The City Chapter, the partnership of libraries in Armagh, is pleased to organise an event to highlight National Poetry Day. This will take place on Thursday 8 October 2015 at 7.30pm in Armagh Public Library, Abbey Street. Admission is free to this event, with donations for the City Chapter welcome.
The two poets who will help the City Chapter to celebrate National Poetry Day are Ruth Carr and Frank Ormsby, both of whom will talk about and read from their own work.
Ruth Carr has worked as an editor and tutor, mostly in a community context for the latter. One of her favourite jobs was to produce an anthology of poetry, fiction and drama by women for the Northern Ireland Women’s Rights Movement ‘The Female Line’ (1985). Since then she has compiled the contemporary women’s fiction section of ‘The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing’, Volumes 4 and 5, and co-edited ‘The Honest Ulsterman’ poetry magazine until its final paper edition in 2003. She is delighted that The Honest Ulsterman has found new life as an online journal.
As a member of the Word of Mouth Poetry Collective, Ruth has been one of the translators of the work of five Russian poets from St Petersburg in their anthology ‘When the Neva Rushes Backward’, published by Lagan Press in 2014. She has two collections published by Summer Palace Press, ‘There is a House’ (1998) and ‘The Airing Cupboard’ (2008). With the support of an Arts Council bursary she has been exploring the fascinating lives of Dorothy Wordsworth and Mary Ann McCracken, who were contemporaries but never met.
Frank Ormsby was a teacher of English. His books of poetry include the collections ‘Ripe for Company’ (1971), ‘A Store of Candles’ (1977), ‘A Northern Spring’ (1986) and ‘The Ghost Train’ (1995). ‘Fireflies’, Frank’s most recent collection, was published by Carcanet in 2009. He was Editor of the Honest Ulsterman from 1969-1989 and has also edited a number of anthologies, including ‘Thine in Storm and Calm: An Amanda McKittrick Ros Reader’ (1988), ‘The Collected Poems of John Hewitt’ (1991), ‘The Blackbird’s Nest’ (2006) and ‘Northern Windows: An Anthology of Ulster Autobiography’ (1987).
In 1992 Frank received the Cultural Traditions Award, given in memory of John Hewitt, and in 2002 the Lawrence O’Shaughnessy Award for Poetry from the University of St Thomas at St Paul, Minnesota.
This event has been organised in association with the John Hewitt Society and is funded by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council. A spokesperson for the City Chapter said: “We are grateful for the support of both organisations, enabling the four libraries to celebrate poetry together. This is the 21st year of National Poetry Day which has engaged millions of people with poetry. We know that there is such a variety of poetry written and read each year and we welcome Ruth and Frank to help us celebrate it in the City of Armagh.”