The Kennedy Center

Foremost Irish Language Poets with Iarla Ó'Lionáird

IRELAND 100: Literature Panel: An Evening with Ireland's Foremost Irish Language Artists

Thursday, June 2, 2016 7:30 PM

IRELAND 100: Celebrating a Century of Irish Arts & Culture

Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill and Louis de Paor, two of the foremost poets writing in the Irish language today, are joined by award-winning piper Ronan Browne and traditional singer Iarla Ó'Lionáird (of The Gloaming). Free tickets required.

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IRELAND 100: Celebrating a Century of Irish Arts & Culture
An Evening with Ireland's Foremost Irish Language Artists

NOTE: Free general admission tickets will be distributed approximately 30 minutes prior to the event in the Family Theater lobby area, two (2) tickets per person in line. There is no free parking when attending free events.

Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill and Louis de Paor are considered two of the foremost poets writing in the Irish language today. They will be joined by award-winning piper Ronan Browne and traditional singer Iarla Ó Lionáird (of The Gloaming). 

Event Timing: Approximately 90 minutes, with no intermission.

The Literature series is presented in collaboration with Poetry Ireland with the support of Malin Corporation plc.

Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill was born in 1952 and grew up in the Irish-speaking areas of West Kerry and in Tipperary. She studied English and Irish at University College, Cork in 1969 and became part of a group of Irish language poets who were published in the literary magazine Innti. She now lives in Dublin. She has published four collections of poems in Irish, An Dealg Droighin (1981), Féar Suaithinseach (1984), Feis (1991) and Cead Aighnis (1998). The Gallery Press has published four collections of her poems, with translations into English, Pharoah's Daughter (translations by thirteen writers, 1990), The Astrakhan Cloak (translations by Paul Muldoon, 1992), The Water Horse (translations by Medbh McGuckian and Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, 1999) and The Fifty Minute Mermaid (translations by Paul Muldoon, 2007). Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill held the Heimbold Chair in Irish Studies at Villanova University in 2001 and has taught at Boston College and New York University. She has received many scholarships, prizes, and bursaries and has also won numerous international awards for works which have been translated into French, German, Polish, Italian, Norwegian, Estonian, Turkish, Japanese, and English. She is a member of Aosdána and was Ireland Professor of Poetry (2001-2004) and the first Professor of Irish (language) Poetry. 

Iarla Ó Lionáird is the vocalist with the critically acclaimed Irish-American band The Gloaming. He was born in the small town of Cuil Aodha in the Irish-speaking area of West Cork in 1964. He has worked in radio, film, and TV production, and is the lead singer for the Afro Celt Sound System. In 2003, he completed an Masters of Art in Ethnomusicology at the University of Limerick. He has performed and recorded with such luminaries as Peter Gabriel, Robert Plant, Nick Cave and Sinèad O'Connor.
Louis de Paor was born in Cork in 1961. Despite being a decade younger than the Cork-based Innti poets such as Michael Davitt and Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, de Paor is considered to be a key protagonist in the 1970s-80s Irish language poetry renaissance, and became an editor of the Innti journal himself. Initially he objected to the translation of his work into English for a number of complex reasons, including a desire to be judged solely on his own original words, not wanting his work or that of Irish literature in general to be critically assessed through the distorting prism of English. De Paor lived and worked in Australia between 1987 and 1996. There, away from many of the issues which affected English translation in Ireland, he relaxed and allowed much of his early work to be translated and published locally while maintaining the ban in Europe. His first bilingual collection won the Victorian Premier's Award for Literary Translation. He was also granted a Writer's Fellowship by the Australia Council in 1995. At home he has received the O'Shaughnessy Award and the Oireachtas Prize for poetry.
Ronan Browne is an Irish musician and composer who plays the uilleann pipes. He is the grandson of Delia Murphy and plays in a duet with Peter O'Loughlin. He was the original piper with both Riverdance and the Afro Celt Sound System. He has contributed music to the film soundtracks of Circle of Friends, Rob Roy, Robin of Loxely, The Secret of Roan Inish, Streets of Gold, Gangs of New York and the TV series Bringing It All Back Home.

Watch and Listen

IRELAND 100 Festival Trailer