Now, a Literary Moment...
Edna Longley: The poets from Northern Ireland have been extraordinarily eclectic in their sources and their reading.
Over the past several decades, Northern Ireland has produced one of the great poetic periods in the history of the English language – poets like Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley, Derek Mahon, Ciaran Carson, Medbh McGuckian, and others, have all emerged from the tiny, troubled region. But while these poets have forged an original and contemporary voice, they’ve built that voice upon a deep literary tradition.
Edna Longley: I really like something that the current American Poet Laureate, Donald Hall, says about tradition. He calls tradition “conversations with the dead great ones and with the living young.” And I think if you were to read the poets from Northern Ireland, you would get a sense of a deep and continuing tradition with roots in the history of English language poetry, in the Irish Literary Revival, and in the development of Modern poetry in Britain and America.
Northern Irish critic, Edna Longley. This literary moment was created by the National Endowment for the Arts.
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