Celebrate Women's History and National Poetry months with two readings by Irish women poets at Emory

Published 03-11-2018

by Maureen McGavin

Rita Ann Higgins. From the Rita Ann Higgins papers, Rose Library at Emory University.

Two female Irish poets, Rita Ann Higgins and Sinéad Morrissey, will read their work in late March and early April in the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library at Emory University. The readings, free and open to the public, celebrate Women’s History Month in March and National Poetry Month in April.

Rita Ann Higgins will read on Tuesday, March 27, at 5 p.m. as part of the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library Reading SeriesClick here to register for this event.

A playwright and activist as well as a poet, Higgins’ writing is known for its wry commentary on economic and gender inequities. The Galway-born author has penned ten volumes of poetry, including “Witch in the Bushes” (1988), “Philomena's Revenge” (1992), “Sunny Side Plucked” (1996), “Ireland Is Changing Mother” (2011), and “Tongulish” (2016). She published an autobiographical volume of essays and poetry, “Hurting God,” in 2010.

The Higgins reading is sponsored by Irish Studies at Emory, the Hightower Fund, and the Rose Library, which holds her papers. The Higgins papers were fully processed and opened for research in 2017.

Sinéad Morrissey. Malachi O'Doherty/Blue Flower

Sinéad Morrissey will share her work a week later, on Tuesday, April 3, at 5:30 p.m. Click here to register for the Morrissey reading.

Raised in Belfast during the Troubles, Morrissey has received a number of accolades over the years. She won her first award, the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award, in 1990 when she was just 18 years old. Her published works include “There Was Fire in Vancouver” (1996), “The State of the Prisons” (2005), “Through the Square Window” (2009), “Parallax” (2013), winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize; and “On Balance” (2017), which netted her the Forward Poetry Prize for Best Collection.

The Morrissey reading is sponsored by Irish Studies at Emory, the Creative Writing Program, and the Department of English, with additional support from the Center for Creativity and the Arts and the Rose Library.

“We are pleased to welcome these two Irish poets to the Rose Library to share their work and connect with the thriving Irish village at Emory,” says Rose Library interim director Jennifer Meehan, referring to the phrase coined by poet Eamon Grennan about the library’s Irish literary collections. “These two readings will be wonderful opportunities for the poets, faculty, students, and community to engage in the ongoing dialogue between poetry and archives, inspired by the Irish and poetry collections of the Rose Library and the tradition of poetry at Emory.”

The Rose Library is located on Level 10 of Emory University’s Woodruff Library, 540 Asbury Circle in Atlanta, 30322. Parking is available in the Fishburne deck. For disability-related accommodations at these readings, please contact Emory Libraries events manager Maya Cody in advance at 404-727-7620 or maya.cody@emory.edu.

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