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We interview Joseph woods the director of the Poetry Ireland

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 offers?

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 writers.

7.Do you agree with the statement that the understanding and the integration among peoples and nations can be realized only through culture?

Naturally, culture is a good place to begin in understanding other nations.

Interview by Alice Argilla