Whether you share a poem, read a poem, or participate in one of the many organised events, everyone is invited to join in and celebrate Poetry Day Ireland on Thursday, April 28 …
What: Now in its eighth year, this day-long celebration of the crafted word, spoken and written, is presented by Poetry Ireland, whose director Liz Kelly explains, “Poetry Day Ireland presents us all with an opportunity to celebrate poetry in all its richness and diversity and as a point for connection at home and abroad. Poetry Day Ireland enriches us all whether we attend an event or pick up an exquisite Pocket Poem, it’s there for the taking”.
How: This year’s theme is “Written in the Stars”; the public is asked to share poems of prophecy and prediction, or those questioning the idea that we can ever know what’s coming down the line.
Who: Some of the events taking place on Poetry Day include a “Poetry Coaching Clinic”, where participants will be coached by poet Anne Tannam, and “Divining Dante: Four Poets celebrate the 700th anniversary of Dante Alighieri” with Dublin City Libraries, an evening of poetry and conversation with four Irish poets who contributed to an anthology marking the anniversary, with its co-editor Nessa O’Mahony. You can also find out who the winners are of The Moth Poetry Prize Award Ceremony, in a special online event with readings by each of the poets shortlisted (the overall winner receives €6,000). “Living, Breathing, Poetry For All” is a multi-sensory event in Tralee led by poet and yoga teacher Kathryn Crowley. It will involve writing poetry in response to prompts, as well as simple exercises to soothe the mind and reinvigorate the spirit. The Poetry Day 5km Fun Run is led by poet and running enthusiast John O’Donnell with poetic pitstops around Dublin.
Where: The programme includes events taking place across the country. In Cork, Poetry in the Park with Cork City Council Libraries sees established, emerging and young poets bringing poetry into public spaces. If you are near the Great Western Greenway in Co Mayo, pop along to see its Poetry Train where starry poems of spring and hopefulness, songs and music will feature. If you’re in the west, Creative Responses with Galway Music Residency is an event where local artists respond to ConTempo’s performance of classical music within their own artform, featuring artwork by members of Kinvara-area Visual Arts and poetry by Galway-based poet Eva Bourke. In Belfast, “Words Strong Enough to Help – Writing a New Script for Mental Health” takes place on April 28 (at 7pm in Gairdín an Phobaíl, Whiterock Close) in which gardeners, poets, schoolchildren, refugees and musicians share words of compassion, care and kindness, solidarity and fun.
And: Each year, Poetry Ireland choose a number of “Bright Ideas” which are supported by a grant to present their event on Poetry Day Ireland. This year these include: “Solar Projections”, a poetry activity for all ages that brings together poetry and solar forecasting. Watch poets Eoin McEvoy, Chandrika Narayanan-Mohan, and Molly Twomey set the scene with readings of their own poems; this event is a collaboration with DIAS Dunsink Observatory and Trinity College Dublin. “Writing Your Star” is all about capturing the magic of the archetypes used in tarot. Are you a Magician, a Lover, a Hermit or the Fool? Write a poem and get an exclusive tarot reading at the end. This event on April 28 is from 6pm-9pm, at Jury’s Hotel, Parnell Street, Tickets €5, book via eventbrite.ie.
Need to Know: In addition to the full programme of events Poetry Ireland has a series of Pocket Poems, which you can read, download, print and keep available from www.poetryday.ie. If you do share a poem on social media be sure to use the hashtag #PoetryDayIRL.
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