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Poem of the Week at Near FM

Article by Vanessa Fox O'Loughlin © 29 February 2016.
Posted in Guest Blogs ().

It’s always the toughest of questions. What’s your top 5? What’s your favourite?  If you had to pick one, what would it be? No matter if it’s a poem, a film, a novel, your favourite Beatles song; choosing just one can be as cruel as it is difficult. But Near FM thinks that you’re up for the challenge.

T.S. Eliot said that poetry can communicate before it is understood. You don’t have to be an astrologist to see the beauty in the night sky, the same as you don’t have to be a classical pianist to appreciate birdsong. Poetry has a unique way of staying with us, of capturing the essence of things. When it’s done well, there is no greater way of true expression.

Dublin based Near FM are developing a new radio series entitled Poem of the Week and we’re asking you to tell us what’s your favourite poem and why? It can be any poem at all by anyone at all. The only thing it must be is your favourite. Maybe it reminds you of a place you might never return to, maybe it featured on your Leaving Certificate and illuminated damp classrooms with promises of a technicolour world, or maybe you just like the way it rhymes!

We’d especially like to hear from Ireland’s immigrant populations. Many Irish people are familiar with towering figures like Yeats and Heaney but very few have ever even heard of Wislawa Szymborska or Wole Soyinka. Poetry knows no borders. It celebrates diversity of style, voice and structure and Near FM want to emulate this diversity in its portrait of the modern Irish state.

Poetry has long since held an esteemed place in Irish culture. In the classical Irish tradition, Poets were amongst the most prestigious members of society.  They held extremely important roles for their communities. They were teachers, chroniclers of their times, preservers of culture and history. Poem of the Week will seek to channel this energy in the form of modern Ireland’s relationship with poetry.

The series will be highlighting one poem every week for an entire year. The poems will come from all sections of the public.  Once we collect all of the entries we will be asking contributors to come into studio to record their choice of poem.

Over the next couple of weeks Near FM will be mounting a substantial social media campaign to drum up some support for this project. We’re asking you to share this initiative with all of your friends and family and to send us in your entries!

Getting in touch couldn’t be easier either. Simply contact us on Facebook or Twitter and let us know what your favourite poem is and don’t forget to use the hashtag #poemoftheweek.

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Writing.ie has been developed and is run by Vanessa Fox O'Loughlin who founded The Inkwell Group publishing consultancy and is Ireland's leading literary scout. Vanessa is represented by literary agent Simon Trewin and writes crime as Sam Blake. LITTLE BONES will be published by Bonnier's Twenty7 imprint in May 2016. Vanessa is the Chair of Irish PEN and the Irish and Eurozone Adviser to the international organisation The Alliance of Independent Authors.