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Irish Poetry Reading Archive: Introduction & News

The voice of Irish poetry

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The Irish Poetry Reading Archive is leading a new project which will use poetry as a means to explore how Ireland's struggle for independence and the Civil War shaped the emergence of the Irish State. 

The project is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media. Working with Poetry Ireland and the Arts Council in Northern Ireland , IPRA will collaborate with a diverse range of poets, institutions, groups, and individuals to deliver innovative and imaginative outputs

More information can be found here.

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The Irish Poetry Reading Archive

The Irish Poetry Reading Archive is part of a project to create a central repository for poetry readings by Irish poets and writers. The collection captures the voice of the poet reading a selection of their work, and giving a very brief overview of the context and circumstances that influenced the writing of the poem. For the majority of readings, the poets also provided handwritten or typed transcriptions of the poem, allowing audience interaction with the poem and poet in a unique way.

This collection is an ongoing project, started in 2014, created and managed by UCD Library. Bringing together the voices of Irish poets in a curated secure environment will ensure that this cultural heritage collection is preserved for future generations. Over time, the collection will become a resource of national scope and significance, serving both national and international readers and scholars with interests in Irish poetry. UCD Library is extremely grateful to the large number of poets who are featured in the Irish Poetry Reading Archive, many of them Aosdána members, who have generously and freely given of their time to initiate the project.

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Interested in Participating?

The Irish Poetry Reading Archive was formally launched by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht on December 2nd, 2015.

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The Irish Poetry Reading Archive featured on The Poetry Programme, RTE1, August 27th, 2016. Listen here.

If you would like to read for the Archive, please get in touch.


Irish Diaspora Poets

Poetry is a powerful tool to build Irish communities abroad, to foster dialogue on contemporary social and cultural issues.

This project will record the work of Irish diaspora poets for inclusion in the Irish Poetry Reading Archive, ensuring access to Irish poetry by affinity Irish communities at home and abroad,. The Archive will preserve and disseminate these unique Irish poetry recordings for contemporary viewers and for future generations.  This year we are working with: 

  • Gary Barwin - in Canada
  • Alvy Carragher - Canada
  • Lizz Murphy - In Australia
  • Leeanne Quinn in Germany 



The Irish Diaspora Poets series, which will help to celebrate and strengthen the links between Ireland and the Global Irish, is made possible by the support of the Government of Ireland Emigrant Support Programme (ESP), coordinated by the Department of Foreign Affairs. UCD Library is very grateful for this support 

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Calling Irish diaspora poets

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We are compiling a list of Irish Diaspora poets

If you have at least one published collection and would like to be associated with this archive, please get in touch. We are working to better understand who the Diaspora poets are, where they are living, and a little about their connections to Ireland. We will use this information to seek opportunities to include more diaspora poets in the archive. 

Interested in getting involved? Send along a brief overview of your work, your connections to Ireland to or contact Please use  "Irish Diaspora Poets"  in the subject line. Thank you.

Recently Added Poets - Previews in YouTube

Catherine Ann Cullen reads her poem 'The Other Now' in the UCD Special Collections Reading Room. Preserved in the Irish Poetry Reading Archive.

Nine new poetry readings by Cullen can be viewed in the Archive.

President Michael D. Higgins reads his poem 'The Betrayal' in the UCD Special Collections Reading Room on the 23rd June. Preserved in the Irish Poetry Reading Archive.

All nine of his poetry readings can be viewed in the Archive.

Chiamaka Enyi-Amadi reads her poem 'Women and Other Flowers' at the 2016 'Celebrating Poetry and Music' event held in the Hub, James Joyce Library on the 30th June. Part of the 2016 UCD Festival.

Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill reads her poem 'An Mhurúch san Ospidéal' at the 2016 'Celebrating Poetry and Music' event held in the Hub, James Joyce Library on the 30th June. Part of the 2016 UCD Festival.

Kimberly Campanello reads MOTHERBABYHOME in the UCD Special Collection Reading Room.

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The Irish Poetry Reading Archive holds the voices of our poetry community, and presents the wealth and diversity of Irish poetry today, in English and in Irish. The archive records and curates these voices, making them freely available around the world and preserving them for future generations.

Thank you to all of the poets who have worked with us, and helped to create this digital heritage archive.  

We are committed to the principle of fair and equitable remuneration for artists. We believe that our investment in curating and preserving the voices of poets, as well as in giving poets access to high quality video recordings, constitutes a legitimate 'value exchange'.