Poetry and Decade of Centenaries


Sir, – In his endorsement of the colourisation of black and white photos (Culture, November 22nd) Daniel Ayiotis argued that “in addressing the Decade of Centenaries, we as a society have appointed historians as primary gatekeepers... ”, with the focus almost exclusively on the past. I beg to differ,

Poetry as Commemoration is an all-island project that will use poetry as a means to deepen our collective understanding of Ireland’s past and also to explore this challenging period of our history in a spirit of openness and inclusivity.

Run by the Irish Poetry Reading Archive (UCD Library), it includes workshops for adults and children, poetry displayed in public spaces, and newly commissioned work.

People will be encouraged to explore archives on the island of Ireland. They’ll be invited to look back, but also to look forward, and to (re)imagine an Ireland of the future.

This project shows a keen awareness of the value “to engage with the historic record in new and creative ways”, avoiding Ayiotis’ concern, that the tail is wagging the dog.

– Yours, etc,


Irish Poetry Reading Archive,