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24 May 2022

Tullamore Rhymers read for Offaly Poetry Day event

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Tullamore Rhymers members are to take part in Poetry Day events this Thursday

Two members of the  Tullamore Rhymers Club poetry and spoken-word collective are among the poets taking part in Offaly's  'Through the eye of the Telescope' event for  Poetry Day on  Thursday, April 28  this year. 

The event, based around this year's Poetry Day theme of  'written in the stars', will see Tullamore's  Ken Hume  and Lusmagh's  Anthony Sullivan join  Eileen Casey  and a host of other poets from the Faithful County on a special video which will be uploaded to the Poetry Ireland website sometime after 10pm on April 28th. 

Headlined by guest poet Rita Kelly,  Through the Eye of the Telescope  will see the  poets reading their poems against the backdrop of an image of Birr's famous telescope (from Birr Science Museum) and other images of a celestial nature that will help capture the mood, with  other participating voices including Derek Fanning, Philip Brady, Pauline McNamee, and Mary O'Connor, 

Looking forward to the event, Ken Hume (author of the collection  Snowstorm of Doubt and Grace)  now based in Clara, spoke about the challenge involved in being part of a project like this...

"Usually any poetry performance involves you reading your work, the audience in front of you listening - hopefully enjoying it - and that's it. For this project, though, because we had to record our performance before sending it on to Eileen, you obviously had to listen back to yourself to make sure you sounded alright. And I think I'm like most people in always thinking that their own voice sounds a bit strange when you hear it back, ya know! [Laughs]. But it was brilliant to be asked by Eileen to take part in this great event for Poetry Day, so any kind of little challenge along the way could only be a good thing!" 

Hume's fellow Rhymer, Anthony Sullivan (recipient of a Poetry Town bursary from Poetry Ireland last year), echoed the sentiment of being delighted to be involved...

"I think the more opportunities we have as writers, to showcase what we do, the better. Hopefully it can help to generate an interest in poetry for others too, be it just as a fan or maybe for somebody who wants to write themselves. So Poetry Day in itself, and then this 'Through The Eye Of The Telescope' event which Eileen has organised, they're both so important in that regard. It's the same principle as 'Scene Of The Rhyme' here in town, that has David Mallaghan organising it. These platforms are vital for anyone who wants to share their work with an audience. So I'm delighted to be taking part in something that's very different to anything I've been part of before." 

Speaking about the Poetry Day event, organiser and poet Eileen Casey remarked,  "'Through the Eye of the Telescope' is our Faithful County response to Poetry Ireland's 'Written in the Stars'  theme this year, coming from  the home of the Parsonstown Leviathan. The Rosse six-foot telescope - built between 1842 and 1845 - is on show at Birr Castle Gardens and Demesne here in the heart of the Midlands. So how better, we thought, to honour this remarkable achievement than by poems which travel through a star-studded time and space."

Poetry Day is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media. The  Through the Eye of the Telescope  event is also supported by Offaly County Council. 

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