Belfast Telegraph

Artists and poets join in celebrating European Heritage Open Days

THE south Belfast home of one of Northern Ireland's greatest poets Louis MacNeice, is hosting poetry readings for this year's European Heritage open days (EHOD) on September 14 and 15.

MacNeice House on the Malone Road, will be throwing open its doors to the public who are encouraged to come along and listen to free poetry readings from ten of Northern Ireland's poets including Michael Longley, Ciaran Carson and Belfast's Poet Laureate Sinéad Morrissey.

MacNeice House is currently home to the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the lead development agency for the arts in the region and Dr Suzanne Lyle, Head of Visual Arts, will also be on hand to take visitors on a tour of this impressive Victorian building where they can admire a variety of artworks from the Arts Council collection.

Damian Smyth, Head of Literature and Drama at the Arts Council, said: "How fitting that in the month when we mark Louis MacNeice's 50th anniversary, we should have no fewer than ten of our poets reading his poems and theirs, in the very building he resided in for a substantial period of his life.

"European Heritage Open Days is a fantastic initiative from NIEA, offering over 400 spaces for the public to discover for free. The Arts Council is delighted to be involved again this year and we look forward to welcoming visitors who will no doubt enjoy the free readings from our most distinguished and some of our emerging contemporary poets."

Details:

Saturday 14th – no booking required Tour of MacNeice House and artworks with Dr.Suzanne Lyle. 10am, 12pm and 2pm.

Readings from emerging poets in residence: Erin Halliday, Paula Cunningham, Nathaniel Joseph McAuley, Deirdre Cartmill, Stephen Sexton and Ben Maier.

Sunday 15th - booking essential call 028 9054 3022. 2pm tour of MacNeice House and artworks with Dr. Suzanne Lyle.

Sunday salon: A celebration of Louis MacNeice and NI poetry 3-4pm. Readings by renowned poets Michael Longley, Ciaran Carson, Sinéad Morrissey and Leontia Flynn. (Light refreshments will be provided).

For further information please visit www.artscouncil-ni.org.

Altogether, 98 properties will be open throughout Belfast and over 30 bespoke cultural events will be happening across the city including a special screening of 'To Kill a Mockingbird' at Rosemary Street Church, 'Clifton Indian' visual art in the Indian Community Centre and 'Poetry Please' readings at MacNeice House.

Commenting on the open days Environment Minister Mark H Durkan said: "Visitors will be able to see inside some of Belfast's well known buildings such as the spectacular St Polycarp's Parish Church, Finaghy, recently refurbished Ulster Hall, visit the multi-award winning Crescent Arts Centre and take an architect tour of Riddel Hall, Stranmillis Road.

New openers such as Hamilton House, Joy Street, Waterfront Hall's Ulster Artist's event and ReFound at Wellington Place add something new this year.

"European Heritage Open Day weekends are a wonderful opportunity to see inside many fascinating historic buildings, many of which aren't normally open to the public. I strongly urge families, people young and old, to go out this weekend and have a good 'nosey' at our wonderful buildings. It is a weekend which just gets better and better year on year and the support of local people as well as tourists is overwhelming.

EHOD brochures are available from tourist information centres and libraries. www.discovernortherenireland.com.

Belfast Telegraph

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