The sea, that blue end of the world…— Elizabeth Barrett Browning
We write this in late September 2022. The final verse in this year’s Fingal Poetry Festival has been spoken, the last note of music has been struck.
What an amazing time we had – we had poetry on library walls, poetry in libraries, poetry in shop windows, on the streets, in parks, in pubs and a theatre, in a purpose-built auditorium and in a Bridge Club, in schools and outside fish shops, by the sea and even rising out of the sea. We heard poetry in the GAA and in Skerries Mills.
Now in its third year, the Fingal Poetry Festival weekend ran from the 15-18th September following its launch at the Illumination of Floraville on Thursday, September 1st. The Festival celebrated the light that poetry brings to our lives, and the sea, which is precious to all and in peril.
There was poetry in unexpected places — on shop windows, pavements, benches — and, colourfully illuminated and projected at Floraville, our lovely little park right in the heart of town beside the Library. With over 20 events scheduled for the weekend, there was something for everyone — poetry walks through the High Woods of Ardgillan Castle and on Red Island, lunchtime poetry readings, glittering evenings filled with poetry and live music and an especially commissioned film poem by Pat Boran.
We were delighted to welcome the next generation of poets through exhibitions of local pupils’ poems in Fingal Libraries, a visit by Laureate na nÓg Áine Ní Ghlinn, a Family Poetry Fest, and other fun family-friendly events.
Those who preferred to participate online were able to come along to our virtual ‘Night Sky’ or ‘An Dán ar Ardán’ poetry workshops!
In a unique event on Saturday, the Deaf Poets’ Society shared their work, voiced by an interpreter — have a look at our website programme for a full list of Irish Sign Language interpreted event, here.
As ever, the Irish language was a pillar of the Festival. We were delighted to host a number of bilingual poetry readings, Comhrá & Craic, the Clinic Leabhair (Book Clinic), or the Seomra / Salon reading and Open Mic on Sunday. See the full list of our Irish / bilingual events here.
We had the Fingal Poetry Slam, some participants of which were winners of monthly Slams held in Libraries all over Fingal earlier in the year.
Reaching out into the wider Fingal community, we also had three workshops in Fingal schools.
Enda Coyle-Greene, Artistic Director, said before the festival:
At our previous ‘live’ events, I’ve loved the reactions of our audiences, especially perhaps those people who mightn’t normally have considered poetry to be ‘their thing‘ (or could just be nursing a hangover from school and exams!) Our programme this year features a broad range of poets from Ireland and elsewhere, including Leontia Flynn, Michael O’Loughlin, Aifric Mac Aodha, Kate Miller, Dermot Bolger, and many more, so there should be a reading to suit everyone.
And she was right!
Fingal Poetry Festival is supported by the Arts Council Ireland, Foras na Gaeilge, Fingal County Council, Fingal Libraries, Leabhair Pháistí Éireann, Laureate na nÓg, Poetry Ireland, and RTÉ Supporting the Arts. Our international poetry competitions, The Fingal Poetry Prize and An Fiach Dubh – the Irish language prize, are sponsored by DHL International Forwarding and Progressive Credit Union, respectively.
This was it for 2022 – have a look at our gallery for a taste of what went on, and read our full farewell to the festival.
Have you been to one of our 2022 events? Do you have a few minutes to let us know what you thought about it? If so, we would really appreciate it if you could go to our online survey. Click on the link, or copy and paste this into your browser: https://forms.gle/GRNJX22BQwZP6Voq5
Alternatively, do send us a quick email! We read them all, even though we may not be able to respond to each individually. Our address is: fingalpoetryfestival@fingalpoetryfestivalThank you for being part of the 2022 Fingal Poetry Festival!