Irish Poetry Reading Archive logoIn partnership with Poetry Ireland, the Irish Poetry Reading Archive has commissioned ten poets to write a poem in English or Irish on topics, themes and events inspired by primary source materials held in archives across the island relating to the War of Independence and Civil War.

The ten commissioned poems will be published as a limited fine press edition and recordings of the work will be made available through the Irish Poetry Reading Archive (IPRA). The poems will appear on our Virtual Poetry Wall and audio recordings will be uploaded to our touring Poetry Jukeboxes.

In February 2022, IPRA and Poetry Ireland brought together a committee to select the commissioned poets, ensuring diversity and representation from across the island.

Selection Committee

                  • Dr. Lucy Collins, UCD School of English, Drama & Film.
                  • Paul McVeigh, Writer.
                  • Dr. Julie Morrissy, Writer & Academic.
                  • Niamh O’Donnell, Former Director of Poetry Ireland.
                  • Kimberly Reyes, Writer.

We asked poets to draw on materials held in local archives to inspire poetry that deepens our collective understanding of the past and explores a challenging period of history on this island.

Writers were encouraged to respond creatively to material history in a manner that not only reflects events of the past but engages with imagined futures too.

hands on typewriterCommissioned Poets

  • Aifric Mac Aodha
  • Chiamaka Enyi Amadi
  • Bebe Ashley
  • Martina Evans
  • Seán Hewitt
  • Paul Muldoon
  • Nithy Kasa
  • Victoria Kennefick
  • Padraig Regan
  • Stephen Sexton

Read more about the poets on the Commissioned Poets page!

On the announcement of the new commissions, Minister Catherine Martin commented:

“Poetry as Commemoration’ is one of the flagship initiatives under the Creative Imagination Strand of the Decade of Centenaries Programme. I welcome the enthusiasm and ambition of the Irish Poetry Reading Archive UCD and Poetry Ireland, who have really embraced this project.

The ten poems commissioned as part of this project will be a meaningful and lasting legacy for the Decade of Centenaries Programme. I hope that the medium of poetry will offer a safe space to encourage the examination and exploration of the difficult and still distressing events and themes related to the Irish War of Independence and the Civil War. The use of our rich primary sources from both our national and local archives grounds the poetry in factual accuracy and authenticity. I would like to express my gratitude to the 10 poets announced today for bringing their creativity, imagination and insights to this project. We look forward to their finished works in due course.”

Fine Print Edition

A fine print edition containing the ten commissioned poems will be produced by The Salvage Press in 2023.

Diversity & Inclusion statement

We are committed to equality, diversity and inclusion for all. In line with UCD’s EDI policy and Poetry Ireland’s Partnership & Funding Requirements, every effort will be made to ensure that women, members of the LGBTI+ community, working class poets, poets belonging to minority ethnic/ religious groups, or poets with disabilities are being fairly and equitably represented.