Sinéad Morrissey is Belfast Poet Laureate

Lord Mayor unveils Queen's University professor as the inaugural poet for the city

Councillor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, Lord Mayor of Belfast, has announced award-winning poet and Queen's University professor Sinéad Morrissey as the first ever Belfast Poet Laureate.

The Lord Mayor of Belfast, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Moviehouse Cinemas and Arts and Business have established the role of Belfast Poet Laureate to undertake a series of artistic duties and activities over the duration of the current Lord Mayor’s tenure of office.

In the role as Poet Laureate, Morriesy will engage the people of Belfast in poetry through a series of events, community outreach to art groups, language organisations and minority groups. She has also been commissioned to produce a series of poems about Belfast and the year as the city’s poet that explores the theme ‘My City / Mo Chathair Féin'.

Roisín McDonough, chief executive of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said: 'The Arts Council is delighted that the Lord Mayor has chosen Sinéad Morrissey as Belfast’s first Poet Laureate. Sinéad has been an outstanding voice in contemporary poetry for 15 years, winning multiple prestigious awards, including a Major Individual Artist award from the Arts Council.

'She is currently shortlisted for the 2013 Forward Prize for Poetry [for her collection Parallax]. In her role as Belfast Poet Laureate, Sinéad will bring poetry to all the people of Belfast, reflecting the creativity of women and their contribution to the historical and contemporary life and character of the city.'

The role of Belfast Poet Laureate has a dual nature, public and private; some aspects of the role are primarily for the benefit of the community, while others are primarily to develop the poet’s artistic career.

In her outreach work, Morrissey will focus on the ‘Hidden Belfast’, working with ethnic groups in the city, the young and the vulnerable. Keep up to date with Belfast’s Poet Laureate visit the Arts Council of Northern Ireland website.