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Wake Forest
University Press

Wake Forest University Press

Dedicated to Irish Poetry

Ireland

Poem of the Week: a sonnet by Harry Clifton

This week we celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, a holiday that originally commemorated the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, though is now more commonly a celebration of Irish heritage, especially in the US. Harry Clifton’s latest collection, Portobello Sonnets, is a fitting selection to mark this holiday, as it is a meditation on Dublin as a microcosm of the…

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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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Poem of the Week: “Endymion” by Thomas Kinsella

As we get ready to celebrate Halloween, let’s take a moment to think about where the most frightful holiday of the year comes from—Samhain (pronounced SOW-in). Samhain is a traditional Celtic celebration to remind people that the year is about to get darker, and that harvest season is over: Winter is here! It’s also a…

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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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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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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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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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Spooky History of Samhain

Spooky History of Samhain

Today marks the beginning of the long awaited week of Halloween. We’ve been preparing for this spooky holiday by learning all about Samhain, the pagan Celtic festival from which our Halloween derives. 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…

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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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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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Poem of the Week: Punctuation by Ciaran Carson

Poem of the Week: Punctuation by Ciaran Carson

By Michael J. Bennett (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons Punctuation This frosty night is jittering with lines and angles, invisible trajectories: Crackly, chalky diagrams in geometry, rubbed out the instant they’re sketched, But lingering in the head. The shots, the echoes, are like whips, and when you flinch, You don’t know where it’s coming from.  This…

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The Miraculous Máire Mhac an tSaoi

The Miraculous Máire Mhac an tSaoi

Wake Forest Press will publish The Miraculous Parish, a bilingual volume of Máire Mhac an tSaoi’s poetry this May. An activist and visionary, Mhac an tSaoi has paved the way for such female literary giants as Eavan Boland, Medbh McGuckian, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, and Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill. The Miraculous Parish solidifies her reputation as the…

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Hold On! The Holding Centre is here!

Hold On! The Holding Centre is here!

Harry Clifton’s newest volume, The Holding Centre: Selected Poems 1974-2004, has arrived!     This book presents a thirty-year poetic trajectory for Clifton, a writer who has lived and worked between the secular and the religious, Eros and history, Ireland and elsewhere. Get your copy now! … You are not the first, you will not…

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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.”  …

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Nuala Ní Dhomhnaíll featured on passport

Nuala Ní Dhomhnaíll featured on passport

Ireland revealed its new passport design on Monday, and people are talking. The majority of the media hype revolves around the borderless map of Ireland on page three. The map’s subtle disregard of Ireland’s political north-south divide in favour of the topographical depiction of the island as a whole is meant to emphasize citizenship over territoriality, a spokesman…

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A WFU Easter

My first Easter away from home. My pink basket and plastic grass have been replaced with a cardboard box and styrofoam peanuts. Instead of a family mass I will be attending a friend mass. And Easter ham will probably be replaced by Pit pizza. But not everything has to change! I can still have an Easter…

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Calling all Female Irish Artists

After what seemed like ages of proofreading the manuscript for the second edition of our Anthology of Irish Women’s Poetry, we sent the text to our designer yesterday. With a click of the send button, every person in the office breathed a collective sigh of relief. We had a brief moment of celebration, but our…

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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 day or not. But did you know that…

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Georgia On My Mind

When I think of Georgia, I think of peaches, sunshine, and southern belles.  Shamrocks and leprechauns do not come to mind.  But this evening through Saturday, Southern Georgia University is hosting the southern sector of the American Conference for Irish Studies.  Live Irish music, local pub gatherings, and a pair of Keynote Addresses break up various meetings throughout…

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