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Irish Poetry Publisher Saved from Closure by GoFundMe Campaign

by | May 16, 2024 | News

In a heartwarming display of community support, Salmon Poetry, a distinguished Irish poetry publisher, has secured a new home for its bookshop and arts centre following a successful GoFundMe campaign that exceeded €60,000.

 

The publisher, known for its publication of over 300 works by both Irish and international poets, faced imminent closure when the owners of their leased building in Ennistymon, County Clare, decided to reclaim the space. Despite hopes of purchasing the premises, Salmon Poetry found itself in a race against time to find a new location by the end of August last year.

 

Founder Jessie Lendennie described the situation as “frantic,” especially given the exorbitant property prices in the area. Though she inherited some funds from a deceased cousin, it proved insufficient for purchasing a new property outright. After exploring several alternatives that required extensive renovations, Lendennie began to feel a sense of desperation.

 

Fortunately, a ray of hope emerged when an old premises on Main Street became available. Determined to secure it, the owners patiently awaited Salmon Poetry’s fundraising efforts to materialize.

 

Despite initial concerns about appearing needy, Lendennie launched the GoFundMe campaign on August 28. The response was nothing short of extraordinary, with €20,000 raised within the first week. Among the earliest contributors was Kennys bookshop, offering €1,000 along with a heartfelt message of solidarity. Over 700 individuals ultimately rallied behind the cause, contributing a total of €60,325 (£51,892).

 

Describing the new premises, Lendennie noted its historic charm dating back to the mid-1800s, which aligns perfectly with Salmon Poetry’s ethos. Plans are underway to host a range of cultural events, including music performances, poetry readings, and workshops.

 

Founded in 1981 by Lendennie and co-director Siobhán Hutson Jeanotte, Salmon Poetry has been a stalwart supporter of emerging women poets, publishing over 600 volumes of poetry to date. With its newfound home secured through community generosity, Salmon Poetry looks forward to continuing its mission of fostering literary talent and enriching cultural life.

 

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