Poetry Day Ireland takes place on Thursday April 27

Seven-year-old Ruby Byrne from Ringsend pictured helping to launch Poetry Day Ireland on April 27. 
PHOTO: Mark Stedman

Seven-year-old Ruby Byrne from Ringsend pictured helping to launch Poetry Day Ireland on April 27. PHOTO: Mark Stedman

Now in its ninth year, Poetry Day Ireland is an annual island-wide celebration of poetry which invites the nation to read, write, and share a poem on Thursday, April 27.

Acclaimed poet Martina Evans is on board as this year’s curator. Martina chose ‘Message in a Bottle’ for this year's theme, reminding us, in the words of Paul Celan, that “a poem can be a message in a bottle, sent out in the – not always greatly hopeful – belief that somewhere and sometime it could wash up on land, on heartland perhaps. Poems in this sense too are under way: they are making towards something.”

Celebrating one of Ireland’s great poets, the late Eavan Boland, a panel of writers will come together on Achill Island to read their own work and to discuss her legacy and impact on poetry in Ireland in the 21st century. In 1989, Eavan Boland published her famous essay, ‘A Kind of Scar’, setting out her vision for poetry inspired by her Achill Island experience and an old woman that she met there. The event will be chaired by Nessa O’Mahony, Writer in Residence at the Heinrich Böll Cottage and editor of Poetry Ireland Review 138, the special tribute issue to Eavan Boland. Participants include other contributors to the special issue, poets Geraldine Mitchell, Moya Cannon and Mary O’Malley, as well as Achill-based harpist Laoise Kelly. Presented in association with Mayo Arts Office and the Heinrich Böll Annual Festival Weekend on Eavan Boland’s third anniversary.

Strokestown International Poetry Festival kicks off in County Roscommon on Poetry Day Ireland with the Premiere of Bealach an Fhéir Ghortaigh/Hunger’s Way Poetry, a new film by Edwina Guckian and poet Vincent Woods featuring new poems by Eiléan NÍ Chuilleanáin, Paddy Bushe, Moya Cannon, James Harpur, Jane Clarke, Eva Bourke, Pádraig MacFhearghusa and memorable work by Vona Groarke, Tom French, Kathleen Hill and Joseph Woods; artwork by Miriam de Búrca and music and song by Danny Diamond, Patsy Hanly, Mai Malone, Fionnuala Maxwell, John Tuohy and Mohammad Saif-Khan.

Join Books at One, Louisburgh, for ‘An Evening of Poetry and Wishing Ribbons’. an interactive evening of poetry readings and an art installation. Seán Lysaght will treat the audience to a selection of readings. His work has inspired local artist Jennifer Hickey and local children and teens to create of sculptural installation of wishing ribbons which will be on show at the bookshop throughout the day on Thursday. The audience is invited to add their own poetic ribbon to this ever-growing installation.

All events are free but spaces are limited. Early booking is advised via poetryireland.ie


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