The Festival was invited by the Conamara Environmental Education and Cultural Centre, the organisation behind the creation and development of the trail, and have given the day a central role in this years exciting programme. The Letterfrack Poetry Trail was officially opened by President Michael D. Higgins in October 2014 as part of CEECC’s 30th anniversary celebrations. In early 2014 nine of Irelands finest poets were commissioned to write a poem celebrating the importance of place. Some poems are general in nature and others are site specific and deal with the troubled history of Letterfrack, a village in North West Conamara. Poets on the trail are Paula Meehan, Louis DePaor, Rita Ann Higgins, Theo Dorgan, Eva Bourke, Moya Cannon, Michael Gorman, Joan McBreen and Mary O’Malley.
The poems are displayed on plaques designed by Sven Habermann of The Restoration Centre Letterfrack. Three poems are in the National Park, three in the Connemara West Centre and three in the village of Letterfrack thus linking the village and the National Park. The trail can be picked up either in the village or park.
The Letterfrack Poetry Trail has attracted wide attention since it was launched and is now a recognised walking trail and listed in the National Trails Guide of Ireland. To add to the excitement in late 2015 President Michael D. Higgins also contributed a poem to the trail. This was the Presidents first poem written since taking up office. The President’s poem is located in the National Park in a secret location and it is hoped people will have fun trying to guess the location with the clues given.
On Sunday 17th those who wish to participate in this free event should be outside Veldon’s at 2.30pm. The event starts with a walk through the trail in the company of some of the poets and with botanist/herbalist Sinead Keane. When the group arrives in the Park they will be invited to a reading by two eminent poets - Joan McBreen and Aifric McGlinchey who will be joined by musician/singer Seamus O’Flatharta. The afternoon finishes with a reception before the bus departs for Galway.
This is one of Galway’s premier festivals and has gained an outstanding international reputation for the quality of its work, which features some of the finest writers on the planet – info see cúirt.ie