Thursday, July 15, 2021

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After bringing live performance safely around Ireland during Lockdown, the Festival in a Van team are putting on their purple Hi-Vis and are hitting the road again this summer. Getting together with the team at Poetry Ireland, Words Move puts ten poets together with ten singer-songwriters to take in ten counties during July and August.

Ten poets, ten musical acts, and ten newly commissioned works feature, as each county gets their own flavour of the latest ways in which words can truly move us. Laois is represented by Jean O’Brien and her specially commissioned piece can be found in this week’s print edition of the Laois Nationalist.

Poet Jean O’ Brien

Safe and Poetic Craic: Festival in a Van, the mobile festival for Covid times and beyond, gets on the road with Poetry Ireland this Summer

Participating poets include, Victoria Kennefick, Beau Williams, Jane Clarke, Samuel Yakura and Jackie Gorman who will be joined by musicians including, Landless, Farah Elle, Finn Furey and David Hope to play sessions at care homes and community centres as well as a series of public gigs in each county. The tour will also host 10 poet commissions for new works and these poems will be printed by Stoney Road Press, framed and presented to the centres that have been visited as a reminder of a wonderful time everyone is able to gather again, celebrate and enjoy a collective creativity.

Festival in a Van’s Gemma Tipton said, “Last year it was amazing to be able to put on shows, and now as things open upwe’re thrilled to be working with such brilliantly creative people on this tour. I think many of us rediscovered poetry during lockdown, so it feels very special to be putting it centre stage.” “We are also thrilled with the poets and musicians joining us. Finn Furey played our very first gig in a stubble field in Carlow, David Hope joined us in Limerick last year, while Landless and Farah Elle are new to the Van, but their music is so incredibly moving they’re the perfect people for these gigs,” she added.

Poetry Ireland Director, Niamh O’Donnell, said, “We’re delighted to partner with Festival in a Van to bring talented poets and musicians, in a safe way, to diverse audiences across the country. Partnering with Arts Officers, care homes, community groups, service providers and arts centres, we’re all working together to engage, entertain and inspire people in their own locality with some incredible talents”.

Supported by a Touring Grant from the Arts Council, and by Creative Ireland, and kicking off on July 13th in Dublin, Words Move travels to Fingal, Wicklow, Laois, Westmeath, Monaghan, Kilkenny, Waterford, Limerick and Kerry, working with Creative Ireland and Local Authority Librarians and Arts Offices as well as with Draíocht, Mermaid, Dunamaise and Garter Lane Arts Centres.


Dunamaise Arts Centre, Laois – 17 July

Westmeath County Council Arts Office – 20 July

Draíocht, Blanchardstown – 24 July

Monaghan County Council Arts Office – 8 August

Garter Lane Arts Centre, Co. Waterford – 17 August 

Limerick County Council Arts Office – 20 August

Kerry County Council Arts Office – 21 August 

Kilkenny County Council Arts Office – 10 October (For Kilkenny Day)

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