Denise Blake is 2021’s first RCC Virtual Artist-in-Residence

Poetry, amongst so many arts, has played an important role over the past year helping to lift people’s spirits and take their minds off the doom and gloom over everyday news.

And so we are delighted to welcome Poet, Denise Blake as the RCC’s first Virtual Artist-in-Residence for 2021.

We’re delighted to welcome Denise Blake as our first 2021 Virtual Artist-in-Residence.
Denise will be presenting a selection of her work on our social media channels from the 11th – 22nd January.

Denise, a successful poet, writer, creative writing facilitator and literary curator based in Ramelton, will present a selection of her work on our social media channels for two weeks, beginning this Monday, 11th January, and continuing on to Friday, 22nd.

Denise has broadcast regularly on Sunday Miscellany RTE Radio 1. She has performed in the NCH for three Sunday Miscellany Christmas shows . Her memoir piece “And They All Lived Happily” was recorded in the Project Arts Theatre as part of Miscellany 50 and included in the anthology.

A member of Errigal Writers who received an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University through the Poets’ House in Falcarragh, Denise has had two poetry collections, Take a Deep Breath and How to Spin Without Getting Dizzy, published by Summer Palace Press to-date.

She has also been published in many anthologies including, This Landscapes Fierce Embrace: The Poetry of Francis Harvey.

Denise’s most recent translation work is published in Selected Poems Seán Ó Ríordáin edited by Frank Sewell and An tAmharc Deireannach Colette Ní Ghallchóir.

At the beginning of 2020, like so many people, Denise was left uncertain whether or not she would be working much in the near future.

But like so often since she began her writing journey in her thirties, poetry brought about a lot of opportunities for her in 2020.

“My writing career has been a series of good luck. There have been moments in my life that have been stressful, and good things have come around because of the writing to help me through it. Just like receiving the invitation to do this residency, I am very grateful.”

Denise said, over the past year, poetry was used so often to lift the nation’s and people’s spirits during dark times.

Seamus Heaney, who struck a chord with Denise very early into her writing career while studying at University of Ulster (Magee), was quoted on many occasions.

“If we winter this one out, we can summer anywhere. It’s nearly like a prayer of hope and people turned to poetry during these times. It touches something with in you and the poet shares an experience that you can identify with.”

While it wasn’t easy to write anything during these recent times, Denise said in her own experience, nature became very strong.

“You weren’t out watching people as much, you were out looking at nature, and I would have noticed birds around me much more and how they acted and other things I wouldn’t have paid much attention to before.”

The RCC will be posting three videos a week by Denise for the next two weeks, featuring previously unheard and new poems by the writer which she hopes will resonate with people.

“I hope they will lift people’s spirits and maybe encourage them to do their own writing. When I am working with groups I am always encouraging people just to try it.”

Follow the RCC’s social media channels to see poetry by Denise Blake, RCC Virtual Artist-in-Residence (January, 2021), from Monday 11th January to Friday, 22nd January.

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The Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny is proudly funded by Donegal County Council and Arts Council Ireland.