The ILS teams up with RTÉ’s Poetry Programme to reflect on the London-Irish poetic tradition. Presenter Rick O’Shea talks to the ILS President Bernard O’Donoghue, and Vice President Roy Foster about the work and reception of Irish poets in London and how the city shaped those writers and fed back into Irish culture. A recording of this event is now available on the RTÉ Poetry Programme website.
Our overview takes the Revival as starting point and considers the work of Irish poets who have passed through or settled in London such as Yeats, Tynan, Clarke, MacNeice, Boland and Heaney. Our panel of poets will reflect on the anxiety of influence, the notion of tradition and the tensions and opportunities for the Irish poet in London.
Siobhán is a poet, critic and lecturer. She is the author of five works of poetry and co-editor of the forthcoming book of essays on the work of Eavan Boland. Her poetry has received awards in the National Poetry Competition and the Troubadour International Competition and is the recipient of an Arts Council award and the Templar Poetry Prize. Much of Campbell’s work is expressive of her interest in the place of the political poem in contemporary poetics – her forthcoming volume Heat Signature (March, 2017) reflects on commemoration and the centenary of the Dublin Rising while her Cross Talk (2010) explored boundaries and the interwoven nature of family, local and historical conflicts.
Since moving to London 40 years ago the Ballycastle native has been a computer scientist and a critic, a musician and a broadcaster. Dallat’s literary horizons broadened when he joined a nascent poetry workshop run by Robert Greacon, an esteemed Dublin writer who had relocated to London. His poetry appears in a range of literary magazines & anthologies, in Trio 7 (with John Kelly & Sean McWilliams, Blackstaff Press, 1992), Morning Star (Lagan Press, 1998) and in The Year of Not Dancing (Blackstaff Press, 2009).
Martina Evans is a poet, novelist and teacher. She grew up in County Cork in a country pub, shop and petrol station and is the youngest of ten children. She is the author of ten books of prose and poetry. She is currently Associate Lecturer in Creative Writing at Birkbeck University, London and a Lector for the Royal Literary Reading Round 2014-2016. Watch, a pamphlet was published by Rack Press in January 2016 and The Windows of Graceland, New & Selected Poems was published by Carcanet in May 2016. Martina will feature in the broadcast but will not be present at the event.
Prof Roy Foster
Roy Foster recently retired as Carroll Professor of Irish history at Oxford, he is a fellow of Hertford College. He has written widely on Irish history, society and politics in the modern period, as well as on Victorian high politics and culture. Foster produced a widely acclaimed biography of William Butler Yeats which was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. In Words Alone: Yeats and his inheritances (2011), he presents a re-reading of Irish literary history throughout the nineteenth century and places Yeats and his inspirations in apposition to a much wider range of literary and political precursors than is usually the case. His most recent book is Vivid Faces: the revolutionary generation in Ireland 1890-1914.
Prof Bernard O’Donoghue
Bernard O’Donoghue is a Professor and Emeritus Fellow in English at Wadham College, Oxford. He is a poet and literary critic, and author of Seamus Heaney and the Language of Poetry (1995) – he succeeded Heaney as President of the ILS. His most recent poetry collection is The Seasons of Cullen Church (2016), which has been shortlisted for the T S Elliot award. Previous volumes include Farmer’s Cross (2011), Gunpowder (1995), Here Nor There (1999); Outliving (2003), Selected Poems in 2008. O’Donoghue was winner of the 1995 Whitbread Poetry Award and Cholmondeley Award in 2009.
Declan Ryan was born in County Mayo, Ireland and has lived in London since. His pamphlet was published in the Faber New Poets series. He is poetry editor at Ambit and teaches at King’s College London. Declan Ryan’s poem, ‘From Alun Lewis’ was featured in the Autumn 2012 issue of The Poetry Review. His poems and reviews have also been published in Poetry London, The Rialto, and elsewhere. He was also named one of the Faber New Poets in 2014.
Readers: Donal Cox, Peter Power-Hynes, Patricia Leventon, Michael McClain, Shevaun Wilder.
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