Jackie Kay and Paula Meehan in conversation with Doireann Ní Bhriain
in association with Poetry Ireland
is the title of one of Jackie Kay's many collections and in Scots Gaelic it means equal or friend. In Irish the word "fior" means true. We are thrilled to bring together two of the truest, most engaging and humane voices in poetry, Scottish Makar Jackie Kay and our own Paula Meehan, for a very special joint event in which they will discuss the connections made by and value of poetry in all of our lives. Jackie will read poems from her collections including the recent Bantam
, The Adoption Papers
, and Fiere
. Paula will read from Geomantic
, and Mysteries of the Home
as well as dipping into her selection of 10 Poems for Ireland
Jackie Kay was born in 1961, in Edinburgh. Her biological parents – a Scottish mother and Nigerian father – gave her up for adoption to a Glasgow couple. She has a clutch of literary prizes that span her entire working life from the Eric Gregory award in 1991 to the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust book of the year award in 2011. She was made MBE in 2006 and is currently professor of creative writing at Newcastle University. “She makes great poetry and soon she will have others making poetry too.” Alan Taylor. “She is a much-loved poet and author in Scotland and beyond, and her work sometimes deals with challenging subjects, and she has a particularly Scottish brand of humour.”
Paula Meehan was born and reared in the north inner city of Dublin. She studied at Trinity College, Dublin and at Eastern Washington University in the United States. She has published six original collections of poetry, the most recent, Painting Rain, in 2009. She has written plays for both adults and children, including Cell and The Wolf of Winter. Music for Dogs:works for radio, collects three plays concerned with suicide during the economic boom years in Ireland. Selections of her poetry have been published in French, Spanish, German, Galician, Japanese, Estonian, Greek, and smaller selections have been published in other languages, including Irish. She has received the Butler Literary Award for Poetry presented by the Irish American Cultural Institute, the Marten Toonder Award for Literature, the Denis Devlin Award for her poetry collection Dharmakaya, published in 2000, and the PPI Award for Radio Drama for The Lover. Dedalus Press have recently republished Mysteries of the Home, a selection of seminal poems from the 1980s and the 1990s. She was honoured with election to Aosdána, the Irish Academy for the Arts, in 1996. She was Ireland Professor of Poetry, 2013 to 2016.
Doireann Ní Bhriain is an Irish independent radio producer.