Sculpture of late poet to be unveiled

POET Paul Durcan will unveil a sculpture of the late Michael Hartnett during this year’s Eigse Michael Hartnett which opens in Newcastle West, Co Limerick today.

The sculpture by Rory Breslin was commissioned by the local community council and is a life-size bronze statue of the poet with his famous “Necklace of Wrens” book in hand.

“I always knew he was outstanding, out of the ordinary, one of the two or three you could say was a poet,” Durcan explains.

“Patrick Kavanagh talks about the ‘standing army of poets’ in Ireland but there are only two or three and Michael was one of them,” he added.

The unveiling will take place on this Saturday at 2pm when Durcan will be joined by Michael Hartnett’s son, Niall.

The occasion will also see a performance of “Hartnett UnRapped”, a fresh take on Michael Hartnett’s work by pupils from his old school, the Courtenay Boys School, working with rap-duo Size2Shoes, Owen and Moley O’Suilleabhain.

This year’s Eigse Michael Hartnett will also feature other poetry and music from singer/songwriter Juliet Turner will perform along with poet Jo Slade tomorrow night.

Poets Theo Dorgan and David Whyte will be joined on stage by Brian Kennedy the following day.

The Michael Hartnett Poetry Award Winner 2011 is poet Peter Sirr for his collection “The Thing Is”.

He will be joined on the festival opening night by social commentator Fergus Finlay of Barnardos who will speak on the theme “Reimagining and Reinventing Ireland.”

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