NAVIGATION

Open Call for Poems to Map Sites in Marble Arch Caves UNESCO Global Geopark this Poetry Day Ireland

Do you love the natural heritage of our Geopark? Do you write poetry? Celebrate this Poetry Day Ireland on 29 April by penning a poem that might be published on an innovative digital poetry map.

Marble Arch Caves UNESCO Global Geopark launched the project on UNESCO World Poetry Day last month. This digital project will map various Geopark sites poem by poem, will go live in October 2021 and is funded by Geological Survey Ireland’s Community Geoheritage Fund.

Poems by new and emerging poets will be published beside poets who have been specially commissioned to produce new work on the Geoheritage of specific sites. Maria McManus and Seamas McCanny have a long connection with the Belcoo/Blacklion area of the Geopark and are well known and established poets. Anthony J. Quinn was Writer in Residence for Cavan County Council in 2019/20. Cavan-based Noel Monaghan has had seven poetry collections published by Salmon. Dara McAnulty is the author of 2020’s award winning Diary of A Young Naturalist, which is partly based in the Fermanagh area of the Geopark.

“We are seeking submissions now of poems that are specific to a Geopark site and with a strong Geoheritage focus”, says Geopark Poetry Map Curator, Bee Smith.  Geoheritage focuses on geology – rocks and the associated earth sciences that have helped shape the landscape and places over time. Those slow time changes interact with the inhabitants – our flora, fauna, and people – and these in turn impact the broader culture.

“We hope to see poems submitted that reflect the synergy between geology, landscape and culture and how we interact with our geoheritage”, says Geopark Poetry Map Curator, Bee Smith. Poets will have their text on the poetry map recited by professional actors so that there is both a visual and aural experience of the poem.

Smith continues: “Martina O’Neill, Development Officer for Partnerships and Engagement, has created lots of resource material that will help enrich the poetry writing. Poetry often is sparked by a memory, but it also is enriched by research. We have been very fortunate to have Geopark staff who been helpful by creating documents specifically for this project”.

To receive full submission guidelines and the resource material to help you polish your poem please email GeoparkPoetryMap@gmail.com. The submission deadline is Monday 31 May 2021.

To celebrate Poetry Day Ireland this 29 April 2021 and the Geopark Poetry Map A poem by Bee Smith’ Iapetus’, an example of Geoheritage poetry.

 

Iapetus

For Dr. Kirstin Lemon

 

The primordial soup

boiled over,

a neonising tsunami

overflowing,

making a subtropical hollow

ocean

over iron stained desert floor

 

Ebb and flow ,

sun up and down,

landmass creaks and groans.

Still – the magma goes.

 

The Cailleach never shrugged.

Not at all!

Nor she shirked.

She bore the granite load,

lugging it, going heave-ho!

Playing pat-a-cake,

She mixed mud and stone,

taking the two and making one –

 

An island of halves,

bi-valved, being both,

doing the double,

tied with her apron’s strings.

 

Running her giant’s thumb

down the seam

the Cailleach made her mark

with a spit and a lick.

She sealed its secret,

calling it a promise.

 

Copyright© Bee Smith, 2020.

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