Olivia O’Leary presents The Heart of Summer: Glebe House & Gallery

  • Saturday 20 July, 8.00pm
  • Glebe House, Letterkenny, Donegal
  • Tickets: €10 / €8 concession

Enjoy a feast of music and poetry in one of Ireland's great historic houses, introduced by Olivia O'Leary, acclaimed journalist and presenter of RTÉ Radio 1's Poetry Programme.

Olivia O'Leary is joined by Irish poets Paula Meehan and Martin Dyar, as well as singer-songwriter Farah Elle in Glebe House and Gallery in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal. Set alongside gorgeous Glenveagh National Park, Glebe was once the home of the renowned artist Derek Hill, and now displays collections of Islamic and Japanese art, as well as 300 works by leading twentieth-century artists including Picasso.

Paula Meehan was born and raised in the north inner city of Dublin. She studied at Trinity College, Dublin, and at Eastern Washington University in the U.S. Dedalus Press has republished Mysteries of the Home, a selection of seminal poems from the 1980s and the 1990s. Her poetry has been set to music by artists of the avant garde as well as folksingers, and many poems have been scored for choirs. She has collaborated with choreographers, visual artists and film makers throughout her working life. She was honoured with election to Aosdána, the Irish Academy for the Arts, in 1996. She was Ireland Professor of Poetry, 2013 – 2016, and her public lectures from these years, Imaginary Bonnets with Real Bees in Them, was published by UCD Press in 2016. Her Collected Poems will be published in 2020.

Martin Dyar first book of poems Maiden Names (Arlen House), described by Bernard O’Donoghue as ‘a thrilling new development in Irish poetry’ was shortlisted for the Pigott Poetry Prize, and was a book of the year selection in both the Guardian and the Irish Times. He won the Patrick Kavanagh Award in 2009, and the Strokestown International Poetry Award in 2001. With the composer Ryan Molloy, he has written a poetry song cycle, Buaine na Gaoithe (for soprano, harp and flute), which toured nationally in 2018. Martin has also written a play, Tom Loves a Lord, about the Irish poet Thomas Moore. His work has been added to the Leaving Cert prescribed poetry syllabus, and chosen for a number of anthologies, including Windharp: Poems of Ireland Since 1916 (Penguin Ireland). He is presently Associate Writer Fellow in poetry at the University of Limerick, and the recipient of the 2019 John Broderick residency award. His next collection of poems, Burke’s Goddess, is forthcoming from Arlen House.

Farah El Neihum, known as ‘Farah Elle’, is a singer-songwriter, whose distinctive music reveals something of the beauty in the ephemeral everyday. Farah has eclectic influences, including Arabian echoes from her Libyan background. Based in Dublin, she moved to Ireland with her family as a newborn child. Her ethos as an artist is to spread positivity, compassion, creativity and growth into our society. She is currently working on her debut album; which is a concept album, due to be released in 2020. Her single ‘Silk’ is available on Spotify, iTunes and Soundcloud. Some of her other work and collaborations, such as “Oh Honey”, a feature with American Hip-hop group CunninLynguists, and “Feel It Out” (a collaboration track with BANTUM), are also available on Spotify.

For more than four decades, Olivia O’Leary has been recognised as one of Ireland’s foremost journalists and broadcasters. Moving from RTÉ to BBC’s Newsnight was a key moment in her career and she became that programme’s first senior female presenter in 1985. She returned to RTE to host flagship programmes Today Tonight, Prime Time and Question and Answers, winning awards for these and BBC Radio 4’s Between Ourselves. Also writing for the Irish Times, Olivia O’Leary became established as one of the most formidable reporters in political journalism when the domain was almost exclusively male. She is known for her sharp intellect and literary prowess, and earned an early reputation for tenacity and focus as an interviewer.

Presented by Poetry Ireland in partnership with the OPW.

Poetry Ireland’s principal supporters are the Arts Council of Ireland / An Chomhairle Ealaíon and Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Event Partners

  • OPW