A performance of poetry on the theme of peace and reconciliation produced in specially convened workshops, by community groups from across Northern Ireland, to coincide with the celebration of the centenary of the Peace Palace at The Hague will take place on Friday (June 20). The event will also feature readings by Belfast poet Ciaran Carson, who has written about the conflict and reconciliation in Northern Ireland. The participants’ poems - written by ex fire fighters, a nurse who worked with the injured during the Troubles and others who simply wanted to share thoughts on building peace post-conflict - will be read by well-known actors including Lalor Roddy.
The project has been arranged by Dr Leon Litvack from the School of English at Queen’s University.
Leon said: “The participants’ works are powerful, personal, and even painful. Poetry was chosen as the medium because, given the right atmosphere and guidance, everyone can write poems; then, by revising them thinking about the words, phrases, and rhythms, people learn that they can use art to make others understand how they feel about issues that matter to all of us. Poetry in and of itself does not lead to peace; but by hearing the messages spoken out loud in a performance event such as this one, people can join a conversation that grows, evolves, and can, with sufficient force, lead to a change of heart.”