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Wake Forest
University Press

Wake Forest University Press

Dedicated to Irish Poetry

Our Poets

Poem of the Week: “Viola D’Amore” by Moya Cannon

This week, we continue to look back through The Wake Forest Series of Irish Poetry as we prepare to publish Volume IV. Today we’re featuring Moya Cannon from Volume II, whose subtle yet distinct voice demands a reader’s attention. Her poems are largely preoccupied with the sphere of landscapes, and how human desire—sometimes expressed through the invocation of Greek myths—is interwoven into…

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Poem of the Week: “Water” by Dennis O’Driscoll

Photo courtesy of Melissa Libutti As we approach the publication date for The Wake Forest Series of Irish Poetry, Volume IV, we’re taking a look back at some of the poets published in previous volumes from this series, which aims to introduce lesser-known Irish poets to an American audience. This week’s poet is Dennis O’Driscoll, whose work…

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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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Introducing: The Boys of Bluehill

Introducing: The Boys of Bluehill

Wake Forest University Press is proud to announce the arrival of Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin’s Boys of Bluehill. In her newest collection, Ní Chuilleanáin addresses the themes of music, religion, art, and language to create a beautiful union between revelatory imagery and an acute poetic sensibility. Of her work, Seamus Heaney remarked: “There is something second-sighted about Eiléan Ní Chulleanáin’s work….

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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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Poem of the Week:”Pas de Deux”

A poem for Valentine’s Day– Pas de Deux It all began in Take Two, what with us looking at clothes. You’d brushed against me as I stepped aside from the mirror to let you size yourself up against a blue pencil skirt, pinching its waistband to your waist with your arms akimbo. I caught you…

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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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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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The Sun King Review

The Sun King Review

Conor O’Callaghan’s forthcoming The Sun King was recently reviewed by Billy Ramsell in The Stinging Fly. Ramsell describes O’Callaghan’s style as “an almost Shakespearean tendency to render reality not only by means of literary devices but in terms of those very tropes and conceits. Again and again in this his superbly reflexive fourth collection parts of…

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Vona Groarke in The New Yorker

Vona Groarke in The New Yorker

The November 11 issue of The New Yorker includes Vona Groarke’s poem “The Landscapes of Vilhelm Hammershøi” on page 61. 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” in the 2008 London Royal…

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Innocence Lost: “Boy-Soldier” by Michael Longley

Innocence Lost: “Boy-Soldier” by Michael Longley

“Child Soldier in the Ivory Coast, Africa” by Gilbert Ground Michael Longley’s recent poem, “Boy-Soldier”, was inspired by Irish author Tom McAlindon’s account of the death of WWI teenage soldier, Bobbie Kernaghan of Belfast. The images of young soldiers killed in war, of their tender necks pierced and their armor clattering to the ground link this…

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Poem of the Week: Ciaran Carson’s “Demotic Nocturne”

Poem of the Week: Ciaran Carson’s “Demotic Nocturne”

The Destruction Of Sodom And Gomorrah, a painting by John Martin (1789-1854) In the spirit of Halloween we offer Ciaran Carson’s “Demotic Nocturne”, a tantalizing and chilling nighttime adventure that takes the reader on a technicolor journey that “disperses all the boundaries of hearth and home”. “Demotic Nocturne” appears in Carson’s collection In the Light Of, translated from Rimbaud’s Illuminations.   Demotic Nocturne (Nocturne vulgaire) A…

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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. Conor O’Callaghan reading “January Drought” from his newest collection, The Sun King. WFUP will publish the North American edition in December. Conor will be reading from The Sun King at the…

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Endings and Beginnings

Endings and Beginnings

This past week, Harry Clifton gave his final lecture as Ireland Professor of Poetry, marking the end of his three year appointment to the post. Soon, Clifton will step down to make way for the newly-announced Paula Meehan, who will be the sixth poet to take the position. Clifton spent one year at Queen’s University…

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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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Louis MacNeice: Collected Poems NY Times Book Review

Louis MacNeice: Collected Poems NY Times Book Review

In his New York Times Sunday Book Review of Louis MacNeice: Collected Poems, entitled “Free Range”, David Orr praises the palimpsestic nature of MaNeice’s final volume. There is a haunting quality, perhaps to do with MacNeice’s talent for refrain, which provides a chilling echo that permeates the soul and leaves the reader with lingering questions…

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Fingers Crossed for Harry Clifton!

Fingers Crossed for Harry Clifton!

We’re delighted that Harry Clifton has been nominated for the Irish Times Poetry Now Award for 2013.   Clifton is nominated for The Winter Sleep of Captain Lemass; he previously won this most prestigious award in 2008 for Secular Eden. Winners will be announced on Sept 7.  Stay tuned for the results! –Megan Latta

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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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Ciaran Carson to Read at UGA on April 10th

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 10th 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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Éigse Festival Honors Michael Hartnett

This year’s Éigse Michael Hartnett Literary and Arts festival is coming up soon—April 25– 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, offices…

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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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Harry Clifton: An Irishman Abroad

Harry Clifton: An Irishman Abroad

Though poet Harry Clifton is a native Dubliner and currently lives in Ireland, he has spent much of his adult life on the move.  Clifton grew up in Ireland and attended University College Dublin, but left the country when he was twenty-five to teach at a teacher training college in Post-Civil War Nigeria.  From there…

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A Lil’ Bit of Lit. Crit.: “The Essential Brendan Kennelly”

A Lil’ Bit of Lit. Crit.: “The Essential Brendan Kennelly”

In their foreword to the Press’s fall publication of The Essential Brendan Kennelly, Terrence Brown and Michael Longley write that “Kennelly’s poetry is instinctively sociable, hospitable as it is the lives, voices, deeds and defining deaths of a host of characters.” Textually, this quality of Kennelly’s work leaps off the page through Kennelly’s written shifts…

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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, often called “the people’s poet” for his open, accessible style, (Dublin’s Sunday Tribune). Kennelly’s epic poem, The Book of Judas, was…

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Conor O’Callaghan

Conor O’Callaghan

Poet Conor O’Callaghan may best be known to fans of the 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 3, which will be released next year. However, did you know that he also wrote a memoir about the…

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Paula Meehan: Rebel with a Cause

Paula Meehan: Rebel with a Cause

Paula Meehan, born in Dublin in 1955, spent much of her childhood in England before finishing her primary school education at Dublin’s Central Model Girls’ School in Gardiner Street.  She began her secondary school education at St. Michael’s Holy Faith Covent in Finglas, but her time there was short lived.  Meehan was expelled from the…

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Did you know…

Did you know…

Poet and Belfast native Ciaran Carson was raised as a native Irish speaker by his parents, who were NOT raised as native speakers, but … here is how Carson explains it in a 2004 remembrance of his father, a postman who was also an Esperanto speaker. It was in the Belfast GPO [General Post Office…

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Did You Know…

Did You Know…

We’re back! After weeks of working on redesigning our blog we have finally finished and are excited to post again. Today is the first in what will become a series of posts on little known facts about our poets. We will start with one of the poets who just joined us on our Women’s Anthology…

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Our Women's Anthology Tour

The poets at the Poetry Foundation in Chicago The group on a night out in Chicago The poets at their signing in Chicago The Belfast Boys (and the lovely Sofia!) performing at the Winston-Salem launch party You can see more photos of the tour on our Facebook page

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News Updates

Hello everyone! Some updates on the wonderful world of Irish poetry in North America: We have received Brendan Kennely’s newest book, The Essential Brendan Kennelly, today! Very exciting news. TheWomen’s Anthology tour is well underway. The ladies have since been in Chicago, Pittsburgh, and New York, with great crowds at each place. Thank you everyone who…

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Imagination Exercises

Imagination Exercises

I’ve been bitten by the travel bug. As this semester comes to an end, not only is everyone scrambling to finish that last paper or project, but everyone is also making plans for next semester, like class registration, housing, etc. As conversations about these things become more frequent, many of my upper-classmen friends cannot help…

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