Poetry Ireland is thrilled to announce Poetry Day Ireland 2023 will take place on Thursday 27 April. 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 the day. All are welcome to get involved, with participation encouraged from artists, venues, schools, hospitals, community groups, poetry-lovers, and more.
Poetry Day Ireland welcomes acclaimed poet Martina Evans 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.”
People are invited to draw inspiration from the theme in a myriad of ways. The creative potential of glass might provide a jumping off point for eco-poets and canal clean-up crews, while those with experience of migration and emigration might be drawn towards the drift of words and people across oceans.
Martina Evans said of the theme: “Paul Celan’s idea of a poem as message in a bottle reminds us that no poem is an island, it needs a reader to complete the process. Poems are waiting for the reader to uncork the bottle and rediscover the poem, experience that intimate connection across oceans real and metaphorical. No special equipment is needed, only a willingness to participate and connect. A poem must be compact to float within the walls of its container, yet the possibilities are miraculously endless, it’s a song but it can also tell a story or a joke, paint a picture, bring news, pass on wisdom, give shelter, advice or knowledge, travel time, praise, lament or incant – the reader just needs to open that bottle!”
Individuals and organisers can register their Poetry Day event starting next Thursday 2 February on poetryireland.ie with registration closing on Sunday 19 March. A small number of Bright Ideas bursaries will be available in the coming weeks to fund outside-the-box Poetry Day events and project ideas. Curated resources will be available for primary and secondary schools, while the ever-popular Pocket Poems will be available to pick up from your local bookshop or library in the lead-up to the day. Whatever way you choose to celebrate, we want to you to uncork a poem on Thursday 27 April.