I wish to express my gratitude to Culture Ireland who has awarded me a grant to travel to the US to accept a number of reading invitations. First stop will be the University of Connecticut, where I will read with my good friend and award-winning poet, Lisa C. Taylor. Arlen House published our poetry collaboration, The Other Side of Longing (2011) and that year we were invited by Dr Mary Burke from the English Department to present the prestigious Elizabeth Shanley Gerson Reading. It will be a real treat to return and read again with Lisa as part of Dr Burke's Contemporary Irish Literature programme.
Lisa and I will also read together at Camber Arts, Mansfield Center.
I will then travel to St. Louis Missouri, where at the invitation of Smurfit-Stone Corporation Professor in Irish Studies, Eamonn Wall, I will give a presentation of my forthcoming poetry collection as part of the ‘Irish Lectures, Reading and Concert Series’ that he curates. I will speak to an audience of students, faculty and community about the importance of the United States as a destination for those who availed of the Tuke-assisted emigration scheme from Ireland after the famine as experienced by my great-grandparents.