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Talk on the poet John Montague

As a way of marking Poetry Day Ireland (organized by Poetry Ireland) Westmeath County Library is delighted to offer the public a chance to hear award winning poet, Noel Monahan, give a talk on John Montague one of the 20th century giants of Irish poetry who died in Nice in December 2016 at the age of 87. The talk will last approximately 45 minutes with time allowed for questions and answers or discussion afterwards.

Noel Monahan has published six collections of poetry the most recent being: ‘Where the Wind Sleeps: New and Selected Poems’ which was published by Salmon Poetry in 2015.  In the autumn of 2014 he did a US tour giving readings in the universities of Minnesota and Iowa.

This talk should appeal to all lovers of Irish poetry because it deals with an Irish poet who made his mark both nationally and internationally.  John Montague was the author of over 30 books of poetry, essays, memoir and short stories.  In 1998 he was named the first Ireland Professor of Poetry a three year appointment to three Irish Universities (North and South) established in the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement.

Montague was honoured by the French Government in 2010 by being made a Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur and was the recipient of a Life Time Achievement Award at the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards last year. Montague forged important literary friendships in Ireland, France and the U.S., in Paris he was a drinking companion of Samuel Beckett and as a visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley he came in contact with the ‘Beat Generation’ poets.

Noel Monahan is well equipped to deliver this talk which he calls “Inner and Outer Landscapes: a closer look at John Montague’s poetry” as he is himself a former teacher and a practicing poet.  His own work has been translated into French, Italian, Romanian and Russian – a collection of his poems in French translation was published in 2015.  Noel Monahan is a native of Granard and is now a full-time professional writer living and working in County Cavan.

This talk with take place on Thursday 27th April (Poetry Day Ireland) in two venues in Westmeath: Castlepollard and Athlone.  In both cases admission is free but booking is essential. It will happen in Castlepollard Library on Thursday 27th May at 11.00am, for booking contact the library at 044-9332199 or email: cpdlib@westmeathcoco.ie The Athlone session will be in the Aidan Heavey Library, Athlone on Thursday 27th May at 3.30pm, for booking contact the library at 090-6442157 or e-mail: athlib@westmeathcoco.ie

Content Last Updated/Reviewed: 11/04/2017