A Town Reads…

A Town Reads Susan Langstaff Mitchell

‘A Town Reads Susan Langstaff Mitchell’ Anam Beo are really looking forward to facilitating this project award where Offaly artists Jackie Lynch & Rosalind Fanning will collaborate on this unique local project to support positive ageing by initiating creative engagements for people in the Birr community. A socially engaged project using iPad pros to record poetry recitals and local heritage which both artists are well versed in! Supported by Offaly County Council’s Creative Ireland programme for communities and artists working together to explore and present aspects of Offaly’s heritage in an inclusive way!

Portrait by JB Yeats 1899.


‘A Town Reads Mitchell’ ( poems from The Living Chalice) is a Creative Ireland and Anam Beo Community Arts Project, a celebratory experience derived from the Famous and Notables of Birr Trail created previously by local artists Jackie Lynch and Rosalind Fanning as a tourism initiative for the town. Susan Langstaff Mitchell (1866-1926) is one of these twenty seven notables, a renowned literary person, poet, mystic, playwright, friend of the Yeats’ and more.

Susan Langstaff Mitchell (1866-1926) is one of the Famous and Notables Birr Trail. She is a renowned literary person, poet, mystic, playwright, friend of the Yeats’ and more. This project was supported by Offaly County Council’s Creative Ireland Programme & Anam Beo.

Artists Jackie Lynch and Rosalind Fanning presented their creative engagements community project with recitals, artwork and summer sunshine in Birr Library.

One added surprise was guest speaker Mary O’Donoghue reflecting on and the portrait of Susan by Countess Markiewicz and her poems used by Cuala Press Cards. The Cuala Press was an Irish private press set up in 1908 by Elizabeth Yeats with support from her brother William Butler Yeats that played an important role in the Celtic Revival of the early 20th century.

Thank you to the readers of the poems, who have given their time to be recorded reciting Susan’s poems. We greatly appreciate all who have been involved in the project legacy, townspeople of Birr and the Local Authority who have facilitated, and have given kind permission to showcase the poetry trail.

‘A Town Reads Mitchell’ Poetry Trail

1. Exile.

Read by Pauline Lynch on the 25.07.2022

2. Immortality.

Read by Gerry Dolan on the 15.07.2022

3. Incompleteness

Read by Mary O’Gorman on the 11.08.2022


Read by Val Johnson on the 04.08.2022

5. The Taper and the Mistletoe.

Read by Jack Feehan on the 12.07.2022

6. Homeless

Read by Robert Alexander on the 10.08.2022

7. The Daughters of Erin.

Read by Ann Ritchie on the 20.07.2022

9. Love’s Mendicant.

Read by Patti Nee on the 25.07.2022

10. Amergin.

Read by Finbarr Spain on the 18.07.2022

The poetry panels mapped in the surrounding urban area and Mill Island Park are a legacy to the social engagements during A Town Reads Mitchell where local townspeople were recorded as they experienced Mitchell’s poems from her 1913 book of poetry ‘The Living Chalice’.

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