Poetry in Focus: Panel Discussion

Date Thursday 10 June 2021
Time 4:00 PM
PriceA Free Event
Age Range16+ years
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Poetry in Focus: Panel Discussion


We are delighted to kick start the 2021 Belfast Book Festival with this lively discussion on the issues affecting poets and the spoken word community. Bringing together industry professionals and poets join us to hear about the opportunities offered by a number of network organisations; the experience of an independent publisher and poets working across commissions, projects, appearances and Awards. 

Led by Chair Martin Doyle, come along for an event that is sure to be an interesting conversation with some of Ireland’s key players in the Industry.

There will be an opportunity for you to ask questions as part of this event. 

Looking to buy a book by one of the writers involved in this year's programme? Check out our official Festival Bookstore partner, No Alibi’s, who have created this special Belfast Book Festival page on their website which features the books and collections of the writers at the 2021 Festival. Plus they are offering a 10% discount on all of the Festival titles! 



About the panel

Niamh O’Donnell is the Director of Poetry Ireland, an all-island resource that nurture and develop poetry by building content, capacity, interest, understanding, participation and engagement. She has over 20 years experience of working for various arts organisations including Project Arts Centre and the Mermaid Arts Centre. 

Maria McManus is a poet who has published numerous collections including Available Light (Arlen House, 2017), We are Bone (Lagan Press 2013), The Cello Suites (Lagan Press 2009) and Reading the Dog (Lagan Press, 2006). Her new work, Ellipses, is published as a limited-edition hand-made pamphlet from Coast to Coast to Coast in 2021. She is the Artistic Director of Quotidian – Word on the Street, a literary arts production company that includes the Poetry Jukebox project and has collaborated in numerous mix-media projects including the poetry choral production WRETCHES poetry/choreography collaborations including A Dancer Dies Twice, DUST and TURF

John Walsh is a Northern Irish poet and fiction writer who is the co-director and commissioning editor of Doire Press. He has published three poetry collections, including Johnny tell Them (Guildhall Press, 2006), Love’s Enterprise Zone (Doire Press, 2007) and Chopping Wood with T.S. Eliot (Salmon Poetry, 2010), and a short story collection entitled Border Lines (Doire Press, 2012).

Judith Palmer is Director of The Poetry Society and a Trustee of the Keats Foundation. She has worked previously as a writer, broadcaster, and arts event producer. She has curated major festival programmes and tours for venues including the Royal Festival Hall, Roundhouse, Arts Catalyst, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Barbican Centre, and The Women's Library.

Manuela Moser is currently the Publishing Fellow at the Seamus Heaney Centre, Queen’s University Belfast. She runs The Lifeboat Press, and is a co-Director at Catalyst Arts. A pamphlet of poetry is forthcoming from Bad Betty Press.

Martin Doyle (Chair) is Books Editor of The Irish Times. Starting his career with The Irish World, he rose to become Editor of The Irish Post before moving to The Times. He edited A History of The Irish Post, which was published in 2000 to mark the newspaper’s 30th anniversary. He contributed an essay to The 32: An Anthology of Irish Working-Class Voices (Unbound, July). A native of Banbridge, Co Down, he was an extra in Father Ted and is still dining out on it today. 

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