Award-winning Ballyclare poet secures arts funding

Stephanie Conn.
Stephanie Conn.

Award-winning poet, Stephanie Conn, from Ballyclare, is one of thirteen deaf or disabled artists from Northern Ireland who have been announced as recipients of the Arts and Disability Forum’s (ADF) Individual Disabled Artist (iDA) funding award.

Worth up to £5000 each, the awards are supported by National Lottery funding through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Stephanie was a teacher at Ballyclare Primary School until she developed the painful and debilitating condition, fibromyalgia.

The artist uses poetry as a way of dealing with her condition and was the winner of the first-ever Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing for her poem, Lavender Fields, in 2015.

Stephanie will use this iDA award to complete a series of new poems taking inspiration from her chronic illness. The iDA scheme’s purpose is to identify, encourage and nurture individual talent amongst disabled practitioners.