We Are the Poets – Young Mayo Poets this Friday (15 Nov) at the Linenhall Arts Centre

Fourteen Mayo teenagers have been flexing their creative muscles at the Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar, over the last couple of months as part of a project called “We are the Poets”. It culminates this coming Friday 15th November with a performance featuring the young poets alongside Laureate na nÓg Sarah Crossan, multi-award winning poet Colm Keegan and Mayo poet Alice Kinsella as MC.

The project is part of Sarah Crossan’s programme of work during her tenure as Laureate na nÓg. Laureate na nÓg is an exciting project recognising the role and importance of literature for children in Ireland. Sarah is the fifth laureate and her theme as Laureate is #WeAreThePoets, a two-year project inspiring young people to express themselves through poetry and verse. Speaking about the project Sarah said ““I want young people to believe it’s true that poetry belongs to them, that language is theirs. When I go into schools and I speak to young people, I remind them that they change language all the time. I’ll sit in a group in a classroom and I won’t understand 10% of what these young people are saying to one another, because they change language, they control language. And to remind them of that. And to remind them to use their voices, in which ever way they want.”

For the project at the Linenhall she is collaborating with Mayo poet Alice Kinsella who has been guiding the young participants through a series of workshops during which they have talked about poetry, taken part in various exercises designed to encourage and inspire their writing, written shared and discussed their own poetry, and engaged with the work of contemporary poets. One of the poets whose work they considered is multi-award winning Dublin poet Colm Keegan. Colm will join the participants on stage at the Linenhall.  He has developed numerous creative writing projects for young writers, as well as for schools and colleges across the country. Talking about the workshops one of the particpants said “The workshop has reawakened my interest in poetry and given me an opportunity to express myself”. Another described the workshops as “A place where you can take a breath from the world outside and give some space to what’s inside you. I found the workshop productive and the atmosphere friendly and quiet”.

Arts Access Officer at the Linenhall, Orla Henihan, and project participant Joe Reidy spoke with Tommy Marren at Midwest Radio about the project. You can listen back here. 

The performance on Friday is the culmination of this innovative project and recognises the creative literary talent of the next generation of Mayo wordsmiths. Get out there and support teenage poets from your county! Full details from

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