Jane Clarke poem used in Galway 2020 sculpture

Jane Clarke poem used in Galway 2020 sculpture


Two Bloodaxe poets, Jane Clarke and Louis de Paor, were invited to contribute to the Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture launch celebrations in February 2020.

Lines from Jane Clarke's poem 'The Suck' from her acclaimed debut collection The River featured on a public sculpture created for the Ballinasloe ceremony as part of the six-day Fire Tour that launched Galway 2020.  The poem was read in full by local resident Mike O'Reilly at the ceremony on 5 February, and flames lit up Jane's words that ran around the base of the Ballinasloe sphere:

'the river held our stories, it was where/we’d go to talk or cry or be quiet/in the company of the current'

Crafted from steel, artist Jacqueline Pyle’s dynamic spheres weave word with landscape, history with nature. The artist created unique spheres for each of the six towns partaking in the week-long Fire Tour, along with a sphere dedicated to the City of Tribes itself, which has yet to be lit.

As the spheres are placed together, the rivers create a unique flow of water that unites the towns. Along the flow of water, a verse line from a selection of existing poetry describes the land, sea or town beside it.

Photographs of all six spheres can be seen on the Galway 2020 website here.


Irish language poet Louis de Paor was commissioned to write a 'Declaration' which he was due to read at the final launch on Saturday 8 February 2020 (which sadly had to be cancelled due to severe weather warnings). Louis was interviewed about this, and about the arts in Ireland more generally, on RTE Radio 1's Arena on 7 February (1st item). Listen here.

[10 February 2020]

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