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Poetry on the lunch menu in West Cork hospitals

Poetry is on the menu for residents in community hospitals and visitors to day centres throughout West Cork on Thursday, 26th April 2018.
Menu of Poems is a beautifully designed collection of poems, presented to patients and visitors with their lunch in hospitals to simply read and enjoy, as part of the national celebration of All Ireland Poetry Day. This years’ collection, entitled ‘Encounters’ is a selection from the Galway produced,’Poems for Patience’ chosen by award-winning poet Michael Coady. It includes poems such as ‘Checkout girl’ by Paul Durcan, ‘Cash by Tony Curtis and Whales at St John’s Point by Frances Harvey.
Thousands of the Menu’s are printed and shared to hospitals and healthcare settings all over the country including: Bantry General Hospital, Castletownbere, Clonakilty, Dunmanway, Skibbereen, Schull Community Hospital, West Cork Mental Health services and all over Ireland including Cork University Hospital; Galway, Mayo Roscommon Community Health Office; Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust and Saolta Health Care Group; Naas General Hospital Arts Committee; National Centre for Arts and Health, Tallaght; South Tipperary General Hospital; South Tipperary Mental Health Services; St. Luke’s General Hospital, Kilkenny; St. Luke’s Hospital, Dublin; University Limerick Hospitals Group and Waterford Healing Arts Trust.
‘Often the Menu of Poems, remains in waiting rooms and shared resting spaces after the day and read by many others for the whole year, with people awaiting the new publication each year,’According to Justine Foster, at Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre, Menu of Poems, now in its seventh year, is a wonderful example of arts and health organisations working together to bring arts into healthcare settings for people who may not otherwise be able to engage with art. ‘the project creates a moment for people to pause, and read a poem, contemplate by yourself or share with another. It’s a wonderful to think of the reactions as people read the poem along with their lunch, or in waiting rooms, canteens and staff rooms. Our artists in residence at the hospitals often use the ‘Menu’ as inspiration for new projects with the hospital residents.”
Carol McCann, Director of Nursing remarked  “The residents here in Clonakilty Community Hospital are provided with healthy food for their bodies but this poetry menu feeds their hearts and souls.  This project has provided the residents an opportunity to engage with the artists, staff and relatives at a deeper level.  The residents and their family need this balance to see and be with their loved ones as mother, father, brother or sister.  Thank you for the Artists who have a great ability to be with the residents, we are so much better at the doing.”
‘Menu of Poems’ is a project of Arts and Health Coordinators Ireland, managed by Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust and supported by Health Service Executive and Poetry Ireland.