Former US Poet Laureate (2008 – 2010) and Pulitzer Prize winner, Kay Ryan, to give her first reading in Ireland, in Nenagh

“Ryan brazenly questions the extent to which we are in control of, and thus responsible for, our own and others’ suffering. Her work . . . operates in an American tradition stretching from Dickinson through Stevens and Frost to Ammons and Bronk, where fidelity to the natural world works as a scrim for staging such self-exploration. . . . Empathic and wryly unforgiving of the human condition, the poems are equal parts pith and punch. The effect is bracing.”

— Publishers Weekly

 

 

“It’s not Ryan’s logic that makes her poems breathe fire, it’s her illogic, delivered with calm precision, like a masterful change-up pitch.”

—Kate Moos, Ruminator Review

 

 

The Dromineer Literary Festival committee is delighted to announce a reading by Former US Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner, Kay Ryan, at the Nenagh Arts Centre, at 7.30pm, on Saturday 24 August 2013.  An early present to celebrate the festival’s tenth birthday, we are thrilled that Ms Ryan has accepted our invitation to read and to travel to Ireland for her first visit.

 

Ms Ryan’s reading is the Dromineer Literary Festival’s contribution to the Gathering celebrations.  We are grateful to North Tipperary LEADER Partnership, whose generous sponsorship has enabled us to hold this exciting evening.

 

Paul Perry will interview Ms. Ryan onstage, before introducing her reading. Perry is a poet and the author of a number of critically acclaimed books including The Drowning of the Saints, Goldsmith’s Ghost, 108 Moons, The Orchid Keeper and most recently The Last Falcon and Small Ordinance.  He is Curator of the dlr Poetry Now International Poetry Festival and teaches Creative Writing for Kingston University, London and UCD.

 

We also have great pleasure in announcing that poet and memoirist Mary Mullen, will be reading with Ms Ryan.  Mary was born in Anchorage, and raised on her parent’s homestead in Soldotna, Alaska.  She moved to Co. Galway in 1996. Her debut poetry collection, Zephyr, was published by Salmon Poetry in 2010.

 

The annual Dromineer Literary Festival festival takes place 3-6 October 2013 and will be officially launched on Friday 4 October by Fr. Mark Patrick Hederman OSB, Abbot of Glenstal Abbey.  With support from our main sponsors, the Arts Council and the Arts Office of North Tipperary County Council, we have a dynamic festival programme this year, with readings by Michael Longley, Theo Dorgan, Mark Roper, Julian Gough, Donal Ryan, Paul Lynch, Alan McMonagle, John Sexton, Maighread Medbh, Patrick Deeley, Susan Millar DuMars, Kate O’Shea, Michael Gallagher, Nicki Griffin, Jennifer Mathews and John Saunders.  Our festival artist this year is Galway based Dolores Lyne.  Author John MacKenna will judge our flash short story and Poet Jean O’Brien will judge our adult poetry competition.

 

Kay Ryan, United States Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner, was born in California in 1945 and grew up in the small towns of the San Joaquin Valley and the Mojave Desert. She received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from UCLA. Since 1971, she has lived in Marin County in Northern California.

 

Ryan has published several collections of poetry, including The Niagara River (Grove Press, 2005); Say Uncle (2000); Elephant Rocks (1996); Flamingo Watching (1994), which was a finalist for both the Lamont Poetry Selection and the Lenore Marshall Prize; Strangely Marked Metal (1985); and Dragon Acts to Dragon Ends (1983). A re-issue of her 2002 collection, Believe It or Not!, poems inspired by stories from the newspaper car toon Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, has recently been re-released and re-titled as The Jam Jar Lifeboat & Other Novelties Exposed, (Red Berry Editions 2008). Ryan’s first European collection, Odd Blocks: Selected and New Poems was published in England in August 2011. Her most recent collection, The Best of It: New and Selected Poems, was nominated for the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in April, 2011.

 

About her work, J.D. McClatchy has said: “Her poems are compact, exhilarating, strange affairs, like Erik Satie miniatures or Joseph Cornell boxes. She is an anomaly in today’s literary culture: as intense and elliptical as Dickinson, as buoyant and rueful as Frost.”

 

Ryan’s awards include the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, a Guggenheim fellowship, an Ingram Merrill Award, a fellowship from the National Endow- ment for the Arts, the Union League Poetry Prize, the Maurice English Poetry Award, four Pushcart Prizes, and the MacAr thur “Genius” Award. Her work has been selected four times for The Best Ameri- can Poetry and was included in The Best of the Best American Poetry 1988-1997.

 

Ryan’s poems and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Poetry, The Yale Review, Paris Review, The Ameri- can Scholar, The Threepenny Review, Parnassus, among other journals and anthologies. Ryan was elected a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets in 2006. In 2008, Ryan was appointed the Library of Congress’s sixteenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry.

 

Paul Perry is the author of a number of critically acclaimed books including The Drowning of the Saints, Goldsmith’s Ghost, 108 Moons, The Orchid Keeper and most recently The Last Falcon and Small Ordinance, which Dermot Bolger described as “the work of a singular imagination.” A winner of The Hennessy New Irish Writer of The Year Award, he is Curator of the dlr Poetry Now International Poetry Festival and teaches Creative Writing for Kingston University, London and UCD. With Karen Gillece, he is the author of the ‘Karen Perry’ thriller ‘The Innocent Sleep published by Penguin UK, Henry Holt USA, and translated into over half a dozen languages worldwide.

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