27 September 2010

Belfast, Rhythm and Rhyme

I know this labyrinth so well – Balaclava, Raglan, Inkerman, / Odessa Street –
(Belfast Confetti, Ciaran Carson)
The New Belfast Community Arts Initiative are in the process of creating a poetry map of Belfast. They are inviting the public to submit works written about, or perhaps from, any Belfast location. This link will take you to their website. They are also inviting memebers of the public to go along to the Black Box, Hill Street on Wednesday 29th September at 6.30pm and make a recording of their poem.

Plenty of poetry has already come from Belfast’s streets and some of it, notably the work of Ciaran Carson, even has a clear cartographical leaning. Only a few nights ago I heard Frank Ormsby reading from his new collection, Fireflies. It includes a cycle of poems called City Journal, a set of works that might fit very well with this project. I do not know whether or not Community Arts Initiative’s map will include previously published work but it may enrich the project.

In words Ormsby maps, among other places, the Limestone Road, the site of a former shirt factory:

… the frame full of girls / arriving on foot / from the side streets / off Limestone Road / years before the first bomb / and its thousand echoes . . .
(The Shirt Factory, Frank Ormsby)