Mountmellick students on walkabout with Laois resident poet Stephen James Smith

Lynda Kiernan


Lynda Kiernan


Innovative poet Stephen James Smith who is Laois' resident Spoken Word poet this year, took Mountmellick CS Transition Years in a walk around their town this week to seek inspiration.

They spent an hour observing all aspects, such as the WWI war memorial and Tidy Towns murals, to the juxtaposition of exotic takeaways and pubs, heritage and wildlife and shops, while they filled him in on local characters and history and favourite teen hangouts.

“It was lovely, I hope they saw their town from a fresh perspective, afterwards they wrote their poems called 'Mountmellick You Are...' Some read them aloud, some funny, some sad, some about isolation, and about family. There is real talent there, once they overcame the fear of being judged,” he told the Leinster Express.

The walk rounded off a four week workshop.
“I will visit TYs in eight schools, as well as youth clubs. The goal is a performance in the Dunamaise Theatre,” said Stephen, whose poems "My Ireland" and "Dublin you are", have gained widespread attention.

Read interview with Stephen about his year in Laois here.