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Saturday, August 20, 2022

Aspiring poet receives bursary for the John Hewitt International Summer School

An aspiring poet from Kilraughts has attended the John Hewitt International Summer School with support from Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council and community donations.

Lois Kennedy recently met with the Mayor, Councillor Richard Holmes, and other supporters at Cloonavin following her participation at the prestigious annual event.

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Offering his good wishes, Councillor Holmes said: “I was delighted to join with some of my Council colleagues and other supporters of the arts to assist Lois in this way.

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“This was a great opportunity for her and I’m glad we were able to play a small part in her ongoing learning and development by providing this bursary.

“From speaking with Lois, she clearly enjoyed the opportunity to enhance her writing experience through the summer school’s high regarded workshops.”

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Alongside support from the Mayor, the £500 bursary was made possible by further donations from Councillor Joan Baird, Alderman Yvonne Boyle, Councillor Angela Mulholland, Councillor Chris McCaw, Councillor Cara McShane, Councillor Adrian McQuillan, Councillor Stephanie Quigley, Dr Gill Michael, Professor Elisabeth Lillie and Charlie McConaghy.

Lois has kindly shared one of her poems, entitled ‘Washout’, which she wrote following a workshop led by poet Maureen Boyle during the summer school.


I remember those days in a dream,

swept up from hundreds of different days

connected like a mosaic made by a child,

with all the wrong joints.

Slap of mud under flip-flops,

cries of ‘put your wellies on!’

Monopoly battles, midgy-bites, hair tangled on zips.

Our not-so-wee tent could only take so much

or were we in the caravan?

Big family. Small space.

Sister, sister, brother, brother, mum, dad, me.

But we were already close

(in all senses of the word).

I had an absentmindedness and a

dependency on second-hand memories.

I didn’t have to pay attention

because they did.

My first pot noodle, salty, non-nutritious.

My first washout.

I was 9. No, 12. Or was it last year?

Dad was digging trenches

in wellies taken

from their natural habitat of cow dung and straw.

I was inside thinking

how wonderful it sounded

when the rain

hit the roof.

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