To celebrate Poetry Day Ireland on Thursday 28 April, we are delighted to see the return of Menu of Poems. Menu of Poems is a short anthology of poetry which each year since 2008 has been distributed throughout Irish hospital wards, waiting rooms and other healthcare settings for patients, visitors and staff to enjoy. This year, curated by Rita Ann Higgins, formerly the People’s Pandemic Poet Laureate wrote, “Poetry can be the balm we need in challenging times. Poems can be unlikely allies, whether it’s a poem of the absurd or the commonplace or a poem about the joy of a newborn. Poetry takes time, give it the time it asks of you if you have the time to spare. You will be rewarded tenfold.”
Produced by Soalta Arts in Galway on behalf of Arts and Health Co-ordinators Ireland, (which includes membership of Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre and West Cork Mental Health Services) supported by Poetry Ireland and HSE Health Promotion and Improvement, over 10,000 people in healthcare settings will receive the Menu on Poetry Day Ireland. Imelda May and others have made recordings of the poems, which will be featured at the event.
Justine Foster, Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre is a long-time member of Arts and Health Coordinators Ireland, and distributes the poems through the many healthcare settings that take part in Arts for Health Partnership programmes across West Cork: ‘This project is a wonderful example of arts and health organisations working together to bring poetry into healthcare settings for people who may not otherwise be able to engage with the arts. It brings us together us through a shared experience…much needed at this time of re-connection”.
To join in the celebration of poetry, our neighbours at 49 North Street, Skibbereen are holding an open mic event on Thursday, 28 April 11am – 1pm with special guest Pol O’Colmain, poet and musician of Working Artist Studios in Ballydehob, a raconteur as fluent in Irish as he is in English. Other poets, musicians, and comedians – everyone welcome. It’s free! No need to book, just turn up, engage & enjoy.
For more information go to https://www.facebook.com/49NorthStreet/