The People's Park in Limerick City is now home to a new Poetry Jukebox as part of Poetry as Commemoration, an initiative led by UCD Library with support from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries Programme 2012-2023.
For a period of twelve weeks the Poetry Jukebox allows members of the public to listen to up to twenty poems commemorating the centenaries of the War of Independence and the Civil War. With a turn of a handle and a press of a button, visitors can enjoy a selection of works from some of the most talented poets on the island of Ireland. Poems can also be accessed via QR code.
The first ten poems featured were commissioned by UCD Library in partnership with Poetry Ireland and Arts Council Northern Ireland. Poets were invited to select an item from an archive related to the revolutionary period and write a poem in English or Irish inspired by that item. The resulting poems include works by well-known poets such as Paul Muldoon, Martina Evans, Seán Hewitt, Victoria Kennefick, Stephen Sexton, Chiamaka Enyi-Amadi, Padraig Regan, Aifric Mac Aodha, Nithy Kasa, and Bebe Ashley.
The next ten poems were selected following an open call to the poetry community. These works feature poets such as Julie Morrissy, Ian Duhig, Eoghan Totten, David McLoghlin, Ann-Marie Foster, Karen J. McDonnell, Brian Kirk, Angela Graham, Karl O’Hanlon, and Newcastle West poet Mike MacDomhnaill.
Poetry as Commemoration fosters creative engagement between writers and the material history of the War of Independence & Civil War to deepen our collective understanding of this complex period in Irish history.
Visiting the installation this week Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, Cllr Frances Foley said: “I commend UCD Library for this imaginative and inclusive approach to engaging the public in the Decade of Centenaries. I encourage the citizens of Limerick to come and listen to the variety of voices represented in this commemorative installation.”
Head of Special Collections at UCD Library, Evelyn Flanagan, thanked Limerick City & County Council for their support: “Bringing poetry to the public is a core objective of Poetry as Commemoration and we are delighted that the Poetry Jukebox is now in the People’s Park. The people of Limerick have fully embraced Poetry as Commemoration with groups of all ages taking part in writing workshops at Limerick Museum and in various schools in association with Poetry Ireland. I look forward to preserving their poems in UCD Special Collections for future generations.”
Arts Officer with Limerick City and County Council, Dr. Pippa Little, welcomed the new installation: “The Decade of Centenaries Programme has provided a unique opportunity for us to reflect on our nation's history and to celebrate the people and events that have shaped our country. The Poetry Jukebox in the People's Park, Limerick is a wonderful example of how art can help us to connect with our past and to imagine a brighter future. Through the power of poetry, we can explore the complex emotions and experiences of those who came before us, and gain a deeper appreciation of the struggles and triumphs that have made Ireland the vibrant and diverse nation it is today. People of all ages have been engaging with the Poetry Jukebox, bringing poetry to the People’s Park and their daily lives.”
UCD Special Collections welcomes submissions to the Poetry as Commemoration archive where they will be preserved. Please send a signed handwritten copy of your own commemorative poem to UCD Special Collections or email it to email@example.com.
To learn more about Poetry as Commemoration visit Poetryascommemoration.ie
To learn more about the Poetry Jukebox, visit Quotidian.ie