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A for Anna Liffey

Whose aroma can be whiffy.

What’s the first ‘A’ you think of in Dublin City, and can you make it into a rhyme? How about the rest of the letters?  

Alphabet Blitz for the City of Dublin (the ABCD project) is an invitation from Poetry Ireland’s Poet in Residence, Catherine Ann Cullen, to groups and individuals to make a rhyming alphabet for Dublin. 

Over 26 weeks, Catherine Ann will highlight one letter on Twitter and Facebook every Wednesday with an illustrated #ABCDublin #PoetryPrompt or #ABCBÁC #NodFilíochta as Gaeilge. People can use social media or email poetinresidence [at] poetryireland.ie to submit a rhyme or response for just one letter or for the whole alphabet.  

Submissions can be text only, illustrated with drawings or photographs, made into videos — be as creative as you like! For copyright reasons, please use only your own photos or illustrations. Here are a few quick examples of couplets:  

A’s for the Abbey with actors galore 
Attracting admirers since 1904 


B is for Busarus, with buses by the horde,  
For Bantry or Balbriggan, why don’t you jump on board? 


B is for Bram Stoker, born in the neighbourhood,  
He wrote a book called Dracula, don’t let him suck your blood! 


The project launched on July 1 2020 and forms part of the Poet in Residence’s remit to connect with communities in Dublin’s north inner city, where Poetry Ireland is based (in Parnell Square), and with the city in general.  

“Many of my residency workshops and interactions have had to move online due to Covid-19 restrictions,” said Catherine Ann. “This project allows people to take a socially distanced look at Dublin City with their family or small friend group, or indeed to work online to write couplets about the city.” 

The alphabet theme was also inspired by the fact that Catherine Ann has been an avid collector of alphabet books since childhood. 

Poetry Ireland will share a selection of submissions on its social media and hopes to produce an overview document/video at the end of the project. Submissions are welcome in English, Irish, or any other languages spoken in Dublin. 

Individuals, families, community groups and schools (once they return!) will be invited to devise and illustrate entire alphabets using words and characters found in their local areas. Prizes will be awarded every month – even more reason to get involved.