As part of the Belfast Book Festival programme (10-19 June 2022) and in collaboration with Poetry as Commemoration, the Poetry Jukebox outside the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast City has a new curation of 20 poems exploring the complexities of our shared past. This curation will stay in place over the summer months while the same poems are available in Dublin via a Poetry Jukebox in St. Stephen’s Green. The initiative is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries Creative Imagination strand.

In this curation twenty writers offer diverse perspectives on the period spanning the Irish War of Independence and Civil War. At the press of a button, members of the public can listen to any of the following recordings:

‘On Lacking the Killer Instinct’ by Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin
‘Christmas in Ireland, 1920’ by D.L. Kelleher
‘Safe House’ by Leanne O’Sullivan
‘The Troubles, 1922’ by John Hewitt
‘A Catholic to His Ulster Brother’ by Dora Sigerson Shorter
‘New Year, 1923’ by Joseph Campbell
‘An Cros-Bhothar’ by Úna Ní Fhaircheallaigh
‘The Flowering Bars’ by Charles Donnelly
‘An Fod imris’ by Máire Mhac an tSaoi
‘Munster Football Final, 1924’ by Gabriel Fitzmaurice
‘In Glasnevin’ by Jane Clarke
‘Till Ferdia Came’ (excerpt) by Alice Milligan
‘The Union Flag’ by Agnes Kerr
‘Simple Violence’ by Donagh MacDonagh
‘Thomas MacDonagh’ by Francis Ledwidge
‘M’Athair’ by Caoimhín Ó Conghaile
‘Francis Sheehy Skeffington’ by Eva Gore Booth
‘Dead in Wars and in Revolutions’ by Mary Devenport O’Neill
‘The Stare’s Nest By My Window’ by W. B. Yeats
‘The Betrayal’ by Michael D Higgins

As part of the Poetry as Commemoration project, two Poetry Jukeboxes will tour the island of Ireland between Summer 2022 and Winter 2023. Many thanks to poet and Artistic Director of Quotidian – Word on the Street, Maria McManus, for coordinating this tour.