Belfast Appoints First Poet Laureate

Belfast has appointed its first ever Poet Laureate, Queen’s University’s award-winning poet Dr Sinéad Morrissey.

Dr Morrissey is Reader in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre at the School of English at Queen’s.

She was appointed Belfast Poet Laureate by the Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir as he revealed his 'vision for the city' this week.

The Lord Mayor, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Moviehouse Cinemas and Arts and Business established the role of Belfast Poet Laureate.

As Poet Laureate, Dr Morrissey will be tasked with engaging the people of Belfast in poetry through a series of events and community groups.

She has also been commissioned to produce a series of poems about Belfast and her year as the city’s poet that explores the theme 'My City / Mo Chathair Féin'.
News Image
Speaking about her appointment Dr Morrissey said: "Belfast is a city with an extraordinary literary tradition, especially in relation to poetry. I am therefore hugely honoured to be appointed Belfast's first Poet Laureate, and am excited to celebrate and explore further both the city and poetry in the year ahead."

Roisín McDonough, Chief Executive at the Arts Council commented: "The Arts Council is delighted that the Lord Mayor has chosen Sinéad Morrissey as Belfast’s first Poet Laureate. Sinéad has been an outstanding voice in contemporary poetry for 15 years, winning multiple prestigious awards, including a Major Individual Artist award from the Arts Council and she is currently shortlisted for the 2013 Forward Prize for Poetry. In her role as Belfast Poet Laureate, Sinéad will bring poetry to all the people of Belfast, reflecting the creativity of women and their contribution to the historical and contemporary life and character of the city."


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

14 January 2014
Belfast Poet Laureate Wins TS Eliot Prize
Belfast’s first Poet Laureate Sinéad Morrissey has won the TS Eliot prize for poetry for her collection Parallax. Dr Morrissey's inclusion on the shortlist marked the fourth time she had been nominated for the prize, having previously been shortlisted in 2002, 2005 and 2009.
19 March 2009
Heaney Accolade Is Second Irish Honour
The Co Londonderry poet and Nobel Laureate, Seamus Heaney has received a major national accolade, the David Cohen prize for literature. It was two in a row for Northern Ireland as the last winner was also Irish, the poet Derek Mahon. The David Cohen Prize for Literature, worth £40,000, is awarded every two years.
23 January 2019
Belfast Poet Padraic Fiacc Dies
Tributes have been paid to Belfast poet Padraic Fiacc, who has died at the age of 94. The celebrated writer's death comes only 10 days after Irish President Michael D Higgins paid a private visit to see him and thank him for his work.
22 January 2013
Heavy Snow Closes Over 80 Schools
Over 80 schools across Northern Ireland have been closed as the heavy snow continues to cause disruption on Tuesday morning. The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning, as the snow is continuing to affect many roads. Areas which have been majorly disrupted include Lisburn, Castlereagh and Carryduff.
06 February 2020
Local Musicians To Perform In Nashville
The voices of three of Northern Ireland's talented singer-songwriters are to be heard in a famous Tennessee venue. Emma Horan, Donal Scullion and Reuben Agnew will display their talents at Nashville's Bluebird Café on St Patrick's Day, a venue famous for launching the careers of Taylor Swift and Garth Brooks.