Monday 15 October 2018

'Creative energy that often has little place to grow' - young people urged to drop tech for poetry

Alice Lyons reading poetry to a group of schoolchildren at Yeats’s grave in Sligo
Photo: Brian Farrell
Alice Lyons reading poetry to a group of schoolchildren at Yeats’s grave in Sligo Photo: Brian Farrell
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

POETRY can help young people to learn, play and discover things about themselves in a way that smartphones and social media can't, according to Irish-American poet Alice Lyons.

Today is Poetry Day Ireland and Lyons said she thinks we should not treat it as a medium as a past but a way to embrace modern life.

She was speaking today as she is unveiled as inaugural poet in residence of Yeats Society Sligo, which celebrates and promotes the legacy of renowned Irish writer WB Yeats.

This is the first time that the society has appointed a poet in residence, Ms Lyons said she is thrilled with the honour and plans to promote poetry to the younger generation.

She explained: "Our children and young people are bursting with creative energy that often has little place to grow or go deep or be real.

"Their lives are squeezed by so many surface demands: the surface of surfing their screens, the surfaces of the social network and its superficialities, the surfaces of a school curriculum that often rewards compliance over risk.

"Poetry can be a place for children and young people to venture out into the deeper night-sea waters of their lives to plumb, to play, to discover.

"The hope is to offer Sligo a place, as young Yeats had, to open up to fun, fearlessness and adventure through the medium of poetry."

Ms Lyons holds a Ph.D from the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen’s University,her work has been recognised worldwide and among her accolades she has won the Patrick Kavanagh Award for Poetry, the inaugural Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary from Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, and an Irish Film and Television Award (IFTA) .

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