Announcement of Ireland Professor of Poetry 2013
Sep 25, 2013
President Michael D. Higgins announced that Paula Meehan has been awarded the prestigious position of the Ireland Professor of Poetry 2013, commencing from November next until October 2016. Paula Meehan will be the sixth Irish Professor of Poetry, taking up the position from its current holder, Harry Clifton, who finishes his term at the end of October. The announcement was made at a reception at the Provost’s House, Trinity College Dublin.
The Ireland Chair of Poetry was set up in 1998 following the award of the Nobel Prize in Literature to Seamus Heaney, to honour his achievement and that of other Irish poets.
“I would like to congratulate Paula and look forward to her being in College, engaging our students and the general public with her work. This year’s announcement has a particular poignancy given that the professorship was originally created inhonour of one of Ireland’s greatest poets and friend to Trinity, Seamus Heaney. It forms part of his legacy and the role will go on to foster and deepen people’s understanding of poetry,” said Dr Patrick Prendergast, Provost of Trinity.
Paula Meehan is extremely popular with readers and has done an immense amount of work with prisoners and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. From a very modest background herself, she is often considered the informal poet laureate of Dublin, and gives voice to people and places that are often marginalised and forgotten. Her poetry is marked by its wit and its beauty, and she is a very good speaker about her own poetry and that of others, often finding 'ways in' to the work for readers.
Paula was born in 1955 in Dublin where she still lives. She studied at Trinity College Dublin, and at Eastern Washington University in the US. She has received many awards, including the Marten Toonder Award for Literature, The Butler Literary Award for Poetry, the Denis Devlin Memorial Award and the PPI Award for Radio Drama. She has published five collections of poetry, the most recent being Painting Rain (Carcanet, 2009). She has collaborated throughout her working life with dancers, visual artists and film makers. Paula Meehan is a member of Aosdána, the Irish affiliation of writers and artists.
The Ireland Chair of Poetry was established by the Arts Council/ An Chomhairle Ealaíon, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Trinity College Dublin, Queen’s University Belfast and University College Dublin to celebrate the exceptional contribution of Irish poets to the world of literature. The Chair is tenable for a period of three years (non-renewable) during which time the holder will be attached to each of the three universities in turn and will be required to be in residence at each for approximately one academic term per year. In addition, the holder will make three formal presentations and hold other informal workshops, lectures and readings for the public.
Every three years nominations are requested and the new Ireland Professor of Poetry is appointed by the five participating organisations. The current trustees include: Bob Collins, Chairman (Chairman of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland) Pat Moylan, (Chairman of the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon), Sir Donnell Deeny, Professor Ciaran Carson (Queen’s University Belfast), Professor Nicholas Grene (Trinity College Dublin), Professor Mary Clayton (University College Dublin), Michael Longley, Adrian Hall and Brian Walker.
Oct 01, 2013