Poem by Leitrim adapted into a film for an international festival

A film based on a poem written by Leitrim poet Kevin McManus has been selected for a number of national and international film festivals.
In 2020, at the height of the lockdown, Carrigallen poet and writer Kevin McManus published a poem titled ‘Lost Souls’ in his poetry collection titled ‘Spirits in the Forest’.

Kevin says the main motivation for writing the poem “Lost Souls” was to try to somehow capture the tragedy of homelessness. The inspiration came from memories of his father.
He emigrated to England in the late 1950s alongside his two brothers and two sisters. He worked in highway construction as one of McAlpine’s riflemen. He often spoke of how some of the young Irish people he worked with gradually spent more and more time in pubs, probably because they were lonely and homesick, and the drink perhaps dampened it somewhat. pain.

Eventually, they began to miss work and were fired from job to job until they had no place to go. They were, I guess, blacklisted, they were considered unreliable. They couldn’t afford the rent, became homeless and started sleeping on the streets or in homeless shelters.
These young men were lost, they felt they weren’t wanted in Ireland and they weren’t wanted in England either. They were essentially “lost souls”.

The poem caught the eye of a Kerry-based director named Dennis Earlie. Dennis managed to bring the poem to life with his cinematic dramatization.
The film which was produced and directed by Dennis features a cast that includes actors, Padrig O’Connor, Anne Browne and Elaine Shine.
So far, the film has received high praise and been selected in many national and international film festivals such as Kerry International Film Festival, Zebra Film Festival in Brussels and World Poetry Film Festival. slam in Berlin.

Residents of Leitrim will be able to see the film at the Mayflower in Drumshanbo this Friday, August 26 as part of the Drumshanbo Literary Festival.
The film was shortlisted from over eighty entries from thirteen counties to make the final fourteen in the competition. The winning film will be announced in the evening.
Kevin McManus will also be present on the second day of the Drumshanbo Literary Festival. Kevin will discuss his new collection of poetry titled “A bell in the white morning” which will be published by Impspired in October and his new mystery novel titled “Stormforce” which will be published by SpellBound books in November.


Darcy J. Skinner