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Premiere of the Documentary Film: WRITING HOME

Writing.ie | Guest Bloggers | Wordspark


Wednesday 30th March sees the launch of Writing Home, a documentary about art giving voice to the residents of homeless services in Ireland through poetry, writing and spoken word.

Developed by Colm Keegan with Kilkenny County Council and supported by Creative Ireland, and in partnership with Poetry Ireland, the Writing Home Initiative is a programme of creative engagement and support designed specifically for homeless service users and providers. This powerful film follows the Initiative as it rolled out across Kilkenny, Waterford, and Dublin.

Exploring the harsh reality of Ireland’s housing crisis, Writing Home platforms homeless service users and providers articulating their experiences as they meaningfully engage in new creative practices. The documentary serves as testament to the power of writing, human resilience, and the need for new perspectives when it comes to housing in Ireland.

Colm says, “At times the work shared was incredible, other times truly heart-breaking, but to work through the whole process, from participants saying they didn’t see themselves as artists to six sessions later, standing up and celebrating their powerful work at the end, either on stage, to camera or in print, it was always inspiring, especially given the incredibly difficult circumstances.  

Making art is a transformative process that profoundly impacts the individual, but it can go even further than that. I believe this transformative process could be used to improve a multitude of systems in Ireland, especially those tasked with caring for people in challenging circumstances. Initiatives like this help systems not just to function better, but to understand those they serve better. This documentary aims to bear witness to that process, and to advocate for this approach.” 

The launch of Writing Home will take place at the Light House Cinema, Smithfield on the evening of Wednesday 30 March at 6.30pm.

Niamh O’Donnell, Director of Poetry Ireland says, “It’s the right of every citizen to have access to, and be able to participate in, cultural activity.  It’s through cultural engagement and expression we build confidence, understanding and empathy.  The written word can capture a fleeting moment or a particular feeling and can have a huge impact on the writer and the reader.  It can change our outlook, it can alter our perspective.  I believe poetry can function as a salve, like a counsellor, offering self-expression, discovery and interaction as an alternative to daily difficulties or confrontation.   Initiatives like Writing Home are a vital part of Poetry Ireland’s work.  It’s where we can make a difference and clearly see the positive impact of creative engagement.  It is a place and space where we can connect people, over geography and across status.  It gives us the opportunity to shape narratives and challenge and alter norms.  All of that, is a very powerful and rewarding thing.” 

Staff and service users of The Good Shepherd Centre (Kilkenny), Depaul, Focus Ireland, Tinteán House (Waterford), and Bentley Hostel (Dublin) feature in the documentary film.  

Presented by Colm Keegan and Kilkenny County Council, in partnership with Poetry Ireland.
Funded by Creative Ireland, Kilkenny County Council and Waterford County Council.

Poetry Ireland gratefully acknowledges the support of its principal funders The Arts Council /An Chomhairle Ealaíon and The Arts Council of Northern Ireland.


Launch of Writing Home

Wednesday 30March, 6.30pm

Light House Cinema, Smithfield, Dublin 7

Tickets: Free but booking essential via www.poetryireland.ie / Tel: +353 1 6789815


Colm Keegan 

Colm Keegan is an award winning writer and poet from Dublin. His debut collection “Don’t Go There” was released to critical acclaim. His latest collection “Randomer” is now available from Salmon poetry.

His first full-length play “For Saoirse” was staged in Axis Theatre and shortlisted for the Fishamble New Writing award and his short play “Something Worth Saying”, commissioned for the Abbey Theatre was called ‘exquisite and devastating’ by reviewer Emer O’ Kelly.

He was a co-founder of Lingo, Ireland’s first Spoken Word festival and has been awarded numerous residencies including the LexIcon, Ireland’s largest public library. He is a creative writing teacher and co-founder of the Inklinks Project, and has developed numerous creative writing projects for schools and colleges across the country.

Poetry Ireland connects poetry and people. It is committed to achieving excellence in the reading, writing and performance of poetry throughout the island of Ireland.

Poetry Ireland receives support from The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon and The Arts Council of Northern Ireland and enjoys rewarding partnerships with arts centres, festivals, schools, colleges and bookshops at home and abroad.

Poetry Ireland’s commitment to creating performance and publication opportunities for poets at all stages of their careers helps ensure that the best work is made available to the widest possible audience, securing a future for Irish poetry that is as celebrated as its past.

In September 2016, Poetry Ireland moved into a beautiful new home in Dublin’s Parnell Square. It is now embarked on ambitious and innovative plans for the redevelopment of this expansive Georgian townhouse as an all-island institution dedicated to poetry in all its forms. When complete, this development will house the Seamus Heaney Library, a contemporary performance space and a café.

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