MoLI’s new exhibition explores poetry’s furthest frontiers

Explore the furthest frontiers of poetry with the Museum of Literature Ireland’s latest exhibition.

MoLI’s new exhibition explores poetry’s furthest frontiers.

A new exhibition at the Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI) in Dublin presents an “adventure on the edge of an artform”.

Is This a Poem? is a mixed media and event programme that explores works of poetry that exist beyond the page. The poems in the exhibition, which is scattered across five floors of the museum, include sound, sculpture, image, film, performances, software, and objects you can touch.

Curated by Christodoulos Makris, an award-winning contemporary experimental poet, the exhibition celebrates the power of poetry in all its forms to surprise, challenge and inform our view of the world.

The poems collected in this exhibition, which runs until July, were mostly made in Ireland over the last decade. They include Graham Allen’s Holes, an ongoing digital poem composed daily since December 2006 and presented as a rolling video projection, and Hayley Carr’s Glossolalia, asound poem using backward phonetics with reversible playback.

A display of handmade miniature figurines, cards produced by artificial intelligence, a real-time rolling feed of every post on Twitter / X featuring the word ‘chance’ and an outdoor sound installation are some of the other items in the eclectic mix. Visitors to the exhibition are also invited to contribute to Is This Your Poem? which is a work in progress.

Is This a Poem? is the perfect place to go to celebrate World Poetry Day (21 March) and is just one of MoLI’s many thought-provoking exhibitions. The contemporary world-class museum traces Ireland’s literary heritage from early storytelling traditions to modern-day writers.

Having produced three of Ireland’s four Nobel Prize winners for literature, and home to other literary giants including Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde and James Joyce, Dublin has serious literary credentials and has been designated a UNESCO City of Literature. There are numerous literary festivals and events during the year as well as great bookshops to browse where you will always find something unusual.

In May, the International Literature Festival Dublin will bring together the finest writers to take part in readings, conversations, debates, podcasts and broadcasts in a wide-ranging programme of events.

And in June the world-famous Bloomsday festival celebrates Joyce’s remarkable novel Ulysses over six days of events that bring to life the characters and ideas in the literary masterpiece. With readings, performances, guided tours of the places featured in the novel, music, discussions and the chance to dress up in Edwardian garb and lunch like Leopold, it offers entertainment for all.

The Dublin Book Festival takes place in November and, as a taster, a series of pop-up events will take place from March to May shining a light on Ireland’s writers and locations.

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