Poetry Ireland is hiring: Operations Manager

17th November 2023


Poetry Ireland is seeking an experienced and committed Operations Manager. This newly created and key role is an unprecedented opportunity for the right candidate to join the Poetry Ireland team at its most exciting time of transformational change and growth since its inception in 1978. The successful candidate will work closely with the Director providing strong leadership, demonstrating collaboration and team working and ensuring the organisation runs with excellence in governance across its values, programmes, strategic developments, and operations as the Irish national organisation for poetry.

About Poetry Ireland

Poetry Ireland is a dynamic and progressive not-for-profit organisation that aims to promote poetry as an important cultural means of expression and connection.  Supporting poets, we bring poetry to a wider audience and enable adults and children to find their voice ensuring our organisation plays a vital cultural role.  Since our establishment in 1978, we have championed Irish poetry at home and abroad offering support and opportunities for poets and enjoyable experiences for audiences. Poetry Ireland is funded by the Arts Council, and by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

We are committed to our Inclusion and Diversity Strategy, and continuously strive to include and engage people and poets belonging to under-represented or marginalised parts of society. This is central to our relentless pursuit of a more inclusive environment for emerging poets and poetry audiences in part by assisting the development of nurturing policy and practices in the wider arts community.

In September 2016 Poetry Ireland moved into our beautiful home in Dublin's Parnell Square. We embarked on ambitious and innovative plans with our partners, the Irish Heritage Trust, to redevelop this expansive Georgian townhouse, Poetry Ireland House, as an all-island institution dedicated to poetry in all its forms. The newly refurbished building will reopen in late 2024/ early 2025 as Poetry Ireland House which will include the Seamus Heaney Poetry Library alongside elegant performance, and workshop spaces. We are a key literary organisation, always serving and connecting poets and the wider public. The increasing need of all parts of society, young and old to find and hear their voice has meant our activities have grown significantly over the past ten years. We house these activities in three core programme elements, namely;

  • Outreach And Development Programmes: this includes initiatives such as Writers in Schools and Writers in Residence, Introductions/Céadlínte, Poet in Residence and professional development initiatives and events such as Poetry Aloud and Guth na hÉigse
  • Publications: this includes the renowned Poetry Ireland Review publication and publications such as Trumpet and anthologies.
  • Live events and Poetry Promotion: readings, national tours and live presentations at home and abroad. We also manage the Ireland Chair of Poetry project.

We value creative and collaborative partnerships and enjoy a wide public and media interest in our extensive programme of activities. Our continued success is achieved through the efforts of our dedicated and motivated staff operating in a creative and positive working environment fostered by an experienced, dynamic, and committed board of directors.


Entity: Poetry Ireland
Role: Operations Manager
Reporting to: Director, Poetry Ireland

Role Summary

This is a key management role for the design, delivery and oversight of the day-to-day operations of Poetry Ireland (PI). This role will include the following:

  • Overall hands-on implementation and management of our poetry event programmes. Some examples of PI programmes include designing and implementing professional development activities for poets; arranging and supervising outreach education and engagement activities; and responsibility for the timely and cost-effective delivery of our publications.
  • Playing an significant role in promoting Poetry Ireland and the important work that we undertake. Fostering and protecting the dynamic, flexible and professional culture that we aim to maintain.
  • Some company secretarial responsibilities and assisting the Director in aspects of corporate governance, including in the preparation of Board papers, minuting meetings as well as any required charity and governmental and related submissions.
  • Supporting and managing some human resource functions, including the recruitment and appraisal processes as appropriate, and assisting the Director in ensuring the organisation is well resourced, diverse, and compliant. Together with the Director ensuring that PI is a collaborative and integrated organisation.
  • Supporting the Finance functions in the day-to-day operation of our organisation and play a key role in the delivery of our annual audit requirements and funding submissions.
  • Taking full responsibility for managing of our physical facilities. It is anticipated that Poetry Ireland will relocate from temporary accommodation to our newly refurbished headquarters in Parnell Square by late 2024/ early 2025. A critical part of this role will be the responsibility for the planning and execution of this relocation with the least disruption, on time and within budget.
  • Manage and protect the privacy and confidentiality obligations of the organisation.
  • Operate with discretion and integrity.

Reporting to and supporting the Director, this newly created role of Operations Manager means you will be a key member of the Poetry Ireland Team, supporting the delivery and the implementation of our strategic plan focused on the promotion of poetry in all its forms to a wide range of publics nationally and internationally.  

The package on offer includes the following benefits:

  • Salary commensurate with skills and experience with a guide of €50,000 per annum.
  • Holidays :25 days per annum with additional holidays allocated at the discretion of the company (Good Friday and Christmas).
  • Working Hours: Core hours are Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.30pm with some evening and weekend work required. Time off in lieu given.
  • Currently located in temporary offices off-site, but from late 2024/early 2025 we will return to our newly refurbished headquarters at 11 Parnell Square East, Dublin 1.
  • We can accommodate a modest level of “working from home” by prior and mutual agreement and organised around Poetry Ireland events and programmes. The nature of the role will require significant on-site attendance.

Skills and Experience

Required transferable skills:

  • Significant and relevant experience in an operational management role, ideally in the culture sector.
  • Experience in successfully designing and implementing successful organisational management programs including review and reporting obligations.
  • A proven record of accomplishment in creating, and successfully delivering live events.
  • Strong skills in people management and in the nurture and development of a team always within the culture and ethical standards of the organisation. An ability to lead by example in upholding our commitment to diversity, equality, and inclusion.
  • Demonstrate the ability to treat all colleagues and people who engage with in the role with politeness, fairness and in accordance with our commitment to equal opportunities.
  • A demonstrable broad knowledge of the financial planning and reporting requirements for operational management processes, including invoice and expense submission, budget, and cash flow preparation as well as funding applications.
  • Hands-on experience of Board governance and interaction including the drafting of Board papers and related minutes
  • PC skills, with proficiency in MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and relevant software packages.
  • An ability to communicate (in English) fairly and openly with others at all levels and in a clear and professional way.  Effective, efficient, and timely communication with all colleagues and stakeholders is essential with an emphasis on face-to-face communication.
  • Be happy to lead and work as part of the team, working well and positively within deadlines as the nature of events or programmes will require.
  • A love of and commitment to promoting poetry for all.

Preferred skills:

  • Hands-on experience in the operational management of a non -profit organisation.
  • Knowledge of poetry and literature.
  • Some level of understanding and speaking Irish.

Application details

Suitably qualified applicants are invited to apply for this exciting role by submitting a cover letter and cv to director@poetryireland.ie

The deadline for applications is 5pm, November 30th 2023
Interviews for this position will take place on the week of the December 11th 2023.

Download a pdf of the Job Description and How to Apply HERE.