Finders Tweeters! Local poets scatter hundreds of micro-poems to mark Poetry Day
More than a thousand small works of art are set to be released on Thursday (26th April) to mark Poetry Day Ireland 2018. With the help of 65 poets and writing groups, short fragments of poetry will be left at random locations across Northern Ireland and far beyond as part of an innovative art project called Label Lit.
Written on bright red luggage labels, the micro-poems are intended to be found in public spaces and shared. Anyone who comes across them is encouraged to take a picture of the location of the label and tweet the lines of the poem they have found.
The event is one of many poetry-related events taking place this year to celebrate Poetry Day 2018. Coordinated by Poetry Ireland, the theme is Poetry Surprises!. Last year almost 150 poetry-related events took place on Poetry Day throughout Ireland, in libraries, bookshops, arts centres, schools, hotels, nightclubs, bars, cafes and street corners from Kerry to Derry.
This year, organisers are inviting everyone to join in, by attending an event, reading their favourite verse or sharing their own private work.
The Label Lit project was created by Belfast-based poet Maria McManus, whose work has been supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. She says she hopes her project will encourage people to connect in evocative, gentle, human ways through literary art and poetry. “'The response from poets has been one of genuine warmth and enthusiasm - I hope that carries to those members of the public who find the poetry labels, and that they take home something unique and beautiful.'
While many of the poets involved in the project are based in Northern Ireland, others have signed up from other parts of Ireland, from as far away as Sydney, London, Portugal, South Carolina and Santiago de Compostela to take part in the initiative. Some will scatter their poetry labels in their local area, while others plan to take them on plane and train journeys to other locations!
Damian Smyth, Head of Literature and Drama at the Arts Council, commented: Damian Smyth, Head of Literature and Drama at the Arts Council, commented: “This is such an imaginative project from Maria McManus, one of the Arts Council’s ACES awardees – joining up the old world of labels and luggage and ink pens with the new world of global social media. Along with these other participating poets from across the island and around the world, it is another way to link all of us in the everyday with the small beauties and wonder of poems. No better occasion than Poetry Day Ireland and with the partnership of Poetry Ireland itself. Look out for the red labels!”
Maureen Kennelly, Director, Poetry Ireland , said: "At Poetry Ireland our mission is to connect people with poetry, and the theme of Poetry Day Ireland 2018 is 'Poetry Surprises'. The idea of poets creating micro poems on luggage labels for members of the public to discover in unexpected places is a perfect match and we are absolutely delighted to have this project as part of Poetry Day Ireland 2018."