Anne Anderson, the 17th Ambassador of Ireland to the United States, was earlier this year granted an honorary award by the Irish-American Partnership to enable her to bestow a donation to a charitable cause of her choice in Ireland.
On receiving the award, the ambassador was inspired to support a poetry initiative, which would give students in Ireland the opportunity to enjoy workshops with poets, on the themes of emigration and the diaspora. Poetry Ireland was delighted to be chosen as the organisation to deliver this initiative, through the Writers in Schools Scheme and the newly introduced Island / Oileán programme.
Poetry Ireland has been working with a number of poets during the current school term to bring the initiative to life in schools on the western seaboard and in rural schools around the country.
The students have been producing some creative and fascinating work, and the theme of emigration has struck a chord with many of the young participants who have family and friends living all over the globe. The image above is from Denise Blake’s workshop in Taobhóg National School, Lifford, Co Donegal. During this workshop the children incorporated details on family members who had emigrated into their own handprints.
Other workshops in the programme have taken place this term at Royal School, Co Cavan with Noel Monahan, at Coláiste na Toirbhrite, Bandon, Co Cork, with Tina Pisco, and at Scarteigh, Midleton National School in Co Cork, with Kieran Crowley.
After the summer break, residencies will include Coláiste na Eachraidh, Athenry, Co Galway with poet Áine Ni Ghlinn and Santa Maria College, Louisburgh, Co Mayo, with poet Geraldine Mitchell.