Rhyme Rag is back! The illustrated poetry journal for young Kilkenny writers aged 12-21 is back in an online format that everyone can access (www.rhymerag.net) and is being launched at the Set Theatre next week, Tuesday 28th April at 4.30pm in the Set Theatre.
Initiated by Kilkenny Arts Office in 2005, the Rhyme Rag is an illustrated poetry publication featuring the work of young Kilkenny writers. Originally published as a comic-style paperback, the development of the Rhyme Rag website www.rhymerag.net now enables young Kilkenny writers the opportunity to submit poems and have their work professionally critiqued, and if published professionally illustrated for the world to see and enjoy. Two new poems are published and illustrated by our resident illustrator Ale Mercado on a monthly basis. In addition, the resident editor, poet John W. Sexton gives personal feedback to every writer who submits work thus encouraging the development and abilities of the writers. Rhyme Rag poems are also featured every week in the Kilkenny People.
Kilkenny Arts Officer Mary Butler states that, “enabling and facilitating our young people to communicate and express themselves whilst improving their literary prowess is at the heart of this programme. Writing poetry is related to so much more, to writing lyrics, to performance, to journalism; it opens all kinds of avenues that young people might not have thought of”. To celebrate the launch of the new Rhyme Rag format, performance poet Stephen Murray is coming to Kilkenny to run poetry workshops with Kilkenny schools, getting the students not only to write but to perform their poetry. Rita Kelly our current Writer in Residence and John Sexton, writer and Rhyme Rag editor will also run workshops on the day. At the Rhyme Rag launch Stephen Murray will perform some of his own work and we which will also feature Rhyme Rag editor and poet John W. Sexton, guest speakers and some of the young writers published on the website. The new Rhyme Rag is an exciting development for the writing community in Kilkenny and is complemented by the Arts Office’s ЯƎVERSE workshops and by poetry residencies which run in schools and libraries throughout the county.
The Arts Office wishes to acknowledge the support of the Arts Council of Ireland, Poetry Ireland, Lifeline Kilkenny and the Kilkenny Education Centre as part of this programme and its complementary activity.