Enabling the language of reconciliation through poetry

Regular Sluggerites will no doubt be familiar with Dave Wood, poet and wordsmith. In 2004 there was an attempt to provide a poet in residence here on the site, but that effort was hampered by server problems at the time. Dave worked with community theatre co-operative, Word And Action (Dorset) Ltd. and travelled throughout Northern Ireland from 1988 to 1998. His interest and work lay in ‘helping groups build stories and act them through to completion in a central space’.

Dave is back in Northern Ireland and has been working with the Cnocnafeola community project in Atticall. The dynamic organiser behind Cnocnafeola is Mairead White, and she and her group invited Dave over to facilitate a Creative Peace Project in Atticall.

He’s been out and about since Friday, talking to people and capturing feelings and expressions on the subject of reconciliation and peace. Mairead had been at the Challenge of Change conference in Newry last month, and was enthused about ideas of using small but concrete steps to move in the direction of peace and mutual understanding. Indeed, I was invited to the Civic Reception for the conference in Belfast last month and found the key speaker, John Paul Lederach to be breathtakingly inspirational.

I had the great privilege of being out with Dave on a couple of occasions over the weekend and will bring you a little of the poetry on the next instalment. Dave returns to Ireland and Atticall in September to launch a book containing all of the poetry constructed through the project, a concrete expression catching the mood and feeling of the people at this moment in time.

For those who aren’t familiar with Atticall, its in the Mournes. What can I tell you, it all happens down here in South Down!