Poetry in the Park arose out of a concept that artist Rose Finerty had, which was to bring poetry outside into the community as a means of engagement. A simple idea, no money involved, the group started in 2013 in Athlone, Ireland, evolved by a group of local people, including artists, musicians, writers and poets.
The Poetry in the Park group in Athlone continues with their aim of bringing poetry outdoors into various communities through a range of actions, mediums and environments, and they have found that bringing people together in any art form encourages and enables creativity in many different forms to emerge. Members of Poetry in the Park have collaborated with artists and musicians, recording poetry to the music of the uilleann pipes, guitar, harp and flute. Members have published their own poetry collections, poetry in response to paintings, singers have recorded poems as songs and several music, art and writing partnerships/groups/collaborations have emerged out of the Poetry in the Park umbrella group, including Shannon Storytellers and Wordplay. Here is piece from Athlone Community Radio about Poetry in the Park in Athlone.
In 2014 Poetry in the Park was named the overall Irish winner for its contribution to community arts in Ireland and received an EPIC Award at the Culture, Creativity and You, Why Making Matters Conference in Glasgow, Scotland.
Poetry in the Park hosts outreach events and collaborates with groups in the community such as Active Age Ireland, Sonas Nursing Home, Widows Association, Irish Wheelchair Association and Mental Health Associations.