We interview Joseph woods the director of the
1.Could you please tell our readers about the
aims of Poetry Ireland?
Poetry Ireland/Éigse Éireann is the national organisation for poetry
in Ireland. We serve all 32 counties and receive support from The
Arts Council of Ireland/An Chomhairle Ealaíon and The Arts Council
of Northern Ireland.
Our remit is to act as a resource and information point for everything
to do with poetry in Ireland. We serve poets, writers, academics
and any member of the public with an interest in poetry.
2.Can you please tell us about the services that Poetry Ireland
Poetry Ireland is the national organisation dedicated to developing,
supporting and promoting poetry throughout Ireland. We are a resource
and information point for any member of the public with an interest
in poetry and we work towards creating opportunities for poets working
or living in Ireland. Our main activities are: Publications, Readings,
Education and Information and Resource Services.
Poetry Ireland publishes Poetry Ireland Review the defacto journal
of record for Poetry in Ireland. A new editor is appointed every
four issues; the current editor is Peter Sirr. Poetry Ireland News
is our bimonthly newsletter containing information on events, competitions
and opportunities. Poetry Ireland also produces occasional publications
3.What other initiatives the Poetry Ireland organises?
Poetry Ireland organises approximately 120 readings annually by
Irish and international poets countrywide. Through its website,
telephone, postal and public enquiries, Poetry Ireland operates
as a clearinghouse for everything pertaining to poetry in Ireland.
Poetry Ireland houses and curates an excellent library of contemporary
Irish and international poetry and the library is open to the public.
As part of an ambitious plan and with the support of the Carnegie
Trust, UK, Poetry Ireland has set up the National Poetry Archive,
which features poets being interviewed and reading their work. To
date, 19 poets have been recorded and these will soon be released
and made available to schools.
4.Do you have any projects with schools?
Poetry Ireland administers the Writers in Schools scheme sending
writers to teach in schools nationwide, the scheme accesses 40,000
students per annum. Our Education Officer facilitates and administers
our Writer's in Residency schemes countrywide.
5.What do you think about the cultural situation in Ireland?
In relation to poetry, I think it is fair to say the situation is
good. Poetry Ireland receives considerable funding from The Arts
Council of Ireland via the government. In terms of representation,
Irish poets figure among the best in the world.
6.In which other countries have you founded a better cultural situation,
if you did?
Different countries have naturally different approaches to culture.
It is all a question of emphasis, some artsforms get better funded
and sometimes better attention than others. It can be difficult
to evenly fund and support every aspect of culture. For example,
it costs more to fund a contemporary theatre than to fund a few
7.Do you agree with the statement that the understanding and the
integration among peoples and nations can be realized only through
Naturally, culture is a good place to begin in understanding other
Interview by Alice Argilla