vital signs IN A VAN
Fostering healing and resilience through poetry and song.
About THE VITAL SIGNS TOUR
This special tour with Poetry Ireland took place in Louth, Dublin, Waterford, Monaghan, Cavan, Longford, and Roscommon during August 2023.
VITAL SIGNS featured many of Ireland’s best poets and musicians, offering a series of new gigs that focused on health, healing and wellbeing. First piloted in Mayo last December, and leaving a vapour trail of heart-warming joy and delight, this work was shared far and wide as this curated collection of poets and singer-songwriters took part in pop-up gigs around the country.
Festival in a Van is very grateful to the Arts Council, Poetry Ireland, Louth County Council, Dublin City Council, Waterford City & County Council, Monaghan County Council, Cavan County Council, Roscommon County Council and Mental Health Ireland.
This project is in partnership with Poetry Ireland and is supported by the Arts Council.
Vital signs tour 2023
Watch back: online seminar
To celebrate the close of the Vital Signs tour, we presented an online seminar to discuss insights and key learnings from the tour.
For this one-hour online lunchtime seminar, Martin Dyar, poet, editor, and curator of the Vital Signs tour, was joined in conversation by Ger Walsh (Mental Health Ireland) and Enda Wyley (poet) and Emer Mayock (musician) to share their experiences of bringing the arts into healthcare settings. The Festival in a Van team Elizabeth Mohen (Director) and Anne Hendrick (Project Manager) opened and closed the seminar with a few words of their own.
FRIDAY 27 OCTOBER | DUBLIN
Trudie Gorman facilitated a free two-hour creative writing workshop at Ballyfermot Library: 'Writing the Body: Poetry and Disability'.
Tuesday 24 October | Dublin
Enda Wyley hosted a Poetry SOS Clinic for staff at The Rotunda in Dublin. This private clinic was for hospital staff.
Monday 16 October | MONAGHAN
11:00 - 14:00: Mairéad Donnellan hosted a Poetry SOS Clinic at Carrickmacross Library.
various dates in OCTOBER | Cavan
Healing Poetry with Noel Monahan
Noel Monahan facilitated several free workshops at Cootehill Library which reflected on themes of healing.
various dates in OCTOBER | Waterford
Lani O'Hanlon facilitated three workshops at Dungarvan Community Hospital. These private workshops were for staff and residents.
various dates in OCTOBER | Roscommon
Amy Abdullah Barry facilitated three workshops at Sacred Heart Hospital. These private workshops were for staff and residents.
various dates in OCTOBER | Monaghan
Steve Lally facilitated three storytelling workshops in Monaghan at Castleross Nursing Home and Cloughvalley Day Care Centre. These private workshops were for staff and residents.
VARIOUS DATES IN OCTOBER | LOUTH
Translating the Painting - Poetry and Healing with Enda Coyle-Greene took place in several libraries across Louth, inviting workshop participants to explore the intersection of creativity and healing.
Frank Farrelly facilitated a Poetry SOS Clinic in the Old Market House Arts Centre, Dungarvan.
Friday 22 September | CULTURE NIGHT IN LOUTH, CAVAN, ROSCOMMON
Nithy Kasa delivered a Poetry SOS Clinic at Louth County Museum.
Mairead Donnellan delivered a Poetry SOS Clinic at Bailieborough Library, Cavan
Gerry Boland delivered a Poetry SOS Clinic at Roscommon Arts Centre
Friday 23 September | DUBLIN
Trudie Gorman facilitated two free writing workshops at Pearse Library as part of Culture Night.
14:30: Everyday Revolutions: Writing Working-Class Stories
18:00 Healing Words: Writing our Stories
Tues 29 August 2023 | ROSCOMMON
Poet and dramatist Terry McDonagh with musical duo Emer Mayock and Donal Siggins visited Sacred Heart Hospital & Care Home, Arás Mathar Phoil, and Plunkett Community Nursing Unit
Mon 28 August 2023 | LONGFORD
Widely published and highly regarded Longford-based poet Mary Melville Geoghegan read her work along with classical singer Josephine Dolan at Glenavon Community Residence, Longford Day Care Centre, and Ashford Community Residence in partnership with Mental Health Ireland (PRIVATE COMMUNITY EVENTS)
Tues 22 August 2023 | CAVAN
Belfast poet Stephen Sexton and harpist Alannah Thornburgh visited Clogher House Day Activation Unit, Virginia Day Activation Unit and Irish Wheelchair Association Cavan (PRIVATE COMMUNITY EVENTS)
Mon 21 August 2023 | MONAGHAN
Poet and fiction-writer Mary O’Donnell visited Castleross Care Home and Ann’s Care Home (PRIVATE COMMUNITY EVENT) with music and song from long time collaborators Stephen Doherty and David Doocey. The tour then moved to Rossmore Park (PUBLIC - 4.30pm)
Wed 16 August 2023 | WATERFORD
Local poet Clodagh Beresford and Waterford folk artist, songwriter and poet, Tadhg Williams visited Dungarvan Community Hospital and Care Choice Dungarvan as well as Cappoquin Community Centre at 17.15.
Tues 15 August 2023 | DUBLIN
Poet Nithy Kasa performed alongside storytelling musician Fin Furey, composer and musician Michael Flemming with singer-songwriter Alison Quigley for visits to Willie Bermingham Place Housing Community (Alone), Mary’s Hospital, and Killarney Court Housing Community.
Mon 14 August 2023 | LOUTH
Lyric poet Tom French was joined by Irish folk musician Seán Mathews for visits to Drogheda Care Hall, Ardee Community Centre at 14.15 as well as Market Square Dundalk at 17.15