Poet Laureate: Áine Uí Fhoghlú
Áine Uí Fhoghlú is the Poet Laureate for Dungarvan, Co Waterford. A writer of poetry and fiction, Áine comes from the Waterford Gaeltacht area, An Rinn.
“The Déise area of west Waterford, with Dungarvan at its heart, has a long tradition of poetry going back through the centuries, Donnchadh Rua Mac Conmara and Máire Ní Dhonnagáin being just two of the better-known poets associated with the locality in the past,” she says.
“In that proud tradition, it is a great honour for me to accept my nomination as Laureate for Dungarvan and I look forward to working with Waterford City and Council Arts Office and all the other parties who have made the exciting 2021 Poetry Town project possible. Poetry is for everyone, let's make sure everyone knows it!”
Áine Uí Fhoghlú comes from the Co Waterford Gaeltacht of An Rinn. Her published works include Poetry: Aistear Aonair (1999); An Liú sa Chuan (2007); Ar an Imeall (2011).
Adult fiction: Crúba na Cinniúna (2009); Uisce faoi Thalamh (2011); Éalú (2013). Teenage fiction: Pincí sa Ghaeltacht (2012); Labhairamach.com (2017). Her latest teenage fiction is due for publication in 2021. Non-fiction: Scéalta agus Seanchas – Potatoes, Children & Seaweed (2019) - a bilingual memoir recorded from the older generation in her area.
Áine has won commissions and bursaries from The Arts Council, Ealaíon na Gaeltachta and Foras na Gaeilge. Prizes won for her writing include the Michael Hartnett Poetry Award, Oireachtas na Gaeilge Literary awards, Strokestown Duais na Gaeilge award, Listowel Writers’ Week. Prescribed texts for the Junior Cycle include her work. She is a recent recipient of an Arts Council Literature Bursary which supports her as she now works on her fourth collection of poetry.
Áine presented Dungarvan’s Town Poem at special events during Poetry Town (10-18 September). You can find out more info on the Poet Laureate Event page and read the poem below, in Irish and English.
- dán do Dhún Garbhán
Leathann an lá é féin ina lochán solais fé chéadchosa maidine
ar dhroichead an Tóchair, osclaíonn caifé a dhallóga, scaoileann
an baile cnaipí a chóta go mall, ar ball beidh gártha comhraic
ar an aer ó Pháirc Uí Fhearchair.
Osclaíonn Abhainn Choilligeáin a béal is scaoileann a scéal,
sní na mílte bliain ón uair a shín fear Chill Ghráinne siar
ina phluais is na glúnta ciúine a mhair ó shin is a d'imigh
arís gan ghíog, iad súd ná luafar a n-ainm i ndán go deo:
an báicéir moch a bheathaigh na céadta
an t-iascaire docht a tharraing na líonta,
an gréasaí oilte a chuir bonn fé shluaite,
an mháthair spíonta a chuir beatha sa chistin
an súdaire, an grúdaire is an ceardaí criostail
dlúth is inneach na háite is na hainmneacha
a chumadar ar bharra a dteangan: Bóithrín na Trá,
Sráid an Ché, Lána an Ime, Sráid an Mhargaidh.
Brostaíonn an gruagaire is an geallghlacadóir anois
thar a gcoiscéimeanna, folaithe ar éigean fé leacracha
sráide is tearra, scipeáileann leanaí ar scoil, rothaíonn turasóir
ar Rian Glas gan aird ar thaibhsí i gcarráistí, feadanna is néalta gaile
féachann uaidh anall ar shráideanna breaca
ag tuileadh is ag trá le haislingí geala
seo é ár mbaile.
- a poem for Dungarvan
Sunrise spills a pool of light around early-morning
feet on the Causeway Bridge, a café opens
its blinds as a town's overcoat unbuttons slowly
later, streets will fill with battle cheers
from Fraher Field.
The Colligan river opens its mouth to tell the tale
thousands of years of flow since Kilgreany Man
streched out in his cave, and all the quiet generations since
who lived their lives and left again with no acclaim
those whose names will never see page or poem:
the tireless baker who fed the hordes
the hardy fisherman who hauled his nets
the nimble cobbler who shod the crowd
the worn-out mother, daily diviner of food
the tanner, the crystal craftsman, the brewer
they were the weft and warp of the place, the names
they made tripping off their tongues: Boreenatra
Quay Street, Market Street, Buttery Lane.
The hairdresser and bookie rush by above their footsteps
now resting quietly under tar and paving, children skip
to school, a tourist cycles along a Greenway path
watched by carriage ghosts, coal-smoke and whistle
looks across at the ebb and flow of streets that heave with
this is our town.