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Culture Night offers a wonderful range of events free to the public. One the events of the evening features young poets reading their work at the Arts Office Gallery at 4.30pm.

In 2017, to support the expansion and sustainability of the Rhyme Rag programme, the Arts Office began developing a Young Ensemble of writers – the self-titled Rhyme Rag New Word Leaders. This aspect of the programme is a partnership between the Arts Office and Ossory Youth.

In the writers’ own words, “New Word Leaders is a movement of young writers, aged 13- 18, who meet monthly in Desart Hall. The writers inspire and support each other through sharing their work, working with professional writers and building their community.”

The young writers are excited to bring their work to a new audience on Culture Night. Asked to comment on reading her new writing in public, Avs (16) says, “Everyone starts somewhere, even Roald Dahl had his little shed in the back garden. It’s our first experience of reading our original work in public.”

Writer Liam Woodgate, 14, reflects on joining the group, “Writing is the thing I’ve been best at. I’ll always been into writing and drawing. Being in the group has got me enthusiastic and encouraged me to write more.”
The group has worked with professional poets Enda Coyle Green, Kathy D’Arcy and Stephen Murray. Bringing the writing to a new audience is an important part of developing the writer’s voice. Orla Browne, 15, says “I thrive off other people’s feedback. It gives you the opportunity to broaden your horizons and build up your confidence.”

Ari (18) says “What scares you also makes you grow, so why not?” Why not indeed! All are welcome to come along and hear what these important new voices in poetry have to say.

New Work by Rhyme Rag’s New Word Leaders, Arts Office Gallery, 5 Dean Street, Kilkenny at 4.30pm. Free refreshments! /