Poetry Ireland has today announced the names of the Poet Laureates selected as part of the Poetry Town initiative, which will see more than a hundred poetry-related activities take place in 20 towns across the island of Ireland between 10th and 18th September 2021.
Carrick-on-Shannon in Co Leitrim is among the Poetry Towns, and Poetry Ireland, in conjunction with Leitrim County Council Arts Office, has appointed Vincent Woods as the Poet Laureate for the town.
Vincent Woods, a writer and broadcaster, says he has strong and evocative memories from times gone by in Carrick-on-Shannon.
Vincent Woods added: “I saw my first films in the old Gaiety Cinema in Carrick-on-Shannon, Leitrim’s capital town, part of which stretches into – or out of – Roscommon. The market yard was a ruin then, as was the old courthouse that is now the Dock Arts Centre.
“I remember weddings in the County Hotel and the Bush, great nights dancing and carousing at carnivals and the regatta, Calypso hitting sweet notes in the music pubs – and early poems printed in The Leitrim Observer. Now the challenge to make a poem: I’ll delve at it.”
All Poet Laureates announced today are either from the respective local area or have strong connections with it, and have been commissioned to write a poem honouring and reflecting their Poetry Town and its people.
As part of the week-long Poetry Town celebrations next month, each Poet Laureate will reveal and present their poem to the people of their Poetry Town at a series of flagship online events, one of which will be hosted in each town. Each event will also feature contributions from other local poets, artists and musicians.
Further activities will include a series of poetry events involving local poets; poetry workshops; public poetry displays, including ‘Poetry Underfoot’; and a range of physical activities called ‘Poems that Move You’, which will vary from town to town. Local businesses, including cafés and chemists, will also be participating in the activities to celebrate their towns by distributing ‘pocket poems’ to customers. The full programme of activities for each town will be made available on the Poetry Town website during the last week of August.
Commenting, Director of Poetry Ireland, Niamh O’Donnell said: “The aim of Poetry Town is to celebrate the vitality and strength of our towns and communities, and to shine a light on the wealth of creativity and talent that can be found in them. The diversity of this talent is reflected in the selection of Laureates, which includes both well-known visionary poets and new powerful voices.”
Poetry Town is an initiative of Poetry Ireland in partnership with Local Authority Arts Offices. It is made possible with funding from the Arts Council of Ireland’s Open Call funding, and is also supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
For further information, visit the Poetry Town website: poetrytown.ie.
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