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Our Roots Travel Widely: Irish Poetry Beyond Regionalism and Nationalism

14th June – 10:00 am - 4:30 pm



This symposium will explore mid-century Irish poetry’s rich web of affiliations, reconceptualising the period from Partition to the Troubles by bringing to light neglected cross-border collaborations, transnational connections, feminist, ecocritical, socialist, and working-class perspectives. Led by Dr Gail McConnell (Queen’s University Belfast) and Dr Karl O’Hanlon (Maynooth University), this symposium is the second public event of ‘Irish Poetry Beyond Regionalism and Nationalism’, a two-year project funded by the Higher Education Authority under the North-South Research Programme of the Shared Island Initiative. Dr Lucy Collins, Associate Professor in the School of English, Drama and Film at University College Dublin, will deliver the keynote lecture.

Please Note: Before booking, kindly ensure you have reviewed the SYMPOSIUM AGENDA. It contains important details about the programme and activities.

Friday 14 June, 10 am | FREE


Lucy Collins is an Associate Professor in the School of English, Drama and Film at University College Dublin. She has published on modern poets from Ireland, Britain, and America, and has a particular interest in work by women. Her books include Poetry by Women in Ireland 1870–1970: A Critical Anthology (2012) and Contemporary Irish Women Poets: Memory and Estrangement (2015), both published by Liverpool University Press. She is co-founder of the Irish Poetry Reading Archive, a national digital repository, and is the editor of the Irish University Review. Current research projects include a study of Irish poetry and print culture in the Free State period.

Gail McConnell is Co-Investigator/Northern Irish Lead on BRAN. Gail is Reader in English at Queen’s University Belfast and publishes poetry and literary criticism. She is the author of The Sun is Open (2021), Fothermather (2019), Fourteen (2018) and Northern Irish Poetry and Theology (2014). Gail has published articles and chapters on Irish poetry in boundary 2, Irish University Review and The Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish Poetry and made two arts features based on her poetry and one on Seamus Heaney for BBC Radio 4.

Karl O’Hanlon is Principal Investigator/Irish lead on BRAN. Karl is a poet and lecturer in the Department of English at Maynooth University. In 2023, he was shortlisted for the Eavan Boland Emerging Poet Award. His monograph Official Voices: Poets and the Irish State is forthcoming with Liverpool University Press in 2024. He has written articles on poetry in The Journal of Modern LiteratureModernism/modernityÉtudes AnglaisesEnglish, and The Cambridge Quarterly. His poetry has appeared in AgendaBad LiliesThe Irish Times, PN ReviewPoetryThe Times Literary Supplement, and The Stinging Fly. His pamphlet And Now They Range was published by Guillemot Press in 2016. He lives outside Maynooth.

Fran Brearton is Professor of Modern Poetry at Queen’s University Belfast. Her research interests are primarily in British and Irish Poetry of the 20th and 21st centuries; she also has an interest in the literature and culture of the First World War, literary modernism, and in war writing throughout the 20th century. Her books include The Great War in Irish Poetry (2000), Reading Michael Longley (2006) and, as co-editor, Modern Irish and Scottish Poetry (2011), Incorrigibly Plural: Louis MacNeice and his Legacy (2012), The Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish Poetry (2012), and a critical edition of Goodbye to All That (2014).

Matthew Campbell is Professor of Modern Literature at the University of York. He is the author of Irish Poetry under the Union (2013) and Rhythm and Will in Victorian Poetry (1999) and he has published widely on modern and contemporary Irish poetry. Matthew edited The Oxford Handbook of W.B. Yeats (2023) with Lauren Arrington, and was editor of Irish Literature in Transition, 1830-1880 (2020) and The Cambridge Companion to Contemporary Irish Poetry (2003).

Nithy Kasa is a Congolese-Irish poet whose work is featured on the Adrian Brinkerhoff Poetry Foundation website, the University of Galway’s archive, the Special Collections of University College Dublin, Poetry Ireland Review and others. Her debut collection of poetry, Palm Wine Tapper and The Boy at Jericho, Doire Press 2022, was listed among the top poetry books of 2022 by the Irish Times, and was shortlisted for the Pigott Poetry Prize 2023.

Scott McKendry is from North Belfast. His poems have appeared in The Poetry Review, The Stinging Fly, Virginia Quarterly Review and elsewhere. He was the recipient of a Patrick Kavanagh Award in 2019 and his pamphlet Curfuffle (Lifeboat) was the Poetry Book Society’s Autumn Pamphlet Choice in the same year. McKendry’s debut collection, GUB, was published in February 2024 by Little, Brown.

Julie Morrissy is a poet from Dublin. From 2021-22, she was the first Poet-in-Residence at the National Library of Ireland. Her awards include a creative writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the inaugural Newman Fellowship in Creativity, and the Next Generation Artist Award from the Arts Council of Ireland. From 2023-24, she was the postdoctoral researcher on Irish Poetry Beyond Regionalism and Nationalism, a HEA-funded project in the North South Research Programme. She is currently based at University College Dublin Law School as their first Law and Poetry Fellow. Morrissy holds degrees in Creative Writing, Literature, and Law.

Free Ticket

40 Going


14th June
10:00 am - 4:30 pm
Event Category:


The Linen Hall
+44 (0)28 9032 1707
View Organiser Website


Linen Hall Library
17 Donegall Square North
Belfast, BT1 5GB United Kingdom
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Booking is essential for all events including free events. All event tickets are non-refundable. Please view our Customer Service Policy.