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TONIGHT: Eamon Grennan to Read at Spotlight on Irish Poetry


Even though classes have been cancelled due to bad weather, Fordham University’s Poets Out Loud will host poet Eamon Grennan and poet/critic Stephen Burt  tonight  at 7 p.m. (Feb. 25) in the 12th Floor Lounge on the Lincoln Center campus, for an evening dedicated to Irish poetry.

Born in Dublin in 1941, Grennan was educated at University College Dublin and earned his doctorate in English at Harvard. He has established himself as an eminent voice in a generation of modern Irish poets that includes Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney and Eavan Boland.

“Every poem is a memory of some kind, a celebratory elegy, Grennan said. “Poems are like shells. Something is gone and that’s why you write.”

Grennan’s collections of poetry include: Matter of Fact(2008), The Quick of It (2005); Still Life with Waterfall(2002), winner of the Lenore Marshall Award; Selected & New Poems (2000); So It Goes (1995); As If It Matters (1992); What Light There Is and Other Poems(1989); What Light There Is (1987); and Wildly for Days (1983).

In reviewing his newest volume, Out of Sight: New and Selected Poems (2010) the New Yorker called Grennan a poet who “illuminates, clarifies, and directs our gaze toward what it is we love but often overlook.”

His Leopardi: Selected Poems (1997) won the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. A collection of critical essays followed, Facing the Music: Irish Poetry in the Twentieth Century (1999). His poems appear regularly in magazines on both sides of the Atlantic, including Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry London, The New Yorker, The Nation, Threepenny Review and The New Republic.

The former Dexter M. Ferry Jr., Professor of English at Vassar College divides his time between his upstate New York home and a cottage in Connemara, the west of Ireland, where he said he returns regularly for “voice transfusions.”

“I have a double sense of things, but I tend to write about what’s under my nose,” he said. “I write about here when I’m here and when I go back to Ireland I write about what’s there. I regard myself not as in exile, but as a migrant.”

Stephen Burt, Ph.D.
Photo by Jessica Bennett

The poet has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. He taught at Vassar College for 30 years before retiring in 2007.

Poet and literary critic Stephen Burt, Ph.D., associate professor of English at Harvard University, writes frequently on contemporary American and Irish poetry. He was recently named a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) Award in Criticism for his bookClose Calls with Nonsense: Reading New Poetry(Greywolf, 2009).

Burt will read selections from his poetry and the poetry of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon.

Poets out Loud is a community dedicated to the creation and recognition of poetry on the Fordham University campus.


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