Fishy tales and poetry for salmon project

Poet Colin Dardis.
Poet Colin Dardis.

Fishy stories and poetry from the Verbal Arts Centre group will have visitors to the North Coast and Glens of Antrim hooked this weekend as part of the ‘Stories of Salmon Leaping’ project.

Verbal is delighted to be involved in the ‘Stories of Salmon Leaping’ one-day symposium in Portrush on Friday and its Reading Rooms bus will be at the Salmon and Whiskey Festival in Bushmills on Saturday.

‘Stories of Salmon Leaping’ is a cultural heritage project being delivered by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) and partners, aimed at raising awareness of the salmon, its story and its lifecycle.

The symposium in the Ramada Hotel on Friday will highlight different aspects of our relationship with this magical fish, covering both cultural/historical and environmental/angling.

Colin Dardis, founder of Poetry NI and online editor for Lagan Press – part of the Verbal group - will be presenting poems looking at salmon in and out of the water; in rivers, creeks, Pacific currents and beyond; salmon in the hand, on the slab, and cooking it in the poetry.

With verse from Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, Raymond Carver and much more, the poems explore mankind’s connection with nature, looking at salmon not only as a source of sustenance and income, but of the magic and majesty of the fish, and of the wild tales their journey inspires.

There will be lots of fishy tales to be read on board the Verbal Arts Centre’s Reading Rooms bus - funded by DCAL – which will be parked at the Salmon Station, Church Street, Bushmills, for the Salmon and Whiskey Festival on Saturday from 11am-3pm. No booking is required, just turn up and join us for a really enjoyable shared reading experience to suit all ages.

The specially themed literature for the day will include ‘Korea’, a short story by J McGahern; poetry including ‘The Fish’ by WB Yeats; ‘Salmon of Knowledge’, an Irish myth for young readers; the poem ‘Fishbones Dreaming’ by Matthew Sweeney which children will also love; and much, much more!

Places are limited for the one-day symposium on Friday at the Ramada in Portrush and booking is essential. For more details, email: bethany.sinclair@dcalni.gov.uk