Emory Report

 September 2, 1997

 Volume 50, No. 2

Irish poet spends September in residence in English Department

Acclaimed Irish poet Michael Longley, whose papers are part of the University's Irish literary holdings, will spend September in residence in the English department. He will be joined by his wife, Edna, a critic and scholar who teaches at Queens University in Belfast.

Longley won the 1991 Whitbread Poetry Prize, Ireland's highest literary award, for his collection Gorse Fires. Edna Longley is considered the foremost critic of contemporary Irish literature. He will teach in the creative writing program, and she will teach a course in contemporary Irish literature.

The visit by Longley and other authors represented in the Irish collection make it a "living" collection: nearly a dozen Irish writers currently in their professional prime are represented in the holdings of Special Collections, according to English professor Ronald Schuhard. Access to the collection and the ties to the authors give scholars and admirers an opportunity to meet the writers and study their manuscripts. The Longleys' visit will be followed by appearances by Thomas Kinsella, Paul Muldoon and Maeve McGuckian this year, all of whose papers are owned by Emory. Outside of Ireland, Emory has the most significant collection of contemporary Irish literature, and its Irish collection as a whole­­stretching back to works by W.B. Yeats and Lady Gregory­­is second only to the Byrd collection in Texas.

There will be two public readings by Longley during his stay at Emory. He will give a reading at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 11, in Cannon Chapel. For information, call 727-6887. He also will give a reading Monday, Sept. 29, at 8:15 p.m. at a location to be announced. For information on that event, call 727-4683. Both events are free, and a reception and booksigning will follow.

-Deb Hammacher

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