National Poetry Day

National Poetry Day – April 27th 2017

To celebrate Poetry Day Ireland 2017, Artisan House in conjunction with Conamara Environmental Education & Cultural Centre will host two events featuring poet Joan McBreen and poet, novelist and screenwriter, Brian Leyden.  Music will be provided by clarinet and sax player, Bertrand Huve.

3.00pm: Poetry Trail Walk

Joan McBreen and Brian Leyden will lead a walk along the Letterfrack Poetry Trail. The Letterfrack Poetry Trail consists of nine specially commissioned poems on plaques in various locations in the village of Letterfrack, in the Connemara National Park and in the Connemara West Centre.  It also includes a poem by President Michael D Higgins, who opened the Poetry Trail in 2014.

Meet in the Connemara National Park foyer, bring rain gear and walking shoes.

7.30pm: Readings and music in Artisan House, Letterfrack

Brian Leyden will be joined by jazz musician Bertrand Huve on saxophone and clarinet for an evening of readings and music, including readings from Brian’s own work as well as from fermata: Writings inspired by Music edited by Eva Bourke and Vincent Woods and published by Artisan House in 2016.  Joan McBreen will be a special guest and will read from fermata and from her forthcoming publication Map and Atlas.

Music will be provided by Bertrand Huve, ensuring a rich and enjoyable evening.

The event will take place in the studios of Artisan House publishers, an end-of-terrace workshop built c.1850 by James and Mary Ellis, members of the Quaker family that founded Letterfrack village.

Poetry Trail guided walk is free.

Places for Artisan House evening event will be limited to 30 persons so advance booking is advisable.  Charge at door: €6.

To reserve a place, please book online or email or

Book Online


Brian Leyden, from Co Leitrim, is a novelist, short story writer, memoirist, screenwriter and editor. His books include the bestselling memoir, The Home Place (New Island, 2002), the novel, Death and Plenty (Brandon Books, 1996), and the short story collection, Departures (Brandon Books, 1992. He is a regular contributor to Sunday Miscellany on RTE Radio 1 and has made a number of  radio documentaries. He is a recent contributor to Winter Papers (Curlew Editions, 2016),  fermata: Writings inspired by Music (Artisan House, 2016) and Writing the Sky (Dalkey Archive Press, 2016). His most recent publications are Sweet Old World: New & Selected Stories (Lepus Print 2015) and the novel Summer of ’63 (Lepus Print 2016).


Joan McBreen, Sligo-born poet, now divides her time between Tuam and Renvyle, Co Galway. Her poetry collections are: The Wind Beyond the Wall (Story Line Press 1990), A Walled Garden in Moylough (Story Line Press and Salmon Poetry 1995), Winter in the Eye – New and Selected Poems (Salmon Poetry 2003), Heather Island (Salmon Poetry 2009, reprinted 2013), and most recently Map and Atlas (Salmon Poetry 2017).

Joan is a contributor to a number of journals and anthologies including fermata: Writings inspired by Music (Artisan House, 2016) She was awarded an MA from University College Dublin in 1997 and is a serving member of the board of Poetry Ireland.

Bertrand Huve is a highly accomplished jazz musician and plays saxaphone and clarinet as well as other reed instruments.  Hailing from the Brittany region of France, Bertrand now lives in Galway where he regularly performs and teaches jazz and classical music.  He has played with numerous bands and orchestras including the Black Magic Big Band, The Lewd Tunes and the Galway Gipsy Jazz Quartet.


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