Poetry Day Ireland 2023 Programme Revealed

4th April 2023

Poetry Day Ireland 2023 Reveals Programme

Get involved in the annual island-wide celebration of poetry, taking place Thursday 27 April 2023


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 27 April 2023. All are welcome to get involved, with participation encouraged from artists, venues, schools, hospitals, community groups, poetry-lovers, and more. 

Acclaimed poet Martina Evans is on board as this year’s curator. Martina chose ‘Message in a Bottle’ as the theme for Poetry Day Ireland 2023, 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.”


If you’re out in Dublin for a canal bank walk this Poetry Day Ireland, stop by for a lunchtime chat on the Grand Canal with typewriter poet Stephen Maguire. Stephen will be located at the statue of Patrick Kavanagh with his typewriter from 12pm – 2pm, ready to create, for you, your very own  bespoke poem. Whether you’re looking to woo your girlfriend or butter up a colleague, or just want to commemorate in words a beautiful spring day, pay a visit to Stephen, and he’ll help you out.

Poetry Ireland in conjunction with Clean Coasts supported by Waterways Ireland are also hosting a poetry clean-up of the Grand Canal, from 6pm to 7.30pm. You’re invited to join in cleaning up our beautiful canals, with intermittent entertainment from poets Jean O’Brien, Sree Sen, and Sonya Gildea. 

2023 marks fifty years of Ireland’s membership of the European Union, and together with Poetry Day Ireland partners at the European Parliament Liaison Office and European Commission Representation in Dublin, Poetry Ireland have selected poems from across Europe for the ‘Poetry In Motion’ project.  Expect to see poems from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, The Netherlands, France, Spain, Germany, Czech Republic and of course, Ireland, displayed in their original form with translations on DART and commuter services.

ELSEWHERE ACROSS THE ISLAND … highlights include

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. 

An open mic poetry session with the Yeats' Society Sligo Poetry Circle, along with Creative Writing and English students from ATU, is planned with award-winning poet in residence Victoria Kennefick together with British-Irish poet Joe Carrick-Varty will also deliver his debut reading in Sligo. Already an award-winner, we’re looking forward to hearing Joe's unique vision and voice for ourselves.

If a bracing walk is your thing, join poet Jane Clarke for The Mining Way, Poetry Walk in Glendalough - all you need is a raincoat and comfy shoes, bus transport is provided to take you safely back to the top of the Mining Road. A beautiful setting for a stroll on Poetry Day Ireland. 

Denise Gough reads Sylvia Plath at The Gate, Kae Tempest pays a visit to the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast….

Poet Simon Costello will lead a free workshop at Esker Arts Centre Tullamore, aimed at poets at all levels of their writing careers. Participants will be offered the opportunity to read their poems at an Open Mic on the day.

At Draiocht Art Gallery, Limerick, join Poet Laureate of Adare, Edward O’ Dwyer, for ‘The Poem within the Poem’ exploring poems in poetry, poems that were inspired by other poems, and poems that nod in the direction of another poet. Bring your own for the open mic session.

At The Dock, Leitrim, artist Wayne O Connor will run a morning workshop for young people focusing on storytelling, fiction, folklore and history..

This year there will be a special event held in Waterford: Remembrance. Remembrance will remind us of the poetry of the late, great Sèan Dunne read by playwright and director, Jim Nolan; actress and writer Jenni Ledwell and actor, writer, poet and musican Joe Meagher. Members of the public are invited to write a poem about their loved ones who have passed away and to bring along personal items to te event where the poems will be read and personal belongings displayed on Poetry Day Ireland.

At The Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast, participants are invited to plant a poem and nurture it as it grows.“Here is a brighter garden* [in a bottle!]” is a poetry workshop facilitated by Bebe Ashley. Participants are first invited to build a small garden in a bottle, they’ll then write a poem on paper embedded with wildflower seeds, and finally plant their poems into the garden. Over the coming weeks and months, participants will watch the seed paper germinate and poems bloom.

Small Trans Library host ‘Finding the Words: A Trans Found Poetry Jam’ at Little Deer Comics, Stoneybatter, Dublin. At this chill workshop for Dublin's trans community, cut and collage trans poetry and comics to create brand new trans art. The results will be collected in a free zine to share online and in print.

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. 

Síol/Seed, a collaborative and bilingual project, invites the public to create origami poetry sculptures on seed paper to be buried in the earth, blossoming into a rainbow of colours during the LGBTQIA+ arts festival Bród na Gaeltachta in July 2023. The project combines poetry workshops, sculpture, the environment, and community engagement, with the input of award-winning Irish language poet Máire Dinny Wren and multidisciplinary artist Leanne McLaughlin. Pobail Le Chéile CLG will provide the community garden at Garradh Cholm Cille as the site for the burial and budding of the poetry creations. The project is an initiative of Bród na Gaeltachta and will be steered by TG4 actor and BnaG founder Pól Penrose. It aims to celebrate the richness and beauty of the Gaeilge language and culture, while encouraging a reconnection with nature and place in the Gaeltacht community.

This is a free event and will be on a first-come, first-served basis. The workshops will be held on Wednesday 26 April and the Poetry Day Ireland reading and ceremonial burial of poetry creations will be on Thursday 27 April 2023 in Garradh Cholm Cille, Falcarragh, Co Donegal.

Whatever way you choose to celebrate, we want to you to uncork a poem on Thursday 27 April. All events are free but spaces are limited, early booking is advised via poetryday.ie


Website: www.poetryday.ie

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