JCSP Library Initiatives

Leon Dunne JCSP Libraries/City of Dublin ETB SCC Writer-in-Residence 2023-2024

The JCSP Library Project and the City of Dublin ETB Sports and Cultural Council are delighted to welcome poet Leon Dunne as our ‘We Write What We Like!‘ Writer-in-Residence for the 2023-2024 school year.

Leon will work with young (and not so young) creative writers across all City of Dublin ETB schools throughout the school year, encouraging and supporting them to develop their creative writing talents.

A Dublin-based poet, Leon’s work focuses primarily on giving a voice to topics outside the mainstream conversation. Coming from a working-class background, and after studying English and Film at UCD, he engages in language and rhythm with high energy to draw the listeners in.

As Leon puts it, “I write poems and stories for people that may feel left behind by the mainstream culture”. In November 2022 Leon won the All-Ireland Poetry Slam Championship held in Cork and in March 2023 he performed at Trafalgar Square, in front of 15,000 people, as part of London’s St. Patrick’s Day Festival.

You can follow Leon on Instagram at @nomanticz

I write poems and stories for people that may feel left behind by the mainstream culture

We are delighted to welcome Leon as our We Write What We Like! writer-in-residence for 2023-2024

We Write What We Like! – About the Project

In September 2015, JCSP Demonstration Library Project and the City of Dublin ETB Sports and Cultural Council joined forces to appoint a Writer-in-Residence for CDETB schools. Under the banner of ‘We Write What We Like!’ the aim was to encourage Creative Writing Groups in all our schools.  Leon will be our 4th Writer-in-Residence, following on from previous residencies by Raven, Kevin Mc Dermott and Debbie Thomas.

Poetry Anthology

In 2018 we published an anthology of poetry written by students from across all 11 City of Dublin ETB schools during the residency of Kevin Mc Dermott.

Foreword by Kevin Mc Dermott

This anthology is a celebration of the creativity of our young writers. It is also an encouragement to keep going. Over the two years of the project, our young writers read in the National Library of Ireland, The Mansion House, Dublin and the headquarters of Poetry Ireland. In doing so, they became part of the thriving community of writers that exists in this country. This anthology confirms their place in this literary community.

The ‘We Write What We Like’project placed creativity and imagination at the heart of an exciting cultural and learning experience. In the majority of schools, the site of this learning was the JCSP Library. Here young writers were welcomed. Here was a place where their thoughts could grow; a place where their imagination was nurtured and where reading prompted their writing. Everyone deserves a JCSP Library in their life!

The range of themes explored in the young writer’ work is impressive. The poems illustrate the thoughtful intelligence of these young writers and the breadth of experience that informs it. What the poems also demonstrate is that the language of poetry is no different from the language of daily life, and that the sources of poetry are the stuff of ordinary lives, lived in ordinary places. Through their writing, these young writers credit the marvellous fact of their existence and their experience, in the circumstances and particularity of their own world, in their own words. All the young writers in this anthology submitted to the discipline of writing. In the discipline of putting one word down after another, and changing and moving and eliminating words, writing becomes art.

We are very much looking forward to another great year of writing and creativity across City of Dublin ETB schools

Kathleen Moran | Senior Librarian | JCSP Demonstration Library Project

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