Special plea for ongoing care and vigilance
All members of the school community are asked to adhere to public health guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Yesterday’s figures showed that Co. Wexford now has the third lowest 14 day incidence of the disease in the country. This is great news and something of which all of us in Wexford should be proud. In the run up to written Leaving Certificate examinations, let us all maintain this progress so that we can see a safe and uninterrupted final term. In particular, may we make a determined effort to avoid social events in indoor settings e.g. parties.
John Paul 2 Newsletter
Please click here for this week’s newsletter – another uplifting production by this great group of students.
Sinéad digs deep for Poetry Day
Deep Routes Poetry Exchange
We are delighted to announce that Transition Year student Sinéad O’Reilly will be flying the flag for the school at this year’s national Poetry Day which takes place on Thursday, April 29. Sinéad is the coordinator of an exciting project entitled Deep Routes Poetry Exchange.
So, what is it and how did the idea come about? We asked Sinéad to enlighten us.
“It all started last year when a group of young writers, myself included, came together as participants in the inaugural Edna O’Brien Young Writers Bursary organised by MoLI, the Museum of Literature Ireland. We were unable to meet in person because of lockdown so all contact was online. MoLI organised an intensive week-long online workshop. As well as being a totally amazing experience, it was a lot of fun. We immediately bonded as a group both creatively and socially.
When I heard that Poetry Ireland had put out a call for events to celebrate Poetry Day, the idea of a poetry exchange formed in my head and I knew this was the group for it. Once Poetry Ireland said they would support the initiative I got to work on it straight away.
The story exchange concept is something I came across through my involvement with the Narrative 4 organisation (see below). In a story exchange, individuals are paired together and participants share a story that in some way defines them. Afterwards, participants re-tell their partner’s story in the first person. Deep Routes Poetry Exchange followed the same process except that instead of simply retelling your fellow writer’s story, you let it percolate for a few days and retold it in poetic form. The process offered an opportunity to both deepen the roots of the stories told and to take them in a completely new direction. Being loosely inspired by the past year in general, the themes explored range from everyday monotony to freedom, from depression to contrasting brightness, from memory to belonging and friendship, from money struggles to time slipping by.”
The Edna O’Brien Young Writers Bursary Fellow for 2021, acclaimed Dublin writer Sarah Maria Griffin, has given the book a ringing endorsement. “The work in this anthology courses through themes of identity, home, what we have lost during this pandemic … they are deeply elemental and connected to the world”. She goes on to say that the young writers featured are “tenacious, they hold incredible promise: they make me not only hopeful, but excited for the art that Ireland will have to offer in the future.”
The fruits of the labours of Sinéad and her fellow writers, namely transforming lockdown stories into spoken word magic, will be performed at an online event on Poetry Day (April 29) and published in an online and printed anthology. Artwork for the anthology was provided by expressionist painter and Aosdána member Michael Mulcahy.
Deep Routes Poetry Exchange is sponsored by Poetry Ireland. The project is also supported by Wexford Arts Centre, Greenacres Restaurant, Winestore & Gallery and Frank’s Place.
Stories are individual and universal
Stories are pieces of me
Stories are the enduring capsules of our human experience
Stories are the lives of our deepest minds
Stories are the foundation of knowledge
Stories are teardrops on a web of life
Stories are the one universal
Stories are an outlet of emotion
Stories are for sharing
~Deep Routes Poetry Exchange participants
Narrative 4 is a global organisation driven by artists, shaped by educators and led by students. Its core methodology, the story exchange, is designed to help students understand that their voices, stories, actions and lives matter, and that they have the power to change, rebuild and revolutionise systems. N4 ambassadors around the world are creating tangible change with personal stories as their foundation.
The story exchange highlights our shared humanity. N4 has led thousands of exchanges with people of all ages across the globe with results that are often breathtakingly complex and beautiful. In a story exchange, individuals are paired together and participants share a story that in some way defines them. Afterwards, participants tell their partner’s story in the first person. The process of exchanging personal narratives enables us to see the world, and ourselves, more empathically, a belief supported by the work of neuroscientists and by the experiences of story exchange participants.
Narrative 4 supports its growing global family with events and opportunities designed to deepen connections, extend learning, and continually reaffirm the conviction that every human has a story worth telling, a story worthy of respect.
The school warmly congratulates Sinéad for having her poem, Ode to the Milkman, (below) published in The Irish Times last Saturday:
Unseen, your footfalls float like early dew,
A tipping fulcrum, captain dawn to shore,
The keeper of one hundred blinking moons,
Deposited like lanterns at each door.
You’re silent as a backdrop to a dream,
As wheel spokes glint, unroll Hemera’s cloak,
Your eyes alone behold her naked gleam,
Your hand unlocks the caged-in glassy notes.
With hearth-sparks, beating palm, you lace the cold.
The cornerstone of morning, time endured,
A memory, a silence not untold,
For countless sleeping ears are reassured.
At sunrise picture bottles smashed in flight,
As day spills round your feet; a pool of light.
Sinead O’Reilly is a 15-year-old writer from Wexford. She has been twice commended in the Foyle Young Poet of the Year Award and twice runner-up in the Trócaire Poetry Ireland Award. In 2020, she was chosen for the Edna O’Brien Young Writers’s Bursary and the Laureate na nÓg mentoring scheme