Home | Inspire me |  Cork poets are to visit Coventry. Coventry-Cork Poetry Exchange 2018

Cork poets are to visit Coventry. Coventry-Cork Poetry Exchange 2018

Published: Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Michelle delea - coventry cork poetry exchange

Coventry will welcome two Irish poets to the city in November to celebrate a shared love of poetry and a partnership spanning over half a century.

Cork-based poets, Ali Bracken and Michelle Delea, will make the visit as part of an ongoing poetry exchange between the UK City of Culture 2021 and Ireland’s second largest city.

After sharing their work at two local poetry events, the pair will be given a tour of the city, perform on local radio, and meet with Coventry’s Lord Mayor to commemorate 60 years of their twinning link established in 1958.

This comes just three months after two Coventry-based poets visited Cork to share their work and meet the city’s mayor for a state visit.

Chenine Bhathena, Creative Director of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “This is a compelling project that shows how artists from different cities can collaborate and strengthen relationships across borders.

“Creative exchange between international and Coventry based artists will be a key feature of the plans in the run up to, and during Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture 2021.

“Coventry is a pioneer when it comes to twinning with other cities and this is a great example of how internationalism is in our DNA and core to the cultural fabric of the city.” 

Adam Steiner, of Coventry publisher Silhouette Press, said: “It’s great to see Coventry building upon their international links with other nations while maintaining established connections with its twin cities, like Cork.

“The Coventry-Cork Poetry Exchange supports emerging and established poets at key points in their artistic career, in a continued expression of solidarity and a united commitment to the art.

“I’d like to thank Coventry City Council for their continued support that has allowed the exchange to flourish and grow poetry and culture in Coventry.”

Paul Casey, who hosted the Coventry poets on their trip to Cork in August this year, said: “We are thrilled that two of our own poets will be making the trip.

“This will be the ninth year of poetry exchanges between Cork and Coventry. Over the years, poets from both cities have formed long-term friendships and meaningful collaborations.

“I believe both cities will continue to inspire a generation of new writers, audiences and networks. This link is helping to enrich their arts programmes, and maintain their connection to shared poetic traditions.

“I’d like to thank Councils of both Cork and Coventry for their ongoing support, as poets and community groups from both cities continue to benefit from this growing partnership.”

Bracken and Delea will be performing at Coventry’s annual Peace Festival at the Royal Oak pub on Wednesday, November 7 and the Treehouse Bookshop’s Pure Good & Right poetry night in Kenilworth on Thursday, November 8. Both events are free to attend.


For more information visit www.facebook.com/events/334924043938679/ 


Ali Bracken Ziad is currently working on a debut chapbook and is a regular attendee of Cork’s Ó Bhéal. He has been published in Feasta; was recently published in the latest edition of Ó Bhéal's Five Word Anthology; and is the current Munster Slam champion, finishing fourth in the National Slam Poetry Championship final. He was awarded a Quercus College Scholarship for his work in English at UCC in 2016. He is also this year’s winner of the inaugural Eoin Murray Memorial Scholarship in Creative Writing, holds a degree in English from University College Cork, and is studying law in UCC at present. Ali has been selected to represent Ó Bhéal at this year’s Cork-Coventry exchange.


Michelle Delea is an architect, poet and artist from Cork City, Ireland. She recently performed her work at Shannonside, Townlands and Cork's Midsummer Festival. She is a regular contributor to Ó Bhéal, The Garden Collective and Sling Slang. She was invited to take part in ECIC, a European literary exchange at Festival de Voulmentin 2018. While We Are Here is her first in a series of handmade chapbooks which toys with the illustration of poetry.


Peter Raynard is the editor of Proletarian Poetry (www.proletarianpoetry.com), which has featured over 130 poets on working class lives. He has written two books of poetry: his debut collection Precarious (Smokestack Books, 2018) and The Combination: a poetic coupling of the Communist Manifesto (Culture Matters, 2018). He was sent from Coventry after thirty years, spent ten years in London, and now lives in St Albans, thus is slowly making his way home.


Jane Commane was born in Coventry and lives and works in Warwickshire. Her first full-length collection, Assembly Lines, is due from Bloodaxe in 2018. Her poetry has featured in anthologies including The Best British Poetry 2011 (Salt Publishing) and Lung Jazz: Young British Poets for Oxfam (Cinnamon) and in magazines including Anon, And Other Poems, Bare Fiction, Iota, Tears in the Fence and The Morning Star. She has been a poet in residence at the Brontë Parsonage in Haworth, and has led many writing workshops in a variety of locations, including in museums, castles, city centres, orchards and along riverbanks. In 2016, she was chosen to join Writing West Midlands’ Room 204 writer development programme. A graduate of the Warwick Writing Programme, for a decade she also worked in museums and archives. Jane is editor at Nine Arches Press, co-editor of Under the Radar magazine, co-organiser of the Leicester Shindig poetry series, and is co-author (with Jo Bell) of How to Be a Poet, a creative writing handbook and blog series. In 2017 she was awarded a Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship.