The official launch of the Belfast Poetry Jukebox, part of the Belfast International Arts Festival, has taken place at Crescent Arts Centre, with readings from a number of the poets involved in the project.
The Poetry Jukebox is installed outside the Crescent, containing recordings of twenty works from poets across Ireland, allowing visitors and passers-by immediate access to poetry in an unconventional environment.
Damian Smyth, Head of Literature at Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented that the journey to bring the Jukebox to Belfast “was one of vision, belief and commitment,” and that the jukebox was now part of “the physical fabric of this city… a gift to the city of Belfast,” praising the “selfless action” of Maria McManus and Deirdre Cartmill in realising their vision.
We spoke to Maria and Deirdre, founders and curators of the Belfast Poetry Jukebox, and joint artists-in-residence for this year’s festival, about the importance of the installation and how the project came about. We also spoke with some of the poets whose poets are showcased, including Olive Broderick, David Braziel, Glen Wilson and Seanin Hughes, as well as Nessa O’Mahony, who also told us about her work on the forthcoming international poetry anthology Metamorphic: 21st century poets respond to Ovid, co-edited with Paul Munden.