Poetry Ireland has announced the 24 awardees of the Poetry Town Bursary scheme, which marks the legacy of the all-island poetry initiative, and carries forward the enthusiasm generated during the nine-day festival in September.
Dearbhaile Bradley, a poet from Ballycastle, Co Antrim, is one of those awarded a bursary. Ballycastle was one of the 20 Poetry Towns taking part in the festival this year.
Poetry Ireland put a call out during October for submissions from poets all over the island of Ireland, with three categories (New Poets, Experienced and Spoken Word). Each bursary was worth €300-500, depending on the level of support requested by the applicant.
The bursaries are designed to be used by the awardees for opportunities to develop their poetry – some examples given during the submission process were: taking a writing course, attending a writing residency, paying for mentoring or critical assessment, paying a filmmaker to create a film of poetry work, or simply taking time off work to devote to writing.
Niamh O’Donnell, Director of Poetry Ireland, said: “We were overwhelmed with the number of applications for bursaries and also delighted to be able to finish our Poetry Town activities by offering and awarding additional supports for 24 individual poets. We thank everyone who entered, and we are greatly looking forward to seeing what our awardees develop over the next few months.”
Poetry Town took place from 10-18 September 2021, with a mission of creating communal experiences for and by the people living in each town, bringing together communities both online and in person, and inviting everyone to encounter poetry in their everyday lives.
From guerrilla poetry in the supermarket, on street corners, stilts, and cycles, to pharmacists prescribing Poem Prescriptions to customers, to workshops and events that energised participants to write and read their first lines of poetry, Poetry Town showed that poetry belongs to everybody, wherever they live. See www.poetrytown.ie for more info.
Poetry Town is an initiative of Poetry Ireland in partnership with Local Authority Arts Offices. It is made possible with funding from the Arts Council of Ireland’s Open Call funding, and is also supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.