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26 Sept 2022

Waterford public encouraged to engage with poetry jukebox containing 20 poems

Waterford public encouraged to engage with poetry jukebox containing 20 poems

A poetry jukebox containing 20 recordings of poems has been installed in Waterford's Cultural Quarter. 

The installation is part of the 'Poetry as Commemoration' project in partnership with Waterford Council, which encourages members of the public to turn the handle and enjoy a poem on demand. 

The poems relate to the complex history of Ireland during the War of Independence and Civil War, with selections from well-known poets including W.B. Yeats, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, John Hewitt as well as lesser-known writers such as D.L. Kelleher, Alice Milligan and Agnes Kerr. 

Speaking on the project, Waterford City & County Council’s Arts officer, Conor Nolan said, "Poetry and popular ballads have long been vessels for the commemoration of historic events and heroic individuals. The regular rhythms and recitative qualities meant that the jukebox was suited to commemorating historical figures, bringing memories and poetry directly to the public.” 

The project includes an island-wide series of writing workshops and invites communities to turn to poetry as a way of understanding the challenges of the past and the possibilities of the future. 

It is noted as especially relevant in the final years of the Decade of the Centenaries 2012-2023 marking one hundred years since the Irish War of Independence and Civil War. 

Luke Currall, Visual Arts Co-Ordinator with Waterford City & County Council, commented on the make up of the project, saying, "Poetry invites reflection on the murkier ‘contours and colours’ of experience and can transport readers or listeners to a different time and place through rhythms, images, and sound.

"Bringing together this material, Poetry as Commemoration seeks to deepen the collective understanding of this challenging period in Irish History." 

A further curation will be recorded for Spring 2023 containing 10 new poems by commissioned poets, as well as 10 historical poems. 

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