Hundreds of copies of a special anthology called Menu of Poems was distributed to celebrate Poetry Day Ireland at Tallaght University Hospital (TUH). The publication was given to patients to enjoy, with their breakfast meal tray on our national day to honour poets and their writing. TUH Arts Officer Alison Baker Kerrigan says “Since its conception in 2008, Menu of Poems has been a positive development in the lives of both patients and those who work in Tallaght University Hospital. It’s great to see it returning after the break caused by COVID. Poetry can be a great help and solace for anyone going through difficult times.”
The final selection includes poems by Catherine Ann Cullen (children’s poem ‘Eliza Analyser’), Martina Evans’ poem ‘Gazebo’, Imelda May’s poem ‘Stargazer’, and Rita Ann Higgins’ poem ‘Lucky Mrs Higgins’.
Rita Ann Higgins, Poet and Editor of the 2022 Menu of Poems said, “It’s not unusual to reach for poems at a time of crises or distress, sometimes poems are all we have to get us over the tough times. Selecting poems for this project was a great pleasure. It made me take down the books I had not read for a while. It was like meeting old friends. In the end the selection made me feel warm and grateful for the powerful voices of Cullen, Evans and May, may the creative force stay with them.”
Imelda May, Musical Artist and Poet said, “I am delighted that one of my poems “Stargazer” is selected for Menu of Poems to be in hospitals on Poetry Day. What a beautiful thing to do. It’s such a lovely thought and I am very honoured that my poem was picked by Rita Ann Higgins who is a lovely friend of mine. I am a fan of hers and inspired by her greatly. I hope people get something beautiful from reading poetry from their hospital beds, that it gives them nourishment, joy and healing. Hopefully the words will stay with them way beyond their hospital stay.”