Monday 14 January 2019 to Monday 18 March 2019

Forming part of the annual St. Patrick's Festival, The Words that Bind Us is an exciting new artistic collaboration between Ireland and Scotland. Involving a range of partners including the Scottish Government, AXIS Arts Centre Ballymun, Dublin UNESCO City of Literature, British Council and St. Patrick's Festival itself, the project aims to connect Scottish and Irish spoken work/poetry in a contemporary way and to showcase the edge and freshness of artists in both countries.

The Words that Bind Us contains 3 main elements:

Scottish Poet in Residence – Workshop Programme

A Scottish poet, Leyla Josephine and and Irish poet, Stephen James Smith will take up residency at Axis Arts Centre, Ballymun in Dublin from January-March 2019.  A series of youth workshops will be held with young people from Trinity Comprehensive to discuss and respond to the themes of identity, belonging and culture. Through discussion, writing and performance, the workshops aim to build confidence, nurture young talent and develop skills in poetry and writing. 

Live Performance

A performance at Axis Arts Centre, Ballymun on Saturday 16 March will mark the culmination of the workshop programme. This will include a beautifully curated presentation of the young people’s work and will feature special guest appearances from invited poets including Leyla Josephine and others who will have visited the students during the workshop stage.


Running concurrently with the live performance will be a new installation of work created during the workshops. This will be displayed through sound and photography throughout Axis Arts Centre during the St. Patrick's Festival.

Poetry Trail   

On Monday 18 March in Dublin City Centre, the Festival will celebrate the breadth and diversity of the city's living poets on a curated trail, based on several local poets' own work and the locations that have inspired them. 3 Scottish poets will be invited to highlight the historical and modern day connections between Scotland and Ireland and pupils from the Poet in Residence workshops will also be invited along to perform as part of the trail.