Irish poets by Lake Trasimeno

Several Irish poets (and musicians and artists) have been guests of a very special poetry festival in Umbria, in central Italy, which grew out of the workof an Irish writer, Paul Cahill, organising readings and conferences in the medieval city of Perugia. After Paul’s sudden death in 2005, his partner Fernando Trilli took up his work and founded Riflessi DiVersi, which moves between Perugia and an ancient tower in the countryside looking down on Lake Trasimeno.  Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Ciaran O’Driscoll and Macdara Woods were involved from the beginning. This year sees the beginning of a collaboration between Riflessi DiVersi and the Strokestown International Poetry Festival.

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin and Ciaran O’Driscoll will talk about their memories of the festival in Umbria and will read poems about Italy and poems translated from Italian. A special treat is a musical and visual treatment of a poem by Macdara Woods, by the contemporary group Militia.  They will also have a brief Italian film featuring the voice of Macdara Woods reading one of his poems.

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin

Born 1942 in Cork, she is a Emeritus Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin, and currently Ireland Professor of Poetry (2016-19).  She has published and edited academic articles and books on the literature of the English Renaissance, on translation, and on Irish writing in both Irish and English.  She is a founder and  now sole editor of the Irish poetry journal Cyphers.

She has published eight collections of poetry over 42 years, and her Selected Poems appeared in 2008.  The Sun-Fish was awarded the International Griffin Prize for poetry in 2010.  The Boys of Bluehill was published in 2015 by Gallery Press and Wake Forest University Press. The Mother House, a new collection, will appear this year.

CIARAN O’DRISCOLL lives in Limerick. A member of Aosdána, he has published nine books of poetry, including Gog and Magog (1987), Moving On, Still There (2001), and Life Monitor (2009). His work has been translated into many languages. His fourth collection, The Old Women of Magione, was published with Italian translations by Rita Castigli in 2006, and a Selected Poems in Slovene translation was published in 2013. A poetry chapbook, The Speaking Trees (2018), is his most recent publication.
      Liverpool University Press published his childhood memoir, A Runner Among Falling Leaves (2001). His novel, A Year’s Midnight, was published by Pighog Press (2012).
      His awards include the James Joyce Prize and the Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship in Poetry. His poem ‘Please Hold’, featured in Forward’s anthology Poems of the Decade (2015), has become a set text for A Level English Literature.