The Sunken Garden Poetry Festival
May 27 – Opening Night: Irish Poetry & Music with Eamon Grennan
5-8pm on Hill-Stead's West Lawn
Tickets: $15 Online; $20 at the Gate; Under 18 FREE
5-5:30 Eamon Grennan & David McLoghlin Prelude Interview
5:30 Daymark Irish Music and Scoil Rince Luimni Irish Dancing
6:30 David McLoghlin
7:00 Eamon Grennan
8:00 Book Signing
About the Performers:
Born in Dublin, Eamon Grennan attended boarding school at a Cistercian monastery. He met Derek Mahon and Eavan Boland as an undergraduate at University College, Dublin, spent a year in Rome, and then came to the United States to earn his PhD at Harvard. He began writing poetry in earnest in 1977 and published his first collection, Wildly for Days, in 1983. He is the author of more than 10 collections of poetry, including There Now (2016), Out of Sight: New and Selected Poems (2010), Matter of Fact (2008), The Quick of It (2005), Still Life with Waterfall (2002), and Relations: New and Selected Poems (1998).
Grennan has also written a book of essays, Facing the Music: Irish Poetry in the 20th Century (1999). He won the PEN Award for poetry in translation for Selected Poems of Giacomo Leopardi (1997), and the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets for Still Life with Waterfall (2002). He has also won several Pushcart Prizes. He has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Guggenheim Foundation.
Grennan was the Dexter M. Ferry Jr. Professor of English at Vassar College until his retirement in 2004. He divides his time between Poughkeepsie, New York, and western Ireland, and his poetry shows the imprint of both lands. Of his fitting resident alien status, Grennan notes, “I live at a sort of distance, an angle to the place I live in.”
David McLoghlin is an Irish poet and literary translator, and the author of Waiting for Saint Brendan and Other Poems (Salmon Poetry, 2012), part of which was awarded second prize in The Patrick Kavanagh Awards. David’s second collection, Santiago Sketches, was published by Salmon Poetry on 25th July, 2017. Sign Tongue, his rendering of the work of Chilean poet Enrique Winter, won the 2014 Goodmorning Menagerie Chapbook-in-Translation prize. David is also a contributor to Suns, a pamphlet/chapbook of translations of Winter's poems (Cardboard House Press, 2017), and the author of The Magic Door, an early chapbook (Blue Canary Press, Milwaukee, 1993). David received first-class honours from University College, Dublin for his research MA in modern Spanish literature, and holds an MFA in Poetry from New York University, where he was a Teaching Fellow. He received a major Literature Bursary from The Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon in 2006, and was the Howard Nemerov Scholar at the 2011 Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Most recently, he was a prize-winning finalist for the 2015 Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize, judged by Billy Collins. He has taught at University College, Dublin, NYU and Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital, and served as Resident Writer at Hunts Point Alliance for Children in the South Bronx. David lives with his wife in Brooklyn, NY, where in June 2016 they ended a three-year run as the founders and hosts of The Eagle and the Wren reading series, where they hosted almost 150 writers, pairing Pulitzer-Prize winners and Guggenheim Fellows with exciting emerging writers and poets.
Music & Dance
Daymark is an international trio performing traditional Irish music infused with infectious energy, raw power, and Northern swagger. Fusing the talents of Will Woodson (flute, border pipes), Dan Foster (fiddle) and Eric McDonald (guitar, vocals) the group presents a classic blend of wind and string as driving flute meets virtuosic fiddle, underpinned by well-considered and expertly delivered guitar. Each member of the trio had carved their individual musical pathways and style from diligent listening and study, extensive travels, and numerous performances in Ireland, Scotland, England, America, and Canada before meeting at the Northern Roots Festival in Vermont during the winter of 2016. Sharing a love for the music of generations past, in Daymark’s sound one can hear the echoes of Irish-American dance halls from the 1920s and 30s, alongside the lonesome tones of Donegal country fiddlers and the rollicking smoky pubs of Northern England’s immigrant neighborhoods.
Scoil Rince Luimni (SRL) Irish Dance Academy will be performing a selection of traditional and contemporary pieces of Irish dancing. From an art form that originated from traveling dance masters moving town by town, county by county to teach steps as personification of Irish identity Irish dancing has evolved into both a spectacle performance genre as well as highly athletic sport. Students at SRL train several hours a week to learn repertoire from the tradition, perfect their technique, and work together to create performance pieces. SRL founder, Courney Jay TCRG, was a two time World medalist and top 10 at the All-Irelands, North Americans, and All Scotlands, as well as regional champion in both solo and team dancing.
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