The Dublin Global Gateway hosted the launch of Second Voyages: Writers on Poems by Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin (2022) on November 28, 2022.
The collection of poems and essays was launched and edited by Peter Fallon of The Gallery Press, regarded as Ireland’s pre-eminent publisher of Irish poetry and drama. Fallon founded The Gallery Press at the age of 18 and has been publishing Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin’s poetry since the age of 20, when he was her student at Trinity College Dublin.
On the occasion of her 80th birthday, Second Voyages is a celebration of Ní Chuilleanáin’s remarkable career as poet and professor.
Her many accolades include the Patrick Kavanagh Award, the Irish Times Award for Poetry, the O’Shaughnessy Award of the Irish-American Cultural Institute, the International Griffin Poetry Prize, the 1573 International Poetry Award, and the Ireland Professor of Poetry (2016 - 2019). Most recently, Ní Chuilleanáin was elected Saoi of Aosdána, the highest artistic honor in Ireland, awarded by fellow artists in Aosdána and conferred by the President of Ireland through the symbol of the gold Torc.
Fallon invited 50 writers, marking 50 years of publication, to select a Ní Chuilleanáin poem–whether beloved, beguiling, or bewitching–and to write an accompanying essay. Among the 50 contributors to Second Voyages were Irish authors, poets, and playwrights Paul Muldoon, Colm Tóibín, Vona Groarke, Anne Enright, Vincent Woods, Gerald Dawe, and Frank McGuinness.
Ní Chuilleanáin’s international significance was reflected in the breadth of writers in attendance at the launch, hailing from Canada, Germany, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States as well as Ireland.
The launch featured: Enda Wyley reading “The New Atlantis,” Mary O’Donnell reading “The Words Collide,” Michael Augustin reading “Small,” Eleanor Hooker reading “Bessboro,” Kevin Graham reading “Love,” Grace Wilentz reading “The Absent Girl,” Tom French reading “Seaweed,” Sujata Bhatt reading “The Girl who Married the Reindeer,” Seán Hewitt reading “Mosaic of the Emperor’s Dream,” Molly Twomey reading “Michael and the Angel,” and Peter Sirr reading “The Morandi Bridge.”
Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin closed the formal part of the evening with a reading of her own work, the classics alongside new and unpublished poetry, including “War Time,” “Achilles and Phoenix,” and “The Air Here is the Map of the World.”
Second Voyages: Writers on Poems by Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin (2022) is available for purchase from The Gallery Press.