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Patients and Staff in Irish hospitals to receive a ‘Menu of Poems’ for Poetry Day Ireland

To celebrate Poetry Day Ireland on Thursday 02 May 2019, a ‘Menu of Poems’ will be distributed throughout Irish hospital wards, waiting rooms and other healthcare settings for patients, visitors and staff to enjoy. The poetry was selected by Dublin poet Ailbhe Darcy.

‘Menu of Poems’ takes the form of a short anthology of poetry which is distributed annually to healthcare users in a range of healthcare settings. Produced by Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust on behalf of Arts and Health Co-ordinators Ireland, supported by Poetry Ireland and HSE Health Promotion and Improvement, over 10,000 people in healthcare settings will receive the Menu on Poetry Day Ireland.

The anthology includes poems by Marianne Moore, Muriel Rukeyser and Tara Bergin.

Since its conception in 2008, the Menu of Poems project has been a positive development in the lives of both patients and those who work in healthcare settings across Ireland. The poetry is circulated on meal trays in hospitals and other healthcare settings with readings and workshops taking place on Poetry Day Ireland.

Participating hospitals and health centres commented that the Menu lives long after Poetry Day with the ‘Menu of Poems’ on display throughout the year.

Ailbhe Darcy, poet and editor of the 2019 ‘Menu of Poems’, said: "What a pleasure and a privilege it has been, to be allowed to choose the poems that will be served up in hospitals this Poetry Day. I think poetry should infiltrate every space and institution, should be there to stop us in our tracks at every turn. ‘The Menu of Poems’ is a little, lovely contribution to this much-needed poetry revolution." 

Maureen Kennelly, Director of Poetry Ireland, said: “We’re delighted to partner with Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust and Arts and Health Co-ordinators Ireland on this truly uplifting project for Poetry Day Ireland. To quote Seamus Heaney, ‘good poetry is strong enough to help’ and to have the opportunity to help spread the positive power of poetry in healthcare settings is something we immediately felt we wanted to support.’’

Margaret Flannery, Arts Director at Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust, said: “The Menu of Poems is a simple project with a big impact. Each year we have the opportunity to co-ordinate a project for patients in our hospitals where we all get to discover and experience poetry. The project continues to grow annually; we plan to work with our partners to insure all patients in hospital on Poetry Day 2020 will receive a Menu.”

The following hospitals and centres will participate in Menu of Poems 2019:

·         Arts for Health Partnership Programme, West Cork;

·         Arts in Health at Cork University Hospital;

·         Clare, Limerick and North Tipperary Community Health Organisation;

·         Community Healthcare West (Galway, Mayo, Roscommon);

·         Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust;

·         Saolta University Health Care Group incorporating University Hospital Galway, Merlin Park University Hospital, Mayo University Hospital, Portiuncula University Hospital, Roscommon University                Hospital, Sligo University Hospital and Letterkenny University Hospital;

·         Kildare County Council Arts and Health Programme;

·         Naas General Hospital Arts Committee;

·         National Centre for Arts and Health, Tallaght;

·         South Tipperary General Hospital;

·         South Tipperary Mental Health Services;

·         St. Luke’s General Hospital, Kilkenny;

·         St Luke’s Radiation Oncology Network in Dublin;

·         UL Hospitals Group incorporating University Hospital Limerick, University Maternity Hospital Limerick, Ennis Hospital, Nenagh Hospital and Croom Orthopaedic Hospital;

·         Waterford Healing Arts Trust;

·         West Cork Mental Health Services Arts and Health Programme and

·         Wexford General Hospital.

A downloadable version of the ‘Menu of Poems’ is available at:

For information on Poetry Day Ireland visit

The article above is specific to the following Saolta hospitals:: 
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