Poetry Speaks: Poems and Moving Image

  • Monday 10 May – Sunday 22 August
  • IMMA
  • Tickets: Free

Celebrated contemporary poets read their own works and beloved classics, in films created in partnership with Poetry Ireland, Druid, 92nd Street Y (New York), and Poet in the City (London).

The Adrian Brinkerhoff Poetry Foundation and Poetry Ireland present Poetry Speaks: Poems and Moving Image, an installation of filmed performances of poetry shown in IMMA’s Formal Gardens.

The films are exhibited in a special installation in IMMA’s Garden House, located at the back of the museum’s Formal Gardens. The films are by Irish filmmaker Matthew Thompson, with music by Gerry Horan and Seán Carpio. Thompson’s background as a photographer informs the creative process he brings to the films, opening a conversation between the poem’s reader and the viewer. He approaches the films like a photographic portrait, paying attention to the unique human attributes that define the poet or reader.

The exhibition of 33 films will be presented in four thematic installments, with a new installment debuting each month. Many of these poetry performances were filmed in public spaces in Dublin and on the grounds of Coole Park in County Galway, home of Lady Gregory, as well as on the streets of New York City and London.

Unfolding over four months, the film installation will change each month through August. 

Part 1: Home and Sense of Place, debuting 10 May 2021
Home and Sense of Place presents nine poems exploring the idea of home and belonging, the experience of migration, and the importance of place:

• Nithy Kasa reading “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” by W. B. Yeats (Dublin, 2020)
• Selina Nwulu reading her work “Half Written Love Letter” (London, 2019)
• Seán Hewitt reading “Queens” by J. M. Synge (Coole Park, Co Galway 2020)
• Mahogany L. Browne reading her work “If 2017 was a poem title” (New York, 2019)
• Denice Frohman reading her work “Puertopia” (New York, 2019)
• Doireann Ní Ghríofa reading her work “Brightening" (Coole Park, Co Galway, 2020)
• Liz Berry reading her work “The Republic of Motherhood” (London, 2019)
• Camille Rankine reading her work “It Would Sound Like a Dream” (New York, 2019)
•Marian Richardson reading “Girls Bathing, Galway 1965” by Seamus Heaney (Dublin, 2019)

Part 2: Identity, debuting 8 June 2021
Identity presents nine contemporary poets and artists exploring their sense of self, reading intimate works in varied settings:

• Sasha Terfous reading her work “Identity.” (Waterford, 2020)
• Martina Evans reading her work “I want to be like Frank O’Hara” (London, 2019)
• Mahogany L. Browne reading her work “Black Girl Magic” (New York, 2019)
• Sofia Oxenham reading “Names” by Mary Jean Chan (London, 2019)
•Paapa Essiedu reading “Kumukanda” by Kayo Chingonyi (London, 2019)
• ATMOS Collective (Alice McDowell, Theophilus Ndlovu, and Benjamin Enow Oben) performing their work “The Illegitimate” (Coole Park, Co Galway, 2020)
• Tyehimba Jess reading his work “Blind Boone’s Blessings” (New York, 2019)
• Kayssie K reading her work “My Sister as a Body” (Bray, Co Wicklow, 2020)

Part 3: Writing and Reflection, debuting 30 June 2021
Writing and Reflection brings to life the moments when poets reconsider things, from their feelings for the natural world to the mistakes they’ve made on email:

• Juliet Stevenson reading “Hope is the thing with feathers” by Emily Dickinson (London, 2019)
• FeliSpeaks reading her work “What Heaney Said” (Coole Park, Co Galway, 2020)
• Dagogo Hart reading his work “Paper Planes” (Dublin, 2020)
• Catherine Dryden reading “Some Rules” by Wendy Cope (London, 2019)
• Seán Hewitt reading his work “Barn Owls in Suffolk” (Coole Park, Co Galway, 2020)
• Nithy Kasa reading her work “Charcoal Iron” (Dublin, 2020)
• Joseph Aldous reading “An Advancement of Learning” by Seamus Heaney (London, 2019)
• Doireann Ní Ghríofa reading “The Heart of the Wood” by Lady Gregory (Coole Park, Co Galway, 2020)

Part 4: Love, debuting 28 July 2021

Love celebrates love of family and romantic partners, as expressed by:

• Aaron Monaghan reading “When All the Others Were Away at Mass” by Seamus Heaney (New York, 2019)
• Hannah Lowe reading her work “Reggae Story” (London, 2019)
• FeliSpeaks reading “When You Are Old” by W. B. Yeats  (Coole Park, Co Galway, 2020)
• Samuel Yakura reading “10 Things I want to say to a Black Woman” by Joshua Bennett (Dublin, 2020)
• Theresa Lola reading her work “Ode to Edge Control Gel” (London, 2019)
• Denice Frohman reading her work “Doña Teresa and the Chicken” (New York, 2019)
• Andrew McMillan reading his work “A Gift” (London, 2019)
• Tyehimba Jess reading his work “Blind Boone’s Vision” (New York, 2019)

About the Adrian Brinkerhoff Poetry Foundation
Established in 2016 by Peter and Cathy Halstead, the Adrian Brinkerhoff Poetry Foundation is a literary nonprofit bringing great poetry from across places, eras, and traditions together. The Foundation’s aim is to expand access to poetry for audiences worldwide to enjoy. Brinkerhoff’s focus is on filming actors, poets, and regular people reading and performing poems. Thus far, films have been made in Ireland, England, and New York. In 2020, the foundation launched its new website and film series, and continues to develop programs at the Foundation and in partnership with organizations including Poetry Ireland, 92nd Street Y, Poet in the City, Druid, and the Academy of American Poets. The Adrian Brinkerhoff Poetry Foundation has a robust social media presence, sharing content on Instagram (@BrinkerhoffPoetry), Twitter (@BrinkerhoffPoem), and YouTube (@Adrian Brinkerhoff Poetry Foundation).

About Poetry Ireland
Poetry Ireland connects poetry and people, and is committed to achieving excellence in the reading, writing and performance of poetry throughout the island of Ireland. The non-profit organisation, established in 1978, combines its role as a promoter and supporter of poetry with advocacy for poets, advancing the art form through solid development goals. It works to make poetry more accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds across the island of Ireland, through live events, education and publications. Poetry Ireland is currently working with its partner The Irish Heritage Trust on a long-held ambition to establish the Poetry Ireland Centre in Parnell Square, Dublin 1, dedicated to celebrating, supporting and promoting poetry and poets. Poetry Ireland is one of the few organisations that receives funding from both Arts Councils on the island. 

About IMMA - Irish Museum of Modern Art
IMMA is Ireland’s National Cultural Institution for Modern and Contemporary Art. Nestled in 48 acres of land in the heart of Dublin 8, IMMA’s home is the extraordinary historical site of the 17th century Royal Hospital Kilmainham. Our programme extends beyond the gallery space, activating the beautiful grounds and buildings of the entire campus. A visit to IMMA can include time to discover, connect and reflect in our galleries, grounds, formal gardens, meadows, café and shop. IMMA is home to the National Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art, started in 1990 and now numbering over 3,500 artworks by Irish and international artists.