Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Danny Collins has joined Cobh Municipal District in warmly welcomed the temporary installation of a Poetry Jukebox on Cobh Promenade as part of UCD’s Poetry as Commemoration programme. Developed by Dr. Catherine Wilsdon under the national Decade of Centenaries programme 2012-2023, members of the public will be able to hear works by well-known poets including Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, John Hewitt and W.B. Yeats, as well as lesser-known writers such as D.L. Kelleher, Alice Milligan and Agnes Kerr.

The Poetry Jukebox is a small standing structure, deliberately styled to represent a gramophone or speaking trumpet.  The unit contains a series of recordings of short poems where upon pressing a button you can hear a poet read their own poem. The Poetry Jukebox is also environmentally friendly as the energy needed to play the poem is provided by the listener who turns a crank handle linked to a dynamo to provide the electrical power for the unit.

Commenting on Cobh’s latest edition, Mayor Collins said:

Cobh is synonymous with culture and this Christmas there is an extra special cultural offering to be found in Cobh’s famous promenade. Poetry Jukebox is an international project founded by Ondřej Kobza, a Prague-based cultural activist with an interest in the animation of public spaces and examining ways of making urban areas more culturally vibrant and liveable.

Poetry Jukebox was brought to Ireland in 2017 by Belfast-based poet and playwright Maria Mc Manus and poet Deirdre Cartmill. This installation has been secured as a temporary loan of the Jukebox from UCD’s Poetry as Commemoration programme and is being co-ordinated by the Cobh Poetry Jukebox project which is led by local literary activist Ruairí de Barra.

Announcing details of the project Ruairí de Barra said:

This is a wonderful opportunity to bring this specially curated selection of poems to our historic town in an engaging, innovative and accessible way. The project will enhance our community’s understanding, and appreciation of the War of Independence and Civil War as we enter 2023, which is a year of several important centenaries.   Those who are residents or visiting the town may find their visit enriched by being able to interact with the installation.  By bringing the Jukebox to Cobh we hope to raise interest in encountering the spoken word and to begin the process of raising the necessary funds to purchase a Jukebox for permanent use in Cobh.  We gratefully acknowledge the support of our project partners in Cork County Council, Dr. Catherine Wilsdon of UCD, and Maria MacManus of Quotidian. More details can be found on

The Jukebox is free to use and enjoy at Cobh Promenade from December 2022 until March 2023.

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