The town has been the centre of poetry in Roscommon since the festival’s inception in 1999. Taking place annually on the first weekend of May, the event provides a world-renowned forum for excellence in poetry.
Strokestown has become famous for the large audiences in attendance for readings and workshops and other events. Poetry lovers from all over the world are drawn to the town due to its friendliness and scenery and the weekend has become an unforgettable experience as a thrilling immersion in contemporary poetry.
Organisers say: “Our mission is to showcase contemporary poetry both local and international, foster the development of emerging writers and consolidate poetry in local culture bringing it the widest possible audience”.
The festival took place virtually last year while Strokestown also took part in Poetry Ireland’s Poetry Town initiative later in the year.
This year, however, the popular festival, long considered one of the highlights of the cultural calendar in Co. Roscommon, returns to Strokestown, albeit in a shortened format.
Dubbed the “all in a day, mini-festival” by organisers, Strokestown’s International Poetry Festival begins at 10.30 am this Saturday with a workshop for young people hosted by Luke Morgan, and will finish at 6.30 pm with a reading by Luke and Victoria Kenneflick.
All events will take place in the Percy French Hotel unless otherwise stated. Events are free, but donation boxes will be provided at events or please use the donate button on the Strokestown International Poetry Festival website (www.strokestownpoetry.org/donate).
This year’s mini-festival was made viable through the continued support of Roscommon County Council Arts Office, the Callery family, and Poetry Ireland Education.