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Poet Michael Coady launches Poems for Patience at Cúirt International Festival of Literature

Today, Tuesday, 24 April 2018, Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust celebrated the fifteenth series of Poems for Patience as part of Cúirt International Festival of Literature. Award winning poet Michael Coady launched the 2018 series on the Arts Corridor of University Hospital Galway.
Poems for Patience is part of an ongoing initiative by Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust to introduce poetry into Galway University Hospitals. The poetry is circulated throughout the waiting areas of University Hospital Galway and Merlin Park University Hospital. Michael Coady will introduce 25 poems he has selected, including works by Moya Cannon, Mary O’Malley and John Montague.

The concept of poems in waiting rooms was piloted in London in 1998, with poems commissioned on the theme of waiting. Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust’s first series of Poems for Patience in partnership with Cúirt was launched at the festival in 2004. The poems will be on display on the Arts Corridor at University Hospital Galway until May 25.

Poet Michael Coady said [about the project]: ‘The posters are exhibited in various hospital contexts, which can be locations of hurt and healing, hope and human congregation, skills that touch the crossroads, boreens and boundaries of birth and life and death. Accessibility and clarity are desirable qualities, along with variety. While subjects might touch on the profound, they should avoid unmitigated despair. At the same time any gratuitous dumbing down was out of the question – unworthy of and trivialising the art of poetry and devaluing the sensibilities of its creators and its readers. Poetry may ask deep questions, directly or by indirection, employing literary devices of verbal imagery and rhythm. For the most part it is an art of compression, reaching towards enchantment, mystery and insight’.

In conjunction with the Poems for Patience project, Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust has held an annual poetry competition since 2013. This year, the winning entry is Ruth Quinlan’s poem ‘Small Acts of Anticipation’. Galway based poet, Ruth Quinlan was introduced as the 2018 winner by poet Kevin Higgins, , and read her winning entry at the launch. The poem will now be included in the Arts Trust’s Poems for Patience poetry collection. Ruth Quinlan won the 2014 Over the Edge New Writer of the Year Award and the 2012 Hennessy Literary Award for First Fiction. She has been shortlisted or runner-up for other competitions like Cúirt New Writing, the Francis Ledwidge Poetry Awards, and Doolin Writers’ Weekend.
Margaret Flannery, Arts Director at Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust said: Poems for Patience is my favourite project of the year. I have the opportunity to co-ordinate a project for patients in our hospitals where we all get to discover and experience poetry. I enjoy working with different editors each year as the selection is always fresh with a different perspective. Michael Coady has reminded us of some old favourites this year, introduced new poets to the collection and We are delighted to three poems from the Irish language selected this year. . I am looking forward to hearing patients and staffs reactions.”

Previous year’s participating poet Noel Crook, Texas stated: “What lovely work you do, giving poetry to those who might need it. A beautiful thing!”
Patients have stated; 'It is great to be able to stop for a minute and forget everything and share in a silent way with the world'
'Wonderful collection to ease the mind of even the most inpatient patient!'

The article above is specific to the following Saolta hospitals:: 
University Hospital Galway (UHG)