Strokestown International Poetry Festival
“An Invitation To Poetry”
The Strokestown International Poetry Festival was founded in 1999 and is the longest running poetry festival in Ireland. It takes place annually on the first weekend of May, in Strokestown, Co. Roscommon. Strokestown is located on the N5 between Dublin and Westport. It is an early nineteenth century estate village built by Maurice Mahon the second Lord Hartland (1738 1819). Its wide street from the entrance to the estate on the East to St. John’s Church on the West is modelled on the Ringstrasse in Vienna. The local estate was granted to the Mahon family after the restoration of Charles 11 in 1660. Strokestown Park House where many of the readings take place is a fine eighteenth century mansion which has been restored by local businessman Jim Callery and is now a visitor centre housing a museum dedicated to the history of the Irish famine of 1845 – 1847. The festival provides a world-renowned forum for excellence in poetry. The Strokestown festival is famous for the large audiences that attend all readings and allied to the welcome, the friendliness and the scenery, the festival is an unforgettable experience and a thrilling immersion in contemporary poetry.