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Culture Ireland Awards Torch Literary Arts Funding to Host Irish Poets

Brittany Heckard

Jan 9, 2024

Torch will use the Culture Ireland funding to host Irish poets Nithy Kasa and FELISPEAKS for interactive writing workshops from October 1-7, 2024.

AUSTIN, Tex., January 9, 2024 – Torch Literary Arts (Torch), a nonprofit organization dedicated to amplifying Black women writers, was recently granted funding from the Culture Ireland Grant Programme (Culture Ireland) to fund Torch’s programming hosting Irish poets, Nithy Kasa and FELISPEAKS. Over the week, the poets will present an in-person reading and two workshops. The events will be free and open to the public.

I’m thrilled to be presenting my poetry and my art with Torch Literary Arts, it is an adventure I’m excited to go on; a platform centering Black femme voices, beautiful,” said Nigerian-Irish poet FELISPEAKS.

The €2.95m in funding from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media is for Culture Ireland to promote Irish arts globally. The organization selected 99 projects across the globe to coordinate international arts projects in circus, dance, film, literature, and other art categories. Torch is one of just 25 organizations from the United States, one of two recipients from Texas, and one of two from the United States in the literature category.

The grant from Culture Ireland empowers Torch to continue hosting intentional programming for Black women writers,” said Amanda Johnston, founder and executive director of Torch. “As a nonprofit dedicated to amplifying Black women’s voices across the diaspora, Culture Ireland’s support of our mission and belief in our work affirms our global impact.”

Following a wave of controversial book bans and the silencing of diverse experiences and perspectives, Torch Literary Arts remains true to its mission to amplify Black women writers across the diaspora. This year, Torch has hosted readings from Torch alumni like Rachel Eliza Griffiths, published work from writers across the globe, and partnered with the Texas Book Festival.


For more information about Torch Literary Arts, please visit or follow @torchliteraryarts on Instagram.



About Torch Literary Arts

Torch Literary Arts (TORCH) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit established with love and intention in 2006 to publish and promote creative writing by Black women. We publish contemporary writing by experienced and emerging writers alike. Torch has featured work by Toi Derricotte, Tayari Jones, Sharon Bridgforth, Crystal Wilkinson, Patricia Smith, Natasha Trethewey, Elizabeth Alexander, and others. Programs include the Wildfire Reading Series, writing workshops, and retreats. Help Torch support Black women writers by donating today.

About Culture Ireland 

​​Culture Ireland, a division of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media is responsible for the promotion of Irish arts worldwide through specific grant programmes. We also create and support opportunities for Irish artists and art organisations to present and promote their work at strategic international festivals and venues. We develop platforms to present the richness and quality of Irish creativity to international audiences through showcase events in key arts markets including the Edinburgh Festivals and Venice Biennale, as well as various special initiatives.


Media Contact Information:

Brittany Heckard

Communications Associate 

(512) 641-9251

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