the new poems she has written especially for the programme.
You can hear Jane read this poem on the Words Lightly Spoken podcast. Click here to listen.
[27 April 2020]