Now, a Literary Moment...
Starting in the late 1960s, Northern Ireland was devastated for thirty years by a violent political struggle, a conflict known as the Troubles. During that time, the region also produced one of the great poetic periods in the history of the English language.
Literary critic, Edna Longley.
Edna Longley: A lot of people have speculated that there may be something in common between the root of the Troubles and the root of the poetry, but what that common element might be, clearly has something to do with cultural clashes, even theological clashes. Perhaps it reveals that poetry comes out of all kinds of difference. On the one hand, Northern Ireland might look like a really small place on the map, and almost a homogeneous place. It’s a cultural confluence, in many ways, a confluence that produces conflict but which also produces extraordinary interaction between a range of poetic traditions from Britain and Ireland.
[ Audio ]