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Multi-award-winning writer Margaret Atwood headlined the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council’s The Poetry Weekender in September 2022.

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council in association with Poetry Ireland hosted the The Poetry Weekender, a two-day celebration of poetry that took place at dlr LexIcon and its environs on the 17th and 18th September 2022. Programmed by dlr Poet in Residence Jessica Traynor and Poetry Ireland, The Poetry Weekender was kindly funded by Creative Ireland.

“Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council is delighted to partner with Poetry Ireland on The Poetry Weekender which will give audiences on opportunity to hear from some of the best poets writing today including the incredible and inspirational Margaret Atwood as well as an abundance of home-grown talent.” An Cathaoirleach, Councillor Mary Hanafin

“dlr County Council is thrilled to celebrate the culmination of a year’s work by our poet in residence Jessica Traynor with The Poetry Weekender which will showcase a wealth of poetic talent. With readings, masterclasses, a poetry walk and some music thrown into the mix, this promises to be a fantastic weekend for poetry enthusiasts.” Frank Curran, CEO, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council 

The Poetry Weekender programme included a poetry masterclass with Costa Prize-winner Hannah Lowe, a words + music workshop for teens with musician Farah Elle, and a Gingko walk around Dún Laoghaire led by poets Rosamund Taylor and Katie Donovan.

The Carbon Project; a new pamphlet of eco-poetry edited by Jessica Traynor and the culmination of workshops given to local writers during her residency was launched as part of The Poetry Weekender. Contributors included Sree Sen, Monica de Bhailís, Charlotte Buckley, Jane Robinson and more.

There was a celebration of the latest issue of the much-loved Poetry Ireland Review, edited by Professor Gerald Dawe with ‘Poetry Ireland Review by the Sea’, featuring readings by celebrated poets Jean O’Brien, Simon Ó Faoláin, John O’Donnell, and Moya Cannon.

Saturday’s headline event at dlr LexIcon Studio featured Costa Prize-winner Rachel Long, Varuna Writer’s Residency recipient Catherine Phil MacCarthy, Forward Prize winner Stephen Sexton and poet and musician Maija Sofia.
On Sunday 18th September, The Poetry Weekender culminated with the headline event The Poetry of Margaret Atwood, at dlr Pavilion Theatre in Dún Laoghaire. One of the world’s most renowned writers, Margaret Atwood read from Dearly, her latest collection of poetry. She also talked about her poetry influences and the state of the world in what was a fascinating conversation with author, archivist, and scholar Catriona Crowe.

Best known for her fiction, Margaret Atwood’s ground-breaking and bestselling novels include The Handmaid’s Tale, The Testaments, Oryx and Crake, among others. However, she has, from the beginning of her career, been one of the world's most significant contemporary poets. She is one of the very few writers equally accomplished in fiction and poetry.  Her 2020 collection Dearly is a stunning achievement, and this headline event The Poetry of Margaret Atwood is much anticipated. 

“Dearly is her first in over 10 years, is a reckoning with the past that comes from a place of wisdom and control. At 81, she harnesses the experience of a lifetime to assume a wry distance from her subjects – as if, in an astounding world, nothing could throw her off balance.”  Kate Kellaway, The Observer, November 2020.

Presented by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council in association with Poetry Ireland and kindly funded by Creative Ireland.