The Poetry of Nature PAT BORAN and guests EVA BOURKE, MARK ROPER and GRACE WELLS

The Poetry of Nature PAT BORAN and guests EVA BOURKE, MARK ROPER and GRACE WELLS

The Poetry of Nature PAT BORAN and guests EVA BOURKE, MARK ROPER and GRACE WELLS

Live Event: Sunday 2nd May 3.00 pm

The Poetry of Nature and The Nature of Poetry: A conversation about the poet’s place in the natural world

PAT BORAN and guests EVA BOURKE, MARK ROPER and GRACE WELLS explore the relationship between poetry and nature, discussing the attractions, and challenges, of writing about the natural world, not least in these challenging times. This informal conversation will include short readings by the poets.

PAT BORAN has held a number of posts as Writer-in-Residence with libraries and third-level institutions. He has published more than a dozen books of poetry and prose, most recently the Statues of Emo Court (Orange Crate Books, 2021) and Then Again  (Dedalus Press, 2019). A Man Is Only As Good: A Pocket Selected Poems was published in 2017 and his books have been published in many languages. His non-fiction includes the popular writers’ handbook The Portable Creative Writing Workshop (various editions) and A Short History of Dublin (Mercier Press); his humorous memoir The Invisible Prison: Scenes from an Irish Childhood was published in 2009 and in Italian as Un’Infanzia Irlandese in 2019. A former editor of Poetry Ireland Review and a former presenter of The Poetry Programme and The Enchanted Way on RTÉ Radio 1, he has edited many anthologies, including, with Gerard Smyth, the bestselling If Ever You Go: A Map of Dublin in Poetry and Song, and, during lockdown in Spring 2020, The Word Ark: A Pocket Book of Animal Poems, illustrated by Sicilian artist Gaetano Tranchino. Boran’s distinctions include The Patrick Kavanagh Award in 1989 and the US-based Lawrence O’Shaughnessy Poetry Award in 2008. He is a member of Aosdána, the Irish affiliation of creative artists. His recent work is mainly audio-visual and he has produced more than a dozen short films over the past year, many to be found on

EVA BOURKE is a poet and translator. She has published six previous collections of poetry, Gonella (Salmon, 1985), Litany for the Pig (Salmon, 1990), Spring in Henry Street (Dedalus, 1996), Travels with Gandolpho (Dedalus, 2000), The Latitude of Naples (Dedalus, 2005) and piano (Dedalus, 2011). Her many translations include a selection of the poems of Elisabeth Borchers in English, as well as two comprehensive anthologies of Irish poetry in German, the most recent of which is Mit grüner Tinte / With Green Ink (1996). With Borbála Faragó she co-edited Landing Places: Immigrant Poets in Ireland (2010) and, with Vincent Woods, Fermata: Writings Inspired by Music (2016). She has taught in Creative Writing programmes in the US and on the MA in Writing at NUI, Galway. Eva Bourke has received numerous awards and bursaries from the Arts Council and is a member of Aosdána. PERSONAL STATEMENT “I admire formal poetry but I’m drawn to free verse more for its natural, organic, holistic feeling encompassing the physical (voice, heartbeat) and the non-physical (insight). Poetry offers illumination and hope by giving us trustworthy language appealing directly to the intellect, the senses and above all the emotions.”

MARK ROPER was born in Derbyshire, and moved to Ireland in 1980. His collections include The Hen Ark (Peterloo, 1990), which won the 1992 Aldeburgh Prize for best first collection, Catching The Light (Peterloo, 1997) and The Home Fire (Abbey Press, 1998). Reviewing the latter for The Irish Literary Supplement, Bill Tinley described Roper as “one of the most accomplished and engaging poets writing in Ireland at present”. Whereabouts was published in 2005 by Abbey Press & Peterloo and Even So: New & Selected Poems was published by Dedalus Press in 2008. His latest collection, Bindweed, (Dedalus Press, 2017), has received excellent reviews and was shortlisted for The Irish Times Poetry Now Award 2018. A Gather of Shadow, Dedalus 2012, was also shortlisted for the Poetry Now Award and won the Michael Hartnett Award in 2014. The River Book: A Celebration of the Suir, a collaboration with photographer Paddy Dwan, was published in 2010. The pair have since published 2 further collaborations, The Backstrand (2013), and Comeragh (2018). They are currently at work on a book about the County Waterford coastline. The Invader, an opera composed by Eric Sweeney to a libretto by Mark Roper, was premièred in Ireland in May 2014. A second opera from the pair, The Green One, received its première in October 2016. Mark Roper has also worked on many other collaborative ventures, including projects with photographer Margaret O’Brien-Moran, painter Susan Hughes and choreographer Libby Seward. Mark was Editor of Poetry Ireland Review for 1999. He was the recipient of Arts Council Bursaries in 2010, 2013 and 2016. A highly experienced Creative Writing teacher, Mark has run courses and workshops in many different settings, including schools, prisons, and senior citizen centres. From September 2002 to May 2003 he was writer-in-residence at Waterford Regional Hospital. Website:

GRACE WELLS was born in London and moved to rural Tipperary in 1991. Nature, spirit of place and ecological concern have been large themes in her writing ever since the publication of her debut children’s novel Gyrfalcon (O’Brien Press, 2002), which won the Eilís Dillon Best Newcomer Award and was an International White Ravens Choice. Her debut poetry collection When God has been Called Away to Greater Things (Dedalus Press, 2010), won the Rupert and Eithne Strong Best First Collection Award, and was shortlisted for the London Festival Fringe New Poetry Award. With her second poetry collection Fur (Dedalus Press, 2015), Wells moved more deeply into eco-poetics and eco-feminism. Fur was lauded in Poetry Ireland Review as ‘a book that enlarges the possibilities of poetry’, and her poem Otter was Highly Commended by the Forward Prize. She has reviewed Irish poetry for a wide range of journals, and has taught and mentored emerging writers on behalf of Poetry Ireland, Words Ireland, and for many County Council Arts Offices. In 2018 Grace Wells moved to County Clare, which has informed her new work with a coastal, marine light. She is currently working on her third collection, Home, a meditation on belonging within culture, body, self and nature in our era of ecological crisis. The poems are accompanied by a sequence of eco-poetry-films, Wells’ Home Movies.