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Event

Galway University Hospitals celebrates a morning of poetry

Date posted: 20 April 2012

Image shown: Kevin Higgins, Writer in residence, with members of the Creative Writing Group Louis Hanly, Madeline Moloney and Dr. Oscar De Souza

On Friday 27 April 2012, Galway University Hospitals will launch the ninth series of Poems for Patience as well as a collection of poetry by patients; This Never Happened.  The Poems for Patience event will be officially launched by poet Fiona Sampson and Kevin Higgins, Writer in residence in Galway University Hospital. Kevin will introduce and read from This Never Happened.   The event will take place on the Arts Corridor, University Hospital Galway at 11.00am and is organised as part of the Cúirt International Festival of Literature.

Poems for Patience

Poet Fiona Sampson will introduce 21 poems she has selected, including works by W.S. Merwin, Michael Longley, David Harsent, Raymond Carver and many more.   The poetry is circulated throughout the waiting areas of University Hospital Galway and Merlin Park University Hospital.  The concept of poems in waiting rooms was piloted in London in 1998.  Poems were commissioned on the theme of waiting.  Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust’s first series of Poems for Patience in partnership with the Cúirt International Festival of Literature was launched at the festival in 2004.  The poetry is disseminated throughout the waiting area network of University Hospital Galway and Merlin Park University Hospital.  Previous selectors have included Dennis O’Driscoll, Ciaran Carson, Philip Schulz, Vona Groarke and Paula Meehan.  The poems will be on display on the Arts Corridor, University Hospital, Galway until 30 June 2012.

This Never Happened

This Never Happened is a poetry collection written by patients in long term care in Merlin Park University Hospital.  The creative writing programme is now in its ninth year and continues to be facilitated by Writer in Residence Kevin Higgins. 

Unit 5 and 6 in Merlin Park University Hospital are long stay residential units accommodating 46 patients.  30 of these patients are in long term care.  Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust has been providing an arts service to the artists and writers in Merlin Park since 2003. The positive impact of the arts in improving people’s quality of life is well documented and as an organisation we have seen this at first hand over the years.  Participants in the programme to date have published six books in the Cat’s Cradle memoir series, exhibited their artworks in the hospitals and in Galway Arts Centre. 

The creative writing programme is now in its ninth year and continues to be facilitated by Kevin Higgins.  The writers of Merlin Park have generously shared their stories with us; past love, joy, disappointment, grief and the odd tall tale.  The writing programme continues to evolve with Kevin gently guiding and encouraging the participants to write and the result is this delightful collection of poetry.

As part of the hospitals art programme theatre practitioner Elaine Scahill will be exploring the poetry from the Poems for Patience series with patients and staff in the coming weeks while they are on display on the Arts Corridor.

The events are coordinated by Margaret Flannery, Arts Director, Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust.  For further information contact guhartstrust@hse.ie or 091 544979/087 1250461

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