Award-winning Irish Poet coming to Cairns

    Colm Keegan is described as, “One of the most important voices in contemporary Irish literature” by poet Kerrie O’Brien, and he is coming to The Cairns Institute, Australia!

    An award winning writer and poet from Dublin, Ireland, Colm was a co-founder and board member of Lingo, Ireland’s first Spoken Word festival, and more recently was guest editor of Poetry Ireland Review for May 2022. His debut collection “Don’t Go There” was released to critical acclaim and his latest collection, “Randomer”, was described as, “A pounding, propulsive collection that has a physical effect on the reader.” (Donal Ryan). 

    Michelle Redman-MacLaren, a JCU researcher and TEDx JCUCairns presenter, first met Colm in 2020 after he saw her TEDx talk, Can Poetry Make Us Healthy? which promoted the use of poetry for social change. In 2020, Colm led the ‘Writing Home’ project, developed with Kilkenny County Council, supporting homeless service users through the pandemic. ‘Writing Home’ won a LAMA All Ireland Community and Council Award for best education initiative 2021.

    Colm has since become a poetry mentor to the “Deadly Poets Society”, a group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous poet academics and researchers who meet regularly through CRESTRIDE (Centre for Research Excellence – Strengthening Systems for Indigenous Health Care Equity) here in Australia. Michelle co-facilitates this group with Dr Vicki Saunders, Gunggari academic poet and JCU Alumni.
    In October, Colm will come to Australia to facilitate a writing retreat for the “Deadly Poets Society” on Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island) as a guest of the CRE-STRIDE, and will then come up to Cairns to work with JCU and fellow CRE-STRIDE institutional partner, CQUni.

    Currently an Artist in Residence with the Department of Education at Maynooth University, Colm will also work with students at Kuranda District State College on Djabugay Country while he is in the area.

    Colm will also facilitate a poetry writing workshop in The Cairns Institute at 4pm on Wednesday 19 October (registration details to follow; numbers are limited). Following the Workshop, there will be a free, public Poetry Reading in the Ideas Lab where poets from the workshop will open the show, and Colm will deliver an open reading from his two books, along with other poetry he is currently working on.

    From the reviews below, we can be sure we are all in for a poetry feast!
    “Keegan’s voice is singular and urgent, trigger-full of musicality and vigour.” Critic and novelist Sinead Gleeson
    “Lively, provocative and genuine...no literary bullshit... achieves the most terrific sense of drama from the familiar.” David Morley Poetry UK Review
    “Creates an image of a rarely seen Dublin far away from the one portrayed by the media.” Katherine Lockton Eyewear Mag UK

    To register https://bit.ly/Poetry_TCI

    For more information about the upcoming event, contact A/Prof. Michelle Redman-MacLaren, JCU College of Medicine and Dentistry michelle.maclaren@jcu.edu.au or vyvyen.wong@jcu.edu.au

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