Poet Laureate for Poetry Town Ballycastle Announced!

17th August 2021

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Poet Kate Newmann

Kate Newmann announced as Poet Laureate for Ballycastle for Poetry Town this September!

Poetry Town will see more than a hundred poetry-related activities take place in 20 towns across the island of Ireland between 10 and 18 September 2021.

Ballycastle is among the Poetry Towns - the only town selected in Northern Ireland - and Poetry Ireland, in conjunction with Flowerfield Arts Centre, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, and literary arts company, Quotidian - Word on the Street (Poetry Jukebox), has appointed Kate Newmann as the Poet Laureate for the town.

Kate, who has published five collections of poetry, says she has a special connection to the coastal town (further information below).

As part of the week-long Poetry Town celebrations next month, each Poet Laureate will reveal and present their poem to the people of their Poetry Town at a series of flagship online events, one of which will be hosted in each town. Each event will also feature contributions from other local poets, artists and musicians (further details about these events will be available here and on the Poetry Town website).

Further activities will include a series of poetry events involving local poets; poetry workshops; public poetry displays, including ‘Poetry Underfoot’; and a range of physical activities called ‘Poems that Move You’, which will vary from town to town. Local businesses, including cafés and chemists, will also be participating in the activities to celebrate their towns by distributing ‘pocket poems’ to customers.

We’ll release the full programme of activities for during the last week of August.

Commenting, Director of Poetry Ireland, Niamh O’Donnell said: “The aim of Poetry Town is to celebrate the vitality and strength of our towns and communities, and to shine a light on the wealth of creativity and talent that can be found in them. The diversity of this talent is reflected in the selection of Laureates, which includes both well-known visionary poets and new powerful voices.”

Kate Newmann added: “My mother, Joan Newmann, and I lived in Ballycastle for seven years, and she established the Ballycastle Writers, which is still in existence. We were actively engaged in ‘Let Me Take You to the Island’ festival on Rathlin, instigated by Heather Newcombe and the Ballycastle Writers.

“For the Arts Council, I held a writing residency, working with all the schools, with community groups and the general public in the production of a book, Lir’s Feathered Children, with a public performance in Sheskburn Recreation Centre.”


Poetry Town is an initiative of Poetry Ireland in partnership with Local Authority Arts Offices. It is made possible with funding from the Arts Council of Ireland’s Open Call funding, and is also supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

For further information, watch this space or visit the Poetry Town website: poetrytown.ie.


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