02/08/2013

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'.
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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."

(IT/MH)

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