Poem of the Week S01 E24 : ‘A Penitent Considers Another Coming of Mary’ by Gwendloyn Brooks. Read by Rachel Hegarty.

That most sacredly Irish of holidays; Nollaig na mBán. When women put the feet up and take a well deserved rest and the men roll up the sleeves and do the housework to ensure at the very least, the four walls around them don’t come tumbling down. In a post-#MeToo climate, it’s worth re-examining traditional cultural practices to see if and how conscious and unconscious mysoginistic values have taken root, even in a celebration that ostensibly celebrates women. Guiding us through this uncertain terrain is Finglas’s Rachel Hegarty, reading poetry from one of her poetic heroes, the wonderful Gwendolyn Brooks.

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Poem of the Week invites you to listen to contributors recite some of their favorite poems and talk about what these poems mean to them. Presented by Morgan O’Reilly, this podcast series, originally broadcast on Near FM 2017/18, features some of Ireland’s most exciting new voices such as Jessica Traynor, Kate Dempsey, Kenneth Nolan and Alan Jude Moore alongside local people and community activists from the North Dublin area, this series offers a unique and diverse range of contributors.

Each week the featured poem will also commemorate a significant date in the calendar year fostering new and challenging perspectives into poems you thought you knew. The poems have been selected with the advice and support of Ireland’s former Professor of Poetry, Paula Meehan.