Irish poet and novelist Ciaran Carson to read from work April 14

Irish poet and novelist Ciaran Carson will read from his work at 8 p.m. Monday, April 14, for the Writing Program in Arts & Sciences.

The event, sponsored as part of the Writing Program’s spring Reading Series, is free and open to the public and takes place in Hurst Lounge, Room 201, Duncker Hall, on the university’s Danforth Campus. Duncker Hall is located at the northwest corner of Brookings Quadrangle, near the intersection of Brookings and Hoyt drives.

For more information, call (314) 935-7130 or email

Carson was born in 1948 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, to an Irish-speaking faily. He earned a degree in English from Queen’s University, Belfast, and in 1975 joined the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, serving as Traditional Arts Officer until 1998. He is currently a professor of poetry at Queen’s University, where he also directs the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry.

Carson is the author of nine collections of poems, beginning with The New Estate (1976), which won the Eric Gregory Award. Other collections include The Irish for No (1987), winner of the Alice Hunt Bartlett Award; Belfast Confetti (1990), which won the Irish Times Irish Literature Prize for Poetry; First Language: Poems (1993), winner of the T. S. Eliot Prize; and Breaking News (2003), winner of the Forward Poetry Prize (Best Poetry Collection of the Year).

Carson is also the author of four prose works, including The Pocket Guide to Traditional Irish Music (1996); The Star Factory (1997), a collecction of inventive essays about his native city; and Fishing for Amber (1999), a series of stories that weave autobiography with Irish fairy tales, Greek Myth and the history of amber. His novel Shamrock Tea (2001) — which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize — explores themes present in Jan van Eyck’s painting The Arnolfini Marriage.

“Carson has managed an unusual marriage in his work between the Irish vernacular story-telling tradition and the witty elusive mock-pedantic scholarship of Paul Muldoon,” writes Peter Forbes, editor of Poetry Review, Britain’s premier poetry magazine.

Caron’s translation of Dante’s Inferno won the 2002 Oxford Weidenfeld Translation prize. A translation of the Old Irish epic Táin Bó Cuailnge was published by Penguin Classics in 2007.

A new collection of poems, For All We Know, is forthcoming in 2008, as is a novel, The Pen Friend.

Calendar Summary

WHO: Author Ciaran Carson

WHAT: Reading from his work

WHEN: 8 p.m. Monday, April 14

WHERE: Hurst Lounge, Room 201 Duncker Hall

COST: Free and open to the public

SPONSOR: Washington University’s Writing Program Reading Series

INFORMATION: (314) 935-7130 or