18 March 2021
By Elaine Murphy
Cork County Council Library and Arts Service is pleased to announce a new poetry initiative that aims to encourage people to imaginatively respond through poetry to the new perspectives and understanding of place, nature and environment that the limitations on travel outside of the 5k limit have created in the last year. This boundary has meant that many of us are experiencing our locality in new and surprising ways, as we rediscover the world on our doorstep. “Poems from My 5k” provides an opportunity to reflect on this new reality through poetry.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Mary Linehan Foley, said,
“Whether you’re a seasoned writer or completely new to poetry we would like to receive your work. We’re looking for poems that respond to our new relationship with our local environment. This initiative will produce a volume of poetry that will showcase the best work. I encourage you to put pen to paper and share your thoughts in verse. This is another positive initiative from Cork County Council in response to Covid-19 restrictions, aiming to promote creativity, wellbeing and engagement with place for people across County Cork.”
Entry is free and is open to writers of all abilities and will be the starting point for a special celebration of the beauty of our surrounding environments and the unique capacity, which poetry has, to communicate ideas, thoughts and feelings.
Cork County Council has invited three Cork poets to adjudicate the entries. These are Bernard O`’Donoghue, Mary Noonan and Matthew Geden.
Bernard O’ Donoghue, a winner of the Whitbread Prize for his collection Gunpowder, and the Cholmondeley Award in 2009. He is a native of Cullen in North Cork and retired Professor of English at Oxford University.
Fermoy native, Mary Noonan published her first book of poetry, The Fado House in 2012 (shortlisted for both the Seamus Heaney Prize for a First Collection 2013 and The Strong/Shine Award 2013) and Dedalus in 2019. Her poetry considers themes of family, travel, love and art.
Matthew Geden was born in Coventry and moved to Ireland 30 years ago. His first collection, ‘Kinsale Poems’ was named after the place he now calls home. He has published 4 poetry collections. Matthew was appointed Writer in Residence with Cork County Library and Arts Service in 2020. He has also released a new collection of surrealist poetry called ‘Fruit’ with SurVision Books
To help aspiring writers Writer in Residence Matthew Geden will host a free online workshop on Saturday 13th March to help those interested to develop their ideas in a creative and responsive way. The workshop will help budding poets to gather their thoughts and ideas and is aimed at inspiring them to create pieces that speak about where they are living and how they are living in 2021. Tickets to this can be secured on Eventbrite – eventbrite.ie/e/144427688103
Entries to the Poems from My 5K collection can be submitted at www.yourcouncil.ie. Please read the terms and conditions of entry carefully. Applications can be submitted through this portal only; due to Covid19 restrictions, no other format can be accepted.
The closing date for receipt of applications is Friday 2nd April at 4:00pm. Further enquiries can be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org