Offaly poets to host special Poetry Day event

A host of Offaly poets, marshalled by Eileen Casey, have responded to Poetry Ireland's call for events to mark their 'written in the stars' themed Poetry Day this year, which falls on Thursday, April 28.

The Through the Eye of the Telescope event will be a video recording of Offaly 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. This will be uploaded to the Poetry Ireland website sometime after 10pm on April 28. Headlined by guest poet Rita Kelly, other participating voices will include Ken Hume, Anthony Sullivan, Derek Fanning, Philip Brady, Pauline McNamee, Mary 0'Connor, and, of course, Eileen Casey herself.

Speaking about the Poetry Day event, Eileen 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."

Through the Eye of the Telescope organiser Eileen Casey will also be among the poets performing as part of the Spectacular Vernacular series of events, bringing her talent to Lough Boora on Sunday, April 24. For more information on this project, check out Before then, poet Ken Hume will be among the artists performing at the next Scene of the Rhyme at John Lee's in Tullamore, with that Friday, April 22 celebration of the spoken word, comedy, and music being a special fundraiser for the Irish Red Cross in aid of Ukraine.

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.