The Blank Page | Limerick Literary Festival 19

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Updated: January 21st, 2019


The National Library of Ireland presents

The Blank Page

featuring Niall McMonagle, Clodagh Beresford Dunne and Martin Dyar


Hunt Museum | Sat Feb 23 | 4pm | 14/€12


‘If I knew where poems came from, I’d go there’. – Michael Longley

This event explores the genesis, the making and remaking of a poem of theirs with award-winning poets Clodagh Beresford Dunne and Martin Dyar. Where do poems come from? How is a poem shaped and re-shaped?

How does a poet choose a particular form, stanza structure, line length? What happens between a blank page and the finished work? Such questions and others will be explored with Clodagh and Martin with particular focus on particular poems. The conversation will be moderated by Niall MacMonagle.

Niall MacMonagle is a writer and critic and broadcasts frequently on RTE Radio 1. He writes a weekly art column for the Sunday Independent and has edited several anthologies including Real Cool, Outside In, Slow Time, Off the Wall, The Open Door Book of Poetry, the Lifelines anthologies, the Leaving Certificate anthology Poetry Now, TEXT – A Transition Year English Reader and Windharp: Poems of Ireland since 1916 [Penguin 2015]. In 2017 he was awarded an honorary Doctorate by UCD for services to literature.
Clodagh Beresford Dunne was born in Dublin and grew up in Dungarvan. She studied English and Law and qualified as a solicitor. An international debater and public speaker, she represented Ireland three times at the World University Championships, has been awarded several literary bursaries and residencies. From a newspaper background, Beresford published her first story when she was eight and her poetry has been published and broadcast here and in the US. Her poem Seven Sugar Cubes was published in the Irish Times and was voted Listowel Writers’ Week Irish Poems of the Year Award at the 2017 Irish Book Awards. Thomas McCarthy has said of Beresford Dunne that she is a writer of immense seriousness and purpose. Her poems announce a new vision to us, a new vortex of energy that localises human experience and domesticated genius.
Martin Dyar grew up in Swinford, County Mayo. He studied at NUIG, Southern Illinois University, and at Trinity College where he wrote a PhD thesis on the American poet Wallace Stevens, and taught for ten years in the TCD school of medicine. His poetry collection Maiden Names (Arlen House, 2013) was shortlisted for the Pigott Poetry Prize, and was a books of the year selection in both the Guardian and the Irish Times. Along with the composer Ryan Molloy, Martin has written a poetry song cycle, Buaine na Gaoithe, which had an Irish national tour in 2018. He has also written a play, Tom Loves a Lord, about the Irish poet Thomas Moore. Martin was awarded the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award in 2009, the Strokestown International Poetry Award in 2001. Martin’s poem ‘Death and the host Office’ has been added to the Leaving Cert Prescribed poetry syllabus. That same poem was described by the novelist Colm Toibin as ‘an instant classic’. Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin has said that ‘Martin Dyar is a poet writing close to the bones and stones of a real Ireland. A landscape and its animals, people, ghosts, are pinned down, probed and revealed in sharp, often witty language’ and Bernard O’Donoghue has described Maiden Names as a thrilling new development in Irish poetry. Martin Dyar is presently an associate writer at the University of Limerick, where he teaches on the MA in Creative Writing.

  • Please note all ticket prices include a booking charge.
  • No exchanges or refunds.
  • Wheelchair spaces can only be booked over the phone. Please call our box office on (061) 953400 if you wish to book a wheelchair space.
  • No late comers admitted to the theatre once show commences.
  • On street parking.


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Sat 23 Feb