Carrick-on-Suir Poetry Town co-ordinator Margaret O’Brien with writers Ann Dempsey, Raika Tienert, Heather Wall, Mary McGrath and Carrick-on-Suir Poet Laureate Billy Fenton at the Tudor Artisn Hub
Carrick-on-Suir is gearing up to host nine days of literary events to celebrate its designation as Tipperary’s Poetry Town for 2021.
An exciting programme of poetry recitals, workshops and community events will be staged in the town starting this Friday, September 10 and running until Saturday, September 18.
The programme of Poetry Town events is being jointly co-ordinated by Linda Fahy of Tudor Artisan Hub and Margaret O’Brien, who runs the Writing Changes Lives creative writing workshops.
Carrick-on-Suir is one of 20 towns across the island of Ireland participating in Poetry Town, which is a celebration of the pride, strength and diversity of Irish towns with more than 100 free activities planned.
“It is a great honour and opportunity for Carrick-on-Suir to be the county Tipperary town of poetry for this week in September,” said Margaret O’Brien.
“Linda and I have made every effort to have this as inclusive and representative as possible. We are grateful to all those groups and individuals in Carrick-on-Suir who responded with a ‘yes’ and ‘how can we help?’ when approached,” she added.
Here are some of the events that will be taking place in Carrick-on-Suir between September 10 and 18.
Poetry Town launch, Friday
Poetry Town will be launched nationwide on Friday, September 10 and Carrick-on-Suir will mark the occasion with the town’s designated Poet Laureate Billy Fention reading his specially composed town poem.
He will be joined by special guest Michael Coady, composer and performer Marian Ingoldsby and some Carrick-on-Suir writers. A film of the event will be available on the Tudor Artisan Hub YouTube channel from 8pm on Friday. There will also be some pop-up poetry events happening around the town, generating some buzz.
Experimental poetry Workshop
A VisPo (visual poetry) experimental workshop called Poetry in Motion will take place on Saturday, September 11 with the cycling community of the town. It will be facilitated by Michelle Moloney King of Beir Bua Press. This is, after all, the hometown of Sam Bennett, Sean Kelly, Bobby Power and many others. It will be an invitation-only workshop.
Poems That Move You walk
This walk starts from Ormond Castle on Sunday, September 12 at 5pm and will take in various landmarks in the town, including the medieval lanes, and finish on the Suir Blueway.
There will be stops on the way for the reading of poems at various points along the route.
This event is being run in partnership with Carrick- on-Suir Lions Club.
poetry reading For Day Care Centre clients
A special poetry reading for people who use Carrick-on-Suir Day Care Centre will take place on Monday, September 13 at 11am. Special thanks to Mawie Barrett and Walter Dunphy.
Online Poetry Workshop
An online workshop via Zoom will be chaired by poet Mark Roper on Monday, September 13.
This workshop will be limited to 12 participants. Booking opened on Eventbrite on Friday, September 3 at 12 noon. See Eventbrite link on www.poetryireland.ie
Poetry Plus returns
The Poetry Plus open mic session will return to the tearoom at Brewery Lane Theatre on Friday, September 17 at 8pm.
This is a special comeback event, the first “live” gathering for poets and writers since February last year. Due to ongoing Covid protocols, this will be limited to 15 participants and needs to be booked via Eventbrite. Booking opened on Friday, September 3 at 12 noon. See Eventbrite link on www.poetryireland.ie
All week there will be a special public exhibition of the work of poet Michael Coady in the Sean Healy Memorial Library, He is a writer synonymous with Carrick-on-Suir for many decades.
There will also be “found poetry” in unexpected places, fun pop-up events, quirky activities and thought provoking exhibitions throughout the town.
Also planned are workshops with current and former residents of Bridgewater House Direct Provision Centre, facilitated by Rehan Ali and Heather Wall-Comerford. These will be experimental workshops using the award-winning script of Rehan’s film, Water Under the Bridge, to be shot here in Carrick in mid-September and which treats the experience of a young person in Direct Provision.
Among the pop-up activities taking place in the town will be Poetry Underfoot. Between Ormond Castle and the Blueway you will see rain paint installations featuring lines of poetry which include those of Carrick Poet Laureate Billy Fenton’s specially commissioned poem for Poetry Town. These lines of poetry will only become visible when wet - a lovely way to brighten up a rainy day.
The stencils for the Poet Laureate poem were created by local artist Sheila Wood. “We will be joining with local community groups, organisations and businesses to generate a sense of poetry as a celebration, as a resource for everyone,” Margaret concluded.
Full details of activities and events are on the Poetry Town section of the Poetry Ireland website www.poetryireland.ie/ and also on social media.
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