All entries for Monday 13 November 2006

November 13, 2006


Michael Woodford

Saturday 18th November 2006, 5pm.

Lecture Theatre H051, Humanities Building,

Library Road, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL


Medbh McGuckian is the pre-eminent female poet among the extraordinary flowering of ‘second-generation’ Northen Irish writers that included Paul Muldoon and Ciaran Carson. Her first major collection, The Flower Master (1982), which explores post-natal breakdown, was awarded a Rooney prize for Irish Literature, an Ireland Arts Council Award (both 1982) and an Alice Hunt Bartlett Award (1983). She is also the winner of the 1989 Cheltenham Prize for her collection On Ballycastle Beach. She has written a study of the car in the poetry of Seamus Heaney, entitled Horsepower Pass By! (1999), and has translated into English (with Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin) The Water Horse (1999), a selection of poems in Irish by Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill.

“I don’t think anyone can really be Irish in Ireland. It is such a dreadful place. It’s blood-sucked, you feel like you’re walking in blood.” – from a 1988 interview.

The scientist and poet David Morley has published several award-winning volumes, including Mandelstam Variations, Clearing A Name, Releasing Stone and Scientific Papers. As a writer of Romany origin, he uses the lore and language of Britain’s Gypsy tribes to chilling effect, his poems suggesting dark permafrost lying like a slumbering vagrant beneath the clipped hedges of English society. In his role as Lecturer in Creative Writing and director of the world-renowned Warwick Writing Programme, he won a National Teaching Fellowship Scheme award in 2006. He will read from his collection The Invisible Kings, forthcoming from Carcanet.

“I don’t know what has happened to me. I imagine I have gone too far away from Catstycam or the Bowland Fells, and find it hard to retrace my steps from the steppes of the Midlands. These days I cannot bear teaching in a seminar room and there is nothing that can be done, no cure for the roomed falsehood, except to shout ‘Up! Up!’ to the students and take them for a walk, even if that walk is no hike but merely a stroll around the campus woodlands or a short passage to the library and back. Most everybody probably finds this crazy, or drearily romantic, rather than what it is: physical and psychological shearing-away. It always works; even in the rain: we write and imagine better as we take some action, if we shear-off from the expected route – or non-route in the case of a small dowdy room. One can imagine the walk from Humanities to the Library as fifty steps along the spine of Swirral Edge.” – from David Morley’s blog,

This reading is free, though guests are encouraged to buy a copy of Avocado magazine, which also features work by the noted poets Robin Robertson, Robert Minhinnick, Michael Gardiner and others. The event has been programmed as the conclusion to a Humanities Research Centre doctoral conference on the intersections between Scottish, Welsh and Irish literatures and Postcolonial Theory, organised at the University of Warwick by award-winning PhD researchers Zoe Brigley and Jonathan Morley. See for more information on the conference and how to book.


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