I’m delighted to be writer-in-residence alongside Maria McManus at this year’s Belfast International Arts Festival. As part of our residency we’re curating Ireland’s first Poetry Jukebox, which is installed outside the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast and goes live on 12th October.
The Poetry Jukebox is an on-street sound installation providing an exciting new platform for poetry. This will be a permanent installation, but we will change the content three or four times a year. We see this as an innovative new ‘journal’ of poetry for the island of Ireland. Its on-street presence can capture the imagination and has at its core the ability, as Heaney wrote, to “catch the heart off-guard and blow it open”. The first jukebox has poems form world renowned Irish poets, rising stars and new voices.
We want to open minds and hearts with the power and intensity and gentleness of poetry. Hearing poetry unexpectedly in the street can inspire people, make an ordinary moment sacred, and change how people see the city and themselves.
The Poetry Jukebox will be launched as part of the Belfast International Arts Festival on 12th October 2017. This is a free event and everyone is welcome.