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Wake Forest
University Press

Wake Forest University Press

Dedicated to Irish Poetry

Arts and Culture

Christmas in Ireland: Five Things You May Not Know

1. One of the oldest Christmas carols, “The Wexford Carol,” is believed to have come from Ireland and dates all the way back to the 12th century. It originated in Enniscorthy, County Wexford, and tells the tale of the Nativity. This carol has been translated from Irish into English—you may recognize it from Julie Andrews’ 1966 Christmas album!

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A Very Kinetic National Poetry Month

National Poetry Month is the largest celebration of literature on the globe. The month of April is meant to encourage readers of all ages to engage with poetry in some way, to illuminate the important mark it has made on the cultures of so many peoples. The Academy of American Poets established NPM in 1996….

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Celebrating St. Brigid’s Day and “Imbolc”

Today, Irish people celebrate St. Brigid’s Day also known as “Imbolc,” which, in the old Irish Neolithic language, means “in the belly.” “Imbolc” is the Gaelic festival to celebrate the beginning of Spring and is one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals including Beltane, Lughnasadh, and Samhain. This holiday was once only celebrated by pagans…

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“Mostly dark, with a chink of light”: Alan Gillis reflects on Scapegoat and Other Poems

Alan Gillis’s Scapegoat and Other Poems launched on October 1st. To celebrate, WFU Press interns Fahad Rahmat and Rachel Stewart asked Gillis about his influences, religion’s redemptive impulse, how he sees current society and pop culture, and plenty more. WFU Press: Throughout Scapegoat, the reader encounters words like “fugging” and “pizz-popping, jingle-jangle”—sounds which you’ve incorporated into the…

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Ciaran Carson on tour in the U.S. next month

Ciaran Carson on tour in the U.S. next month

We are pleased to announce that Ciaran Carson will be on tour in the U.S. this November. If you’ve never had the opportunity to see him read his work, you’re in for a treat. His lively readings combine poetry with traditional Irish music, making for a delightful and festive evening. A quick search on YouTube…

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New Irish Literature Festival in Phoenix

New Irish Literature Festival in Phoenix

This weekend Irish literature will be celebrated in a new way here in America. The non-profit organization Phoenix Sister Cities will be hosting its own Ennis Committee Book Festival this Sunday, September 27 in Phoenix, Arizona. This year is the first for this festival, but it is meant to be a counterpart to an established literary event in…

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Independent Bookstore Day

Independent Bookstore Day

  May 2nd marks the first annual Independent Bookstore Day, a holiday that makes us happy down to our book-lovin’ souls. Small publishers and independent bookstores go together like bread and butter. The idea to celebrate small, independent bookstores came about after the success of last year’s California Bookstore Day. Looking to expand the celebration outside of…

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It’s No Joke! April 1st Kicks Off National Poetry Month

April marks the beginning of National Poetry Month! While poetry can and should be celebrated all year round, this is the “official” month to celebrate poetry in all of its various forms. Literary geeks around the country will soon participate in another annual National Poetry Month, which was first founded in 1996 by the Academy of American…

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A festive celebration for WFU Press

In the U.S., there’s no better day to celebrate Irish heritage and our connections with Ireland than St. Patrick’s Day. Green rivers, cheesy shamrock hats, and buckets o’ Guinness aside, we’re always happy to advocate for the rich Irish culture that exists in our country. This year, we’ve been celebrating with the publication of a very special and unique book…

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Mothering Sunday

Mothering Sunday

Last week, the Irish Times published an article containing a recipe for the most delicious-looking, homemade coconut cake. The article suggested that this might be a wonderful treat to bake our mothers on this upcoming Mother’s Day. Though my first thought was that this was a fantastic idea, my second thought was nothing short of:…

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Picking a Poem for Ireland

Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ), Ireland’s National Public Service Broadcaster, is currently promoting a campaign called A Poem for Ireland. This contest began in September when RTÉ asked followers to submit stand-out poems from the past century that encapsulated the Irish experience. With their nominations, followers submitted explanations for why their favorite should earn the recognition. Over…

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Revealing Ciaran Carson’s From Elsewhere Cover

This April, we’ll be releasing the North American edition of Ciaran Carson’s From Elsewhere and we are pleased to reveal the cover design. In From Elsewhere, Carson translates poems by the French poet Jean Follain and includes his own riffs inspired by these poems. The book’s cover points to Carson’s interest in translation and reflection, with the water…

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5 things we’re looking forward to in 2015

Though it may look like we’re late to the “Top 10 list” train that hits at the end of each year, we thought it might be nice to look forward rather than back. Here are a few things we’re looking forward to this year: 1. Yeats turns 150! 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of W.B. Yeats’s…

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Here’s how you feel about e-books

Happy New Year, poetry readers! We had a busy holiday season, and we’re looking forward to what 2015 may bring. Right away, we’re preparing to attend the Digital Book World conference in New York next week to learn more about how we can continue to adapt to an increasingly digital publishing climate. With that priority in mind, we conducted…

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Irish: A Dying Language?

Irish: A Dying Language?

An article published yesterday in The Irish Times titled “Have Irish-Language books fallen off the shelf?” poses an interesting inquiry for bilingual presses. As a press specializing in Irish poetry, we take pride in publishing works both in our native English tongue, as well as in the guttural, consonant-strewn language of Irish Gaelic. Since for a large part of the 19th…

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Get Your Daily Dose of Poetry

Do you love poetry, but find yourself unable to sit down and read an entire collection?Between running around doing errands, writing for ourselves, or sitting behind a desk working, it can be hard to find time to read the genre that we all love. But never fear! Here at the Press, we have compiled a…

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It’s University Press Week

It’s University Press Week

Yesterday marked the commencement of the third annual, week-long celebration of university presses. From November 9th through the 15th, the Association of American University Presses (AAUP) hosts what is affectionately known as University Press Week. Events include a blog tour and collaborative projects gallery. As the AAUP website explains, this week exists not only to recognize…

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Spooky History of Samhain

Halloween is upon us, but did you know that this beloved holiday is a descendent of the pagan Celtic festival called Samhain? Samhain (pronounced sah-win or sow-in) celebrates the end of the harvest season and beginning of winter, the time of year often associated with darkness and death. The Celts believed that on this night,…

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What does Ireland’s official Professor of Poetry do?

What does Ireland’s official Professor of Poetry do?

In September of last year, WFU Press’s very own poet, Paula Meehan, was appointed to serve as Ireland’s newest Professor of Poetry. This prestigious position, which is Ireland’s equivalent to the U.S. Poet Laureate, was founded by an independent Board of Trustees in response to Seamus Heaney’s 1995 win of the Nobel Prize for Literature. Of the six individuals (including…

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Discover the Irish theatre scene with the 2014 Dublin Theatre Festival lineup

While some will be flocking to Munich throughout the next couple weeks to gorge on pretzels, schnitzel, and beer, others will converge in Ireland for the Dublin Theatre Festival. From September 25th to October 12th, Ireland’s finest artists will share their passion and talent with patrons at venues throughout the city. Visitors and locals can enjoy theatre, dance,…

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The Lowdown on the U2 Controversy

The Lowdown on the U2 Controversy

Ireland’s most famous band, U2, has been getting a lot of headline attention these past few days. If you’ve checked your iTunes account recently, you might have noticed a new addition to your albums. U2 has collaborated with Apple to release their newest album, Songs of Innocence, and deliver it automatically to your iTunes account, free of…

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It’s Festival Season: A Celebration of Irish Arts and Culture

It’s Festival Season: A Celebration of Irish Arts and Culture

As we slowly transition into autumn here in the United States, so too does Ireland undergo a seasonal transition — “festival season” that is. Fall in Ireland marks the commencement of a string of events celebrating all things related to Irish art and culture. From the 16-day-long Tiger Dublin Fringe festival currently transforming the city into a mecca for…

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Ireland ranks 1st in “Good Country Index”

Ireland ranks 1st in “Good Country Index”

Today, Ireland was ranked #1 on a new report called the Good Country Index, released by British policy advisor Simon Anholt. And what makes a Good Country, you ask? The Index measures how countries contribute to the planet and the human race. Ireland ranked within the top 10 in four of the seven categories, securing…

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The Falls Road: Carson’s childhood neighborhood

The Falls Road: Carson’s childhood neighborhood

WFUP poet Ciaran Carson, native of Belfast and resident still, has written intimately about his experiences in the most urban sections of the city. This week, The Irish Times published a review of a new book of photographs taken in the late 1960s through the 1970s on the Falls Road, a portion of Belfast known for violent clashes,…

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MacNeice poem inspires Scottish song

MacNeice poem inspires Scottish song

Louis MacNeice is one of the inspirations for the Scottish group, Battlefield Band. MacNeice’s poem, “Bagpipe Music,” provides the lyrics for the song on the group’s newest album Room Enough for All, which has been nominated for an Independent Music Award in the category of “World Traditional Song.” You can read the poem just below, buy MacNeice’s Collected Poems here, and…

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Paula Meehan touring United States

Paula Meehan touring United States

Wake Forest University Press poet and  current Ireland Professor of Poetry, Paula Meehan, has been charming audiences in the United States on her current reading tour. Earlier in March, Meehan appeared at HoCoPoLitSo’s Thirty-Sixth Annual Evening of Irish Music and Poetry. And on Thursday, April 3, Meehan will be reading at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York. The reading…

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Snow, Joyce and Voicemails: A Closer Look at Conor O’Callaghan’s “Three Six Five Zero”

Snow, Joyce and Voicemails: A Closer Look at Conor O’Callaghan’s “Three Six Five Zero”

Today’s snow-blanketed Wake Forest University campus. How does Conor O’Callaghan seamlessly connect a snowy North Carolinian landscape, James Joyce and voicemails? Ripe with isolation, introspection, recovery and renewal, O’Callaghan’s latest collection, The Sun King, whispers secrets and sings the emergence of light born of the soul’s darkest moments. Technology flashes in and out of The Sun King, yet O’Callaghan’s…

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Poetry By Heart

Poetry By Heart

Earlier this week, the Poetry Book Society (UK) announced that Sinéad Morrissey is the winner of the TS Eliot Poetry Prize. We published Morrissey in our first Wake Forest Series of Irish Poetry and The New North: Contemporary Poetry from Northern Ireland. The Independent asks  Morrissey if she is in favor of students in school learning poetry by…

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What’s Irish for “Merry Christmas to You”?

What’s Irish for “Merry Christmas to You”?

(Celtic Knot Christmas Wreath  from the very impressive Nacho Grandma’s Quilts. Check out the other Celtic Knot designs while you’re there.) Nollaig shona duit! (Say “null-ig hun-nuh dit.”) “Nollaig” (which also means “Christmas” in Scottish Gaelic) derives from the Latin “natalica” for “birthday” and can sometimes be used as a personal name, like “Noel.” We hope…

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BEST OF 2013: WFU Press Style

BEST OF 2013: WFU Press Style

It’s that time of year again. Christmas trees are going up, people are frantically searching for just the right present, holiday plans are being made and, of course, The Best Of lists are being released all month. Maybe you watched that video about the best of Youtube in 2013 or heard Miley Cyrus was named…

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PoetryFest

PoetryFest

Over the weekend, the Irish Arts Center in New York City hosted its 5th annual PoetryFest. Contemporary Irish poets including our own Conor O’Callaghan,  Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, and Colette Bryce (from the Wake Forest Series 3) all read poetry at this event. We are delighted to be publishing O’Callaghan’s new book, The Sun King, later this year.

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“Bigger isn’t always better: Confessions from Wake Forest University Press interns on working at a small university press”

Wake Forest University Press is the premier publisher of Irish poetry in North America. Despite the lofty designation, it is among the smallest university presses in America. WFUP publishes an average of 4-6 titles each year, all from native Irish poets. It employs two full-time staff members, in addition to a half dozen or so…

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Vona Groarke in The New Yorker

Vona Groarke in <i>The New Yorker</i>

Landscape – Kongevejen near Gentofte by Vilhelm Hammershøi The November 11 issue of The New Yorker features Vona Groarke’s poem “The Landscapes of Vilhelm Hammershøi.” Vilhelm Hammershøi (1864-1916) was a Danish painter best known for his low-key, soft portraits and interiors. Enigmatic and secretive, his paintings were described as “highly traditional, but also distinctively modern”…

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‘Tis the season for poetry readings

Everyone knows that poetry is best when listened to, so kick back, relax and belatedly celebrate National Poetry Day with some readings from our poets. Ciaran Carson reading “Snow” from Belfast Confetti Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin reads from The Sun-Fish Paula Meehan reads her poem “Death of a Field” from Painting Rain Michael Longley reads “Harmonica” from his Collected Poems Vona…

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Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week

It’s Banned Books Week, an annual celebration of the freedom to read, sponsored by the American Library Association. From September 22nd-28th, people are encouraged to read previously banned or challenged books. Since 1982, more than 11,300 books have been challenged, or attacked and almost removed due to content. One of our books, The Midnight Court translated by…

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Speaking Out for the Small Press

Speaking Out for the Small Press

Publishing is a constantly changing industry. Every day, new ideas rise out of companies, expertly crafted to improve customer experience, to make book buying simpler. New technology is pushed to the forefront and heralded as the future of publishing; soon, as it is prophecized over and over, all publishers will be using ebooks and turning…

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“Belfast Confetti,” Writers Workshops, and Modern Security

“The subversive half-brick, conveniently hand-sized, is an essential ingredient of the ammunition known as ‘Belfast confetti’, and has been tried and trusted by a generation of rioters.”–Ciaran Carson, “Brick” What happens when the “real world” gets in the way of creativity? Glenn Patterson happened to be leading a workshop for the Fermanaugh Writers in Enniskellen–while…

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The Poetry Project

The Poetry Project

Harry Clifton’s poem “Picardy” was highlighted in the latest piece for The Poetry Project.  Take a few moments to just breath and enjoy a mental health break with this combination of poetry and natural imagery:  David Farrell and Harry Clifton, “Picardy” . “Picardy” is from Clifton’s volume Secular Eden, winner of the 2008 Irish Times Poetry Now…

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Louis MacNeice Poetry Evening

Louis MacNeice Poetry Evening

On May 17th, in conjunction with Ireland’s National Poetry Day celebrations, contemporary poets gathered to mark the 50th anniversary of Louis MacNeice’s death. Sinéad Morrissey, Ciaran Carson, Lucy Caldwell, and others joined together for readings at Ulster Hall in Belfast. MacNeice also has an international appeal, as demonstrated by the participation of Bermudian poet Paul…

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Wake: Up to Poetry Reading and Celebration

If you weren’t able to make it to our Wake: Up to Poetry reading and celebration last month, you’re in luck. Thanks to The Wake Forest Interdisciplinary Performance and Liberal Arts Center (iPLACe) and the Wake Forest Documentary Film Program, we now have this lovely video of highlights from the event. We hope you enjoy…

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Wake Up to Poetry Celebration: A WFU Press’ Intern’s Reflection

Wake Up to Poetry Celebration: A WFU Press’ Intern’s Reflection

The intermingling of poetry and Irish music created an atmosphere of  captivation, reflection, and joy.  This past Saturday night marked Wake Forest University Press’ first Wake Up to Poetry Celebration. In honor of National Poetry Month, WFUP collected student submissions, receiving more than 50 poems. The submissions were then evaluated by award-winning poets, Adrian Rice,…

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Ciaran Carson to Read at UGA on April 10th

One of WFUP’s most distinguished poets, Ciaran Carson, will be reading selections of his work at the University of Georgia this week, on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 7 PM. The university is hosting the 2013 Atlantic Archipelagos Research Project, and Carson’s reading will be a feature of the welcome ceremony. The event reflects on elements…

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Wake Up to Poetry! – Saturday, April 6th

Wake Up to Poetry! – Saturday, April 6th

May we have your attention, Winston-Salem?  The Wake Up to Poetry! event is finally drawing near.  This Saturday, April 6th, at 5:30 the WFU Press is hosting a celebration of poetry at the Community Arts Café on Fourth St., downtown. The three winners of the contest, Bailey Pittenger, Mackenzie Connollee, and Jessica Whitehair, will be reading…

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Éigse Festival Honors Michael Hartnett

This year’s Éigse Michael Hartnett Literary and Arts festival is coming up soon—April 25 through April 27. This will be the 13th annual event, which began in 2000 after Michael Hartnett’s death the previous year. Held in Newcastle West, County Limerick, various events over the course of the weekend will take place in schools, pubs,…

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Happy World Poetry Day!!

Happy World Poetry Day!!

Today, all of us a Wake Forest University Press hope you’re enjoying World Poetry Day!! Our internet community has been helping us celebrate in many ways. First, we’re excited to see that The Poetry Project for poetry and art from Ireland has recently added a new project inspired by Paula Meehan’s “My Father Perceived as…

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Michael Longley to Read at Cúirt International Festival of Literature

Michael Longley to Read at Cúirt International Festival of Literature

WFUP’s esteemed poet, Michael Longley, will be reading selections of his work on the opening night of the Cúirt International Festival of Literature.   Longley’s most recent publication A Hundred Doors won the 2011 Irish Times Poetry Now Award, and he is also the recipient of the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry, the Hawthornden Prize and the T.S. Eliot Prize,…

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Poetry Magazine Honors Dennis O’Driscoll

Poetry Magazine Honors Dennis O’Driscoll

The February issue of Poetry magazine, commemorates Dennis O’Driscoll, who passed away in December. The inside cover features the first stanza of his poem “Tomorrow.”  Tomorrow Tomorrow I will start to be happy. The morning will light up like a celebratory cigar. Sunbeams sprawling on the lawn will set dew sparkling like a cut-glass tumbler of…

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It Runs In the Family

It Runs In the Family

It’s rare enough to have one famous artist in the family, rarer still to have two. The parents of Thomas and John Kinsella – lauded Irish poet and composer, respectively – must have been doing something right. The Kinsella boys, who grew up in the Dublin suburb of Inchicore to a family employed in the…

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It’s Poetry Month!

It’s Poetry Month!

April is the month to celebrate poetry! And while we here at the Press rejoice it every day, we encourage our readers to take part with us in the celebration of National Poetry Month, established in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets. Now is the time to start that spring cleaning by dusting off…

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But who is Captain Lemass?

But who is Captain Lemass?

Currently at the press, we are looking forward to releasing Harry Clifton’s new book The Winter Sleep of Captain Lemass. When first hearing this title, the name Captain Lemass seems so lyrical that many assume it must be a fictional name.  However, some researched revealed that Clifton is actually referring to Captain Noel Lemass, the…

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A Lil’ Bit of Lit. Crit.

A Lil’ Bit of Lit. Crit.

What is the place of poetry in modern society?  An unoriginal question, I know.  But, it is clear that, at best, there is a certain collective ambivalence towards it, evidenced by the shrinking sections of poetry in libraries, bookstores, and on personal bookshelves.  Poetry, sadly (or not-so-sadly for others), is often declared to be a…

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Arts & Culture

Arts & Culture

The cover art on The Wake Forest Series of Irish Poetry, Volume II to the casual observer may seem a tad too modernist or minimalist to garner any serious, long-term reflection. It could be say, a fork and a crumpled foil wrapper, or perhaps a field goal being kicked for those of us (yes, myself included)…

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U2: Brendan Kennelly’s Number One Fans

U2: Brendan Kennelly’s Number One Fans

Like many Irish people, the poet Brendan Kennelly is a fan of the band U2. However, Kennelly has a leg up on his fellow U2 fans: the band is a fan of him. Kennelly is often called “the people’s poet” for his open, accessible style, (Dublin’s Sunday Tribune). Kennelly’s epic poem, The Book of Judas,…

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Arts and Culture: Cover Art for McGuckian’s My Love Has Fared Inland

According to a review by Borbala Farago in The Irish University Review, Medbh McGuckian’s My Love Has Fared Inland takes up “familiar themes of creativity and spirituality” and the poems “trace an introspective trajectory” including themes of “death, writing, nature, and love.” Due to the diverse content of the book, it was important for Wake Forest University…

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Conor O’Callaghan

Conor O’Callaghan

Poet Conor O’Callaghan may best be known to fans of Wake Forest Press for his books of poetry such as Fiction and Seatown and Earlier Poems. He will also be editing our Wake Forest Series of Irish Poetry, Volume III, which will be released next year. However, did you know that he also wrote a memoir about the Roy…

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Arts and Culture: O’Reilly Broadside

Arts and Culture: O’Reilly Broadside

It’s easy to quickly glance at the image associated with Caitríona O’ Reilly’s poem “Octopus” and see the connection; the image is a direct representation of the title. It all seems pretty standard. However, as I delve deeper into the poem, I find that the illustrated octopus is not only strikingly apt, but is responsible…

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What Does This Mean for Writing?

What Does This Mean for Writing?

This week at the Press, we’ve all been reading Alexandra Alter’s recent article in The Wall Street Journal on Penguin’s upcoming publication, Chopsticks, which is an enhanced e-book that combines literature with digital photo albums, video clips, and audio clips. Towards the end of the article, Alter shares an interesting quote from the book’s author, Jessica Anthony, on “the future of narrative”…

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Travel

Travel

Lara Marlowe, author and Washington correspondent to The Irish Times, stated in an interview with the Irish Echo that you’re Irish if “you delight in language, enjoy good company and never lose touch with the sadness that runs through all things.” Although Marlowe is American, she maintains a  residence in Ireland and is a world-traveled journalist. In the interview, Marlowe…

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The Art of a Cover

The Art of a Cover

It’s traditional for the portrait of authors to be put on covers of compilation volumes of their work. Brendan Kennelly, despite his “notes of disgust, fierce satire, sardonic bitterness” looks fairly happy on the cover of his new selected as a man who has grown into his career as a poet and grown into his…

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Arts and Culture: Alice Maher and Irish Readers

Arts and Culture: Alice Maher and Irish Readers

When Irish artist Alice Maher was commissioned to make drawings for the National Library of Ireland, she thought, naturally, about readers. Combine that with her interest in identities, particularly gendered identities, and you have her series, Lectores Mirabiles (Wonderful Readers). She gave us permission to use Lectores Mirabiles V for the cover of The Wake…

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A healthy dose of poetry

As the spring semester is flying by, we have two days left in March and then it will be…National Poetry Month! National Poetry Month was started in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets and is held every April. It is a time when anyone from poetry publishers to libraries and schools come together to…

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Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day Your Way!

I always enjoy St. Patrick’s Day because, well, green is without a doubt my favorite color, but also because it’s a great excuse for a party! People seem to generally get more bawdy and more mischievous on this day, whether they understand the true meaning of the holiday or not. But did you know that…

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