Poetry Reading at Library of Congress Celebrates Release of The New North: Contemporary Poetry From Northern Ireland
September 29, 2008
Washington, DC -- The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is partnering with the Library of Congress and Wake Forest University Press to host an evening of readings by poets Chris Agee and Sinéad Morrissey on Thursday, October 2, 2008. The reading celebrates the release of the anthology The New North: Contemporary Poetry from Northern Ireland. The event will take place at 7:00 pm in the Mumford Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building at the Library of Congress (101 Independence Avenue, SE). The reading is free and open to the public, but reservations should be made by calling (202) 682-5759 or e-mailing TheNewNorth@arts.gov.
Agee, the anthology's editor, and Morrissey will read selected work by the writers featured in The New North. After the reading NEA Chairman Dana Gioia will moderate a question-and-answer session with the poets followed by a book signing and reception hosted by the Northern Ireland Bureau.
"There can be little doubt that over the past forty years Northern Ireland has enjoyed a golden age of poetry. This beautiful new book shows how powerfully it continues in a new generation of writers," said Chairman Gioia.
The New North presents the work of 21 poets from Northern Ireland, including Seamus Heaney, and Paul Muldoon, and emerging voices, such as Moyra Donaldson, Nick Laird, and Sinéad Morrissey. The new anthology was published as part of an international literary exchange between the NEA and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. New Voices: Contemporary Poetry from the United States, a companion volume from Irish Pages featuring work by 32 U.S. poets is forthcoming in Ireland later this month. This special literary exchange is part of the U.S. Department of State Global Cultural Initiative, a multi-faceted, international cultural diplomacy effort characterized by partnerships with U.S. government and private sector cultural agencies and institutions. NEA has additional international anthology projects with Mexico, Pakistan, and Russia.
About the Poets
Sinéad Morrissey was born in 1972 and grew up in Belfast. She attended Trinity College in Dublin, where she earned B.A. and Ph.D. degrees. Morrissey has published three collections of poetry, The State of the Prisons (2005), Between Here and There (2001), and There Was Fire in Vancouver (1996). She lives in Belfast and lectures at Queen's University.
Chris Agee was born in 1956 in San Francisco and grew up on the East Coast of the United States. He attended Harvard University, where he studied with poet and translator Robert Fitzgerald. Since 1979 Agee has lived in Ireland and now lives in Belfast with his family. He is the author of two books of poetry, Unfinished Ireland: Essays on Hubert Butler (2003) and The New Hampshire Woods (1992). Agee edits Irish Pages, a journal of contemporary writing based at The Linen Hall Library, Belfast. In addition, he writes reviews for the Irish Times and is currently completing a new collection of poems, Next to Nothing. Agee also teaches for The Open University in Ireland.
The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, both new and established, bringing the arts to all Americans, and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Arts Endowment is the largest national funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases. For more information, please visit www.arts.gov.
Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation's oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, with more than 138 million items in various languages, disciplines, and formats. As the world's largest repository of knowledge and creativity, the Library is a symbol of democracy and the principles on which this nation was founded. Today the Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on site, in its 22 reading rooms on Capitol Hill, and through its award-winning Web site at www.loc.gov. Many of the Library's rich resources may also be accessed via interactive exhibitions on a new, personalized Web site at www.myLOC.gov.
Wake Forest University Press is a nonprofit literary publisher located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, on the campus of Wake Forest University. The press was established in 1976, and is the premier publisher of Irish poetry in North America. For more information, visit www.wfu.edu/wfupress.
National Endowment for the Arts · an independent federal agency