Powerscourt Estate Hosts Poetry in Bloom this summer

Powerscourt Estate home to the third best gardens in the World* have launched a novel initiative to encourage people to connect with and be inspired by nature. To create inspirational stories, in the forms of poems and lyrics, as part of the “Poetry in Bloom” initiative.

“Poetry in Bloom”, was developed by Powerscourt, in partnership with creative writing organisation Fighting Words, and will be supported this year by renowned International/Irish/ Hollywood actor Patrick Bergin. Patrick Bergin is a, a lover of poetry and a great supporter of the arts, especially encouraging and supporting poetry and the arts in the young in London, Dublin, and LA. Patrick will be reading through the submissions to “Poetry in Bloom” and helping to select a number of poems to be used as a basis of a short poetry film to close the initiative.

This poetry initiative is an invitation to everyone from 7-year olds up to create a poem or write lyrics, inspired by nature they have observed at Powerscourt Gardens and Waterfall, throughout August and September 2020. All submissions are online and will automatically be entered into an open prize draw to win a variety of amazing prizes.

The initiative is also in homage to the “Poetess of Powerscourt”, Shelia Wingfield, who was a gifted poet and a Viscountess of Powerscourt. She crossed paths, and was a contemporary of, some of the greatest literary figures of early twentieth century Ireland, including W.B Yeats. Her writing and poetry clearly emanate from her love for nature, with many of her poems inspired by her surrounds at Powerscourt Estate.

Speaking about the collaboration, Sarah Slazenger, Managing Director, Powerscourt Estate, said: “This initiative recognises Shelia Wingfield who played an important role in the history of the Estate. The Gardens and Waterfall at Powerscourt Estate are blessed with spell-binding views of the Sugar Loaf Mountains and surrounding countryside, creating a natural sanctuary where plants and biodiversity thrive. We are delighted to remember Shelia Wingfield and the wonderful poems she created, which were themselves inspired by the beauty of the surrounds of the wild Wicklow landscape.

We are also very aware of the importance of spending time in nature especially during these difficult times and believe that being inspired by the outdoors and letting your creativity flow can make some difference to people’s mental health and creativity. We are also dedicated to highlighting the need to protect the natural world, this has always been our guiding star from the time my grandfather bought the Estate initially, to generate hydropower from Powerscourt Waterfall.

This tradition of custodianship continues to this day with the award-winning Climate Change educational space Cool Planet on the Estate, and our present journey to achieving accreditation as a Sustainable Tourism Destination.”

Spending time out in nature is vital to our wellbeing and has provided the inspiration for countless stories, poems, and music throughout the ages. Powerscourt Gardens and Waterfall are delighted to partner with Fighting Words to invite all visitors to the Estate to reconnect with the natural world and be inspired to write a short poetic piece. Whether the piece is one or two lines that capture a moment or an epic, multi-page poem, what is important is reflecting on the wonder of nature.

Mark Davidson, Fighting Words Wicklow Coordinator, welcomed the collaboration: “The wonders of nature never fail to be inspiring for writers of all ages. Fighting Words is delighted to be part of Poetry in Bloom at Powerscourt Gardens. It is such a wonderful and inspiring place and we can’t wait to start receiving and reading submissions.”

Submissions close on Monday the 30th of September. During this time every visitor to Powerscourt Gardens is encouraged to immerse themselves in nature, be inspired, be creative and write a short poem or lyrics which will be included in a virtual poetry wall throughout August.

The first 20 entries who submit a poem or lyrics online will receive a Family day pass to Powerscourt Gardens. To help visitors get inspired, a poetry trail featuring selected entries (poem, lyrics) from online submissions, will also be installed throughout Powerscourt Gardens throughout the month of August.

The overall winner selected in the open-prize draw will be announced at the beginning of October and will receive a year’s annual family membership to Powerscourt Estate and a gift card worth €250. The three runners up will receive annual membership to Powerscourt Estate.

To close and celebrate this novel initiative, all submissions will be reviewed by Fighting Words and included in an online anthology, which will be published on Fighting Words’ and Powerscourt’s’ websites at the beginning of October.

A collection of entries submitted (poems, lyrics) will selected by Patrick Bergin to be transformed into a short Poetry-film (Short 2-5-minute film). The selected featured winning poems for the short poetry film will also receive complimentary annual membership to Powerscourt Estate.

Submissions can be sent to fiction@fightingwords.ie. Visit www.powerscourt.com/poetryinbloom  or www.fightingwords.ie/poetryinbloom  for more details. Facebook @powerscourtestate, Instagram @powerscourt_estate  

Powerscourt Estate has signed up to the Fáilte Ireland COVID-19 Safety Charterwhich is a stamp of approval from industry and a badge of reassurance for visitors, that Powerscourt Estate is meeting sector specific guidelines to meet Government’s Public Health advice.

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