Waterford City & County Council's Arts resource site


Various Locations in Lismore Co. Waterford, Thursday August 1st to Monday August 5th at Various Times.

Blackwater festival poster 2019

Red House Poets Presents The Blackwater International Poetry Festival.

The annual Blackwater Poetry Festival was founded by Gene Barry of Castletownroche years ago and we’re very pleased to be hosting the Festival this year for him. There are poets coming from far and wide – Donald Gardner from Holland, Glorjana Veber from Slovenia, Patrick Lodge of Wales, Monica Aasprong from Sweden, Anne Tannam and Phil Lynch of Dublin, and many more.

We’re also including lots of Waterford poets and writers, to build on our very successful County anthology, Déise Voices, published last year. Lismore and West Waterford, An Déise and the County have huge numbers of people writing and creating, and we’re hoping to entertain and include everyone we can. We’re also looking forward to welcoming the many Cork poets and writers groups who’ll be visiting and taking part.

The theme of every Blackwater International Poetry Festival is Inclusion. The festival is about giving an open voice to poets and writers of all types – beginners, newly published and those internationally recognised.

It brightens and brings the magic that is poetry to everyone by holding street-readings and evening performances, and by taking poetry to the public via readings in boutiques, barbershops, banks, pharmacies, cafes, hairdressing salons, shops, restaurants, historical sites, pubs and more. Poets come in all shapes, sizes, backgrounds and interests. In previous Blackwater Festivals, the poets’ ages have ranged from 9 to 92!

A key draw of every Blackwater Poetry Festivals is that most events are completely free – its all about sharing work, hearing the broadest range of styles and interests in safe, cheerful environments, and discovering how your voice matters and is welcomed by others.

Every year, the festival also includes a great workshop by a truly talented poet. This year its famed Dublin- based poet Anna Tannam, with her excellent 3-hour event “Capturing the Moment” (Saturday August 3rd 2:00pm – 5:00pm – €25).

Around Lismore itself, we’ll be putting up A1 Posterboards of poems, as well ‘Poetry on Pegs’ lines where you can freely pop up your own work for everyone to read. On Friday, Aug 2 we have a free town-tour (thanks to Lismore Heritage Centre) and then a free guided walk out to the very historic, very mysterious Roundhill, to share work and hear new and exciting poetry.

On Saturday 3rd Aug, we have an Adult Poetry Trail around Lismore and the castle, to share poetry and entertain. Also on Saturday (2-5pm), we have an excellent workshop, ‘Capturing the Moment’, with acclaimed Dublin poet, Anne Tannam (€25, book via the website or call 0861608475).

Sunday sees the famous ‘Poetry Bus’, where we explore the wild, exciting corners of the area, stopping to hear the latest from Northern Ireland and Dublin, plus enjoy a book launch by Mark W O’Brien. It costs €25 and you’ll need good shoes, as we’re going up and down the trails a bit. It also includes some refreshments, and later we’ll be stopping at the beautiful Mt Melleray Abbey café to sort out the parched throats.

Monday morning, Aug 5, we finish with announcing the winner of the kids’ poetry competition and running a Kids’ Poetry Trail in Lismore, to build their confidence and show off as much as possible the young voices of today and the future. You’ll see their work on the Posterboards.

The evening events (Thursday to Sunday, 8PM to late) is in a local venue (thanks to Red House Bar, Rose’s West End Bar and Ballyrafter House Hotel), and open to all and completely free to attend. There will be 3 Featured Readers per night, plus an Open Mic, so bring your own work if you want to be heard!

We have an excellent accommodation deal with Clancy’s Guesthouse in Tallow (call 058 56128, a few rooms left) and we’d really like to thank our key sponsors so far: Supervalu Cappoquin, Fraher Media Dungarvan, FDC Accountants, Lismore & Cappoquin Credit Union, AIB Lismore and Mari Mina Pharmacy.

And don’t forget the over-popular “Poetry Bus” readings, book launches and more in the wildest, most secret local places of the area; to spark imagination, discovery and creativity (Sunday August 4th 11:00am to 4:00pm – €25).

For full Festival Programme please Click Here

Email info@blackwaterpoetryfestival.ie to book tickets for events.

Lismore, Co. Waterford


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