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26 May 2022

IN PICTURES: Laois town's creatives entertain on Poetry Day Ireland

The Laois 2021 Poetry Town celebrated 2022 Poetry Day with a big get together in a local restaurant with Laois poets taking a starring role reading their work, complimented by live music.

Mountmellick celebrated Poetry Day Ireland at the Hare's Corner on April 28 with a poetry reading and music inspired by this year’s theme ‘Written in the Stars’.  

The MC was Nina Horan.

"There is a power and a comfort in poetry, and this power was never felt more strongly than during the recent pandemic when we sought solace and hope in poetry to get us through the difficult days," she said.

The team from Culture Night Mountmellick, 2021 used Poetry Day for their event that they entitled Cinniúint.

Dr Arthur Broomfield’s poem entitled The Spirit of Mountmellick Speaks went on permanent display, and the audience was treated to music and verse from poets Arthur Broomfield, Ann Egan, Stephen Comerford, Collette Dunne and Declan Furlong, together with local singer-songwriter Adam Culleton.

Contributors on the day were Nina Horan, MC, Muireann Ní Chonaill, Arts Officer and Conor Bergin, Cathaoirleach of Laois
County Council.

A large attendance showed up for the afternoon including two of the newly arrived Ukrainian residents to the town; Tatiana Petrovets and Trina Vivhristenko. The Chairman of Laois County Council, Conor Bergin welcomed them.

Following refreshments, attendees were treated to a free tour of Mountmellick Embroidery and Heritage Museum by Chairperson, Ann Dowling.

"This was an afternoon of light and lore. The legacy of Poetry Town was recalled, while the sense of destiny and hope for the future was inspired," Ms Horan said.

A commemorative booklet of Culture Night was unveiled. A digital version will be available on www.mountmellickdevelopment.com.

The event was the first physical gathering since Mountmellick celebrated being one of 20 Irish Poetry Towns last September. Back then Covid forced the organisers to go online with a Culture Night live event filled with music, poetry and photography.

Mountmellick’s poets, both with profiles as writers and without, had stepped up and had their voices heard, with Dr Arthur
Broomfield named Town Poet Laureate.

The week culminated with Culture Night, when a creative partnership, 9 months in the planning, devised a celebration of the heritage of textiles in Mountmellick. The Mountmellick Embroidery and Heritage Museum, together with Yarnbombing Mountmellick plotted an evening which was to be a feast for eye and ear.

The two textile groups unveiled newly-created pieces, accompanied by songs and spoken word from local artists and writers. As a nod to the loss of the textile industry, Mountmellick photographer Kevin Byrne unveiled 6 photographs from a collection of precious shots he took on the day The Textiles Factory closed its doors in 2004.  They poignantly reflect the industrial decline in Mountmellick.

All tangible pieces are on permanent display in the museum.

The organisers would like to thank the team at the Hare’s Corner, Paddy Buggy of The Webmill, and everyone who came. They also want to acknowledge the support of Laois County Council Arts Office and Poetry Ireland.

View the Mountmellick Poetry Town Culture night video on https://youtu.be/ybuioCqC1hE

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