Image shown: Naomi Shihab Nye. Photo credit Chehalis Hegner.

On Friday 24 April 2015, Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust will celebrate the twelfth series of Poems for Patience as part of Cúirt International Festival of Literature. Internationally renowned Palestinian-American poet Naomi Shihab Nye will launch the series on the Arts Corridor of University Hospital Galway at 11.00am and all are welcome.

Poems for Patience is part of an ongoing initiative by Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust to introduce poetry into Galway University Hospitals. The poetry is circulated throughout the waiting areas of University Hospital Galway and Merlin Park University Hospital. Naomi Shihab Nye will introduce 20 poems she has selected, including works by poets Leanne O’Sullivan, Gary Snyder and Robin Robertson.

The concept of poems in waiting rooms was piloted in London in 1998, with poems commissioned on the theme of waiting. Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust’s first series of Poems for Patience in partnership with Cúirt was launched at the festival in 2004. The poems will be on display until 25 May 2015 on the Arts Corridor before being disseminated to waiting areas.

‘Poems – no matter their topics or styles – have a beautiful power to pull in our meandering thoughts and soothe. To feel the mind recompose itself can be clarifying, uplifting, comforting. It is a gift to discover poems sometimes where we are not expecting to find them, in a subway, a newspaper – even hand-printed on a wall. Nothing need cloud poetry’s subtle presence for listeners or readers – the simple enjoyment of tasting and savoring words, images, ideas, connections, belongs to us all.’ – Naomi Shihab Nye

In conjunction with the Poems for Patience project, Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust has held an annual poetry competition since 2013. This year, the winning entry is Liz Quirke’s poem ‘Sculpture’. Quirke will be introduced as the 2015 winner by Kevin Higgins, Writer in Residence at University Hospital Galway, and will read ‘Sculpture’ at the launch. The poem will be included in the Arts Trust’s Poems for Patience poetry collection.

‘Poems for Patience is my favourite project to programme. Each year I have the opportunity to co-ordinate a project for patients in our hospitals where we all get to discover and experience poetry. It is a joy this year in particular to be working with Naomi Shihab Nye; she has selected some beautiful thought-provoking gems that I hope will provide a moment of escape for whoever comes across them on their journey in hospital.’ – Margaret Flannery, Arts Director at Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust

For further information please contact Margaret Flannery on 091 544979 or email


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