Poetry Day Ireland was celebrated in style in Mountmellick Library with a stellar line up of local poets.
Following refreshments, Amanda Hyland, Assistant Librarian and manager opened the event by welcoming everyone and explaining how the library service promoted the love of reading for pleasure across all age groups.
Dr. Arthur Broomfield read two poems including “The Spirit of Mountmellick Speaks”-which honours the heritage, history, people and spirit of Mountmellick. The poem was written in 2021 when Arthur was appointed Poet Laureate of Mountmellick for the Poetry Town initiative.
Next was Ann Egan, another Laois Native and former writer in residence. Ann spoke very fondly of her Mountmellick connections through her mother. Ann spoke of the origin of St. Brigid’s cross before reciting her poem St. Brigid’s visit along with other work.
Declan Furlong is a well-known Mountmellick Native who has recently launched his collection of poems “The Exquisiteness of Ladders”. Declan read the title poem of his book and the entertaining “Lemmingism”.
Laura Murphy, another Laois poet and activist recited her tribute to Laois “In Laois I Fly Free”, which has received many plaudits along with other work. Laura explained that her work is centred around the ancient Irish poetic practice of ‘Imbas Forosnai’, which means ‘inspiration that illuminates’ and was used by the ancient poets of Ireland to bring healing to society and truth to power.
Olivia Murray, Library Assistant and host then invited any contributions from the audience. Declan Molloy, Ann Marie Foley, Sheelagh Coyle and Frances Harney all shared some of their work which was well received.
Diane Seale representing the Laois Arts Office then made a presentation- both to Dr. Arthur Broomfield and Amanda Hyland, manager of Mountmellick Library -of framed copies of Arthur’s poem, “The Spirit of Mountmellick Speaks”. Mountmellick Library intend putting this framed poem on permanent display in the library.
The event showcases the breadth and depth of talent we have in our county and the power and relevance of poetry to our daily lives. This event was made possible by funding from both Laois Arts Office and Poetry Ireland.