Poet In Residence

Cork City Libraries' Poet in Residence programme

Poet in Residence | File Cónaithe

In October 2022, Keith Payne was announced as Cork City Libraries’ first Eco Poet in Residence. This appointment was funded by Creative Ireland and will run until Spring 2023.

Throughout the year, Keith will engage communities on the ecology of the city, natural and human, through poetry and creative thinking.

The residency creatively supports Cork City Council’s high-level goals of an environmentally sustainable city by proactively engaging and empowering citizens to make the city climate resilient through creativity as well as a city promoting culture, heritage, learning, health and wellbeing. Cork City Council is keen to take a leading civic role in climate action. Creatively this residency will engage communities in healthy living options and build a sense of belonging with our increasingly diverse community.  

Keith will be running translation workshops, which will bring those languages, and their speakers, ever closer to us; a Wanderlust book club on the literature of walking: from Bashō to Frank O’Hara, Laurie Lee to Tommy Pico, and our own adopted Corkman, Martín Veiga of Crosses Green. There will be mentorships for poets working toward their first collection, a series of workshops on the Body and the Poem with dancer and adopted Corkonian Inma Pavon, as well as readings, talks and guest writers.

Poet In Residence
Keith Payne | Image by Michael O'Sullivan

About Keith Payne

Award-winning poet and translator Keith Payne has published seven collections of poetry in translation and original poetry. He was writer in residence for the Red Line Book Festival 2020, John Broderick Writer in Residence 2021, and in 2022 was awarded an Artist in the Community Scheme from Create, for work with refugees in Athlone for the project Tales my Granny Told me. He is Curator of the Aodh Ruadh Ó Domhnaill Poetry Bursary between Ireland and Galicia and a member of Crosswinds: Irish and Galician Poetry and Translation, at the Moore Institute, University of Galway. He was awarded an An Arts Council of Ireland / An Chomhairle Ealaíon Literature Bursary in 2022.

Collections include Broken Hill (Lapwing, Belfast, 2015); Six Galician Poets (Arc, 2016); Diary of Crosses Green, from the Galician of Martín Veiga (Francis Boutle, 2018), The Desert, from the Galician of María do Cebreiro (Shearsman, 2019, PBS Translation Choice), Second Tongue, from the Galician of Yolanda Castaño (Shearsman 2020), Jewels in the Mud: Selected poems 1990-2020, from the Galician of Martín Veiga (Small Stations Press, 2020) and A Different Eden: Ecopoetry from Ireland and Galicia, (Dedalus Press, 2021).

His current practice focuses on writing about place; engaging with the physical space we move through every day, disturbing the layers of history, folklore, architecture, ecology and imagination to get atthe heart of where we live and how we live.

Poet, writers, singers and artists do not shy away from the difficult questions. Questions that begin at home, and then reach beyond national boundaries. In order to create a new relationship with our surroundings, our community, our tradition, we need also to find different languages through which to conceive and conduct that relationship. A poet’s approach to words is always one of quest, exploration and interrogation.